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Who's your favorite femme fetale?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 cigarjoe

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:55 PM

Not sure about Audrey Totter, Gloria Grahame and Marie Windsor as "Femme Fatales." 

Watch...

 

Totter - Tension (1949)

Grahame - Sudden Fear (1952), Human Desire (1954)

Windsor - Hell's Half Acre (1954), The Killing (1956)


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#2 CinemaInternational

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:40 PM

Not Yet Mentioned: Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice



#3 TopBilled

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:29 PM

9. Rita Hayworth as Elsa Bannister in the Orson Welles-directed The Lady From Shanghai. Hayworth with short blonde hair is still mesmerizing.

 

I think she looks great with the blonde hair and wish she had done it in other films.


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"You've had a few hours given back to you from life. A few hours in which to change your minds and your hearts. When you came into the grounds of this inn, you came into a place as it was a year ago today. You were in your own time, but the house and garden and Gwyneth and I are in the time of last year. The day the bomb hit. When you go away and walk up the road you will have spent a night in an inn. But if you look back from the crest of the hill, the halfway house will not be here...but if you remember, it will be as you remember a forgotten snatch of song. It will be a picture before your eyes. Gone before you realize it is there. Or an echo in the hidden places of your mind. But you have been here...and the world is what you make it." -- Mervyn Johns, THE HALFWAY HOUSE.


#4 VivLeighFan

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:47 PM

Agree with most of those submitted, but especially these: 
Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double IndemnityClaire Trevor as Helen Grayle in Murder, My Sweet. Jane Greer as Kathie Moffat in Out of the PastLizabeth Scott as Dusty Chandler in the underrated Dead Reckoning
Kathleen Turner as Matty Walker in Body Heat. Probably my Number One.
Linda Fiorentino, The Last Seduction.
Virginia Madsen, The Hot Spot.
 
Not sure about Audrey Totter, Gloria Grahame and Marie Windsor as "Femme Fatales." Maybe bad girls, but not quite devious or evil enough.
 
One of the interesting things that shows how good these women are/were as actresses is that they are totally believable in good girl, bad girl and femme fatale roles.
Compare Jane Greer in Out of the Past with Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in The Big Steal with Robert Mitchum two years later.  Not to mention dozens of roles with Stanwyck.
 
Occured to me that this would be a suitable thread for General Discussions, since Femme Fatales also exist in mystery, suspense, drama, etc.?


Yeah I suppose so. I only put in here because femme fetales are so prominent in film noirs.

#5 TheCid

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:21 AM

Agree with most of those submitted, but especially these: 

Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity
Claire Trevor as Helen Grayle in Murder, My Sweet. 
Jane Greer as Kathie Moffat in Out of the Past
Lizabeth Scott as Dusty Chandler in the underrated Dead Reckoning

Kathleen Turner as Matty Walker in Body Heat. Probably my Number One.

Linda Fiorentino, The Last Seduction.

Virginia Madsen, The Hot Spot.

 

Not sure about Audrey Totter, Gloria Grahame and Marie Windsor as "Femme Fatales." Maybe bad girls, but not quite devious or evil enough.

 

One of the interesting things that shows how good these women are/were as actresses is that they are totally believable in good girl, bad girl and femme fatale roles.

Compare Jane Greer in Out of the Past with Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in The Big Steal with Robert Mitchum two years later.  Not to mention dozens of roles with Stanwyck.

 

Occured to me that this would be a suitable thread for General Discussions, since Femme Fatales also exist in mystery, suspense, drama, etc.?


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#6 cinemaspeak59

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:00 AM

I could write about this subject all day. These are some of my favorite femme fatales:

1. Mary Astor as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in the Maltese Falcon, arguably the first fully realized film noir. She kills Bogie's partner and almost traps Bogie before he comes to his senses.

2. Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity is ice-cold and sexy as she gets Fred MacMurray's character Walter Neff to kill her husband.

3. Claire Trevor as Helen Grayle in Murder, My Sweet, who strings along Moose Malloy while Private Eye Dick Powell's Philip Marlowe tries to solve a complex murder.

4. Gene Tierney, in the Technicolor noir Leave Her to Heaven, brings sadness and emotional depth to her character.

5. Ava Gardner as Kitty Collins in The Killers. It would have been a shame if Gardner had not played a femme fatale. With this film, thankfully, she got her chance.

6. Jane Greer as Kathie Moffat in Out of the Past (arguably noir's crowning achievement) is a sociopathic beauty even hard boiled Robert Mitchum can't say no to.

7. Joan Fontaine as Ivy Lexton in the gaslight noir Ivy. Fontaine gives an erotically charged performance as a shrewd, refined, predatory femme fatale who looks awesome in Edwardian costumes.

8. Noir veteran Lizabeth Scott as Dusty Chandler in the underrated Dead Reckoning. Scott and Bogie have great chemistry.

9. Rita Hayworth as Elsa Bannister in the Orson Welles-directed The Lady From Shanghai. Hayworth with short blonde hair is still mesmerizing.

10. Kathleen Turner as Matty Walker in Body Heat. The Florida setting and Turner's memorable performance as she flawlessly manipulates William Hurt's Ned Racine make this a great neo noir.
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#7 cigarjoe

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 06:29 AM

I like Gloria Grahame also for Classic Noir but Audrey Totter and Marie Windsor both come a close second, followed by Lizabeth Scott, Evelyn Keyes, and Ida Lupino.

 

Here is breakdown of the numbers of Film Noir that it's most popular Femme Fatales appeared in (BTW there are more actresses with 4 or less films that I left out).

 

Joan Bennett - 5

Joan Crawford -10

Linda Darnell - 5

Rhonda Fleming - 5

Gloria Grahame - 9

Susan Hayward - 5

Rita Hayworth - 3

Evelyn Keyes - 7

Ida Lupino - 16

Dorothy Malone - 7

Agness Morehead - 6

Ruth Roman - 6

Lizabeth Scott - 7

Anne Sheridan - 4

Barbara Stanwyck - 9

Audrey Totter - 9

Claire Trevor - 10

Marie Windsor - 5

Shelley Winters - 11

 

For Neo Noir here are my favorites:

 

Kathleen Turner - Body Heat

Linda Fiorentino - The Last Seduction

Isabella Rossellini - Blue Velvet

Ellen Barkin - Siesta

Joanne Whalley - Kill Me Again

Virginia Madsen - The Hot Spot

Lena Olin - Romeo Is Bleeding

Rosanna Arquette - The Wrong Man

Laure Marsac - Hit Me

Patricia Arquette - Lost Highway

Gina Gershon - This World, Then The Fireworks

Hilary Swank - The Black Dahlia


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#8 kjrwe

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:30 PM

I just thought of another one: the leading lady in The Woman in the Window.

 

Wow!  :lol:



#9 kjrwe

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 07:06 PM

I would pick Gloria Grahame in so many of her films, but especially in "In A Lonely Place".

 

I absolutely adore In a Lonely Place, but I wouldn't classify Grahame's character as a femme fatale.


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#10 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:27 PM

Gloria Grahame has "the essence" of a femme fatale in whatever it is she does.

 

Agree 100%.    She clearly gives off a femme fatale vibe;  full of mystery, appearing to be holding back something and her use of her sexuality (even when she isn't using it to push a man into darkness).     

 

I made my point because I have often found people saying Grahame is the most evil and corrupt noir dame but she doesn't fit that bill  when one compares the noir characters Grahame has played with  those of Stanwyck or even 'B' actress Janis Carter,  .


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#11 rayban

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:03 PM

But is Laurel Gray a femme fatale?    I say no, since the reasons for Dixon Steele's problems relate to his own inner issues and Gray doesn't causes these or benefit from them. 

 

While Grahame is one of the queens of film noir,  she is only a classic femme fatale in Human Desire.    Even in The Big Heat she is more of a gangster moll than a femme fatale like Kathie Moffat or Kitty Collins.  

Gloria Grahame has "the essence" of a femme fatale in whatever it is she does.


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#12 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 01:10 PM

Her role in THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON is another one. The file is quite thick.

 

Yes,  Thelma Jordon is a classic femme fatale;   she bring doom to otherwise 'clean' assistant DA played by Wendell Corey.  


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#13 TopBilled

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:44 PM

Some faves include:

 

-- Barbara Stanwyck in both Double Indemnity and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

 

Her role in THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON is another one. The file is quite thick.


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"You've had a few hours given back to you from life. A few hours in which to change your minds and your hearts. When you came into the grounds of this inn, you came into a place as it was a year ago today. You were in your own time, but the house and garden and Gwyneth and I are in the time of last year. The day the bomb hit. When you go away and walk up the road you will have spent a night in an inn. But if you look back from the crest of the hill, the halfway house will not be here...but if you remember, it will be as you remember a forgotten snatch of song. It will be a picture before your eyes. Gone before you realize it is there. Or an echo in the hidden places of your mind. But you have been here...and the world is what you make it." -- Mervyn Johns, THE HALFWAY HOUSE.


#14 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:11 PM

I would pick Gloria Grahame in so many of her films, but especially in "In A Lonely Place".

 

But is Laurel Gray a femme fatale?    I say no, since the reasons for Dixon Steele's problems relate to his own inner issues and Gray doesn't causes these or benefit from them. 

 

While Grahame is one of the queens of film noir,  she is only a classic femme fatale in Human Desire.    Even in The Big Heat she is more of a gangster moll than a femme fatale like Kathie Moffat or Kitty Collins.  


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#15 rayban

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 11:46 AM

I would pick Gloria Grahame in so many of her films, but especially in "In A Lonely Place".


"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#16 kjrwe

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 08:19 PM

Some faves include:

 

-- Barbara Stanwyck in both Double Indemnity and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

 

-- the golddigger in Elevator to the Gallows

 

-- Kim Novak in Pushover


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#17 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:21 PM

Mine is Veda Pierce from Mildred Pierce because her relationship with her mother reminds me of my rekationship with my mother. I can be downright cruel to her at times but at the same time I need her more than anything. If I lost her, I don't know what I'd do. That's why Mildred Pierce is such an impressive film because it's a true representation of how far a parent would go to protect thier child even if they are spoiled brats.

 

My choice is Kathie Moffat from Out of the Past,  with Kitty Collins from The Killers a close second. 


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#18 VivLeighFan

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:14 PM

Mine is Veda Pierce from Mildred Pierce because her relationship with her mother reminds me of my rekationship with my mother. I can be downright cruel to her at times but at the same time I need her more than anything. If I lost her, I don't know what I'd do. That's why Mildred Pierce is such an impressive film because it's a true representation of how far a parent would go to protect thier child even if they are spoiled brats.
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