R0N asked this question on 4/1/2000:
how differently are women portrayed in noir films noir in comparison to the way they were portrayed in the 4os and 50s
jatin1 gave this response on 4/1/2000:
noir films use women,s sexual attractiveness and ruthless cunning to manipulate men in order to gain power, independence and money. she rejects the conventional role of devoted wife and loving mother that mainstream society prescirbes for women, and in the end her trangression of social norms leads to her own destruction and the destruction of the men who are attracted to her. film noir's portrayal of the femme fatale, therefore would seem to support the existing social order, and particularly its rigidly defined gender roles, by building up the powerful independent women, only to punish her in the end. but a closer look will suggest something else. even when it depicts woman as dangerous and worthy of destruction, it also shows that women are confined by the roles traditionlly open to them, that their destructive struggle for independence is a response to the restrictions that men place on them. moreover these films view the entire world , not just independent women as dangerous, corrupt and irrational. they contain no presciption for how woman should act and few balancing examples of happy marriages, and their images of conventional women are often bland to the point of parody. it is the image of the powerful, fearless and independent femme fatale that stciks in our minds when these movies end, perhaps because she, unlike powerful women in other hollywood films of the 30s and 40s, remains true to her destructive nature and refuses to be converted or captured, even if it means that she must die. women are often presented as prizes and desirable objects for the men of these films. the audience for film noir is less interested in the what then in the how, more interested in character than in plot, and therefore the resolution of the plot with the destruction of the femme fatale is far less significant that the independence and power of femme fatale. best noir films: 1)out of the past 2)double indemnity 3)lady from shanghai 4)the big sleep 5)the maltesse falcon
The average rating for this answer is 4.