Nobody downloaded yet

Film Noir's Femme Fatale - Book Report/Review Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
The image of the femme fatale has been one of the most enduring features of Hollywood films from the earliest silent features to movies being released today. This analysis will explore the notion of whether the femme fatale is essentially a male creation designed for a predominantly male audience…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER95.6% of users find it useful
Film Noirs Femme Fatale
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"Film Noir's Femme Fatale"

Download file to see previous pages A brief discussion of the femme fatale through history will provide a useful historical background upon which the two films can be cast. The phrase literally means "deadly woman" or "fatal woman" in English, and throughout history she has been portrayed as sexually insatiable and dangerous. Early examples are the Sumerian goddess Ishtar and the Bible's Delilah. In the Twentieth century, Mata Hari :- exotic dancer, irresistible seducer of men and executed spy - sums up the dangerous combination of sexual magnetism and amorality that is meant to typify the figure. As Dijkstra (1988) has suggested, the cultural clich of the female as dangerous siren was developed by the early 1900's and has continued until the present day. It may be more hidden today, but it still exists. Movies are not created in a vacuum; they are developed, produced and eventually released within a particular economic, cultural and political milieu that changes with time. A comparison of two films made in 1944 and 1992 must take into account the radically different landscapes in which they were created in order to understand how their femme fatales were portrayed. In 1942 the so-called "Code" enforced by the Hayes Code was in force in American films. This listed certain ideas, lines, themes, subject-matter and even types of clothing which could not appear in films without incurring the wrath of the censors. The film industry more or less accepted the strictures of the Code until the late 1960's.
The influence of censorship on 1942's Double Indemnity is illustrated by the fact that an alternative ending, in which the murderers go to the gas chamber, was shot, but never shown. The actual ending is much milder, even though the criminal does get his just deserts. The femme fatale in this film is named Phyllis Dietrichson, and was played in a an Oscar-winning performance by Barbara Stanwyck. The plot creates a classic femme fatale scenario. Dietrichson is unhappily married, seduces another man, Walter Neff, and persuades him to kill her husband in order to receive the "double indemnity" insurance payment of the film's title.
The whole story is told from the point of view of the now convicted criminal who has committed the murder. Thus the film's happenings are seen through the eyes of a "man" who has been persuaded into the act of murder by a "woman". This is thus a clear example of a kind of male gaze. The male gaze is a complex idea that essentially argues that women are often created in the eyes of men within the mass media in general, and within movies in particular. At the time Double Indemnity was made everyone involved in the film industry was men (except of course for actresses) so the creation of a film, whether one takes the auteur theory of a single man's vision or the group creation theory, is essentially a male process.
As one scholar puts it, "when you look at an object, you are seeing more than the thing itself: you are seeing the relation between the ting and yourself." (it.stlawu, 2006) In one of the more famous sections of the film, the narrator describes meeting his femme fatale for the first time, and appeals to what seems to be a totally male audience for their sympathy towards what subsequently occurred:

WALTER: It was a hot afternoon, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Film Noir's Femme Fatale Book Report/Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3000 words”, n.d.)
Film Noir's Femme Fatale Book Report/Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3000 words. Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/performing-arts/1507265-film-noirs-femme-fatale
(Film Noir'S Femme Fatale Book Report/Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3000 Words)
Film Noir'S Femme Fatale Book Report/Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3000 Words. https://studentshare.org/performing-arts/1507265-film-noirs-femme-fatale.
“Film Noir'S Femme Fatale Book Report/Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3000 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/performing-arts/1507265-film-noirs-femme-fatale.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
CHECK THESE SAMPLES - THEY ALSO FIT YOUR TOPIC
Femme Fatale
...Femme Fatale Symbolism was a late 19th Century movement that hailed from the French, Belgium and Russian poetry and arts. The word symbolism originates form two Latin words, symbolum meaning faith and symbolus meaning a sign of recognition. It was a remedy to the conservative society that limited the free expressions of one’s creativity and faith. It is therefore, indirect representations of absolute truths via images and objects, both suggestively and metaphorically. In literature, it started with publications of “Le fleurs du mal” (flowers of evil )by Charles Baudalaire who also greatly admired and later on translated works of Edgar Allan Poe forming the basis for stock tropes and images. Symbolism was...
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay
Review of film noir
...My own definition and understanding Noir Defining what exactly is Noir is difficult. It is so difficult that even experts are still debating on how to classify it. Everyone seems to have their own opinion about it whether is a legitimate genre, a fad or just a group of movie with a common plot, rendering and theme ("The Maltese Falcon", "Laura", "Murder, My Sweet", "Double Indemnity", and "The Woman in the Window”). To formulate my own understanding and eventually my own definition about Noir, it would be necessary to put in perspective on how it started and eventually developed. The common consensus of Noir films beginning was in 1941 with the...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Film Noir
...characteristics are absent. The narrative is straight forward, with no complicated flashbacks or character struggles. James Bond films can never be classified as noir, for despite having strong sexual motives, femme fatales and a hardheaded spy, but rather than gloom, Bond movies focus fundamentally on glamour and action as he fights his way out of an enemy’s lair. Also, there is an absence of a valid message in such detective movies because they do not focus on any aspect of society that may have any pertinence to real life. (Gates 12) The entire social fabric had been greatly weakened by the wars that ended up with many people being displaced from their homeland. They...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Women in film Noir
... unit. So film noir’s evolution during wartime was dependent upon the prevalent social values trumpeted by the family unit. Women were the homemakers and caregivers in society and they were attacked in filmnoir to shake the foundations of the secure family environment. The women then experience gender role conflict as they faced the dilemma of whether to sacrifice and suffer in silence or to fight back. Film noir would make the circumstances so adverse that the woman had no choice but to fight back. Blaser had conveniently categorized the three classes of film noir women; the femme fatale, the nurturing woman and the marriage seeker. Each of these categories of film noir women have ‘dark’ traits that contrast... , Sheri...
7 Pages(1750 words)Movie Review
Film Noir Scorsese and fhe Gangster Film
...Film Noir Scorsese & The Gangster Film The gangster film genre has been established as one of the signature aspects of Hollywood Americana in cinema. While many credit the 1932 film Scar Face as being one of the key films to cement gangster films as a genre, it is actually the film noir era that actually popularized the role of the ambiguously moral protagonist that has become so familiar to fans of gangster films. The 1941 film The Maltese Falcon, based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett and directed by John Huston, has been deemed as the quintessential...
3 Pages(750 words)Movie Review
Cleopatra: Tragic Heroine or Femme Fatale
...Cleopatra: Tragic Heroine or Femme Fatale? The novel Anthony and Cleopatra is deliberately named, as it encompasses the oppositional relationships of the two lovers. While Anthony embodies the character of a noble and virtuous Roman power wielder, Cleopatra embodies the character of a hyper-sexualized Eastern woman who has an ever lasting impact on the audience. Although their profiles are different, both show intense love relationship and consideration for each other. The author has skilfully delineated the character of Cleopatra and has made her an eternal character in the literary world. In this paper we analyses the character of Cleopatra in order to prove that she is a true tragic Heroin rather than...
5 Pages(1250 words)Assignment
Characteristics of Film Noir
...make wisecracks like in Mitchum in 1947’s “Out of the Past”. The wisecracker’s daring witticism and angry replies are risky and hilarious. For the audience, these aspects are impressive since the character, despite knowing they have messed up, cares less solely depending on their fast tongues and wits for rescue. Lighting in film noir scenes does not just involve light addition (Westcombe). Instead, lighting is used to form shadows which to the audience depict that danger prowls around the corner. Lighting in film noir should come from the sides as this varies the intensity across the person and creates depth to the subject through appending dimension...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Film noir
...Towards a Definition of Film Noir (1955 In the excerpt Towards a Definition of Film Noir, Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton address the problem of defining film noir. The main issue is the diversity and interrelationships across genres that make the task daunting. While the term film noir may have been coined by influential critics in France, the birthplace of the genre is Hollywood. Many adjectives come to mind when thinking of film noir, but any given film can contain any permutation of these qualities. For example, qualities such as night-marish,...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Film Noir
...Film Noir According to Spicer, one of the most arresting traits of film neo-noir is how it depicts the male protagonist who lacks such qualities as courage, tenacity, incorruptibility and dynamism (47). All of these qualities characterize the prototypal American hero who, hence, functions as antiheroes. He continues to argue that the distinctive noir male agonist is weak, unstable, confused and ineffectual. They are damaged men suffering from a range of psychological neuroses and unable to figure out and resolve the problems they often face. Film noir will always remain something of a mystery. Hence, the significance of...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Why is Helen a Femme Fatale
...Helen of Troy as a Femme Fatale of School Helen of Troy as a Femme Fatale According to dictionary terminology, the phrase ‘femme fatale,’ is used to describe a woman as “a very attractive woman who causes trouble or unhappiness for the men who become involved with her,” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). As one of the most notable women in literature and mythology, Helen of Troy, was a woman of amazing beauty and her appeal throughout literature notes that she was irresponsible in her actions and it eventually led to the Trojan War. However, this leads to her being treated as an object rather than a person, putting much weight on the shoulders of one woman for the cause of one war. Helen of Troy live about the time of 1194 B.C. She... was...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Book Report/Review on topic Film Noir's Femme Fatale for FREE!
logo footer
Contact us:
+16312120006
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • StudentShare App Store
  • StudentShare Google play
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us