Gender Roles In The Film Double Indemnity

1676 Words 7 Pages
Throughout a film, many different multicultural issues such as, gender, sexuality, race, and class, are used to create something viewers will remember. Therefore, each of these aspects plays a significant role and helps characterize each actor in a film. However, these multicultural issues can also have a significant impact on the populations that view these films. Gender, specifically, plays a crucial role in creating films with such influence. By looking at the “movement” of film noir, an influence of gender roles can be displayed and analyzed. In the film Double Indemnity, we can see how the use of the treatments of masculinity and the Femme Fatale character reinforce gender roles of the 1940s and 1950s. Men in film noir, specifically …show more content…
Some of these actions might include using crude gestures, wearing a certain type of clothing, aggression, and even the poor treatment of women. Many of these acts are not only performed to retrieve submission from women, but also to deviate from other males (Schrock and Schwalbe). To summarize their work, Schrock and Schwalbe try to define what it is to be male through these acts of manhood. It is through this display of manhood acts, in film noir, that help define to male viewers what it is to be a man and what gender role they should play. Throughout Double Indemnity, many of these “Manhood acts” are shown to prove masculinity and display this gender role. For an example, the first scene in this film is of Walter Neff in his office beginning his confession of murder. He is dressed in a suit and tie while a black top hat sits on his head. Before beginning his confession, he pulls out a cigarette and lights a match with his fingernail. Here, Walter displays that men should wear fancy clothes and smoking is a “manly” thing to do. We see similar masculine actions from the claims manager, Barton Keyes, in Walter’s insurance …show more content…
In Bird’s argument, however, she discusses how hegemonic masculinity is maintained as the norm despite individual thoughts of masculinity. This term, hegemonic masculinity, according to Bird, is a perception of maleness that involves power. She states it is “constructed in relation to women and to subordinate masculinities” and helps to maintain “practices that institutionalize men’s dominance over women” (Bird). Here, Bird shows that she believes that the perceived masculinity is due to a dominance or control over women. By showing this dominance in film such as film noir, a dominating male gender role can be

Related Documents