Thursday, 23 June 2011

Femme Fatale:Lauren Bacall

I absolutely love femme fatales, spawned by the film noir genre I find it a fascinating role in film. I think it's reductive to view these women as bad guys because often they were scapegoated, used to hang the blame on. I love the power they have, the way they used their wiles, intelligence and sexuality to snare hapless and not so hapless men into their traps. But ultimately it always ends badly for them I hear you say, they get their cumuppance! But does it really always end terribly for them? In film and in real life? I'm on a quest to discover some of cinema's best and most interesting femme fatales and I'll be charting them here.

I've talked about Barbara Stanwyck already briefly but my ultimate femme fatale has to be Lauren Bacall. I just love her. She is the prototype! The stunning, sultry, vampish looks, the killer seductive husky voice, that fierce, intelligent glint in the eyes. The trademark look, and the coolness, oh the coolness of LB is unsurpassed by any other actress of that time. Born to Jewisish parents, I almost get the impression that Bacall came into this world too knowing. The way she more than held her own at the age of nineteen in To Have and Have Not opposite husband to be Humphrey Bogart is seriously impresive. She strikes me as gutsy and I love ballsy women. She charmed Bogart who was already married at the time. The Big Sleep, Key Largo and How to Marry a Millionaire are her other classics but she has a number of brilliant performances. I'll watch anything she's in. She's just too good.

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