femme fatale

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femme fatale

A mysterious and attractive woman who puts men in dangerous or compromising situations. James Bond is always able to see through the evil plot of the femme fatale.
See also: fatale, femme
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(be) a ˌfemme faˈtale

(from French) a beautiful woman that men find sexually attractive but who brings them trouble or unhappiness: The movie follows the relationship between sexy femme fatale Suzy and young lawyer Jim, which eventually leads to a murderous crime of passion.
The meaning of the French expression is ‘disastrous woman’.
See also: fatale, femme
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

femme fatale

An attractive woman who is, for one reason or another, dangerous. French for “fatal woman,” the term has been used in English since about 1900, and today it is often used more ironically than seriously. Michael Arlen used it in The Green Hat (1924): “So you heard about it from that femme fatale, did you?” Much more recently Richard Dyer used it in the sense of “very glamorous” in describing the singer who played the leading role in the opera Carmen: “She’s physically and vocally limber, and revels in her femme-fatale look” (Boston Globe, March 24, 2005).
See also: fatale, femme
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It's not an entirely convincing argument--Fonda brings nuance to her role, which Gledhill largely disregards--but the neatness of Klute's conclusion is certainly a world away from the independence exhibited by the best femmes fatales.
That's especially true when these femmes fatales edge towards the 'sex perversion' (26) expressly forbidden by the Hays Code, as in Basic Instinct's controversial depiction of its female characters as bisexual killers.
The film's femme fatale--or femmes fatales, two characters played by Patricia Arquette--is implied to be a construct of the male subconscious within the film itself; she is, literally, a male fantasy.
Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis.
He also was familiar with Beardsley's iconic images of femmes fatales. (7) Attention to Faulkner's reading in decadence is frequently presented as biographical background or source study, and when discussed in this manner, the femme fatale frequently assumes significance as an indicator of Faulkner's artistic development.
Rather than ground my discussion of the changes in Faulkner's femmes fatales in a biographical narrative of artistic maturation, I wish to highlight the extent to which the figure's meaning was in flux as Faulkner was drawing upon it.
Gorman's "Lilith, Lilith" (45), femmes fatales literally appear one after another.
The couple killed themselves the day after they were married, so maybe there's a moral in the story for other femmes fatales.
To identify with this passage is, on the one hand, to reproduce the identification structure infilm noir with bad guys, femmes fatales, and neurotic detectives.
The dark, grimy, rain-soaked underworld of replicants on the run provides the backdrop for Blade Runner's femmes fatales it is their 'dark city'.
(21) The deaths of Blade Runner's two primary android femmes fatales serve to remind us that they are not 'people': Pris' screechy death throes are eerily inhuman, and Zhora's running through pane after pane of glass foregrounds her synthetic nature.