Femme fatale by doranna durgin, virginia kantra, meredith. The festigals step up parade is the citys largest womens secondline parade. This figure largely abjures traditional romance and passive domesticity. The character of phyllis dietrichson challenges patriarchal gender stereotypes and is defined in relation to men place 47. Her high positioning foreshadows the power she will have over neff. Film noir, the femme fatale and double indemnity film noir and the femme fatale after world war ii, many american film critics were enamored with european film and showed a somewhat snobby derision for movies coming out of the american studio system.
The first scene featuring phyllis already designates her role as double indemnity s femme fatale. Phyllis plans to kill her husband to receive the claim of an accident insurance and neff set up a scheme to get twice the amount of a clause. May 22, 2012 the hollywood film noir era started in 1940s in which some of the best directors emerged, and so did the production code which sparked an interesting period of time for hollywood cinema as well as the role of females represented in hollywood films at the time. View cover of nitime swapbooks ns468 her shame of it all by dana courtney, cover art by unknown from greenleaf classics books 197203. Fred macmurray and barbara stanwyck in double indemnity dir. Femme fatale in film noir sensibility and a dark lighting style, such as double indemnity 1944, out of the past 1947, and the postman always rings twice 1946. Despite this, the gowns have become part of the iconography of the femme fatale, although phyllis and other film noir dames are more often seen in modest white clothes than black dresses. In the american patriarchal society between the 1930s and 1940s, marriage and family were deemed patterns from.
Many theorists related the common noir attributes and aesthetic elements to a post war society characterised by insecurity about gender roles, the economy, changing definitions of race, and nuclear technology. Double indemnity adopts film noir s and crime fictions properties, and responds to these anticipations. Rise and fall of the femme fatale in british literature, 1790. The lethal femme fatale in the noir tradition jack boozer dedicated to nina leibman. Nov 15, 2010 harlequin enterprises ulc is located at bay adelaide centre, east tower, 22 adelaide street west, 41st floor, toronto, ontario, canada m5h 4e3 and sends informational and promotional emails on behalf of itself and harlequin digital sales corporation. Double indemnity is a highly influential 1943 crime novel, written by american journalistturnednovelist james m. A scene from double indemnity starring fred macmurray and barbara stanwyck. The phrase has nothing to do with double jeopardy which means that a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime. My husband keeps me on a leash so tight i cant breathe, phyllis dietrichson, the iconic femme fatale in billy wilders 1944 classic double indemnity, famously complained. Her defeat heralds the heros regaining of control or mastery of himself.
It must be on a train because then the accident policy will pay out double the double indemnity. At the beginning of double indemnity walter huff is portrayed as a very ordinary huckster, wellknown to almost. Cain, written for the screen by billy wilder and raymond chandler, an enterprising film score by miklos rozsa and starring barbara stanwyck, fred macmurray and edward g. Rachel elfassy bitoun i think this is a great point, and im sorry i didnt see this earlier. The camera takes a low angle, as she is speaking to neff from upstairs. Femme fatales premiered in 1992 with scream queen brinke stevens nude with the exception of a cape. Posts about femme fatale written by laura cayouette. Femme fatale was formed in 1987 in albuquerque, new mexico.
Double indemnity is 75, but anklets and film noir are forever. Daily grindhouse the top 10 femme fatales magazine covers. At the rumpus, we know how easy it is to find pop culture on the internet, so were here to give you something more challenging, to show you how beautiful things are when you step off the beaten path. It was strange reading this book as it times it seemed like i was watching an old black and white movie.
Double indemnity was directed by billy wilder raymond chandler collaborated on the screenplay and starred fred macmurray, barbara stanwyck, and edward g. A very popular game developed by random logic games who are also known for other extremely fun and popular games such as guess the emoji and symbology. In the adaptation, wilder and chandler changed the names of the main characters. The femme fatale is a classic stereotype of film noir, and the character of phyllis dietrichson in double indemnity is the classic example. Its in black and white, it has fast badinage, its very witty, a story from the classic age. Double indemnity starts with nondiagetic music which installs a sense of urgency and action that mirrors a speeding. Crossword quiz movies level 3 answers crossword quiz answers. One of noirs most infamous femme fatales is phyllis dietrichson in double indemnity 1944, portrayed by barbara stanwyck. Tribute to the femme fatale in double indemnity 1944. Bronfen and grossman both provide an understanding of gender in the film through the lens of the femme fatale, while mallons article focuses on the masculine gender and its deferences.
Tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful, double indemnity gives us an xray view of guilt. The chemistry between her and fred macmurray still has that crackle these many years later. Cain published eighteen books in all and was working on his autobiography at the time of his death. Cain ive come to a conclusion after reading two james m. We described a femme fatale as being beautiful, one who leads the main character into danger, and feigns naivete or weakness to hide manipulative goals. Another successor was raymond chandler 18881959, whose novels, such as the big sleep 1939, farewell, my lovely 1940, and the little sister 1949, deal with corruption and racketeering in southern california. Aug 31, 2012 the rise and fall of the femme fatale in british literature, 17901910 explores the femme fatale s career in nineteenthcentury british literature. Cain, the femme fatale and the male gaze crimereads. An indepth look at a film noir classic barbara stanwyck and fred macmurray in double indemnity, billy wilder 1944 it has all the characteristics of the classic forties film as i respond to it. Here, i will point out what characterizes the showpiece femme fatale, with reference to the sociocultural background.
In spite of his instinctual decency, and intrigued by the challenge of committing the perfect murder, walter is seduced into helping the femme fatale kill her husband. Browse author series lists, sequels, pseudonyms, synopses, book covers, ratings and awards. Double indemnity uses the common themes of film noir by displaying deception through the femme fatale phyllis dietrichson who uses her sexual appeal to manipulate walter neff not only to gain power over him, but also to gain money. Double indemnity, published in 1934, is cains second novel and is set in the young, booming city of hollywood. There have not yet been any hommes fatales though they abound in gothic and romance fiction. Far better to love without profiteven if she must sell herself in m.
Analyzing patriarchal gender relations within double. Their big entrance was the emergence of the femme fatale in noir films of the 1940s and 1950s. An alluring and intoxicating character, she is the figure in the film that wields the most power, the best and the worst thing to happen to the protagonist. The postman always rings twicedouble indemnity by james m. The postman always rings twicedouble indemnity book. Double cocked is the first novella in the femme fatale series. A dark, seductive tale of lust and murder in double indemnity. Clarke created an outlet for intelligent discussion of genre filmmaking with his first publication, his second publication was a bit more of lurid affair, visually at least. The character phyllis nirdlinger as a femme fatale 75.
Double indemnitys tale of a femme fatale seducing a man to help her kill her husband, but this time its. Since we talked mostly about femme fatales in class, i focused mainly on the one introduced in last weeks film, double indemnity. In many ways, phyllis nirdlinger is the perfect femme fatale. It was first published in serial form in liberty magazine in 1936 and then was one of three long short tales in the collection three of a kind. Double indemnity is the second book i read of james m.
Double indemnity was first published in 1935 and affirmed james m. Cain based his book on the case of ruth snyder, a new. A key element in film noir is the femme fatale, and most film critics put barbara stanywicks phyllis dietrichson at the top of the fatale heap. Many have tried to imitate, but he has the tone and narration down of the femme fatale. Double indemnity and the femme fatale in film noir, women are shown to have two distinct sides to their personality. Jan 17, 2017 walter neff in double indemnity most critics declare film noir as a hollywood subgenre that had its golden age during the period ranging from the end of the 1930s to the 1950s.
Double indemnity femme fatale films from literature. The function of chiaroscuro lighting and analepsis in double. The movie is based on a brilliant novella by james m. These essays trace the femme fatale across literature, visual culture and cinema, exploring the ways in which fatal femininity has been imagined in different cultural contexts and historical epochs, and moving from mythical women such as eve, medusa and the sirens via historical figures such as mata hari to fatal women in contemporary cinema. Im here to tell you that this is the first truly noir read so far in the series, and if. The film noir is a hard genre to define, but it is commonly said to be a collection of aesthetical principles and a more cynical outlook during and after wwii. Walter neff, an insurance salesman, and phyllis nardlinger, a femme fatale housewife, plan the perfect murder of phyllis husband where they will collect double indemnity from a recently purchased insurance policy. This study guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of double indemnity. Double indemnity is the perfect mix of talents that combined to create one of the best films of all time. I was initially worried going into double indemnity as found a few scenarios sounded almost identical to what i read the postman always rings twice where the wife of a rich business man teams up with her lover to plot her husbands murder. Double indemnity by billy wilder, raymond chandler paperback. Gone girls feminist update of the oldfashioned femme fatale. During the time of the time of the war, melodrama, a genre that did not include the femme fatale, became the popular genre of film.
Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Two of the biggest noir elements in double indemnity are the femme fatale and antihero. Within these narratives, of which double indemnity fits in neatly, women were subject to malignant backlash 75. In this way the male patsy is invariably an expert, an insider capable of executing his lovers desire with stealth and viral consequence. Cinema scholars often refer to barbara stanwycks character of phyllis dietrichson in double indemnity 1944 as one of the top examples of the femme fatale, as her conniving spirit and good looks worked all the men in her story to her whims. It has venetian blinds, hats and coats, pouring rain, and, of course, crime. In hardboiled fiction, she is usually the protagonists romantic interest. These dark and complicated characters may not have the best intentions, but always seem to steal the audiences attention. I vaguely recall watching the movie of the same name. Bethany riggs ran through the mental checklist of the weapons at her disposal, checked again that her sigsauer p226 was an easy reach in the square cargo pocket of her deceptively casual squall parka, and eased out into the predawn gloom surrounding the entire dock area. Shes seductive, manipulative, and morally ambiguous. Laura mulvey molly haskell double indemnity billy wilder film noir psychoanalysis femme fatale freud film studies in her article visual pleasure and the narrative cinema, laura mulvey describes a way of analyzing and understanding cinema from a feminist and psychoanalytic perspective. Double indemnity and the role of the femme fatale yeahsuvi.
I really enjoyed this article on double indemnity s costumes from the great girls do film site. Double indemnity, james mallahan cain double indemnity is a 1943 crime novel, written by american journalistturnednovelist james m. From usa today bestselling author, tamara leigh, the seventh book in the age of faith seriesfeaturing lady laura middleton of the yielding and sir lothaire soames of the vexing. The femme fatale, defined simply, is an irresistibly attractive woman, especially one who leads men into danger. Walter, the time has come, phyllis, the femme fatale, says in the. Jun 27, 20 cesarina, unable to accept the future her father has proposed, takes matters into her own hands and begins the journey to obtain one of the futures she desires. Walter neff is the architect of the symbolic matrix, double indemnity, a scripted crime in which the ripoff is a double payoff for double trouble. It is quite short especially if you ignore the padding in the foreword which serves no real purpose. The following chapter is the main focus of my paper. Although a classic femme fatale of the noir era, phyllis. When sexual manipulation is the most feminist move of all. Why is a film produced in 1944 the subgenres epitome when before that many supposedly noir films had been produced. The hollywood film noir era started in 1940s in which some of the best directors emerged, and so did the production code which sparked an interesting period of time for hollywood cinema as well as the role of females represented in hollywood films at the time. Why is phyllis in double indemnity hailed as one of.
Anywhere a hero needs a test or a scapegoat, youll find her. Phyllis dietrichson is a fictional character in the book and two film adaptations of james m. Walter neff fred macmurray is an insurance salesman who realizes that phyllis dietrichson barbara stanwyck is up to no good in double. Analysis of the film double indemnity 2728 words bartleby. Femme fatale the band californian hard rock band lorraine lewis. It traces her evolutionand devolutionformally, historically, and ideologically through a selection of plays, poems, novels, and personal correspondence. While writing the article, i definitely thought that creating a rebellious and dysfunctional mother figure dysfunctional by the standards we have of motherhood of course, often moulded by patriarchal and freudian beliefs actually empowered. Tagged as barbara stanwyck, billy wilder, crime fiction, crime fiction classics, double indemnity, double indemnity book, double indemnity film, edward g robinson, electric chair photograph, femme fatale, fred macmurray, henry gray, james m. Walter neff fred macmurray is an insurance salesman who realizes that phyllis dietrichson barbara stanwyck is up to no good in double indemnity. Cain s double indemnity, the novels protagonist, walter huff, describes her as having a washedout look. Buy double indemnity read a great movie by james m. When sexual manipulation is the most feminist move. Double indemnity is accompanied by my noir, a comprehensive season of film noir launched by a 24hour noirathon, with films selected by artists and filmmakers including terence davies director, the deep blue sea. Phyllis dietrichson had all of these characters and then some.
Double indemnity is a story about the crime of phyllis and neff. How he hooked up with the icily beautiful phyllis dietrichson stanwyck and conned her rich, unloving husband into signing a life insurance policy with bonus double indemnity clause he didnt. It is noticeable that phyllis, the femme fatale of the story, constantly oversteps the boundaries of. He was the eldest of five children, including his three sistersrosalie. The femme fatale has been an alluring staple of cinema since the 40s. Femme fatale the femme fatale was first seen in prewwii. Why is phyllis in double indemnity hailed as one of cinema. Distant voices, still lives, ivy ho director, claustrophobia and musicians everything everything. Stanwycks portrayal of dietrichson is considered one of the best femme fatale roles in film noir history. Chapter 3 introduces the femme fatale as a female archetype in film noir. Phyllis dietrichson is not the ultimate femme fatale. Bring up double indemnity with any film buff and the first thing youll hear is how barbara stanwyck defined the femme fatale trope with her portrayal of phyllis, a wife who wants to kill her husband and collect a life insurance jackpot, so she. Cain was awarded the grand master award by the mystery writers of america.
Double indemnity is a clause in which insurance companies agree to pay twice the amount paid for if the person is accidentally killed in certain types of accident, like on a train. Nitdlinger carry out the perfect plan to collect the insurance money. Her looks, hair, clothing, jewelry air of innocence sexual attraction innuendos protagonists analysis of the meeting the femme fatale embodies the most direct. Vol i 9781934446409 by smythe, constance pennington and a great selection of similar new, used and collectible books available now at great prices. Yesterday we took a look at the top 10 covers of frederick s. Attached word or pdf file i will also include effective essay tip. Double indemnity first meeting between protagonist and femme fatale. Billy wilders double indemnity 1947 strictly adheres to the example set by the film noir genre, as is evident through the relationship between the. These dark and complicated characters may not have the best intentions, but. Find books like double indemnity from the worlds largest community of readers. Double indemnity and the politics of gender curnblog. As she descends the stairs, the camera provides an extreme closeup. The protagonists involvement with her may range from mild flirtation to passionate. Cinema scholars often refer to barbara stanwyck s character of phyllis dietrichson in double indemnity 1944 as one of the top examples of the femme fatale, as her conniving spirit and good looks worked all the men in her story to her whims.
Two of cains other novels, mildred pierce 1941 and double indemnity 1943, were also made into film noir classics. One of the greatest things film noir ever did was establish the femme fatale. The plot is based around a crime of passion and adultery. The book is tightly written with a first person narrative by walter neff. Lastly, phyllis nirdlinger is a femme fatale in double indemnity because of lowly regarding and opposing the domestic sphere of family and marriage. Or, perhaps, his life was filled with the wrong kind of women. The femme fatale isnt a trope that originated with film noiryou can make strong arguments for shades of the femme fatale in biblical eve, ishtar, the sirens, medusa, and circe. The evolution of the femme fatale in film noir crimereads. Clarkes incredibly influential cinefantastique magazine.
James mallahan cain, son of james william and rose mallahan cain, was born in annapolis, maryland, on july 1, 1892. She is seductive and deadly, and she uses her looks and. Double indemnitys fatal woman marybeth and film noir. The femme fatale, that is the female protagonist of the film noir whom inevitably causes the downfall of the male protagonist steve neale 187, is always punished. Goodreads members who liked double indemnity also liked. Following that, double indemnity appeared as a one of three long short tales in the collection three of a kind. The book was first published in serial form for liberty magazine in 1936.
The analysis of phyllis dietrichson in double indemnity 1944. But lets honor one of the earliest and best femme fatales in american cinema history. On every level writing, direction, acting double indemnity 1944 is a triumph and. Walter huff became walter neff, and phyllis nirdlinger became phyllis dietrichson. Sep 08, 2008 double indemnity 1944 double indemnity is a classic film noir. By reading it, one can learns why but that is not the only observation that can be made.654 555 144 21 1365 206 221 1394 686 1104 991 653 870 1281 990 977 43 1492 298 618 789 1282 719 38 1514 767 662 949 1106 1189 791 541 254 577 1500 1147 1127 732 753 1347 458 1325 1184 1118 1343 1325 1079 805 783 973