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The femme fatale movie characters were always among the favorites with the movie-goers. Basically, these are female characters who rely on their beauty and seduction techniques to get what they want in life. Unfortunately for men who are hypnotized by their devilish charm, it often leads to dangerous and even lethal situations. Regardless of their sinful nature, however, we still love seeing them on the screen, so here are 5 of the greatest femme fatale characters ever.
Evelyn Mulwray (Chinatown 1974)
The plot of the 1974 thriller Chinatown follows a private detective called Jake Gittes as he investigates a seemingly straightforward case of marital infidelity. In the process, he learns not only that the case is far more complex than he initially thought, but that the woman who hired him isn’t really the target’s wife. The real life that appears afterward and with whom Gittes starts an affair is what can only be described as a femme fatale. Evelyn Mulwray is mysterious, deceptive, but most important of all, incredibly luscious. Though her character is both the victim and the villain, she still fulfills her role as a femme fatale.
Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction 1987)
Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Michael Douglas was the go-to man when it came to playing somewhat relatable but still sleazy married men. The Fatal Attraction from 1987 became an instant classic and made way for other dangerous, female overly-obsessive characters later on. Michael Douglas plays Dan Gallagher, a successful lawyer who, after a one night stand with a beautiful editor Alex Forrest, can’t seem to get rid of her. Soon after, she starts stalking him, threatening to reveal his secrets and even becomes homicidal at one point. Alex is one of those femme fatales who don’t really use subtlety to get what they want. Alex is the monster that hides behind every femme fatale but doesn’t always come out.
Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct 1992)
We’ve already mentioned that Douglas was the most popular choice for those characters who need to deal with dangerous women, which is why he starred in yet another femme fatale classic, Basic Instinct in 1992. He plays a cop investigating the murder of a rock star. The main suspect is his frequent lover, the gorgeous Catherine Tramell, played by the one and only Sharon Stone. The whole point of the film is that everyone knows she is the killer, and she’s even written a book detailing her crime (as fiction, of course). However, the fact that she is a masterful manipulator and a tremendous liar make it difficult to prove anything. Catherine is an intelligent, spiteful woman who is a personification of sex and a true femme fatale.
Laure Ash (Femme Fatale 2002)
You can tell how much the concept of a deadly attractive woman is appealing by the fact that it managed to survive through various decades and always reinvented itself. In 2002, yet another femme fatale movie appeared, this time with a straightforward title and voluptuous Rebecca Romijn in the title role. Rebecca plays a former jewel thief whose past comes back to haunt her and she struggles to get away. At first, the plot may seem simple, but the fact that the movie was directed by the incredibly creative Brian de Palma tells you that you’re in for a surprise. The film also stars Antonio Banderas and Peter Coyote, but truth be told, no one cares as Rebecca owns the screen.
Mallorie Cobb (Inception 2010)
Finally, just to show that the femme fatale idea will never die, there’s the more recent masterpiece by Christopher Nolan – Inception. Sure, the film was panned later on by the audiences for its many plot holes, but that’s just because of the incredible hype all films get nowadays. Leonardo Di Caprio is Dom Cobb, a man who enters people’s dreams to find secrets or implant ideas. However, he is constantly troubled by one of his greatest nightmares – his late wife, Mal Cobb, played beautifully by Marion Cotillard. Marion is no stranger to somewhat devilish female characters, but Mal Cobb is among the special ones. The dream version of Dom’s wife is an unforgiving saboteur who manipulates him and skillfully uses his affections. Despite all that, he still adores her and looking at Marion, who wouldn’t?
What is your favorite femme fatale movie character? Let us know in the comment section below.