Weekend Cinema Listomania (Special Femme Fatale Edition)

on May 09, 2008 by Steve Simels

On May 22, Harrison Ford returns as the iconic titular hero in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the fourth installment in Steven Spielberg's ongoing homage to the cliffhanger serials of the 30s and 40s. Fans may argue about whether Ford has gotten a little too protracted in the molar to embody the swashbuckling Indy, but frankly, I don't care. I'm going to see it for Cate Blanchett, in a jet black wig, playing a slinky Commie bitch Soviet agent.

Seriously -- from what I can tell from the trailer, she's even sexier than she was last year as a skinny, androgynous speedfreak Bob Dylan in I'm Not There. Although perhaps I've already said too much...

In any case, the weekend is upon us and as usual things will be quiet around here until Monday. So while we wait, here's another little project to tide us all over --

Hottest Villainess, in a Genre Film or Generally!!!

Okay, here's my totally top of my head Top Five:

5. Gale Sondergaard -- The Spider Woman (1944) One of the best of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes flicks, due more than a little to Sondergaard's elegant and slightly disturbing sensuality. Sondergaard, in high glamor-puss makeup and costume, actually tested for the role of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz; she didn't get the part, obviously, but in losing it she may have inadvertently spared several generations of kids their first encounter with the concept of wicked as sexy.

4. Myrna Loy -- The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) Believe it or not, at this point in her pre-Thin Man career, Loy was pretty much typecast as a wily Oriental temptress. Here, as Fu's daughter, she scratches her six-inch-nails across the bare chest of slab-of-beef hero Charles Starrett, and then tells Boris Karloff "He's very attractive, isn't he, father...for a white man?"

3. Barbara Steele -- Black Sunday (1960) The indisputed scream queen of Italian gothic horror films, here at her absolute sexiest as an undead witch. Somebody once said of Steele "She's the only woman who ever lived who can snarl with her eyebrows."

2. Dyanne Thorne -- Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1974) Uh...perhaps I've already said too much. Again.

And the number one, no question about it, who are we kidding it's not even a contest, is --

1. The Queen -- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) I don't care if she is a cartoon -- she's still a babe.

Alrighty -- who would your choices be?

Tags: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchet, The Spider Woman, The Mask of Fu Manchu, Black Sunday, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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