barton keyes

Double Indemnity: Barton Keyes [INTJ]

OFFICIAL TYPING by mysterylover123

Introverted Intuition (Ni): Keyes bases his assessments of claims cases on his ‘little man’, aka his intuition. He gets a gut feeling about a case, and as soon as he does, he’s on that case and will get to the bottom of it. He has a remarkable ability to spot a phony claim, a wrong customer, and he usually bases it just on an intuitive leap. He’s unstoppable when once he gets on the scent, keeping at the case until he’s got the crook. He often speaks in clever metaphors for the current situation, like the idea that two people committing a murder is “not like riding a trolley car where they can get off at seperate stops.”

Extroverted Thinking (Te): Keyes is conscientious, responsible and organized. He’s a workaholic with an eye for talent. He’s so meticulous that, as Neff puts it he ‘won’t even check to see today’s Tuesday without looking at the calendar, then he’d have to see if it was this year’s or last year’s calendar, then if it checks with the world almanac’s calendar.’ He’s logical, and puts together the Dietrichson case based on clear deduction.

Introverted Feeling (Fi): Although he puts on an act of being ‘sore at everybody’ and logically detached, Keyes is more influenced by his internal feelings than he realizes. He doesn’t let many people in, but when he does and those people disappoint him (ie, Walter) it cuts him deeply. He has his strong ethics that keep him away from any kind of dirty dealing. He refuses to help Walter escape in the end, but still helps him light a cigar due to their bond.

Extroverted Sensing (Se): He’s not given to many sensory pleasures, and is often a little out of place in his physical environment. He’s also not very observant, missing certain details like Jackson recognizing Neff, and always neglecting to have matches available.

Double Indemnity; Billy Wilder; 1944= Film noir is one of the most popular film genres, influencing numerous directors and being referenced/parodied endlessly. This film is one of the ones which established film noir, and has become a classic. Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray, The Apartment) is an insurance salesman, an expert in his field. While selling insurance to a wealthy man he meets the man’s unhappy younger trophy wife, Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck). She seduces him and convinces him to help her kill her husband so that they can collect the accident insurance policy and run away together. But the murder doesn’t go according to their meticulous plans: Neff’s perceptive boss Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) takes over the case and begins to suspect foul play, and the young lovers each begin to doubt the loyalty of their partner. The plot is recycled in several later films and TV series, both as an homage and as blatant theft. But that’s a testament to the film’s exciting story. In true film noir fashion the story is told through flashbacks, with narration from MacMurray’s character, and we are soon introduced to the dazzling and dangerous femme fatale. The plot is intense and exciting, with the audience wondering exactly who is going to survive this tale of betrayal and lust. The cast all play their roles brilliantly, with MacMurray and Robinson’s interaction bringing humour to the plot and also having some strong, emotional moments as Keyes is blissfully unaware of his protege’s treachery. But, as with most film noir outings, the most memorable performance goes to Stanwyck. At first I wasn’t convinced as she is not a traditionally attractive woman in the old Hollywood manner. But she won me over almost instantly. She gives the role intensity, charisma, dry wit and, most importantly for the femme fatale, an air of threat and danger. This film is a strong example of the film noir genre, some calling it a template for the films that followed. Either way it perfectly represents the genre, from the lighting and aesthetics to the exciting plot twists. I love films which employ a clever use of dialogue, like Tarantino’s films, and this is one such film. Despite it’s age it’s a film that everyone should watch as it still has the same effect. Stanwyck’s character, the seductive yet deceptive beauty, and MacMurray’s turn as the independent professional seduced by a beautiful woman, are characters that still strike a cord today and so no-one should be put off by the film’s age. Definitely one of my favourites, and a great film from Wilder, director of Marilyn Monroe films The Seven Year Itch and Some Like it Hot.