The great femme fatales of cinema
What’s that, pally? You like your seductresses slinky, your bombshells blond? We not only have Sharon Stone in new ”unrated” special-edition DVDs of Basic Instinct and Sliver, we’ve got more recommendations for DVD dates with female devils and the men who eagerly sell their souls to them.
BARBARA STANWYCK in Double Indemnity (1944) Like Stone in Instinct, Stanwyck — her brunet tresses dyed blond — forces a sap who’s a cad (Michael Douglas, meet Fred MacMurray) to do things he shouldn’t oughta do, all for a dame and some dough.
KIM NOVAK in Vertigo (1958) For director Alfred Hitchcock, the blonde was frequently a talisman of trouble, vulnerability, and desire. Novak, deft and demure in a dual role, shatters poor neurotic Jimmy Stewart’s San Francisco soul — he literally falls for her.
CATHERINE DENEUVE in Belle de Jour (1967) A foreign smoldering-blonde entry: Deneuve plays a callow newlywed who starts hooking in a high-class Paris brothel. Director Luis Buñuel makes the virgin/whore cliché surreal, dangerous, and sensuous.
ANNETTE BENING in The Grifters (1990) As a wiggly, giggly, blond-streaked con artist who sets up John Cusack by letting him think he’s pulling the scam she’s conned him into executing, brainy Bening turns her shrewd bimbo role into a radiantly carnal performance.
NICOLE KIDMAN in To Die For (1995) Soon after Stone scissored her legs and snipped our brain stems with lust, Kidman was clouding men’s minds as an ambitious, flaxen-haired weathergirl with wanton murder in her blizzard-cold heart. Funny and scary.