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Δευτέρα, 29 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

The 14 Most Dangerous Femme Fatales In Modern Movies

The original meaning of a “femme fatale” is at least as old as humanity itself. The symbol of a seductive, immoral female figure first emerged in the initial story of Adam and Eve. The femme fatale motif runs like a red thread in various literary works such a Heinrich Heine’s Loreley or the dancing daughter of Herodias in Oscar Wilde’s Salome, as well as in musical pieces like Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale“ from 1966 to the conscious, vivid personification in a number of film works.

Femme fatale has its cinematic origin already in the silent film era from the early 1920s. Actresses like Theda Bara, Gloria Swanson and Marlene Dietrich served as cinematic mothers who broke with the conventional stereotypes of one-dimensional, needy women dependent on the man, and showed more depth and sophistication.
The peak of the personification of a strong woman was then reached in the film noir era from the 1940s, in which the term “femme fatale” was officially recognized as the epitome of a manipulative, cold-blooded and sexual self-determining attitude. Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity from 1944 is still regarded as a classic of that time. Probably at no other time in Hollywood have more profound women’s roles ever been created.
However, with the modernization of the film business, the image of women has also changed increasingly. After another revival of neo-noir film, the femme fatale persona has altered as well. Over the years she has become more and more independent, cold-blooded and does not use her intrigues to primarily gain wealth or power, but rather she uses her calculus as a kind of pleasure to place herself in a position of power.
This list specifically deals with the alteration of the film business, the social emancipation and the motives of those cunning power games.

14. Body Heat (1981) – Mrs. Matty Walker
Body Heat (1981) – Mrs. Matty Walker
During an unbearable heat wave in Florida, the unscrupulous lawyer Ned Racine (William Hurt) meets the married Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner) and becomes entangled in a passionate affair. They decide to kill Matty’s rich husband Edmund (Richard Crenna) in order to get possession of his wealth. After Ned tries to disguise the murder as an accident, he arouses considerable suspicion for the police.
The smooth, mysterious jazz music accentuates the sultry severity of the themed heat wave in the entire film. But the music also matches the inscrutable figure of Matty Walker. At first glance, with her elegance and aloofness, she reminds one of a young Lauren Bacall, the chain-smoking femme fatale who exudes boldness and coolness.
As Ned Racine is characterized by a strong passion for the fair sex and has a certain reputation as a womanizer, he is irretrievably fooled and entraps himself in her unobtrusive, latent seduction methods, her obvious femininity and her manipulation, which animates for murder.

13. Brick (2005) – Ms. Laura Dannon
Brick (2005) – Ms. Laura Dannon
The Brain (Matt O’Leary) is the only friend that loner Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has at his high school. Both team up to investigate some mysterious events. Brendan’s ex-girlfriend Emily (Emilie de Ravin) sounds desperate on the phone and wants to meet him. However, she disappears shortly afterwards without a trace. With the help of his buddy, Brendan starts his investigation and slides at once into a strange world.
Emily has slipped into the underground of the high school scene and has ended tragically. Brendan meets his classmate Laura Dannon (Nora Zehetner), who seems to know more than she wants to admit. After some revelatory information, Brendan finds Emily’s body under an underpass and then he works against those responsible for the local drug scene because he suspects to find the culprit there. After some brutal attacks, he meets the underworld boss “The Pin” (Lukas Haas) and brings himself into life- threatening danger.
Although one would not expect a film noir scenery in a high school environment, the film Brick fulfills all the classic features of a neo-noir film. Laura is a classic femme fatale role, although she appears in a contemporary American environment. She plays a double game, but she doesn’t show this obviously, since she apparently supports Brendan’s investigations. However, her appearance simply does not match the classic appearance of a femme fatale, since she appears very girly with her ‘60s pixie look.

12. Wild Things (1997) – Suzie Toller / Kelly Van Ryan
Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) is a handsome and likeable school psychologist who has a good connection to his students, but one day a scandal occurs: the millionaire’s daughter Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards) claims that the popular teacher abused his authority and raped her. It comes to a scandalous trial, in which Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell), a problematic girl from the school, who is living in a trailer park, also takes part in the trial and accuses Sam of sexual abuse.
However, Lombardo’s attorney Kenneth Bowden (Bill Murray) can quickly demonstrate that the accusations are false and prove Lombardo’s innocence. In order to avoid a defamation suit, the family Van Ryan pays Lombardo damages in the amount of 8 million dollars. However, the investigating cop Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon) begins to have doubts about the plausibility of the case.
Quite unusual for this film is the fact that there is not only one femme fatale, but two of them, who increase the suspense twice as much. Initially unnoticed by the viewer, the intrigues begin to occur from the first minute. The two women apply different manipulation methods.
Kelly, the spoiled upper class girl with a razor-sharp appearance, uses her femininity to weaken her victims with pure sexual seduction, while Suzie, a nondescript white trash girl with intelligence above 200 points, succeeds to deceive everyone and finally goes out as a winner of the game, even though the cards are constantly being shuffled.

11. Cruel Intentions (1999) – Kathryn Merteuil
Cruel Intentions (1999) - Kathryn Merteuil
The step-siblings Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) live in the luxury of the New York upper class. Unattended, they are being financed by their mostly absent parents. Sebastian is a young man who is adept at taking advantage of women.
By contrast, Kathryn presents herself as a flawless elite college student with an activity as a Head Girl. However, she conceals even deeper human abysses of calculation and wounded vanity than her brother. Bored with her existence, she offers Sebastian a perfidious bet to revenge herself upon her ex-lover in a very discreet manner. Sebastian wagers his 1956 Jaguar XK120 for the prospect of sex with the unattainable stepsister.
The role of the self-proclaimed Casanova is the seduction of the pious virgin exemplary student Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon). The persons involved entangle themselves in an increasingly dense web of intrigue, and Sebastian reluctantly falls in love with Annette and risks far more than just his car.
On the one hand, Kathryn is a femme fatale who takes pleasure in sadism and manipulation. On the other hand, it is a way to compensate her inner emptiness and sorrow of a hedonistically educated upper class child that needs to present herself to the outside world as well-mannered, educated and pious.
The film is based on the literary classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Although the plot of the book takes place in France in the 18th century, the modern version is moved to New York in the presence, but all existing social structures are maintained.

10. Golden Eye (1995) – Xenia Onatopp
Golden Eye (1995) - Xenia Onatopp
Double-zero agent James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is given an order by his principal, the intelligence chief M (Judi Dench), to regain the access codes for the potential super-weapon “Golden Eye,” an electromagnetic radiation satellite that could destroy all life on Earth.
The codes were taken into possession by the military organization “Janus,” and the Russian General Orumov (Gottfried John) attempts to come to power in his chaotic country following the collapse of the Soviet Union. James Bond sets off on the hunt together with Natalya Simonova (Isabella Scorupco), a computer specialist. He meets the Russian spy Xenia, who acts as a deadly sex bomb. James Bond doesn’t guess that the enemy is within his own ranks.
Xenia Onatopp is the epitome of a diabolical Bond villain. She loves fast cars, is adept at gambling and smokes cigarettes with an unimpressed air. Xenia is danger on two legs. She is military trained, cold-blooded and ruthless, and masters lethal close combat techniques, which she applies during sexual acts. She is a cobra-like killing machine, who crushes her victim with her legs.

9. Fatal Attraction (1987) – Alex Forrest
Fatal Attraction
The New York lawyer Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) leads an orderly and routine family life. He is professionally very successful, has a very pretty wife and a lovely daughter. One day he meets colleague Alex (Glenn Close) and becomes entangled in a thoughtless and reckless weekend affair. Although Dan interprets the adventure as a one-time thing, Alex cannot accept his limit. Alex puts Dan increasingly under pressure in a very perfidious manner, so that Dan cannot withstand it much longer.
Alex Forrest is an obvious femme fatale, since the first sexual impulse is influenced by her. Although in the beginning she presents herself as an independent and tough woman, the facade begins to crumble in no time and her true self comes to the fore. She skillfully covers up her unstable and pathological personality, which mounts in attachment, aggression and hysteria. Obviously she suffers from bipolar disorder, coupled with suicidal tendencies.
Alex Forrest becomes an unscrupulous perpetrator, as she has problems with being alone and acts out her deficits through a compulsive behavior, such as switching the light on and off in an incessant manner. If she is ignored, her feelings escalate and she would rather destroy the object of desire than not possess it.

8. Original Sin (2001) – Julia Russell / Bonnie Castle
Original Sin (2001) - Julia Russell Bonnie Castle
In Cuba at the turn of the century, the wealthy plantation owner Luis Antonio Vargas (Antonio Banderas) is in search of a potential wife and gets to know her by mail contact. He waits excitedly for the ship with his future wife Julia Russell (Angelina Jolie), an American, who he has previously only known from a portrait. But as he stands in front of Julia Russell, he is surprised: she is much prettier than the woman in the photo.
This planned marriage of convenience evolves into a passionate love relationship, even if Luis cannot penetrate all the secrets behind Julia. When one day a private investigator (Thomas Jane) shows up and claims that he is looking for the real Julia Russell, Julia disappears without a trace with all his assets. However, even his disappointment, anger and revengefulness cannot kill his love for Julia. Luis decides to look for Julia himself and to find out more about her fictitious past.
Julia Russell, aka Bonnie Castle, is a born liar. It’s no surprise that she has worked as an actress for many years and has mastered her role. She is a woman with little ladylike past. Growing up without parents, she had to learn rip-off skills in order to survive on the street. Therefore, she knows all the gambling tricks and ensnares wealthy men with her breathtaking femininity.
Bonnie is ruthless, since she eliminates everything that interferes in her life. She has a sadistic streak that makes it easy for her not to cringe even when killing an animal (bird). However, a crucial aspect separates her from the usual femme fatale image: In a moment of weakness, she falls in love with her husband Luis and breaks with the past, conducting an orderly life in chaos.

7. Inception (2010) – Mal Cobb
Inception (2010) – Mal Cobb
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is one of the leading extractors in the world. He hooks into the dreams of his victims, looking for important business secrets, which he then profitably sells to wealthy bosses. His risky methods have put him on the black list of various major corporations, so he can no longer feel safe. His homecoming in the United States remains denied due to the suspicion of murdering his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard), although his small children are waiting for him.
The industrialist Saito (Ken Watanabe) hires Cobb for one last job, one that can simplify his long-awaited way home. Cobb and his team of professionals should plant a thought in the subconscious of a corporation heir in order to manipulate his business secret. Cobb and his team prepare the access meticulously, but a variable remains unpredictable: the psychic echo of Cobb’s dead wife puts him in terrible danger.
Mal Cobb is no femme fatale of flesh and blood, but she only exists in the subconscious of a broken man, who is troubled by his guilty conscience. She is equally as hot-tempered and manipulative as she is loving and sensitive. Mal lives as a projection in Cobb’s remaining memories and is caught in his unprocessed reality.
In life she shared the same passion as her husband. They often dipped into their dream world and reality has increasingly become strange. She kills herself in the belief that she will wake up in her “true” reality after her death.

6. Femme Fatale (2002) – Laure Ash / Lily Watts
Femme Fatale (2002) - Laure Ash  Lily Watts
The Cannes Film Festival is a presence of glamour and wealth. It is exactly the place where the handsome Laura (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) steals a million dollar piece of jewelry from a naive female movie star by using refined methods. But the perfect coup goes wrong at the last minute because her accomplice gets arrested.
However, Laura manages to escape with all the loot and then immerses herself in America. Seven years later, Laura comes to Paris as the wife of the US Ambassador and now lives a new life under the name Lily. As a paparazzo photo taken by Nicolas (Antonio Banderas) appears on the cover of a magazine, the new identity of the diamond thief is at risk.
The movie title prophesies the actual plot, which becomes clear for the viewer from the first minute of the film. Laura is sitting in her hotel room and is watching excerpts of Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity. She is completely lost in thought and focused on the film. During her raid, she uses the weapon of sexuality and seduction.
Laura is completely unscrupulous since she enriches herself at the expense of her prey and flees abroad. It is a little surprising that Laura ultimately does not remain completely reckless because she undergoes a moral change and succeeds to convince her doppelganger, who is about to commit a suicide, to live further.

5. Chinatown (1974) – Evelyn Mulwray
China Town (1974) - Evelyn Mulwray
Sometime in the late ‘30s the former policeman Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) runs a successful detective agency in Los Angeles. He receives a nondescript order to verify the fidelity of a husband and involves himself more and more in a knotty murder case. After Gittes discovers that the allegedly “worried” wife has been posing as the wrong person, the real wife,
Evelyn (Faye Dunaway), shows up and threatens a lawsuit. Gittes does not trust it and continues his investigation. He is in pursuit of strange machinations, in which powerful people from the region seem to be involved. While Gittes feels the dangerousness of his investigation the hard way, a romance develops between him and Evelyn Cross Mulwray.
Evelyn is, from beginning to end, an obscure and ominous woman, who is always mysterious and unforeseeable. As she slowly builds more confidence in Gittes, she reveals only a few details from her past. Among other things, Gittes learns that she has been undermined in her authority by her father because she got married to his business partner.
Another time she confesses that she has always had difficulties being involved with only one man. She also lies to him regarding the young blond girl in her care. Once she claims it was her sister, and then that it was her daughter. The tragedy is that there is truth in both statements. From a classic femme fatale, the role evolves into a “Bad Good Girl.” She is a tragic figure because she is rather abused by her closest family and used as a tool rather than a malicious manipulator.

4. L.A. Confidential (1997) – Lynn Bracken
L.A. Confidential (1997) - Lynn Bracken
A cold Christmas day in 1953 in Los Angeles: while Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) works for the drugs squad, he feels more at home in the glamorous world of Hollywood. He provides sensitive information to the publisher of the gossip sheet Hush Hush. Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito) supplies him with confidential information and may in turn afford a luxurious life that would be unimaginable for the salary of an ordinary policeman.
Officer Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a rough, choleric type of policeman, who especially hates violent husbands. Lt. Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce), by contrast, always works hypercorrectly and in view of his career prospects. He takes his job so seriously that he also delivers his colleagues on a wrong offense. All three police officers could not be more different. It is only when a mass murder occurs in a fast food restaurant and a police officer gets killed that they are forced to work together.
Among the dead is also a woman White has recently seen with a broken nose in the car of the millionaire Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn). Patchett is known to be powerful in the pornography business and runs an exclusive call-girl agency. He lets the women undergo a beauty surgery so that they may look like big Hollywood movie stars. One of these call girls is Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger). During his investigations on the murdered call girl, White gets to know the platinum blond Bracken and falls in love with her.
Lynn Bracken is silent as the grave. The viewer is never sure whether her silence is a sign that she is scared to stand soon on the death list or whether she holds secrets of the Fleur-de-Lis agency. Undeniably, it is a fact that she acts as a tool for blackmailing important people because she deliberately lets frivolous photos of her and her customers be taken.

3. The Last Seduction (1994) – Bridget Gregory
The Last Seduction (1994)
Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino) is a seductive, intelligent beauty who is married to Clay (Bill Pullman), a wealthy doctor. He tolerates her whims, but gradually loses patience with her because she involves him in criminal actions. After she was able to persuade him to sell medical cocaine to dubious drug dealers, shortly thereafter she flees with the stolen money and hides herself in a small American town.
Clay’s desperation grows immeasurably because he needs the million dollars to pay a debt to a loan shark. He hires a detective to look for his missing wife. Bridget realizes along the way that only the murder of her husband is the solution for her. She gets to know the gullible village hero Mike Swale (Peter Berg), and twists his mind, turning him into a puppet for her deadly games.
Bridget is a modern variation of a business-oriented femme fatale, who is only focused on her own selfish interests. Most of the time one has the impression that she is bored by men because she only uses them as a means to reach her goal. Bridget is a gifted marriage swindler, who pretends to love her “victims” in order to get them involved in criminal interactions. She has a special ability, namely to write backwards, which indicates that she has a skilled hand and forger qualities.
When the planned murder of her husband is not committed satisfactorily, she unconscionably takes the initiative and kills him with a self-defense spray. She does this so confidently and calmly as if she would kill an insect. Since Mike has seen through her game, she focuses her manipulation on his major weakness, the female seduction, and calls the police during the sexual act in order to frame him for a murder and rape.

2. Dangerous Liaisons (1988) – Marquise de Merteuil
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Madame de Volanges (Swoosie Kurtz) wants her daughter Cécile (Uma Thurman) to marry the Conte de Gercourt. The jealous Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) plots revenge because until recently the Conte had been her devoted lover. The Marquise wins the trust of Cécile with ease and gets her to write salacious love letters to her music teacher, the Chevalier Danceny (Keanu Reeves).
Her former lover Viscount de Valmont (John Malkovich), who considers himself irresistible and indulges the reputation of an unpredictable libertine, is to deflower Cécile and pulls out all the stops to seduce Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer). The Viscount becomes entangled in the web of the Marquise and must ultimately pay with his life.
The Marquise de Merteuil is a cultured, refined, iron woman who has immense willpower. Although she teams up with the Viscount at the beginning, she makes philosophical experiments with his male ego. The Marquise is a woman who does not conform to her time as she secretly breaks every womanly convention and would never throw herself involuntarily into the arms of a man. She deals with her sexuality very openly and stresses that her favorite word is “revenge.”
When the Marquise notices that Valmont is probably in love for the first time in his life, her goal is to put his reputation into question and make him break the heart of the only woman who has ever meant something to him. In addition, she let Danceny know that Valmont has seduced Cécile.
But she goes too far with her game and ends up losing the Viscount in a sword duel. Moribund warns Danceny of the Marquise and asks him to bring in circulation letters that reveal the true character of the Marquise. The Marquise is completely devastated because of Valmont’s death.

1. Basic Instinct (1992) – Catherine Tramell
allvip.us Sharon Stone Basic Instinct 1992
The famous rock star Johnny Boz (Bill Cable) is brutally murdered in his bed. During a love act, he has been tied to the bed with a white silk scarf and stabbed with an ice pick. Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), the mistress of the murder victim, is instantly the main suspect for the investigators, detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) and Gus Moran (George Dzundza). Catherine claims not to have been with the victim on the night of the murder.
However, the publishing of her latest book, in which a rock star gets killed with an ice pick, also does not release her from guilt. After passing the police interrogation and the polygraph successfully, Catherine Tramell starts writing her new book. Her latest book deals with a police officer, a character similar to detective Curran, who falls in love with the wrong woman and gets murdered.
Catherine is the attractive femme fatale in person. She is especially dangerous because on the one hand, she is well-educated (she’s a psychologist and writer), and on the other hand, she is also vicious and driven by her sexual lust. She never distorts her face or loses her temper.
Even when she is sitting in a room full of male police officers, she uses skillful distraction. She flips her legs in order to show that she does not wear any underwear, and thus a legendary Hollywood scene was created. For Catherine, men are nothing more than toys and a nice pastime, as she actually has a passionate, open lesbian relationship.
Since she is driven by her senses, she also needs a direct inspiration, which she draws from her own experiences. She uses her lovers and the act of killing them as a template for her novels.

Author Bio: Natalie Wach (born 1987) is an independent film producer, script writer and director from Cologne, Germany. In 2011 she founded a video and film production called “United Rebels Production”, which stands for unconventional designs using newest technology.

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