Sunday, May 23, 2010

Amoral Royalty

One of the greatest examples of amoral behavior comes to us in the classic film Double Indemnity. Fred MacMurrary and Barbara Stanwyck cook up a nice murder plot that goes awry. The movie itself takes a moral stand, as all Hollywood movies have to (because money people are wimps..,) but the characters themselves never apologize. Even after he's been shot, Fred MacMurray tries to make a break for Mexico. Admirable.

One of the reasons this film noir stands out is the combination of writers involved. The book was written by James M.Cain. The script was written by Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder. If you were putting together a basketball team of ace noir writers, all you'd need to round it out would be Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson.

The movie is also enhanced by one of the greatest soundtracks ever. The music revolves around a tough, original theme motif, and a variation of "I'm in the Mood for Love." Pretty cynical, when you consider the love is all about murder and money.

Finally, the photography is awesome. Black and white. Shadows a

nd light. It puts all the absurd fast-cutting and constant camera movement of today's lame cinema to total shame.

This is good stuff. If you want to learn how to be properly amoral, Double Indemnity is a great primer.

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