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Double Indemnity

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 1991 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Phyllis Dietrichson's anklet is the most celebrated article of fetish jewelry in the history of American movies. It was brazenly worn by one Miss Barbara Stanwyck who played La Dietrichson in the so-steamy-it's-hard-boiled film Double Indemnity (1944). In this legendary Billy Wilder picture (co-written by none other than Raymond Chandler!), The Anklet makes its entrance a few delectable seconds before The Dame. This charm bracelet for the leg is cinched above a particularly naughty-looking ankle-strapped, high-heeled sandal, and by the time The Dame appears, Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray in his greatest role)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 1999 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Bleeding from a bullet wound, Walter Neff staggers from his car into an office and begins telling his story to a dictation machine. What he has to say gives us the perfect film noir about an attempt at the perfect murder in Double Indemnity. The 1944 movie fulfilled the promise of its imposing credits. Directed by Billy Wilder from a James M. Cain story adapted for the screen by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, Double Indemnity is also perfectly cast. Among the long parade of Hollywood femmes fatales, no one was more drop-dead effective than Barbara Stanwyck, in one of her finest roles as Phyllis Dietrichson.
NEWS
March 4, 1994 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
I've often wondered why people in movies like "Double Indemnity" act as though they've never seen movies like "Double Indemnity. " "China Moon" stars Ed Harris as a world-weary police detective ("I'm all surprised out," he says) who begins an affair with a stunning woman (Madeleine Stowe) trapped in an unhappy marriage to a brute whom she mentions she'd like to kill, possibly because of his outrageously bad Southern accent. It's right about this point where you figure the guy would say to himself, "You know, this reminds me of that movie with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck.
NEWS
August 12, 1991 | by Harry Haun, New York Daily News
"No, I never loved you, Walter - not you or anybody else. I'm rotten to the heart. I used you, just as you said. That's all you ever meant to me - until a minute ago, when I couldn't fire that second shot. " - Love finds Barbara Stanwyck, moments before Fred MacMurray returns fire and kills her, in Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity. " It wasn't easy, in those long-gone golden days of black-and-white movies, for a gal to be tough. If she was a pistol-packin' mama, she paid the price - it being a generation before "Police Woman" et al. were licensed to kill.
NEWS
January 18, 1990 | By Marilou Regan, Special to The Inquirer
The Folcroft Borough Council has avoided arbitration over police salaries by approving a three-year contract that includes a $4,000 pay raise for each of the eight full-time borough police officers. The council approved the contract, 4-1, at a special meeting Friday night. Councilman James Batty cast the dissenting vote, saying the terms of the contract "were excessive. " Council Vice President George Altman and Councilman Roy Gorson were absent. Council President Helen D'Angelo said she was pleased that the council's police committee and police had come to an amicable agreement before the arbitration deadline, which was Monday.
NEWS
December 31, 1991 | By Emilie Lounsberry, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal authorities said that Cecelia Wadley had a holiday surprise in mind for her husband: It was going to cost $2,000 and had to be delivered by New Year's. But the surprise, they said, was a murder contract, and a federal magistrate judge yesterday ordered Wadley held without bail pending trial even after her husband, Clifford, indicated that he didn't want to see her behind bars. "He doesn't want to see her locked up," defense attorney David McColgin told U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard A. Powers 3d as Wadley, 49 - dressed in a floral-print skirt, gray sweatshirt and sneakers - sat quietly in the courtroom.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 1986 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Billy Wilder made Garbo laugh, Fred MacMurray a murderer and Jack Lemmon a drag queen. The legendary writer/director, celebrated for dry wit, sparkling cynicism and the rosy blush of his eroticism, is responsible for an immodestly high proportion of movies regarded as Hollywood classics. Ninotchka (1939). Double Indemnity (1944). Sunset Boulevard (1950). Some Like It Hot (1959). The Apartment (1960). And that's only a handful. Few Hollywood filmmakers have provided so many with so much extraordinary pleasure.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 1986 | By JOE BALTAKE, Daily News Film Critic
They had faces then - and they really talked, often using words in a glib, literate way. Billy Wilder flourished during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, when stars were Stars, and he provided them with things to do and say that made them instantly recognizable as people and yet kept them a bit beyond us. In a Billy Wilder movie, the ordinary was something extraordinary. And his trademark was cynicism, perhaps ahead of its time in the '30s but right on the mark today. It is fitting that Wilder's work of 30, 40, 50 years ago will be honored in the '80s - specifically, tomorrow night at 9:30 on Channel 3, when NBC presents "The American Film Institute Salute to Billy Wilder.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2004 | By CATHERINE LUCEY luceyc@phillynews.com Daily News wire services contributed to this report
IN AN ATTEMPT to impress the husky-voiced Kathleen Turner at the Cannes Film Festival, Quentin Tarentino told her he preferred her 1980 noir film "Body Heat" to the 1944 Barbara Stanwyck classic "Double Indemnity. " "I think even ["Body Heat" director] Lawrence Kasdan would be surprised to hear you say that," Turner responded, the New York Post's Page Six reported yesterday. Tattle is also surprised. To quote Walter Neff, the evil hero in "Double Indemnity" played by a pre-Disneyfied Fred MacMurray, "Do I laugh now, or wait 'til it gets funny?"
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 1990 | Daily News Wire Services
Barbara Stanwyck, who died during the weekend, made her last film in 1964, but she found a new generation of fans with her television roles, including her portrayal of the matriarch in the Western series "The Big Valley. " Although nominated four times for Academy Awards during her 36-year big screen career, Stanwyck never won an Oscar for her acting. She was awarded a special Oscar in 1982 for lifetime achievement, and she earned three TV Emmy awards. Stanwyck, whose films included "Double Indemnity," "Stella Dallas," "Sorry, Wrong Number" and "Ball of Fire," died Saturday of congestive heart failure at 81. The actress displayed a versatile talent in her 83 movies and was reputed to be one of the easiest stars to work with.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
It took 56 years, but Orson Welles' Touch of Evil is finally available in high-definition. One of most stylized, intense, and frantic films noir to come out of the 1950s, Touch of Evil features Welles - at his most corpulent, sweat-glazed worst - as a corrupt police captain put in charge of investigating a car bomb that kills a couple at the Mexican border. Charlton Heston plays the voice of reason and all things moral as Mexican drug enforcement agent Miguel "Mike" Vargas (yes, it's a white actor playing a Latino in brownface)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2013 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Attention film geeks: These books are for you! And for your loved ones, and for your movie-obsessed cousins and nephews, grandparents and best pals. And for you, if you want to immerse yourself in the world of moving images - even when you're nowhere near a theater or a smartphone, sitting on your sofa, or in a cafe, not a remote control or flat screen in sight. Just the pages of a book. From an epic and authoritative chronicle of the Oscars to behind-the-scenes anecdotes of filmcraft, to a deep, detailed exploration of digital imaging, to ridiculously captivating photos of film gods and goddesses and their canine friends, the season is a time for Hollywood-themed books.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2012 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Noir, the dark literary genre populated by desperate killers, depressive, guilt-ridden cops, and down-and-out losers, thrived in the 1940s and 1950s. James M. Cain, Jim Thompson, Mickey Spillane, and that greatest of all urban anthropologists, Philadelphia's David Goodis, produced a mini-explosion of crime novels and movies. Half a century later, noir still thrives, says critic, editor, publisher, and crime fiction bookstore owner Otto Penzler. "There is more noir being written today than any time in history," says Penzler, who will speak at Philadelphia NoirCon, a four-day celebration of noir in books, art, music, film, and TV, Thursday through Sunday at various Center City locations.
NEWS
June 17, 2012 | By Sam McManis and McClatchy Newspapers
LOS ANGELES — It was a dank, rain-sodden Raymond Chandler kind of morning, as if some omnipotent auteur had rung up the studio and ordered a classic film noir sky. Cumulonimbus clouds the color of a snub-nosed revolver hovered with ominous intent, and tires on slickened freeway lanes gave off a sinister, knife-sharpening hiss. Only a sap would be out on a day like this, searching for the seedy, serrated soul of L.A. noir. Yet tourists often come here, searching for the Los Angeles of the 1930s, '40s and '50s.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2010 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Here's Edward G. Robinson from The Woman in the Window: "There are only three ways to deal with a blackmailer. You can pay him and pay him and pay him until you're penniless. Or you can call the police yourself and let your secret be known to the world. Or you can kill him. " At a certain point in the taut Down Under thriller The Square, Ray Yale (David Roberts), a husband guilty of considerably more than cheating on his wife, faces the dilemma of what to do with a blackmailer.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2004 | By CATHERINE LUCEY luceyc@phillynews.com Daily News wire services contributed to this report
IN AN ATTEMPT to impress the husky-voiced Kathleen Turner at the Cannes Film Festival, Quentin Tarentino told her he preferred her 1980 noir film "Body Heat" to the 1944 Barbara Stanwyck classic "Double Indemnity. " "I think even ["Body Heat" director] Lawrence Kasdan would be surprised to hear you say that," Turner responded, the New York Post's Page Six reported yesterday. Tattle is also surprised. To quote Walter Neff, the evil hero in "Double Indemnity" played by a pre-Disneyfied Fred MacMurray, "Do I laugh now, or wait 'til it gets funny?"
LIVING
December 12, 1999 | By Steven Rea, Carrie Rickey and Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITICS
From the silent stars who established cinema archetypes to the iconoclastic filmmakers who broke the mold, the holiday bookbag bulges with moving pictures of the people who made pictures move. Cinema of Outsiders The Rise of American Independent Film By Emanuel Levy. NYU Press. $34.95 As the boundaries between independent and studio films fade (media megacompanies acquire quirky little concerns; big-time movie stars take scale wages to act in art-house fare)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 1999 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Bleeding from a bullet wound, Walter Neff staggers from his car into an office and begins telling his story to a dictation machine. What he has to say gives us the perfect film noir about an attempt at the perfect murder in Double Indemnity. The 1944 movie fulfilled the promise of its imposing credits. Directed by Billy Wilder from a James M. Cain story adapted for the screen by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, Double Indemnity is also perfectly cast. Among the long parade of Hollywood femmes fatales, no one was more drop-dead effective than Barbara Stanwyck, in one of her finest roles as Phyllis Dietrichson.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 1998 | By Carrie Rickey, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Playwright George Bernard Shaw, a keen judge of popular taste, put it this way: "If you want to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh, or they'll kill you. " Filmmaker Billy Wilder made a pretty sweet career out of sugarcoating Shaw. "If you have anything worthwhile to say," quipped the director who made Double Indemnity and Some Like It Hot, "dip it in chocolate so they'll swallow it. " No surprise then, that Billy Wilder: The Human Comedy (a PBS "American Masters" special airing Wednesday on Channel 39 and Saturday on Channel 12)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 28, 1997 | By Lewis Beale, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Robert Mitchum says to Jane Greer: "You're like a leaf that the wind blows from one gutter to another. " We're in the world of film noir, an eerie planet of light and shadow where flawed anti-heroes and their femmes fatales live in a social landscape permeated with corruption and despair. The year is 1947, and Mitchum delivers this severe, highly stylized line in Out of the Past, considered by many critics to be the quintessential noir film. The term, meaning black film, was coined in 1946 by a French critic to describe dark, cynical American crime dramas.
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