Here is the definition of femme fatale from wikipedia.
"A femme fatale is an alluring and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. She is an archetypal character of literature and art."
Well, that just screams Phyllis Dietrichson from Double Indemnity. But I wonder if you have ever realized that one of the most unlikely femme fatales is Eve Harrington in All About Eve (if you haven't seen it, then you may want to read a plot summary here). So ok, maybe she doesn't lead Loyd or Bill into deadly situations, but she certainly does end up making a pretty big mess of things for everyone around her, and ends up trying to seduce almost every male actor in the cast (except George Sanders, but why would anyone want to seduce him anyway?). Just take a look at those creepy eyes of hers.
Yesterday I watched Gilda, in which Rita Hayworth plays the gorgeous wife of an evil genious. She seems to be a character spiralling completely out of control, while causing destruction to all the men surrounding her. Some people may call that a femme fatal by definition, but I find the more subtle ones more interesting to watch sometimes. As soon as Rita walks into view as the gamourous Gilda, it is completely obvious that she means trouble. But when Barbara Stanwyck apears on the balcony of her Hollywood mansion in Double Indemnity, you wonder, even if just for a minute, if she really does want extra insurance for her husband.
Well I think it is time for another one of my crazy lists!
Top 5 Femme Fatales
1. Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (man, that's a killer to spell ;-D)
2. Eve Harrington in All About Eve
3. Gilda in... Gilda!
4. Rebecca in Rebecca(even though we never see her in the film)
5. The Bette (Bette Davis) in The Letter, she is just so cold and calculating. Mwa hahahaha!
Who is your top femme fatale?