Author Archives: Gladys

Double Indemnity blog

In light of what we spoke about in class, Double Indemnity surely exhibited all the characteristics of crime, drama and of course a film noir.  To begin, you have the beautiful seductive, the “oh, but I can’t…” vulnerable female who manipulates the male and situation to get her ways. No doubt the femme fatale in the story who leads the “good guy”, not true in every story, astray.  Then you have the male, who of course gets seduced and easily manipulated into doing things he probably would have never thought of doing prior to their meeting. Even though in this particular movie he was not portrayed as he was in the book, he was still vulnerable and easily manipulated. In the book he knew all the protocols, rules and regulation, thus making it seem as if he had thought of committing the crime or falsifying documentations prior to Mrs Dietrichson, Phyllis Nirdlinger in the book version, ever bringing it up to him.  Therefore, showing his shadow is greed as well.

As far as generic conventions and contexts, the story begins by with the protagonist telling us the story himself by recording his confession, and so we are captivated to know what occurs since we do know that a crime has been committed.  As the story progresses, we see the plot is this idea of having to commit a crime, due to greed, by making someone vulnerable. This meaning using the femme fatale to manipulate the male protagonist. Similar to how it occurred in Maltese Falcon when the female used the detective to get what she wanted. Both stories led us to believe that the woman were innocent when in fact it differed. I believe that the femme fatale was Mr. Huff in Double Indemnity since he did the killing and he ended up killing Phyllis when she failed to kill him.  She to me was used by him when things did not go as planned for him and ended up turning himself in. Maltese Falcon was the other way around and the female was turned in.

Overall, for me I truly enjoyed watching Double Indemnity.  The narrative and the plot kept me wondering how things will unfold, even though it was predictable. As I stated before I’m not a fan of black and white films but this movie was actually one I enjoyed watching.


Maltese Falcon

From lighting to music, scenery to characters, genre conventions are present in many, if not all of the films we see today.  Genres like horror, comedy, romantic and action, when we sit and watch a movie many of us find ourselves actually saying things like, “oh, this is about to happen” or “wait and see…” Most of the time it is because producers tend to make sure to play suspenseful or eerie music, and/or have an actor alone in a room to know that something bad/scary is about to happen when watching a horror or psychological thriller film.  Evidently, we can all say that genre conventions are present and we, many of us, for the most part, are unaware of it.


Although not a huge fan of film noirs, or so to say “black and white films”, when watching Maltese Falcon, genre conventions were present from the beginning to end.  The introductory itself gave way in letting us know it was a suspense/thriller film.  This alone allows the viewers to expect the unexpected and keep us on our toes as to who was going to do what, such as be the murderer, thief, throughout the whole film.  The dialogue scene at the beginning of the film with the woman and two detectives (sorry I do not recall their names) also build intensity as each camera went on each individual and the suspenseful music played. Yet, when the music stopped the camera angle was on all of them; thus enabling the viewers to become more involved and suspect more is to happen. Of course lights darkening during a killing scene, characters disappearing during a crime, rich folks turning out to be compulsive manipulators, someone passing out after they drunk something from someone they trust are all part of building the suspense. All of which were portrayed in Maltese Falcon and therefore giving the viewers the genre convention in a suspenseful thriller.


In regards to the main character, the detective and his relationship to those around him, as in any typical film, you have sarcasm, what appears to be lust, betrayal and trust issues.  The femme fatal, in connection with the detective uses her charm, mysterious, her desperate need for help and manipulative ways to get the detective to help her and of course he falls for it.  Although he is sarcastic and it appears as if he has everything together, this being the detective, he is not trusted by any of the police. Which is quite ironic since he is law enforcement himself.  Of course it is due to the fact of his involvement with the actual criminal.


Overall, as far as my opinion goes, although it is your typical crime/drama film, it still kept me wondering who could it be even though I had a feeling I knew it was that individual all along. I also kept saying, of course to myself,  “this is about to happen”.  Your typical genre convention film no doubt, but as usual, it keeps you watching, waiting to see what comes next.