Tenant of the Tower of Flints
- Reaction score
- Trophy Points
For my next act of film blasphemy, noir classic Double Indemnity is stripped of its iconic narration and given a linear chronology. This is not intended as a fan-fix per se, but as an experiment in seeing how the film functions when its main storytelling device is removed and limited to an implicit visual narrative, rather than an explicit voice-over. In addition, moving the opening scene to the end allows for a little more mystery as to exactly how things play out.
Special thanks to @SeaCom for early preview and feedback.
- Trimmed opening of film and moved to end for a chronological telling.
- Removed all narration and cut all interludes with Neff confessing
- Tweaks to score here and there, to avoid repetition of the main theme and sometimes to aid transitions
- A handful of tweaks for personal preference.
- 0:00 - added source warning
- 0:13 - Added FE and scribbling man titles
- 0:22 - Paramount logo is now unscored (for consistency and in order to aid new opening)
- 0:24 - minor trim to first shot of opening credits. Ending cue is changed for the sake of providing a more appropriate lead in to the new opening scene.
- 1:22 - original traffic opening cut. Office scene moved to end of film. We now go straight to the past/start of story. Narration has been scrubbed from walk to house and foley added. Shot trimmed.
- 2:50 - narration scrubbed
- 3:07 - cut shot of Neff walking around while he narrates. instead we cut straight to Phyliss walking down the steps.
- 3:11 - added shot of Neff watching her. This normally comes at the end of the narration followed by her walking down the stairs, but this intercutting allowed for better pacing and visual continuity after cuts
- 6:06 - cut shot of Neff driving while he narrates. Foley for office establishing shot
- 9:16 - main theme swapped for love theme so as to lead better into next scene. This also works nicely for Neff and Keyes' friendship (especially as Neff says "I love you too"). Foley to accommodate.
- 9:23 - cut Neff walking to his office and subsequent scene where he receives the note to come in the afternoon instead of the evening. Without the narration this scene doesn't give the viewer any new information, and Phyliss immediately repeats this info to the audience in the following scene.
- 14:22 - Different musical cue and it starts earlier to aid transition and cover narration. Foley to accommodate.
- 14:28 - cut Neff walking to his car and subsequent narration montage (drinking, bowling etc.). We fade straight to him driving home in the evening. Foley.
- 14:34 - shot slowed for a better paced transition.
- 14:36 - trimmed Neff pacing while he narrates. Narration scrubbed. Foley.
- 16:42 - cut "I'm crazy about you, baby" and "I'm crazy about you too, Walter". There's no getting around the melodrama, but this was an easy moment to tone down and I think the scene comes across better without it.
- 17:57 - Neff says "woman" instead of "coloured woman" when referring to his housekeeper
- 20:20 - different musical cue and it comes in sooner to aid scrubbing of narration.
- 20:32 - cut scene of Neff recording his confession
- 21:17 - cut "you're hurting me, Walter"
- 22:22 - cut scene of Neff recording his confession
- 28:42 - different musical cue. narration scrubbed
- 28:44 - shorter shot of Neff driving
- 28:50 - narration scrubbed. Foley
- 28:54 - trimmed walking around supermarket. narration scrubbed
- 30:52 - tweaked musical cue. Comes in sooner. Narration scrubbed.
- 30:58 - trimmed Neff looking at notes. Narration scrubbed.
- 35:21 - narration scrubbed. Music tweaked. Added foley. This sequence is normally quite long, with Neff wondering around his office. Crossfades added to imply a passage of time as he thinks and preps his alibi
- 35:34 - narration scrubbed as car pulls up. Foley.
- 35:48 - this transition is exactly as it is in the original but the narration doesn't come in. The montage is trimmed to elements that are visually informative.
- 36:06 - lowered music volume and added foley. Narration is scrubbed. Shots trimmed.
- 36:21 - we now intercut between Phyliss and her husband walking to the car and Neff hiding. This allowed me to have less dawdling from Neff (since it normally has narration over the top) and also provide a little extra tension. These events normally follow one after the other instead of happening simultaneously.
- 36:26 - foley
- 38:38 - shot trimmed
- 42:43 - Neff is quicker to run to the car
- 42:44 - Phyliss is quicker to get out of the car
- 43:07 - trimmed Phyliss faffing around on the tracks.
- 43:21 - one shot of them running to the car instead of two
- 43:25 - the car doesn't stall. Foley to accommodate
- 43:36 - cut driving montage and overdub narration. Foley to accommodate transition
- 44:04 - trimmed end of prior shot
- 44:09 - cut montage of Neff returning home and checking phones as well as narration overdub
- 44:21 - trimmed Neff walking and removed narration.
- 44:30 - cut scene of Neff recording his confession. Fade in from black to next scene instead of crossfade
- 52:14 - Different musical cue. Cut walking between offices and accompanying narration. Crossfade to Neff at his apartment. All new foley until 52:28.
- 52:44 - trimmed pause in conversation
- 1:01:01 - cut narration and montage of Neff taking Lola out. Fade to black instead. This is the biggest narrative sacrifice in the edit IMO. It's a shame to lose it but the information is given to us again later and we are also shown him taking her out again later. The sequence comes across a bit awkward without the accompanying narration, I felt.
- 1:01:03 - trimmed Neff walking from his office, removed narration. Fade in from black.
- 1:06:32 - small trim to dialling phone
- 1:09:30 - different musical cue
- 1:09:37 - added fade in and out from Lola's face to better establish context for following scene. It's a while before she turns her head so, without the narration, it's not clear who Neff is with. Many thanks to Seacom for this suggestion. A scene with Neff confessing is also cut, and the walk up the hill trimmed (narration removed).
- 1:11:19 - cut narration. Fade into Keyes early.
- 1:12:18 - cut Neff riding the elevator and accompanying narration
- 1:15:17 - Narration scrubbed.
- 1:15:20 - Crossfade to Phyllis sooner
- 1:20:21 - fixed hiccup in original audio
- 1:23:43 - Neff confessing moved to later. Fade to car pulling up to office from start of film. Foley and score tweak to aid transition. The original beginning sequence of the film plays out untouched for a while.
- 1:27:40 - Score cue added to help ease into next scene
- 1:27:46 - Trimmed Neff's dialogue so that we don't hear too much of what we already know. Crossfade into ending sequence of Neff finishing his confession. Rest of film plays out untouched.