Novack Case the Stuff of Classic Film Noir | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Broward News

Novack Case the Stuff of Classic Film Noir

Was Narcy Novack a fan of film noir, by any chance? Because if what federal prosecutors say is true, then she's a real-life femme fatale with murder schemes and diabolical motives nearly identical to those of Barbara Stanwyck's character in the classic film noir Double Indemnity.

If you haven't seen that 1944 movie, then I strongly recommend you do so immediately. In fact, you can see both the trailer and then the entire movie after the jump.

Spoiler alert: In the next few paragraphs, I'll be talking about the similarities between the film and the Novack case. So if you want to avoid those spoilers, scroll quickly past these paragraphs to the YouTube clips below. 

For those who have seen the film but need a quick refresher, here's a synopsis of the plot. 

It's a movie about an attractive woman who plots to murder her husband in order to get rich, which is exactly what Narcy Novack is accused of doing to her husband, Ben Novack, heir to the Fontainebleu resort fortune.

Barbara Stanywyck's character recruited a man, played by Fred MacMurray, to help her with the murder. Similarly, Narcy Novack allegedly recruited her brother and three other men to assist in her husband's murder.

In both cases, the femme fatale had a role in a previous death that occurred under mysterious circumstances. Stanwyck's character had been a nurse to her future husband's ailing wife, whose death proved convenient in her scheme. Similarly, the seemingly accidental death of Ben Novack Jr.'s mother in Fort Lauderdale proved convenient to Narcy Novack -- until she was charged with the 86-year-old's murder.

Following the murder of their husbands, each femme fatale appeared willing to kill anyone who could hamper her clean getaway. Stanwyck's character was ready to kill her stepdaughter, who suspected foul play. Narcy Novack is now accused of plotting to murder her actual daughter, May Abad, for similar reasons.

Based on the allegations against Narcy Novack, truth is more brutal than fiction. The husband in Double Indemnity was pushed off a train -- a far more humane murder than that of Ben Novack Jr., who was beaten with dumbbells, then had his eyes cut out, based on what prosecutors say were Novack's orders.

Truth was also way freakier than fiction. The Novacks were into S&M, and Narcy told detectives that her late husband had a fondness for amputee porn

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Thomas Francis

Latest Stories