Double Indemnity

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Double Indemnity

The movie that I watched this week is a 1944 American film called, Double Indemnity. This film was directed by Billy Wilder, produced by Buddy Desylva and Joseph Sistrom and co-writen by Wilder and Raymond Chandler. The script was based off a 1943 novel with the same title and was written by James M. Cain. The film stars Fred MacMurray as Waler Neff an insurance salesman, Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson a housewife who wishes her husband dead and Edward G. Robinson as Baron Keyes a claims adjuster whose job is to find phony claims.

This week is chose to take a look at the portrayal of woman in commercial cinema. American commercial cinema currently fuels many aspects of society. In the twenty-first century it has become available, active force in the perception of gender relations in the United States. In the earlier part of this century filmmakers, as well as the public, did not necessarily view the female “media image” as an infrastructure of sex inequality. Today, modern audiences and critics have become preoccupied with the role the cinema plays in shaping social values, institutions, and attitudes. American cinema has become narrowly focused on images of violent women, female sexuality, the portrayal of the “weaker sex” and subversively portraying women negatively in film. Double Indemnity can be read in two ways. It is either a misogynist film about a terrifying, destroying woman, or it is a film that liberates the female character from the restrictive and oppressed melodramatic situation that render her helpless. There are arguably two extreme portrayals of the character of Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity; neither one is an accurate or fare portrayal.

Despite the fact that the character of Phyllis as the “tough as nails” perpetual, intentional aggressor is a valid attempt to eliminate the image of women as the oppressed, one interpretation of this role is that she ultimately seems to misrepresent...
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