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Your favorite Femme Fatal


LaDolceVita

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(Obviously) I love Barbara Stanwyck - and the same re: Claire Trevor...Rita Hayworth in *Gilda* has too much heart for a true femme fatale...I've always been intrigued by Jane Greer in *Out of the Past* - those big, luminous eyes, that gorgeous face, very low-key in her machinations. She gets my vote.

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Overall, Barbara Stanwyck gets my vote for the best femme fatal, but Jane Greer did in both Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas in the same film. No one can top that. Honorable mention, Jean Simmons in Angel Face.

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All of you have mentioned loads of great actresses, and they all made quite an impression in film noir. Definitely Claire Trevor and Marie Windsor are toward the top of that list. But, I must confess, there's only room for one at the very top: the wonderful Barbara Stanwyck. Just look at her work in "Double Indemnity," "Strange Love of Martha Ivers." and "Blowing Wild." When she threw Anthony Quinn into an oil well at the conclusion of "Blowing Wild", there was such hatred in her eyes! She was the greatest.

 

Terrence.

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Stanwyck may not belong with the others on that list because she had a much broader, and greater reputation, than just for film noir. She was great in comedy (The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire, etc. ),and drama (Stella Dallas, Sorry Wrong Number ,etc.) Actresses such as Marie Windsor and Claire Trevor were primarily known for film noir. So comparing Stanwyck with them is sort of like comparing apples and oranges.

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Thanks for your comment, Finance. You are absolutely right about that. Stanwyck proved time and again that she could do it all. It's true that both Marie Windsor and Claire Trevor did other things---both made a lot of westerns, and Claire even did a couple of comedies, where she was excellent. But by and large, those two are remembered for their femme fatale roles. Well done!

 

Terrence.

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> {quote:title=LaDolceVita wrote:}{quote}

> Please post your favorite Femme Fatal and why. Let's see who is voted as the most loved or most loved to be hated Femme Fatal!!

 

It could very well be Anne Baxter in GUEST IN THE HOUSE.

 

The entire movie is on YouTube.

 

All I can say to everybody is, check it out.

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All those great actresses in the roles mentioned are perfect examples of femme fatales...let's not forget Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven. When she sits in that boat and watches the teenaged Darryl Hickman drown, I get chills just thinking about it. And to commit suicide just to set up her husband to take the blame for her death...yikes, that's pure evil!

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My favorite "femme-fatale" is Dolores Gray. Although she is not at all associated with the film noir idiom, her performance of "Thanks a Lot but No Thanks" from the musical "It's always Fair Weather" is the most overt expression of the female's dominion over the male in cinema. This is a campy and funny number. As it starts, the viewer expects to see a typical "boy chases girl" dance number. But unexpectedly the girl begins to kill off all the boys as they pursue her. She seals their fate as she shoves them down trapdoors, guns them down, and blows them up with dynamite. It's unusual but very torrid.

 

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--Marlene Dietrich as Concha Perez in The Devil is a Woman (the title says it all), as Erika von Schlutow in A Foreign Affair and as Lola Lola in The Blue Angel

 

--Bette Davis as Leslie Crosbie in The Letter. She totally ruins her husband--takes his money, his dreams his pride, then throws her love for Hammond up in his face. In addition, she makes her lawyer go totally against his principles in defending her--destroys his image of himself as a decent man.

 

--Joan Bennet as Kitty March in Scarlet Street Poor Edward G Robinson! Did that man ever get a break??

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Also Bette Davis as Leslie Crosbie-- She completely destroyed every man in her path. Hammond she killed outright, she destroyed her husband financially and mentally and finally her lawyer--him she may have messed up worst of all. She destroyed his integrity and his sense of himself as an honorable man. As much as I love Davis in the movie, the character was despicable.

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