Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Who Is Your Choice for the Greatest Femme Fatale in a Movie?



 I have always had a deep fondness for Kathleen Turner's performance  in BODY HEAT. No, this is not a forgotten movie but it's nice to remember these two actors at the peak of their careers--doing what each did well. Hurt made a great victim and Turner a great femme fatale.

How about you? Who's your favorite movie femme fatale?

23 comments:

Deb said...

Barbara Stanwyck in "Double Indemnity"--there's not a trace of softness in her as she lures Fred McMurray to commit insurance fraud...and murder!

Bill Crider said...

As much as I like Kathleen Turner in "Body Heat," I have to go with Deb on this one. I love Stanwyck's performance. Turner's performance in "The Man with two Brains" is also classic.

Anonymous said...

What Deb said.

I must admit I've never been a huge fan of BODY HEAT.

Scariest was probably Ann Savage in DETOUR. I would definitely have stayed off her lawn and out of her car!


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Stanwyck is the gold standard for sure. I have seen The meanest woman in a movie might be Gene Tierney in LEAVE Her to HeAVen.

Margot Kinberg said...

I like Barbara Stanwyck too. A great example of a femme fatale!

Al Tucher said...

Linda Fiorentino in LAST SEDUCTION. One character asks her, "Has anybody checked you for a pulse lately?"

She has said in interviews that the role has ruined her dating life, because men expect to meet the character.

As a bonus, the flim also has Bill Pullman playing my choice for Nastiest Little Creep in a Movie.

Charles Gramlich said...

I would agree with Kathleen Turner in Body Heat. Wow!

Richard said...

Bacall in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. Also, yes, Stnwick, though I prefer he humor roles.

pattinase (abbott) said...

THE LAST SEDUCTION was a terrific surprise. Bacall was a great one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Lara Flynn Boyle in RED ROCK WEST was another surprise.

Anonymous said...

"Who does a girl have to suck to get a drink?"

Yeah, Linda Fiorentino was pretty great. I'd take her over Kathleen Turner.

Jeff M.

George said...

I'm with Deb: it's hard to top Barbara Stanwyck. Kathleen Turner and Linda Fiorentino tie for Second Place in my estimation.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Demi Moore in DISCLOSURE.

Anonymous said...

From the classic film noir era, Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, although Ava Gardner (The Killers) and Lana Turner (The Postman Always Rings Twice) deserve at least honorable mention. (Turner was also memorable as the villainess in The Three Musketeers.)

From the 1960's spy movie craze, Luciana Paluzzi in Thunderball. Runner-up would be Elke Sommer in Deadlier Than the Male (and/or The Wrecking Crew).

TV: Julie Newmar as the Catwoman on Batman in 1966-67. But Joan Collins deserves mention for Dynasty (and for "the Siren" on Batman in 1968), as do Jessica Walter and Wendy Fulton for their work on a short-lived soap opera called Bare Essence in the early 1980's.

But my all-time #1 choice would be Sybil Danning in They're Playing With Fire, even though the movie itself stunk.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great list. Never thought about TV femme fatales but there are plenty on soaps especially. Erica Kane on All My Children went through about a dozen men.

Roger Allen said...

Jessica Rabbit, even if it was just the way she was drawn!

There are quite a few candidates in French films of the 1940s and 1950s: Garance in Les Enfants du Paradis, even if the fatality is unintentional; Madeleine Courtois in Guele d'amour; Florence in Le Grand Jeu; Lulu in La Chienne are obvious candidates. in silent films there is Alraune in the film of the same name and- of course- Lulu in Pandora's Box.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there haven't been a lot of votes for Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct), Charlize Theron (2 Days in the Valley), or Charlotte Rampling (Farewell, My Lovely).

Ilona Massey in "Love Happy" (the last Marx Brothers movie) and Eva Gabor in "Artists and Models" were comedic caricatures of a femme fatale. Massey's performance was reportedly the inspiration for Madame Lynx, a seductive spy in Milton Caniff's Steve Canyon comic strip.

Roger Allen said...

...and Mata Machree in Million Dollar Legs & Lili von Schtupp in Blazing Saddles...

Richard said...

Patti, this was a really great question.

Erik Donald France said...

Hard to beat the wickedly cool persona of Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction. Simone Signoret / Les Diaboliques . . . Jeanne Moreau / Diary of a Chambermaid . . . & always more . . . Kathleen Turner cool, too.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeanne Moreau in THE BRIDE WORE BLACK although she was more an avenger than a femme fatale. Signoret is the best.

Graham Powell said...

Jane Greer in OUT OF THE PAST gets my vote. Not a sentimental lady.

Kent Morgan said...

I just happened to be reading about many of those mentioned in a terrific book by Foster Hirsch titled Detours and Lost Highways a Map of Neo-Noir.