Noir's Shining Star: "Double Indemnity" Screens Downtown

Billy Wilder's delicious scheme-feast is Vintage LA's next offering.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Thursday, Jul 10, 2014  |  Updated 7:01 AM PDT
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Noir's Shining Star: "Double Indemnity" Screens Downtown

Double Indemnity

Schemers in greed: Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray star in Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity." Vintage LA presents the classic noir at the Million Dollar Theatre on Saturday, July 19.

The City of Angels gets razzed, on occasion, for its overly sunny cinema. We're talking the flicks filled with happy sandy beach songs and happy salty surf fun and silly goofy roller romance, all of which have had a deserved place representing Southern California on the big screen.

Then there's noir, which is as homegrown as a French dip, a tar pit, and the Santa Ana winds. But the ultimate in LA cinema isn't very sunny; rather noir is dirty dealing, double-crossing, and as seedy as all get-out.

"Double Indemnity" is at the top of that seedily spectacular heap. Director Billy Wilder's 1944 cold-hearted walloper is light on scruples but brimming with bad deeds and people performing them with pluck and gusto.

Those people? Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. Hoo boy. Plotting couples of cinema, you have nothing on these two. Nothing.

Want to see it, again, but on a large screen in an old theatre? The kind of theatre the on-screen duo might have sat in the back of to scheme and argue? You can: Alison Martino's Vintage Los Angeles is ending its noir series with a screening of "Double Indemnity" on Saturday, July 19 at the Million Dollar Theatre downtown.

Tickets? They're right here.

Grand Central Market, which has a lot of noir to its style, is now open later on the weekends, so you can nosh there first. It's next door to the Million Dollar.

It's a fun night in an epic venue, and yes, noir is fun. It's LA's character-filled contribution to moviedom, and bookdom, too. We're not saying the sunny roller-skating flicks need to roll away, but a little time with spent with fedora-sporting connivers as they connive and get their come-uppance is pretty dang delicious.

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