Oscar-worthy Movie: Double Indemnity (1944)
If a gun was put to our heads by a saucy minx with legs that just won't quit, and we were asked "Who's the best femme fatale?" we'd stutter out a simple, "Barbara Stanwyck." And then quiver.
Stanwyck's Hollywood career lasted just shy of four decades, with 85 movies to her name. Then, she moved on to television. In both mediums, she was an unstoppable force. An orphan raised in foster homes during her childhood, Stanwyck became the highest paid woman in the U.S. in 1944.
Stanwyck, a favorite of directors Cecil B. DeMille and Frank Capra, was loved by her castmates and crew (she knew the names of their wives and their children), but she had the capacity to play the coldest of cold lady villains. The film that earned her the title of "most notorious femme fatale" was the iconic noir Double Indemnity. Stanywick embodied one of the greatest bad girls of film, Phyllis Dietrichson, who easily flirts her way to convincing an insurance agent to murder her husband so she can collect the life insurance.
While Stanywick did earn (earn, not win) an honorary Oscar in 1982, we'll never forgive the Academy for neglecting to bow down at least one of the four times she was nominated for "Best Actress," including for her Double Indemnity performance.