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Double Indemnity (1944)

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NOTE: This commentary is only available on Universal's Legacy Series special edition.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Film historian Richard Schickel Rating:7.4/10 (5 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on September 7th, 2006:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Time magazine’s film critic claims that this is the first true film noir and proceeds to list the elements it has to support his assertion. He provides brief biographical sketches of James M. Cain and several of the principal cast and crew members which gives us a historical perspective to what we are watching. Schickel also talks about the origins of noir, where the term came from and what inspired the genre to thrive in the ‘40s. This is an informative if somewhat dry track but well worth a listen nonetheless although, it's doubtful you'll want to listen to it again any time soon.
Commentary 2: Screenwriter Lem Dobbs and film historian Nick Redman. Rating:7.8/10 (12 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on September 7th, 2006:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Dobbs points out that this film was made before the moniker of film noir became known. He informs us that, at the time, Cain’s novella and others of its kind were considered immoral and it was hard to get it green-lighted by any of the Hollywood studios. The two men compare Cain and Raymond Chandler, discussing their characteristics and differences, style of writing, and so on at great length. This is a much more engaging, analytical track with Dobbs tending to dominate in an entertaining fashion.
Reviewed by musíl65 on May 26th, 2015:Find all reviews by musíl65
Dobbs and Redman are a very good team. This track is not very scene specific. Most of the time Dobbs is talking, but Redman has always good additions.

They are talking about film noir in general, Wilder’s life/career, the differences between Chandler and Cain, emigrants in Hollywood, Hollywood during WW II, the actors, the style, locations, the old L.A., the reception of the movie and its legacy. Dobbs is a screenwriter himself. He talks a lot about the script. He has also nice recollection about the meetings with Wilder.

This is an excellent track. Don’t miss it. 10 out of 10.