Posted on March 12, 2010

Dangerous Dames ~

femme fatale/ film noir
Typically in the evening when I’m exhausted from shuttling the children to and from school, running errands, cooking, and all of the other activities that fill my days, I look forward to relaxing with a film from my Que.  Lately my choices are from the smokey Film Noir Collection.  A film noir story was often developed around a cynical, hard-hearted, disillusioned male character who encountered a beautiful, cigarette holding, seductive femme fatale with a dark past.
Ava Gardner in The Killers
Ava Gardner in The Killers, Rita Hayworth in The Lady from Shanghai, Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity and Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice are classic film noir films.  These femme fatales would seduce their victim while poisoning his cocktail.
Veronica Lake
                                                                            
The phrase is French for “deadly woman”.  She tries to achieve her hidden purpose by using feminine wiles such as beauty, charm, and sexual allure.  She is a double-dealing and seductive enchantress who drives men near madness.  She may be (or imply to be) a victim, caught in a situation from which she cannot escape; The Lady from Shanghai is one such example.  I love this movie!  Rita Hayworth is one of my favourite actresses of all time.  I never tire of watching her movies.
Barbara Stanwyck
The character type of femme fatale was derived from the anti-heroine vamps of early cinema, such as Theda Bara in A Fool There Was. She was first introduced as an evil temptress with her character name: Vampire, and she spoke her most-famous line of all ~ “Kiss me, my Fool!”.  Bara, known as the “Vamp,” was the screen’s first femme fatale and sex goddess. 
Lana Turner
               Although femme fatales have used their charms to manipulate their victims for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the 1940s that film noir films evolved.  They became prominent in the post-war era, and lasted for the most part until the “Golden Age”, near 1960.
Lauren Bacall
When I think of the fashions of the femme fatale, I picture them prowling out of the shadows in a smokey room wearing a sultry, clingy, glamour girl gown similar to those worn by torch singers or one of those fabulous fitted suits.  The old style glamour that I adore so much!  The setting plays a particularly important role in noir ficition.  It creates the mood, underscoring the plot and the morality (or lack thereof) of the characters.  In most noirs, the plot revolves around a crime.
Joan Bennett

The femme fatale archetype exists in the history, folklore and myth of nearly every culture in every century.  Another example is Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, with her ability to seduce the powerful men of Rome.  Roman propaganda coined Cleopatra as a femme fatale; as a result, she became the legendary archetype of the attractions (and the dangers) inherent to the powerful, exotic woman.

The original femme fatale ~ Theda Bara
My choices for the Top 10 Femme Fatale Movies ~
The Lady from Shanghai
The Killers
Gilda
Double Indemnity
Leave Her to Heaven
Laura
Scarlet Street
Chinatown
The Maltese Falcon
Vertigo
Gene Tierney
If you have no plans this weekend other than relaxing at home with a good film, I highly recommend one of the above choices.
Un bonne fin de semaine! xoxo,B

  • Couture Carrie March 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Stunning photos, darling!
    Love this post!

    Hope you have a fab weekend too!

    xoxox,
    CC

  • BonjourRomance March 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Bonjour,
    I love all those same kinds of old movies. Gene Tierney was such a beauty. I love that line “Kiss me my fool” – I haven't seen that one, will try to locate it.

    Also, just wanted to say I have not forgotten about that lovely Sugar Doll award you so kindly shared with me in February, I am still planning on a special post to thank you for it!

    Hope you have a restful weekend after all the shuttle duties!

  • How To Be Perfect March 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Breathtakingly Beautiful! Girls why don't we dress like this anymore? I'm sure one of those outfits would be fit for the school run…..

  • Robin March 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I need a night like these of these beautiful films. A lovely post. Hope you are having a lovely day.

    Robin

  • Le Chateau des fleurs March 12, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    They are all so beautiful and classy. I love old movies…
    Gros bisous
    Frenchy

  • Castles Crowns and Cottages March 13, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Bonjour ma belle!

    These are fabulous images of a time when fashion, frivolty and femmes fatales were classy!!!! Thank you for these wonderful memories of why I love film noir as well. How are you today? Take a deep breath, a macaroon, une bonne tasse de thé and dream!

    Bisous, Anita

  • Castles Crowns and Cottages March 14, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Bonjour ma BELLE!

    Oh, it sounds as if you had a splendid time for the Alice in Wonderland party, macaroons or not! Cupcakes are always a good alternative!! Thank you for your kind comments; yes, our angels take on all kinds of forms. I will never forget one incident long ago, where an “angel” met up with me on an attempt to run away from home. I was about 14 and clueless, but the moment I had this encounter, I knew it wasn't a coincidence! Your little one is with you, always. Have a fabulous day and week ahead of you.

    Bisous, Anita

  • Couture Millinery Atelier. March 16, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Sounds like a wonderful list of Femme Fatale movies! I think that Ava Gardenr is one of the most gorgeous ladies in old cinema. i would also add Vivienne Leigh! 🙂 Black and white cinema always tremendously inspires me. There is so much charm and glamour in it…
    WIshing you beautiful week ahead. 🙂

  • BonjourRomance March 17, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Bonjour,
    Just wanted to thank you for your kind comments on the magazine idea and interest. I would love to contact you but I can't seem to find your email anywhere. Like me you probably don't want to plster ait ll over the internet.
    If you have a chance could you contact me, you can find my address on my profile page.
    Merci!
    Mimi

  • *Chic Provence* March 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

    oooh thanks for the list, I love these movies too, just delicious!

    Kit

  • myinnerchick.com March 10, 2011 at 12:11 am

    ~~~Loooooooooooove the old movie stars. Marilyn tops my list, but your list is Fab. One of Rita Hayworth's famous quotes was: “Men assume they are going to bed with Gilda & they are always very disappointed to wake up with Me.”

    Kim
    myinnerchick.com

  • Back to top