Re: RARA-AVIS: Cain (was "The Man Who Wasn't There")

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 10 Nov 2001

> "a.n.smith" writ:
> [SNIP]
> > I just wrote a paper about how Hollywood's attempt's to
> > "clean up" Cain in the olden days sucked the true morality
> > of the novels out of the film versions. At least to me...
> Will we get to see it?

I don't know. I'll have to see if anyone out there in journal land is looking for stuff about Cain. Plus, I'm not a good critic. The idea was great, I thought, but my execution lacked, oh, let's say "goodness."

Okay, if you haven't read Cain's Double Indemnity or seen the film version, the next paragraph is full of spoilers. And also, you should be ashamed. Go find both now, today, and enrich your life.

All of the critics I read seem too caught up in the film version of Double Indemnity, saying it's superior to the novel. It's a great one, sure, for what it is. But it's not really the book, not that easy of a comparison. I loved Cain's depictions of the ravenous affair, the "goddess of death" who looked "washed-out," and the ending on the cruise ship, "The moon." So Chandler thought he was *improving* on that with his tough guy voiceover banter? Not in my mind. I also like the fact that the characters in the book have to face the consequences of their actions and decide on if they can live with themselves or not. The film seems to force the issue with the
"She shoots me, I shoot her, so now I'll confess." Yeah, fine, but that's so typical. Jumping off a cruise ship in a suicide pact? All right!

Neil Smith

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