Friday, March 7, 2008

Listened to: "Double Indemnity" by James M. Cain

Listened to: Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, downloaded from Overdrive.

Good story. I have never seen the movie but will reserve it. The movie is more famous anyway. Here is a part of a comment about the movie from Variety in 2007, "Chandler despised Wilder (and Cain as well), and the collaboration was fraught with hostility and constant negotiations, with stipulations on paper that Wilder could not wave his cane at Chandler or wear his hat inside because it gave Chandler the unsettling feeling that Wilder was about to leave at any moment."

Narrated by insurance agent Walter Neff. Walter teams up with sleazy but sexy Phyllis to kill Phyllis' husband for his life insurance. Walter breaks the husband's neck, poses as the husband on a train, jumps off the train and then place the body on the tracks. After all, a train-related death pays double. After the murder Walter realizes Phyllis is trouble and is disgusted by her. "I loved her like a rabbit loves a rattlesnake."

Walter joins Phyllis in the deed because he is hot for her - although there is never any direct mention of them having sex - and wants to get one over on the insurance company. Walter plans out each detail of the murder, factors in the need for audacity and gives both he and Phyllis strong alibis.

Things start to fall apart right away when insurance company claims adjuster and investigator Keyes knows something is wrong. At one point Keyes starts picking up actuarial tables and plopping them on a desk pointing out all the ways a death off a moving train at 15 mph has never and will never happen.

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