Cinema Midterm Paper
In this paper I have decided to compare and contrast Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night” and Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity”. While screening both these movies in class I came across some noticeable differences between these two films, the main difference was in how women were portrayed and in who exactly was pulling all the strings and was in control the whole time. In the film “It Happened One Night” Ellie Andrews, played by Claudette Connolly, was put as a somewhat ditzy spoiled daddy’s girl and her character was pretty clueless to the outside world and she needed to be taken care of by someone else, in which in this case that role was filled by the male character Peter Warne, played by Clark Gable. While Ellie was running away from her home, Peter was the one who had her safety in his hands. He was consistently throughout the movie the one in control by being the one with the plan and providing for the trip. In “Double Indemnity” the female character, Phyllis Dietrichson, played by Barbara Stanwych, was made to be a very witty but conniving women who could hold out on her own with nobody else’s help. She would manipulate and use men to do what she wanted or what she asked of them, and in this film she used the male character Walter Neff, played by Fred MacMurray. She had him carry on her dark deeds by giving him the perception of a romantic relationship being created and even though Neff might have been the one making and organizing the plan for the crime, Phyllis was the one who was the real master mind behind the whole scheme. So in these two films I noticed a complete 180 degrees turn for the gender roles that the characters played. The female character that was independent in one film was dependent in the other and vice versa for the male character. Another difference between the two movies was the promiscuity difference that came from the two female characters in the films. In “Double Indemnity” Phyllis’s opening scene was...
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