Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Femme Fatale

A femme fatale is a mysterious and often dangerous woman who uses her seductive charms to ensnare men, leading them into dangerous and compromising situations. Making their heyday in the film noir era, their allure and mystique has transcended the genre and made it's way to modern film. Here are few of the most memorable femme fatales . . . 

 F is for Femme Fatale 

Phyllis Dietrichson (Double Indemnity) – A predatory housewife with an angelic face, Phyllis Dietrichson is as alluring as she is devious. A master of seduction, her powers are so great that she's able to convince insurance agent Walter Neff to murder her husband, relieving her of a boring, emotionless marriage and simultaneously making her the recipient of $100,000 in life insurance. 

Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct) – Perhaps the most famous femme fatale in modern film, Catherine Tramell oozes sexuality and guile. When Detective Nick Curran investigates her for murder, she turns her wiles on him, seducing him despite his mistrust. Nick's well aware that she's a homicidal killer, and yet seems incapable of resisting her. Catherine puts the fatal in fatale. 

Matty Walker (Body Heat) – Matty Walker is the very embodiment of smoldering sex. One look at her ignites the libido of Ned Racine, a shady lawyer that's already on thin ice with the justice system. When Matty tells Ned she wants to leave her husband to be with him, but divorce would leave her without any of his money, Racine suggests that the only option is to kill him. Matty orchestrates everything so Rancine takes the fall and she get the one thing she desires most – to be rich and live in an exotic land. 

Black Widow aka. Natalia Romanova (Marvel Comics) – A former Russian spy turned S.H.E.I.L.D. agent, Natalia alias Natasha Romanov was raised from a young age to be a femme fatale, using her feminine wiles to gather intelligence. Apart from her weapons and martial arts training, she's able to use her femininity and sexuality to enhance and aid her uncanny skill for psychological manipulation, thus making her an unexpected and effective field agent. And of course a terrific example of a femme fatale who uses her, uh, capabilities in a professional capacity. 

Marquise de Merteuil and Katheryn Merteuil (Dangerous Liaisons and Cruel Intentions) – I decided to go with someone a little different for this last slot . . . two someones. The Marquise is a wealthy, strong-willed aristocrat from the 18th century, circumvention the social rules inflicted on her gender by sleeping with and beguiles men for entertainment Katheryn is her modern counterpart from the Dangerous Liaisons retelling, Cruel Intentions. Both Merteuil women seduce and manipulate men, using them to exact revenge on those who cross them.

And there you have it, my Top 5 favorite Femme Fatale. What are some of your favorites?
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This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2013. My theme (in case you didn't already guess) is character types and tropes. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the other participants, simply click here.


16 comments:

  1. Oh, man, I'm drawing a blank and don't feel like looking it up but the chick from The Three Musketeers. She's much better in the book, though.

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  2. Would someone like Aeon Flux fit the bill?

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  3. I think Catherine Trammel is the ultimate Femme Fatale... at least in movies :)

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  4. Your descriptions of the women are masterful. I wonder if anyone has studied why women turn to preditors.

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  5. Black Widow, definitely, but I agree with Bames that Catherine Trammel is the ultimate film femme fatale.

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  6. As soon I you started describing a femme fatale I thought of Body Heat. Matty tricked more than one man and woman to get what she wanted.

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  7. I've always wanted to see Double Indemnity but just haven't. I need to find it. I agree with others - Catherine Trammel is a great choice.

    Jaime at Awakenings and Reflections

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  8. So many icons to choose from - it's hard to pick 'the' definitive FF! Off the top of my head, I'd nominate Theresa Russell in the 1987 film Black Widow - scary woman! :-o

    Thanks for calling in at my blog earlier - hope you are enjoying the A-Z blog-hop!

    SueH I refuse to go quietly!

    Twitter - @Librarymaid

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  9. The femme fatale is a classic in literature and usually has the most interesting part in the narrative.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

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  10. this is a pretty awesome list! every time i thought of one, it would be next on your list.

    i'm visiting from a to z and here's my F:

    http://smhasty.blogspot.com/2013/04/26-books-that-changed-my-life-6.html

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  11. Garsh, I don't know who to pick for this one. Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment is a favorite.

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  12. Alot of dislike against husbands there haha

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