Double Indemnity, 1944

Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck star in this film noir that keeps pulling the characters deeper into trouble. He’s an insurance salesman. She’s a soon-to-be-widow, if she can work out all the details. Her only problem is that she needs the helpful participation of the insurance salesman. Edward G. Robinson plays Mr. Keyes, the one person they have to look out for.

Stanwyk’s brilliant acting made the femme fatale believable. One almost feels sorry for the poor insurance salesman, except for the fact that, in his greed, he’s lost all sight of common sense and morality. The darkness of theme and imagery is what makes this such a great example of film noir. The use of dramatic shadows made each scene more suspenseful.

Billy Wilder directed this black and white classic about hiding the truth. Wilder and Raymond Chandler adapted their screenplay from the novel by James M. Cain. Cain based his novel on the true story of a 1920s murder trial. Costumes were designed by Edith Head.

Hiding From Evil

Have you ever been so afraid that you scooted down in your bed and pulled the covers over your head? I remember one time I was so afraid that I wanted to become invisible. It was an awful feeling.

Today at Seek God With Me, we’re taking a look at Bible verses like Matthew 6:13 which remind us what to do when we’re afraid. I hope you’ll join me.

Your Past Is Showing, 1957

If you’ve enjoyed Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movies, you’ll like this funny movie about hiding from your past.

Dennis Price plays a blackmailer who works for a gossip rag. He finds people who don't want their dirty laundry aired, and he threatens to air it unless he’s paid off.

Terry-Thomas, who plays wealthy Lord Henry, is trying to hide his bad moments from his wife. He is told by a young woman about the others who are being blackmailed. Each of the parties being blackmailed tries a special secret revenge plot. All of the parties are unaware, at first, that each revenge plot affects someone else's revenge plot. A famous writer asks her daughter to drug the unsuspecting blackmailer and dump his body in a trunk. Peter Sellers is Sonny MacGregor, a talk show host and master of disguise, who tries to make a bomb to do away with Dennis. Lord Henry’s revenge scheme affects the girl's boyfriend. The author’s scheme affects Lord Henry. And so on.

In addition to the wild plot and humorous writing, there were other delightful parts of this movie. Lord Henry’s wife, Lady Lucy wears fabulous clothes. Very well-dressed woman. I enjoyed her clothes along with the British humor. Somehow, it seemed to help balance it.

In case you need it spelled out for you, here’s the warning. This very funny British movie is not for intellectuals. It’s just silly.

Hiding From Yourself

Have you looked in the mirror and not recognized yourself as a hero? Many of us don’t think of ourselves as heroes. But we were created to be heroes. All of us have special skills, just like heroes.

Volunteers are heroes, and volunteers are needed. Look around in your community at the many opportunities to volunteer. Do you have carpentry skills? You can volunteer at Habitat for Humanity. Do you have people skills? You can help out in a nursing home. Right now is the perfect time to give your abilities to help others.

Join me at Seek God With Me to take a look at opportunities to be a hero. Many of us hear about the opportunities and think we can’t do a good enough job. When we do that, we’re hiding from ourselves, hiding behind an excuse. The truth is simply that we all have special skills that can benefit others.

Stop hiding and act like the hero you were created to be.  

The Trouble With Harry, 1955

Alfred Hitchcock directed many films about hiding the truth. This film hides the truth about a dead man – not necessarily about who killed him, but about what they should do with his body. Poor Harry. Not only is he dead, but he’s buried and dug up several times.

Strangely, I like the humor injected in this suspenseful film. The interactions between people who think they have something to do with his death are interesting to watch.

Shirley MacLaine makes her debut in this film which is said to be one of Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite films. It must have been tons of fun to direct. The actors did a great job. Through the whole movie, I kept wondering about what would happen next and how it would end.

Costumes are designed by Edith Head.

Hiding From Chores

It’s summer. It’s hot outside and much more comfortable inside. However, if you have a garden, you must weed it. If you have a pet, you must feed it. We all want to be lazy and relax all summer long, but chores must be done.

I knew when I became a mom that I would one day spend many hours trying to get my little ones to do their assigned chores. But even I have things on my To Do list that I’m purposefully closing my eyes to. I’m to the point where my To Do list is becoming my To Ignore list.

So when I recognize that my break time is taking longer than necessary, I can go to various Bible verses and look at some encouragement. Among the many places I can go is Psalm 104. Check out my devotional blog, Seek God With Me to see which verse has given me a little motivation lately. Maybe it’ll motivate you too.

Ball of Fire, 1941

Barbara Stanwyck helps Gary Cooper with his work in this movie about hiding the truth. Cooper is a professor in a group of men who make their home in a large library where they continue their efforts to complete a new encyclopedia. Cooper’s plan is to update the listing of slang words commonly used by the working class.

He meets with a newspaper boy, a garbage man, and others to find out what “today’s slang” is. The garbage man is the first to make Cooper aware that his ability to understand current slang is quite lacking. The newsboy Cooper chooses to listen to  is nervous about Cooper hanging around. When Cooper asks him to show up the next day to help with the slang project, the boy asks Cooper, “Who are you anyway, Father Flannagan?”

The police are looking for Stanwyck in her usual places because of her gangster boyfriend, played by Dana Andrews. When street-smart Stanwyck appears at Cooper’s door, she hides the fact that she’s wanted by the police, but makes him believe that she wants to educate the professors. Since Stanwyck is connected to a mobster, she gets the professors mixed up in a situation beyond their experience.

Howard Hawks directed this film with all its humorous awkwardness and romantic tension. The clothes were designed by Edith Head. Henry Travers played one of the professors. We know him from his role as Clarence the angel in It’s A Wonderful Life.

Hiding from the Heat

Fourth of July is tomorrow. Many families are planning to participate in neighborhood parties, cookouts, and local parades. My family is used to being hot on this national holiday. We took the kids to the zoo when they were in the single digit age range. Watching elephants was one of the hot highlights of the event, but the snake house was one of the cool highlights. I treasured the air conditioned building and didn’t pay much attention to the creepy residents winding through their small grassy habitat.

That wasn’t my favorite place, but it was a great place to hide from the heat.

I know another way to hide from the heat. Today on Seek God With Me, I’m sharing a story about how God helps us see him even when we’re facing really hot circumstances. After you put on your sunscreen and cool shades, come on over and seek God with me.