Phantom ladies: the war worker, the slacker and the ‘femme fatale’

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The paper examines the debates over the femme fatale, and particularly the claim that this figure emerged as part of a reaction against the working women of wartime. On the contrary, the paper demonstrates that there was little sense of a unified, coherent or distinctive figure identified by reviewers at the time and that while there was a cycle of films featuring dangerous women, this cycle was largely associated with the start of the war, rather than its end, and associated these women with the figure of the slacker rather than the working woman. Indeed, many of these dangerous women were often overtly opposed to the figure of the independent woman of wartime, and the films within which they appeared were often identified with female rather than male audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-178
Number of pages15
JournalNew Review of Film and Television Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

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