DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) & BODY HEAT (1981)

This week The Unenthusiastic Critic is celebrating #Noirvember with a film noir double-feature, as we sit down for Nakea's first viewing of Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944) and Lawrence Kasdan's Body Heat (1981).

It's a femme-fatale face-off, as we watch magnificent dames Barbara Stanwyck and Kathleen Turner manipulate their weak-willed lovers—Fred McMurray and William Hurt, respectively—into committing murder.

Along the way, we ask a lot of important questions, like "Who wore it better?", "Why are men so stupid?", and "Is it really a good idea for Michael to be giving Nakea ideas about how to have your husband murdered?"

Program

0:00: Prologue: from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
01:08: Intro and Pre-Viewing Discussion of Double Indemnity
11:48: Theatrical Trailer for Double Indemnity
13:30: The Verdict I: Post-Viewing Discussion of Double Indemnity
48:41: Theatrical Trailer for Body Heat
50:52: The Verdict II: Post-Viewing Discussion of Body Heat
1:25:55: Outro and Next Week's Movie
1:29:24: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Movies Reviewed: Double Indemnity (dir. Billy Wilder, Paramount, 1944) and Body Heat (dir. Lawrence Kasdan, The Ladd Co., 1981).
—Prologue from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (dir. Robert Zemeckis, Touchstone, 1988)
—Special thanks to Pat Harrigan for his insights on Double Indemnity. We highly recommend you check out Pat's latest book, The Lecture Tourand subscribe to his Doctor Who podcast Get Off My World.
—Articles and Resources Mentioned:  Marya Gates (inventor of the #Noirvember hashtag) writes about film at cinema-fanatic.com; "The First Photograph of an Execution by Electric Chair," Erica Fahr Campbell, Time; "Double Indemnity," essay by Matt Zoller Seitz for Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board; "Hollywood Codebreakers: ‘Double Indemnity’ Slinks Past the Censors," Kristin Hunt, Medium; reviews of Double Indemnity by Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert; reviews of Body Heat by Pauline Kael, Janet Maslin, and Vincent Canby; David Sheff's interview with Kathleen Turner for Playboy.
—Read The Unenthusiastic Critic in prose form at unaffiliatedcritic.com.
—Email us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are very welcome.)
—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

The Unaffiliated Critic

Michael G. McDunnah is a freelance writer, a recovering lit major, a pop-culture junkie, and an unaffiliated critic. He lives in Chicago.

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One thought on “DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) & BODY HEAT (1981)

  1. "Body Heat" is one of the films studied in a screenwriters workshop I attended regularly in the late 1980s. It's construction is as smart is its femme fatale Mattie. And, unlike Phyllis in "Double Indemnity", Mattie can reach her ultimate goal, because there's no longer a Hayes Code to stop her.

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