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In the film 'Double Indemnity'-1944- Billy Wilder, lighting and mise-en-scene are very important in creating atmosphere and also affecting the audience.

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  • Essay length: 1095 words
  • Submitted: 26/09/2003
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Shama Lalji

In the film 'Double Indemnity'-1944- Billy Wilder, lighting and mise-en-scene are very important in creating atmosphere and also affecting the audience.

At the start of the extract under analysis we see Walter driving in his car on a bright, sunny day, he gets out of the car and rings the doorbell of the Dietrichson house. We immediately see frames in the door that suggest he is walking into a trap before he has even entered the house. As he enters the house we are struck by the change in lighting, as inside the house is low-key lit with lines, shades, and shadows, the exterior high key lighting has gone and it is now dark. This also tells the audience that the atmosphere of the house is dark.

We then see Phyllis Dietrichson from Walter's point of view. At the top of the stairs she stands holding sunglasses and wearing nothing but a towel. From Phyllis' costume the audience can see obviously that Phyllis is the femme fatal as together with the towel, heavy lipstick and bleach blond hair this is portrayed clearly. We notice a stairwell between Walter and Phyllis that suggest Walter

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