Summary Of Double Indemnity And Sunset Boulevard

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Film noirs in the 1940s and 50s were like no other, filled with intricate plots and alluring characterizations. Characters tend to be vengeful, through brute violence. Stories were told from the point-of-view of the protagonist, in a flashback sequence where the crime has already been committed. Billy Wilder, made some of the greatest Hollywood film noirs, creating some of the most interesting characters in Classical Hollywood cinema, most notable the femme fatale. Billy Wilder, known for his dark film noirs, such as Double Indemnity (1944) and Sunset Boulevard (1950), always featured dangerous women involved in crimes of passion. A femme fatale is translated from French as ‘deadly woman’, in which a woman uses her charming or seductive talents…show more content…
The story begins with a car chase and a man named Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) confessing the story in a Dictaphone. Neff in a door-to-door insurance salesman who ends up in the Dietrichson house, when he finds out the head of the household, Mr.Dietrichson isn’t home, the wife, Phyllis (Barbara Stanwyck) is introduced to the story. She and Neff have instant chemistry, soon after they have a talk; she comes over to his apartment and have an intimate talk about how she feels trapped in her marriage. Soon, they plot a murder on Mr.Dietrichson after he signs the insurance claims the following night. After the murder, Neff begins to care about what might happen to Lola, Mr.Dietrichson’s daughter, both of whose parents have been murdered. Neff is also worried about Keyes, the determined manager of the claims office, whom we later discover he is confessing to on the Dictaphone. Later, in a confrontation between Phyllis and Walter, she shoots him in the chest, but he has the strength to shoot and kill her. Neff goes back to the office, wounded and confesses what happened through the Dictaphone. In the majority of noir films, the femme fatale remains committed to her independence, rarely allowing herself to be converted by the hero or captured by the police (Blaser). In Double Indemnity, Walter Neff wants to opt out of the plan since he is afraid that the police will find out that he was…show more content…
The noir stories that are known as the most characteristic tell of people trapped in unwanted situations, generally they are striving to achieve something, but more frequently than not, they are doomed to fail. The lighting aspects in the films, black-and-white at the time, lent more psychology to the viewer. Filmmakers allowed spectators to distinguish their own plots through the use of lighting. Sunset Boulevard gave the end of silent film cinema and the emergence of Classical Hollywood narratives. Both in Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard, each played a role in the progression of the characterization of the femme fatale. Bibliography 1. Dick, Bernard F. Billy Wilder. 1st Ed. New York: Da Capo Press Inc., 1996. 2. Phillips, Gene D. Exiles in Hollywood. 1st Ed. London: Associated University Press, 1998. 3. Blaser, John. "The Femme Fatale." No Place for a Woman: The Family in Film Noir. January 1996. University of Berkeley. 24 Nov 2008.

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