Double Indemnity (1944)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A seductive housewife lures an insurance salesman into the scheme to murder his husband to get the huge insurance money. A perfect thriller from Billy Wilder from the first minute to the last.
2) Barbara Stanwyck playing the femme fatale not just convinced the poor bright salesman but the entire audience being an average wife just trying to get rid of her abusive husband.
3) Notable performance from Edward G. Robinson as Barton Keyes, the sharp-witted claims adjuster who always listens to his “little man”.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Barton Keyes: They may think it’s twice as safe because there’s two of them, but it isn’t twice as safe. It’s ten times twice as dangerous. They’ve committed a *murder*! And it’s not like taking a trolley ride together where they can get off at different stops. They’re stuck with each other and they got to ride all the way to the end of the line and it’s a one-way trip and the last stop is the cemetery.

The Apartment (1960)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A lonely man sacrificing his personal life and comfort in order to climb the corporate ladder until he had enough of it.
2) A romantic story of two broken people.
3) Billy Wilder’s crisp writing and tight screenplay without any boring sub-plot.
4) All in all, it’s a Jack Lemmon’s show playing the lovable and pitiful character of C.C. Baxter.

 

 

CONS –
1) Ruined by unofficial Bollywood remakes like Raaste Kaa Patthar (1972) & Yes Boss (1997).

 

 

QUOTE –
C.C. Baxter: Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe; I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were.

Ace in the Hole (1951)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) This Billy Wilder’s classic is almost 70 years old, still, neither the media nor the public is changed.
2) We have seen glimpses of a similar media circus in Peepli (Live) (2010).
3) The 2006 Prince-Borewell Case eerily shares the same premise which was a defining moment in Indian TV journalism and saw a renaissance of sensationalism in Indian Media.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Charles Tatum: Bad news sells best. Cause good news is no news.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

Verdict – 4/5

 

Pros –
1) A realistic approach by Billy Wilder to the myth of Sherlock Holmes where his intelligence is also susceptible to failure.
2) Geneviève Page as Ilse von Hoffmanstal – Impeccable as the love interest Sherlock never had just like Irene Adler.
3) The writing style is very close to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
4) Loch Ness monster sub-plot and Queen cameo.

 

Cons –
N/A

 

Quote –
Holmes: Some of us are cursed with memories like flypaper. Stuck there is a staggering amount of miscellaneous data, most of it useless.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

Verdict – 4/5

 

Pros –

1) The ultimate hollywood story, a timeless classic from Billy Wilder.
2) Cameos from Cecil B. DeMille & Buster Keaton gives great authenticity to this movie.
3) Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond : An iconic character.
4) The Narration : A dead man telling his story.

 
Cons –
n/a

 

Quote –
“Norma Desmond: All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

Verdict – 4/5

 

PROS –
1) An Agatha Christie’s classic “plot twist” story
2) Charles Laughton & Marlene Dietrich
3) English humour

 

CONS –
N/A

 

Quote –
Brogan-Moore: Touching isn’t it? The way he counts on his wife.
Sir Wilfrid: Yes, like a drowning man clutching at a razor blade.