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Double Indemnity- Liz Eisler

According to Dan Flory, “film noir is best understood not as a genre, mood, movement, or visual style, but rather as a discourse.� Through this perspective, film noir describes films as engaging and defying society. Double Indemnity is definitely a classical best-liked film of film noir, including metaphors such as black and darkness, minorities playing meager roles, a victim of fate, and a femme fatale.
Barbara Stanwyck plays a memorable performance as Phyllis Dietrichson, a cold and callous manipulator. Playing the role of an innocent victim, Phyllis was able to ruin the lives of many men and women within society in order to get what she wants. With her sexual prowess, seductiveness, and intellectual charms Phyllis was convinced she would be able to benefit greatly after the death of her husband however her road to success lead to deep devastation (the death of her husband and herself). Throughout the film Phyllis portrays a women with an immense amount of power, convincing Walter that she is nothing more than a mere victim of her husband’s drinking problem and physical abuse. Through Phyllis’ manipulation, Walter not only found himself with his life in ruins, but he ended up dead.
Another concept of film noir which I took a notice to was the use of minorities throughout the movie. I only saw or heard mention of a few, such as the maid of the Dietrichson house, Walter’s reference to his cleaning lady as, “the colored woman comes in,� and Charlie, the black man washing cars in Walter’s garage. While these minority figures all seemed to play meager roles, I found it quite interesting that Walter wanted Charlie to be apart of his alibi. Although the social forces working in American society at the time still largely discriminated against minorities, Walter seemed to give Charlie an important role.