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Fleshing Out the Film Noir Femme Fatale

Heather has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Moravian College and has been freelance writing for more than 13 years.

Since the dawn of Hollywood, it's been very image conscious

Everyone looked and played their parts perfectly

Those who didn't were banished to obscurity

In movies, actors and actresses often fell into their roles

The sex symbol, the blond bombshell and the mysterious one

Once the dice was rolled, the archetype was born

An image that stuck with them for the course of their lifetime

Even when the cameras stopped rolling; they had to continue

Playing their parts after the script pages ran out

Forced to pretend to be someone else to get tickets sold

Tabloid pages printed by the boatload to keep checkout lines filled

Noir films designed to showcase the glamorous and the dangerous

In equal and captivating measures to appeal to the eyes of the world

Those like Barbara Stanwyck and Lana Turner fit in perfectly

Bombshells with hidden depths of danger to intrigue and scare away

Both excelled at playing characters one side good and the other lethal

Two sides of a very complex coin that demonstrated a lot

Was lurking beneath the surface whenever they came onscreen

Sold sex appeal and danger every single time

Sure, some of the films weren't always up to par

Images laced with traps that aged actresses out of lucrative careers

When they reached a certain age of supposedly diminished appeal

Turner had her own noir filled real life played out in the press

Became the real life moll to an abusive gangster

Only escaped when her daughter defended her mother

Caused a major trial that led to some sensation media coverage

Some that believed Turner gave an even better performance

On the witness stand than she ever did in front of the camera

A tale where fame mixed with infamy came into play

Hard to live up to once the mayhem died down

Led to typecasting and quality roles trickling away to youthful fare

Drying up the highlight of decent mystery for decades to come

Where the women were blond and calculating

And the men dressed in black suits and a black eye to boot

What happened to the dames once the spotlight faded?

Were they any less dangerous?

Hard to say at this point.

An image of beauty and hidden depth that many never notice.

An image of beauty and hidden depth that many never notice.

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