Saturday, January 21, 2012
where to draw the line
fred macmurray took a big chance when he took on the role of 'walter neff' in director billy wilder's genius film 'double indemnity.' the year was 1944 and fred was known mostly as a likable character in lots of films. he was blessed with the role of 'walter', a guy whose ordinary life as an insurance salesman goes way south upon seeing the anklet on the wife of a potential client. said anklet was on the slim ankle of barbara stanwyck.
her performance is exceptional. these two have over two hundred credits between them but it is 'double indemnity' that is the most deeply etched in cinema history. i have seen this film more times than i will confess. hallelujah for actors who break free from public perceptions of them.