What is a Femme Fatale

Erik

New member
Fatal woman. A dangerous woman. A woman not to be messed with. A bad woman who destroys a good man: not by strength but by guile.

Okay, so this thread has been lying here for a long time and tonight I finally got around to clicking on it. I have not read it all but perhaps that is best in the interests of fairness.

I'm the Movie Guy. I'm the guy to ask your questions about movies with belly dancers (or movies without belly dancers), and the term femme fatale always reminded me of the character played by Mary Astor in "The Maltese Falcon."

In my 40+ years of watching movies I have noticed two kinds of male villains. One is the villain by design who is bad because he wants to be. The other is the villain by circumstance who is somehow pulled unwillingly into being a bad guy.

I speculate that perhaps a femme fatale may always be a villain by circumstance because she lives in a male-dominated society, and the absolute only way to achieve her goal is to be bad.
 
Last edited:

Erik

New member
Feminism includes acknowledging that some women can be as bad to the bone as some men. :D
I couldn't agree more, which is why the term femme fatale has become somewhat archaic here in the Third Millennium.

About an hour ago I started a thread on the IMDb called TRY TO SOLVE --- What movie took a century to be made? Watching the trailer on YouTube I noticed that she is different from the woman presented in the books. She is able to fight alongside her man. I like that! :D

John Carter - John and Dejah - YouTube
 
Last edited:

Ariadne

Well-known member
Edgar Rice Burroughs always did write very dominate female characters (*cough* who wore very little) as well as Fem Fatales, fainters, screamers, innocents, vicious schemers, and just about anything else you can think of. About the only thing they all had in common was a lack of clothing at some point in the story.
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
:think: Nope, don't remember any of that.

<- (Read the entire series multiple times when she was to innocent to know what that meant.)
 

Erik

New member
I've read six of them, and I have a seventh which I have not read yet. Wanted to have them all read by now but never did. I thought Tara and Thuvia were a bit more adventurous. Dejah was basically a beautiful prize to be won and protected. That wouldn't fly these days.

Times change. For instance, if you watch the old Batman series from the 1960's you'll never see Batgirl punch a villain with her fist. Only Batman and Robin were allowed to do that, but she could still kick.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Well, to be fair, I don't know that manhoods throbbed in Mr. Burroughs literary contributions. Once upon a time I owned a copy of a naughty romance called The Flame and the Flower that was so bad that it was hysterically funny. My college roommate and I used to read passages outloud anytime we'd had a particularly trying day. All the throbbling manhoods, heaving bosoms, and pounding pulses never failed to put us into a better albeit sillier frame of mind.
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
:lol: That sounds hilarious!

Mr. Burroughs didn't write romance though. He wrote "manly" books about "manly" men doing "manly" things. His men were to manly to even take note of the "heaving bosoms" and other displayed attributes (though that never stopped him from describing them ;) ) unless of course they were the kind of cads who were in need of a good thrashing, which of course his manly heroes were happy to provide. Evidently being properly manly also requires being a gentleman to boot.

What made Mr. Burroughs books stand out from the rest of the genre (other then his heroes being gentlemen) was that his main characters preferred women who could keep up with them. They either found someone who was already capable of taking care of themselves, "thank you very much" (though they might need rescuing now and then they were as likely to be the rescuer as well) or, having had the misfortune to fall in love with a "lady of deportment", it was only a few years before said lady was taking various adventures and misfortunes in stride with the best of them. All of which did my little amazon, preteen, heart good.
 

Erik

New member
I like Burroughs and haven't outgrown him yet. The gentleman hero, the differences between male and female, the politeness; we're losing that as the generations go by. I've also read the Moon series and the first book of the Venus series. Hoping to get around to Tarzan and Pellucidar someday.

Seems like the men didn't wear an excess of clothing in ERB's works either. I definitely recall John Carter describing himself arriving on Mars, "naked as the day I was born." In the new film he seems to be wearing a kilt, but to some folks it will be a skirt. Now that's one thing Mr. Neeson said that I agree with. A kilt is not a skirt, and a skirt is not a kilt. :)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
One of my favorite animated movies is Tarzan. I loved Minnie Driver's character. When after being attacked by monkey she thrust out her foot and proudly announced, "Daddy, they TOOK MY BOOT!" I giggled off and on for the next twenty minutes.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Who cares about accurate when the copyright is up and the result is such fun? The opening song is one of the best movie themes of all time.
 

Erik

New member
I think that if Paramount had followed through with its original plan to film A Princess of Mars there would have been more skin being shown, but Disney has always strived to be family-friendly. Back in the 80's Walt probably turned over in his grave when mermaids began showing their navels in movies with his name on them.

Regarding the screamers and fainters, they became annoying with repitition while watching older movies when I was a child. It was just an expected thing for the woman to either scream or faint, but exceptions can be found. The token female scientist on the rocket ship in "Queen of Blood" is a great example.
 
Last edited:

jaimeeligan

New member
Well, to be fair, I don't know that manhoods throbbed in Mr. Burroughs literary contributions. Once upon a time I owned a copy of a naughty romance called The Flame and the Flower that was so bad that it was hysterically funny. My college roommate and I used to read passages outloud anytime we'd had a particularly trying day. All the throbbling manhoods, heaving bosoms, and pounding pulses never failed to put us into a better albeit sillier frame of mind.
Ahahaha.. I remember these romance novels! Lots of allusions to "his hardness entering her softness" :)
 
Top