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Susan Saint James,
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This remake of the 1946 movie of the same name accounts an affair between a seedy drifter and a seductive wife of a roadside café owner. This begins a chain of events that culminates in murder. Written by
Craig Clarke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After the success of this movie, Butterfly (1982), another filmed adaptation of a novel by 'James M Cain' was made and released the following year. Also released in 1981 was Body Heat (1981) which though not technically a remake of Double Indemnity (1944) (also from the novel by James M. Cain) did reference it considerably. The story and characters closely parallel the earlier film. Ned, Matty and Oscar are Walter, Phyllis and Keyes respectively. See more »
When Frank and Cora attempt to leave for Chicago, a portion of a modern skyscraper is clearly visible at the top of the frame as they cross the street. See more »
While it is a well-made film on a technical level and all of the performances were excellent, there was a certain something missing from this remake that left me wanting. Based on the novel by James Cain, the story is about a drifter, Frank Chambers (Jack Nicholson), who visits a rural diner run by Nick Papadakis and his wife Cora (Jessica Lange). Frank and Cora begin an affair and then attempt to kill Cora's husband, but fail. In true film noir fashion, fate eventually gets its way and tragedy befalls the two lovers in an unexpected way. For me, the 1946 film adaptation starring John Garfield and Lana Turner stands as one of the best film noirs ever, and there was almost nothing this 1981 remake could have done to really live up to that. The only new or different thing this adaptation does is ramp up the sexual content and violence, and mixes them in a way that was kind of off-putting at times. Perhaps it was this way in Cain's novel, but the way in which sex and violence are intertwined in this film was more than a little disturbing. With that, and a slight adjustment to the ending (and of course, being in color), it hews fairly closely to the story as presented in the 1946 original. One might ask, "What was the point?" and you'd be perfectly justified in asking that. I have no idea what possessed them produce this remake, but for what it's worth it's not a bad film. However, if forced to choose between this and the 1946 version, I'd pick the 1946 version every time. This one was just a little too nihilistic and lacked emotional depth.
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