Here’s my apologia. I understand that these movies were progressive in the 1940s, showing women in roles, whether good or bad, that were out of the societal norms of the time. I acknowledge that these movies are important, but I watch movies for entertainment value, with only a dash of intentions to round out my film history education, and I sadly was only entertained by one of these three films.
Double Indemnity, directed by Billy Wilder and screenplay by the master of hard-boiled noir writing, Raymond Chandler was an enjoyable way to spend some time. This was true noir to me, not a melodramatic morality tale. I’m putting the Double Indemnity on my book collection search list. I’m curious to see how much of Raymond Chandler’s superb writing for the screenplay had to do with the success of the movie. I realize now, a screenwriter is equivalent to a good translator of foreign books, they can make or break the story.
I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece from Mildred Pierce after reading the synopsis and reviews. The film is directed by the prolific Michael Curtiz, who made Casablanca the work of art that it is, and with a screenplay by Arnold MacDougall. My expectations were matched. Joan Crawford watered down is no fun and the convoluted plot left no impression on me.
The Postman Always Rings Twice, directed by Tay Garnett with screenplay by Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch. I did have high hopes for this classic that everyone analyzes and raves about, but it was like Mildred Pierce, long and convoluted. The three main characters create a living hell for themselves over and over, when they could have chosen better, and watching it go on was a drag. This was a morality lesson in movie form.
Thanks for reading.