Saturday, May 29, 2004
"Fred MacMurray, as the insurance man who conspires with Barbara Stanwyck to murder her husband and collect on his life policy, makes all kinds of noises about being a seducer and being seduced, and the movie does everything it can to create a dusty, sultry aura of sex around the crime. All to no avail. The only passion that drives these people is the passion of possibility. Like all memorable fictional criminals (and I guess unlike most real-life miscreants), they commit their crime not out of any raw human need or desire but because they have imagined it could be done, because the deed is their own creation, because they admire their own cleverness and courage and can't resist the lure of trying them out. Murder doesn't smell like honeysuckle in this movie, although a killer anxious to romanticise his doings might like to think it does. It doesn't smell at all. " Michael Wood tackles Double Indemnity and other matters Wilder.