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Double Indemnity

Is this what they call Film Noir?

I jest, but the Criterion 4K restoration job here is a bit weird. I mean, they’ve removed all the scratches and stuff, but it seems like they’ve also lowered the contrast? Which is pretty unusual — you usually have them erring on the other side, making things too contrastey. I mean, I’ve seen this before, and I remember it looking cooler than this…

Can’t have Noir without blinds. Blinds are 90% of Noir.

Edward G. Robinson is the other 90%, of course.


So here’s a screenshot from the 4K disc.

And here’s a screenshot from the 2K disc.

The 2K looks a lot punchier. But the 4K is in HDR, so, er, mpv does something to mix it down to SDR, and that’s not working optimally? Or… er… something?

Anyway, I’m switching to the 2K.

One moment…


That looks noirer.

OK, it might just be my tribulations with the contrast here, but… I’m not totally into this film. It just seems a bit stodgy?

We skip back to his confession all the time, and that just makes the film drag a bit.

I mean, it’s good, but I was expecting excellent.


Praised by many critics when first released, the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, but did not win any.

OK, I changed my mind — this is really exciting. We’re really rooting for these murderers! I mean, for their plan, and we haven’t really been given much reason to do so. Sure, the guy they’re planning to kill is a tool, but Barbara Stanwyck could, like, leave him. Instead they’re gonna kill him and claim the insurance and I’m all YES! DO IT! and then I’m worried that their plan is gonna be foiled.

And it’s all down to them being the protagonists — Wilder doesn’t try to make them sympathetic, really.

OK, now it’s not as exciting any more, and parts are starting to seem ridiculous. Like meeting in grocery stores — sure, that’s not suspicious at all.

This is a good movie, of course, but I was disappointed. So:

Double Indemnity. Billy Wilder. 1944.

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