Thursday Movie Picks: Femme Fatales

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

As you know, each week has a different theme and this time around we are talking Femme Fatales. I have to admit that I really struggled to come up with movies at first, but I’m very determined to make that theme my own. By definition, a femme fatale is often a mysterious, beautiful and seductive woman, who’s charms ensnare people, leading them into compromising or deadly situations. Let’s get started!

Promising Young Woman

This is still one of my most favorite movies of the year and I won’t pass up an opportunity to mention it. Cassandra dressed herself in various ways to appeal to men, giving them the chance to act decently or horribly instead. What she did to them after they showed their true face is entirely their fault.

Jennifer’s Body

Jennifer, too, used her body to get guys’ attention and then … well, should I spoil the movie? I feel like it’s a classic and you all should know what happens next.

Atomic Blonde

I loved Charlize Theron in this role and falling for her will 100% put you in danger, something she sometimes does on purpose. Also, such a good soundtrack! Suppose I’ve just always liked the 80s and German music.

Practical Magic

This is probably not a movie you’d think about right away with the theme “femme fatale”, but both sisters have quite a fatal touch. I mean … think about it! Still one of my favorite witch/magic movies though. I’ve seen it so many times and still adore it.

Nightmare Alley

This movie isn’t released yet, but because I enjoyed sharing movies in the Outlaws post that I’m looking forward to, I wanted to include this one as well. It does look fantastic.

What are some movies featuring a femme fatale that you enjoyed? Let’s talk!

17 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Femme Fatales

  1. You surprised me with Practical Magic but yes it does fit though those girls aren’t quite as mercenary as most femme fatales. A nice quirky choice.

    I enjoyed Atomic Blonde, I don’t remember the soundtrack though, Charlize has the right attitude for a tough number like that.

    I never had much desire to see Jennifer’s Body but Promising Young Woman is high on my to see list. Hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

    I was extremely leery of this take on Nightmare Alley since the original Tyrone Power film is so masterfully dark with a pitch perfect femme fatale performance by the great Helen Walker as the aptly named Lilith. But then I read that they are staying more with the book than this adaptation and the preview is a good one so now I’m curious.

    I plunged full bore into the pivotal post-war noir period for mine since it is loaded with femme fatales. I could have done dozens but i kept it down to four that I really love.

    Murder, My Sweet (1944)-Private dick Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) is hired by lumbering Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) fresh from the slammer to track down his former girlfriend Velma. Simultaneously he’s commissioned to accompany flashy playboy Lindsay Marriott (Douglas Walton) to buy back a stolen necklace. When the exchange goes wrong and the playboy is murdered Marlowe can’t leave the case alone, and soon discovers it’s related to Malloy’s. As he pursues answers he is drawn deeper into a complex web of intrigue by the sweet Ann Grayle (Anne Shirley in her final film) and her detested stepmother, the mysterious and potentially lethal Helen (Claire Trevor). Suddenly the detective finds his own life in increasing jeopardy. A seminal film in the noir canon which turned the already famous Claire Trevor into the acknowledged Queen of Noir.

    Hangover Square (1945)-In Victorian London composer George Bone (Laird Cregar) is struggling to complete his concerto, the stress of which is causing periods of blackouts where he fears he is committing unspeakable acts. Instructed by his doctor (George Sanders) to relax Bone begins to frequent a dance hall and becomes obsessed with the beautiful but duplicitous saloon singer Netta (Linda Darnell). Netta leeches onto the hapless musician manipulating him with false promises to extract songs to further her career. When George realizes he’s being played for a fool destruction is eminent for all. This was famed villain Cregar’s shot at leading man stardom which he desperately craved. A big man who tipped the scale at over 300 lbs. he went on a crash diet to lose 100 of those before production began leading to a heart attack and his death at 29 shortly after the film’s completion.

    Too Late for Tears (1949)-With the cops in hot pursuit fleeing robber Danny Fuller (Dan Duryea) frantically tosses a valise full of cash from his car with it fortuitously landing in the passing car of Jane and Alan Palmer (Lizabeth Scott & Arthur Kennedy). The Palmers at first plan to return the money but then Jane realizes she can escape her humdrum life and transforms into a rapacious and ruthless schemer who will do whatever is necessary to keep the loot no matter the cost or who will have to pay.

    Human Desire (1954)-After instigating a fight brutish Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford) is canned from his railroad job. Bitter and frenzied he coerces his young wife Vicki (Gloria Grahame) to use her wiles on her former paramour Mr. Owens (Grandon Rhodes) now Carl’s boss to try to gain his job back. It works, but Carl in a jealous rage convinces himself that Vicki and Owens are involved romantically and murders the man, forcing Vicki to become his accomplice. Sick of her husband’s violent ways, Vicki seduces Jeff (Glenn Ford), one of Carl’s coworkers, and ensnares him in a plot to murder her husband but that path may lead to doom for them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad I could surprise you in a positive way with some of my picks, and that the preview of Nightmare Alley at least got you a little curious!

      I have to admit that the 40s and 50s are definitely a period of film that are out of my comfort zone. I think I know Austrian and German movies from the later 50s at most, but not much beyond that. You sure picked some interesting ones though!


  2. I love the original Nightmare Alley which is so dark and a great role for Tyrone Power. This newer version has me intrigued. I have not seen Jennifer’s Body but i heard it has a cult status following. i may check it out. Promising Young Woman seems to be the pick for this week. I love that you went with practical magic which totally works. I just re-watched Atomic Blonde which is great and how I love the music which is all 80s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope the new version of Nightmare Alley will be able to capture you as well! I think Jennifer’s Body is fun, as long as you go into it with moderate expectations haha but yes, it totally has a cult following by now!
      80s music is some of the best!


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