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Razzberry

Fabulous Femme-Fatales

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They're seductive, manipulative, and narcissistic, but we love to watch them.  I think the Queen B has to be Betty Davis. From Another Man's Poison, with then-husband Gary Merrill.  Betty plays a novelist on a big English estate, like an evil Agatha Christie.

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Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful but A Strange Woman in 1850's Maine

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 Barbara Stanwyck in the classic Double Indemnity, with Fred McMurray as her prey.

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Lana Turner and John Garfield team up in The Postman Always Rings Twice.

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There's newer ones as well.  What are your favorites?

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Lyn Bracken in L.A. Confidential was very compelling, though it could be argued she wasn't a true femme fatale:

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One who definitely was every bit as murderous as any other femme fatale was Catherine Trammell, in Basic Instinct:

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7 hours ago, Luckylyn said:

Gene Tierney in Leave Her To Heaven 

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I just finished watching this and loved it.   Well written, acted and visually stunning for 1945.  Even the train car was classy.

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YouTube has it free without any ads and great quality here:

Leave Her To Heaven

 

 

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Good call!  I haven't seen that in years, time for a rewatch.   

I'm not sure if Jennifer Lawrence from American Hustle qualifies, but she did seem to have an unhealthy hold over men that was fun to watch.

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Claire Trevor in Born To Kill was truly despicable, as was her boyfriend played by Lawrence Tierney (no relation to Gene).  Found these bits on Imdb about his real life behavior which sounds only marginally better.

"Off-screen, the actor's arrests for drunken brawls at bars and Hollywood parties took a heavy toll on his once-promising Hollywood career in the 1950s. Booze was always at the root of his misbehavior, which included tearing a public phone off the wall, hitting a waiter in the face, breaking a college student's jaw and attempting to choke a cab driver.

Tierney was a brawler up until the end of his career, provoking almost all of the younger actors he worked with on Reservoir Dogs (1992) and nearly come to blows with director Quentin Tarantino."


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Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction 

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Rose Mcgowan in Jawbreaker 

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Joan Cusack in Adams Family Values

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Of Human Bondage, 1934, starring the fabulous Bette Davis and Leslie Howard took my breath away.   The plot is familiar enough - orphaned, clubfooted nice guy Philip falls for a pretty waitress named Mildred and can't get enough of her abuse.  Over the years he welcomes her back again and again to blow up his life, until finally he puts his good foot down.

Just look at this mocking face...

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Free with Amazon Prime

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The amazing deadly Amy by Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl.   Will be on FXX tomorrow for all you re-watchers like me.

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Edited by Razzberry
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On 2/15/2021 at 6:49 PM, Razzberry said:

Of Human Bondage, 1934, starring the fabulous Bette Davis and Leslie Howard took my breath away.   The plot is familiar enough - orphaned, clubfooted nice guy Philip falls for a pretty waitress named Mildred and can't get enough of her abuse.  Over the years he welcomes her back again and again to blow up his life, until finally he puts his good foot down.

Just look at this mocking face...

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Free with Amazon Prime

While Miss Davis definitely seemed to enjoy playing such a heartless, meansprited. .. so and so, I have to admit that it was a bit much that her character wasn't presented with ONE positive  quality beyond pity for her state  at the end. I mean, it would have worked better had she at least shown SOME kind of politeness or even civility towards the protagonist at the start so the audience could imagine that he saw SOME redeeming feature in her besides just her looks. 

 

Also, I disliked that this movie made it seem that it was okay for her to belittle his physical challenge . ..but THEN when he got it fixed than it somehow was not! I know this was made in the early 1930's when movies weren't particularly sympathetic or enlightened re others with physical challenges but still it seemed to make the case the cruelty on her part and masochism on his was almost justified solely due to him being clubfooted. 

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No list of femme fatales could be complete without Marlene Dietrich who capitalized on her stunning looks with often playing sultry women of mystery who could surprise the audience with their heroics and bravery.

In Shanghai Express (1932), her character Shanghai Lily did just that- despite the disdain of others.

And when an old acquaintance who was trying to catch up with her asked if she had gotten married, she gave the immortal reply:

"It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily."

https://themindreels.com/2014/10/26/shanghai-express-1932-josef-von-sternberg/

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That looks interesting, Blergh!  It's now on my TMC wishlist.

Patricia Arquette in David Lynch's Lost Highway.  To me this is the most disturbing of Lynch's films and I had a terrible feeling of dread throughout.  Loved it.

  

 

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Glenn Close is no slacker in this department. She's also in pre-production as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, the musical.😂

Loved Dangerous Liaisons with John MalkovichDangerousLiaisons.jpg.a5995806714ff7d791a84cca09b61896.jpg

Arguably her most famous role in Fatal Attraction.

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Notable for being dead before the movie starts and never seen in flashbacks,  Hitchcock's Rebecca is nevertheless unforgettable thanks to Joan Fontaine and Rebecca's henchman Mrs. Danvers played by Judith Anderson.

The newer version with Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas and Armmie Hammer was enjoyable but the writing and acting didn't quite measure up, imo.  For example this scene in Rebecca's bedroom as Danvers continues to torture and gaslight the new Mrs. de Winter -

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just doesn't have the same twisted punch of the original or the reaction desired.

Free with no ads,  1941 Oscar for Best Picture,  Oscar to Joan Fontaine for Best Actress

 

Edited by Razzberry
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Oh man this is good fun!  New on Netflix with Rosamund Pike (again) is the dark comedy/thriller I Care A Lot.

 

 

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Catherine Keener in Being John Malkovich would qualify, I think.  One of my all time favorite films  - so charming, fresh and original. 

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Nicole Kidman like you've never seen her in The Paperboy.  An unforgettable role and I dug this underrated gem. 

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On 2/18/2021 at 9:03 AM, Shannon L. said:

Jessica Rabbit.  "I'm not bad--I'm just drawn that way."

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I love Jessica because she subverts the femme fatale trope. We all are led to believe she’s the classic evil double dealing femme fatale, but then it turns out that she really wasn’t bad at all. She loved her husband and was smart enough to use her assets to get around people that underestimated her.

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On 2/12/2021 at 9:35 PM, Razzberry said:

I just finished watching this and loved it.   Well written, acted and visually stunning for 1945.  Even the train car was classy.

LeaveHerToHeaven1b.jpg.bcf08dfba979fd546c07be4094e4c5cd.jpg

YouTube has it free without any ads and great quality here:

Leave Her To Heaven

 

 

I bought the Criterion edition a few months ago!

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A Fritz Lang film-noir double feature.  Both star Joan Bennett as the femme fatale and Edward G. Robinson as her mild mannered mark.   The stories are different but have some similarities in that Robinson plays against his usual gangster type.  I was skeptical at first, but he's brilliant in these.  Lang was notoriously difficult but said of him  "Each part he plays, he enriches with deep and warm understanding of human frailties and compels us to pity rather than condemnation, always adding vivid color to the intricate mosaic of motion picture reality."

The Woman in the Window, 1944   Free with Amazon Prime

Taut with suspense and my favorite of the two.  

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Scarlet Street, 1945     

Same cast, but here Robinson plays a sweet sensitive artist who's reduced to painting his "girlfriend's" toenails.  He's even more empathetic than before.

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Free on You Tube with NO ads

 

 

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A couple of unconventional femme fatales in Ava and I, Tonya.  (Contains spoilers)

Ava (Jessica Chastain) seduces, manipulates, and kills, but that's because it's her job as an operative for Duke (John Malkovich).  She has no idea why these people are marked for death, and sometimes asks them what they've done wrong.  I lost interest in finishing the film when Ava fights her way through about 20 armed men without so much as a scratch.  Superpowers just aren't my cup of tea.

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I, Tonya is.  I don't believe for a second that Harding had no idea about the attack on Kerrigan. Desperate and confrontational when things didn't go her way, it was probably her idea.  Still, her mother was such a monster that the apple didn't fall far from the tree. 

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Edited by Razzberry

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On 2/13/2021 at 9:33 PM, Luckylyn said:

Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction 

Fiorentino was soo good in that movie. 

 

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YES, Lena Olin is fantastic!  Also loved her in the Ninth Gate and the more obscure  Devil You Know.   She plays Rosamund Pike's mother, a retired film actress with a rich dead husband, a possessive personal assistant, a new boy toy, and a shady past.   Despite its low ratings I enjoyed it.

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Too Late For Tears is a well written LA noir that moves right along with some twists and great acting by the fabulous Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea.  Full movie with no ads.

 

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Two of my all time favorite scenes.  Eva Marie Saint in North By Northwest and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate.

 

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On 3/9/2021 at 11:52 AM, Razzberry said:

Two of my all time favorite scenes.  Eva Marie Saint in North By Northwest and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate.

Two excellent movies!

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Marilyn Monroe is the ultimate femme fatale in Niagra.  She and her husband (played by Joseph Cotten) cause trouble at the Rainbow Cabins.  First her dress causes a stir among some partying vacationers...

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Huge buzzkill when her husband comes running out and smashes her record. 

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Guests Jean Peters (Mrs. Howard Hughes)  and an annoying actor (Casey Adams) as her husband get sucked into her game.

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Great shots of the Niagra Falls and a nail-biting finish!

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 I got curious about Gloria Grahame after seeing the biopic with Annette Benning in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool. I've seen a lot of her work since and most of my favorites all happen to made in a busy time period of 1950-54 when she was at her peak....

 

The Bad and the Beautiful, 1952    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044391/?ref_=vp_back  
Lana Turner is actually the femme fatale in this Hollywood movie about the seedy underbelly of Hollywood, which I always love. Kirk Douglas is a big movie mogul like Zanuck or Selznick. Gloria plays against type as the wife of a screenwriter and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

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In a Lonely Place, 1950     
Starring Gloria and Humphrey Bogart, directed by husband Nicholas Ray.  Their marriage  was already in trouble, but the picture was their best work together.  Pic is of Ray directing a kissing scene with Bogie.

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Sudden Fear, 1952 

 Gloria and Jack Palance team up to prey on Joan Crawford in a suspenseful thriller.  Nominated for 4 Oscars.

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The Big Heat, 1953     A big hit. Excellent Fritz Lang film-noir with Gloria, Glenn Ford, Lee Marvin, and Marlon's sister Jocelyn Brando.

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Human Desire, 1954   Fritz Lang got the band back together for another great film-noir about a torrid affair and murder on a train.

 

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Anne Reid isn't the classic femme fatale, but a lot of shit happens when she comes to visit her grown children, including an affair with her daughter's boyfriend played by Daniel Craig.   This film is beautifully shot, sad, thought-provoking, and smokin' hot, to be honest. 

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On 3/8/2021 at 8:44 PM, Razzberry said:

YES, Lena Olin is fantastic!  Also loved her in the Ninth Gate and the more obscure  Devil You Know.   She plays Rosamund Pike's mother, a retired film actress with a rich dead husband, a possessive personal assistant, a new boy toy, and a shady past.   Despite its low ratings I enjoyed it.

I tried this one.  Thanks for the recommendation.  The fashion in this movie was sooooooooooooooooooo good.

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Some real life femme-fatales.

Liz Taylor as Cleopatra

Elizabeth Olsen as Audrey Williams.  

Annette Bening as Virginia Hill in Bugsy

I liked Bugsy, but they tried to make it seem like he founded Las Vegas out of nothing.  According to the city's website it was a thriving city before he ever got there.  Here's a pic from 1941.

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Jessica Lange and her Oscar winning role in Blue Sky, OMG!  I love this film and don't know how it slipped my mind.

She plays Carly, the sexy flirtatious Army wife of Tommy Lee Jones, who seems to get transferred more than usual because of her behavior.  Never mind that they're finding high levels of radiation, his commander wants to know -

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As their teen daughters say, "He's blind and she's crazy.  They're made for each other."  Another transfer finds them in Alabama, and Carly isn't happy, but his new commander Johnson, played by Powers Boothe, seems delighted with the new arrivals.

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Right away Carly causes quite a stir at the officer's club dance.

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Commander Johnson sends Jones to Nevada for two weeks to eliminate any interference with his designs on his wife.   There's a whole other story about a nuclear testing cover-up... but what is Jones job again?

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That's right, I forgot.  I kind of think Commander Johnson's wife's explanation to their son was more accurate.

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Jessica Lange revises Cora in The Postman Always Rings Twice, opposite Jack Nicholson.  They gave that butcherblock a buffing that Garfield and Turner neglected.  She just naturally dominates, and her male leads have to be strong to prevent fading into the background.  

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In Frances, opposite Sam Shepard.

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Frances never actually had a lobotomy, but the director said he didn't want facts to get in the way of a good story.

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Yeah, I tried the original The Postman Always Rings Twice, and it didn't do much for me.

I tried The Lady from Shanghai though, and I enjoyed that a lot more.  The Femme Fatale in that movie is Rita Hayworth.  Both Orson Welles and Rita are very attractive in that one.

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The original Postman movie is from 1946 and The Lady from Shanghai is from 1947.

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