Femme Noir: The Bad Girls of Film

Femme Noir: The Bad Girls of Film

by Karen Burroughs Hannsberry
     
 

What could be more unsettling than the steely look on Gene Tierney's face as she watches her young brother-in-law drown in Leave Her to Heaven? Or Barbara Stanwyck's voice in Double Indemnity as she coolly tells her lover that it is "straight down the line for both of us" in their plot to murder her husband.

Though often thought of as primarily male vehicles,

Overview

What could be more unsettling than the steely look on Gene Tierney's face as she watches her young brother-in-law drown in Leave Her to Heaven? Or Barbara Stanwyck's voice in Double Indemnity as she coolly tells her lover that it is "straight down the line for both of us" in their plot to murder her husband.

Though often thought of as primarily male vehicles, films noirs offered some of the most complex female roles of any movies of the 1940s and 1950s. Stars such as Stanwyck, Tierney and Crawford produced some of their finest performances in noir, while such lesser known actresses as Peggie Castle, Hope Emerson and Helen Walker made a lasting impression on moviegoers with their roles in the genre. These six women and 43 others who were most frequently featured in films noirs are profiled here, focusing primarily on their work in the genre and its impact on their careers. A filmography of all noir appearances is provided for each actress.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
welcome...an excellent film biography of each star...an essential purchase for all film collections
Booklist
fascinating...striking black-and-white studio portrait[s]
Choice
beguilingly written...entertaining to read
Booknews
Alphabetical entries profile the 49 actresses most frequently featured in the movies of the film noir era, focusing primarily on their work in the genre and its impact on their careers. Though often thought of as male vehicles, film noir offered some of the most complex female roles of the 1940s and 1950s. Actresses listed include Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Veronica Lake, Ida Lupino, Jane Russell, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Tierney, and Shelley Winters. A filmography of all noir appearances is provided for each actress. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786404292
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/1998
Pages:
643
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.64(d)

Meet the Author

Karen Burroughs Hannsberry is also the author of Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir (2003) and editor of the bimonthly film noir newsletter The Dark Pages. She lives in Chicago.

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