The 50 Hottest Femmes Fatales of All Time

Drop-dead gorgeous.

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Complex Original

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The femme fatale is an old and oft implemented archetype in film. Whereas most female characters are doting or damsels, the femme fatale is seductive, in the most manipulative manner, and she keeps some of our favorite leading men under pressure in many a classic scenario. Broke husband in jail? Upgrade to his rich boss. Hot wife trapped in a loveless marriage? No problem, murder him for the money and gas a private eye to cover for you. We're talking ruthless women who leave simpering, gullible men broken-hearted in their wake at best, but a dead body or three isn't out of the question either if the situation calls for it.

Complex has counted down the best of the best: the most mysterious, deadliest, alluring, triple-crossing and, most importantly, hottest dames to ever grace the silver screen. Read on for The 50 Hottest Femmes Fatales Of All Time.

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50. Sherry Peatty

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Played By: Marie Windsor
Movie: The Killing (1956)

The scheming wife to George Peatty, a small part of an elaborate racetrack heist, is fed up with his tenure as provider and decides it's time for new management, namely her side-lover Val. When George makes the fatal mistake of letting Sherry in on the plans, she enlists Val to kill George and the rest of the gang when they complete the heist and take the money for themselves. So, basically the best laid plans come crashing down because one guy couldn't respect the bros-over-hoes rule regarding his thirsty wife. The moral of the story: Keep your circle tight and the information even tighter.

49. Debby Marsh

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Played By: Gloria Grahame
Movie: The Big Heat (1950)

Debby Marsh has no delusions or shame about being a mobster's girl, as evidenced by her classic line, "I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better." She starts out engaged in a violent, masochistic relationship with syndicate second-in-command Vince Stone (Lee Marvin), but quickly ends up aligned with avenging cop and mob nemesis Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) after Stone, fed up with her, disfigures her face with a hot pot of coffee.

This being a noir, she inevitably gets exacting revenge on Stone and helps Bannion take down the entire syndicate, with her equally rogue brand of justice. Upon crossing paths with Bertha Duncan (Jeannette Nolan), a fellow shameless benefactor of mob corruption, she shoots her fellow "sister under the mink" in cold blood. Hell hath no fury like a woman scalded and scorned.

48. Natalie

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Played By: Carrie Anne Moss
Movie: Memento (2000)

As a bartender who meets the short-term memory plagued Leonard (Guy Pearce) while he investigates his wife's murder, Natalie is helpful. However, she isn't above abusing his condition to serve her own short-term needs as well, like sending him after a drug dealer (Callum Keith Rennie) who she claims is harassing her. Leonard has no reason to distrust her, but her shady behavior and demeanor more than suggests to the audience that she's not to be taken at her word. Manipulating amnesiacs? There really is no honor among noir dames.

47. Alex Forrest

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Played By: Glenn Close
Movie: Fatal Attraction (1987)

Hands down, Alex Forrest is the most infamous, bat-shit crazy, stage-five clinger in cinematic history. Hell, by now, her domestic pet stew game is pop culture common knowledge. But that's not her only signature move; the other 118 other minutes of the film are devoted to making sure she will not be ignored, like by kidnapping one-time fling Dan's (Michael Douglas) daughter and trying to flat-out kill his wife. If there was ever a cautionary tale to leave these crazy broads alone, Fatal Attraction takes the definitive cake.

46. Mrs. Philips

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Played By: Lynn Baggett
Movie: D.O.A. (1950)

While trying to solve his own impending murder, notary Frank Bigelow discovers that Eugene Philips, a client of his, has just committed suicide, and the trail leads him to believe that he killed himself out of shame from selling dangerous chemical materials. But of course, it's more complex, and ultimately more simple, than that. As it turns out, Philips' wife was having an affair and wanted him out of the picture, with the stolen element providing the perfect cover story. It's always the most over-the-top solution possible with these noir wives.

45. Lily Carver

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Played By: Gaby Rodgers
Movie: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

The tri-plicitous Carver first lures P.I. Mike Hammer into finding the object (a mysterious box with valuable contents) of her and evil boss Dr. Soberin's obsession, only to turn on Soberin, too, in a greedy attempt to harness the peculiar power all for herself. Naturally, the contents of the box prove her self-promotion from evil-gal-Friday to big-boss was hasty, to say the least.

44. Lola-Lola

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Played By: May Britt
Movie: The Blue Angel (1959)

If you're going to stake a claim on the baddest chick for miles, then you better have your self-consciousness and jealousy in check. Oh, and speaking of checks, better have those in order as well, or else your reign as "Luckiest Man on the Planet" will be decidedly short-lived. Refined Professor Rath learns this the hard way through his whirlwind, fifteen minute romance to Lola-Lola, the alluring cabaret dancer who isn't big on unconditional love or patience.

43. Dorothy Vallens

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Played By: Isabella Rossellini
Movie: Blue Velvet (1986)

The mysterious lounge singer is at the center of a small suburban town's murder case, and curious would-be sleuth Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan) is soon drawn into her web of intrigue, which includes an absolutely wild-for-the-night goon with violent sexual tendencies named Frank (Dennis Hopper). But is she merely a victim, or a sinister sadist herself?

42. Meredith Johnson

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Played By: Demi Moore
Movie: Disclosure (1994)

Despite the fact that she's played by Demi Moore and could potentially have any man she wanted, software executive Meredith Johnson decides to take former lover Tom's (Michael Douglas) rejection personally. And despite him being like, married with kids and stuff, she proceeds to fake a sexual harassment suit to get him unceremoniously thrown out of the home office. What is it about Mike Douglas that attracts the vengeful crazy ladies?

41. Ginger Knowles

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Played By: Halle Berry
Movie: Swordfish (2001)

As the right hand to John Travolta's rogue counterterrorism agent nutjob Gabriel, Ginger is deft with a gun. However, her real weapon is her sexuality, which she uses to reel in and disarm those who are not quite on Team Gabriel. She might just fuck around and go for some topless sunbathing, for no other purpose than to keep the men around her under a constant state of pressure and frustration.

40. Veronica Sawyer

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Played By: Winona Ryder
Movie: Heathers (1988)

We all graduated high school with a few douchebags that we maybe, sort of, kind of had to repress a few homicidal tendencies around during the day-to-day. Veronica Sawyer has no such inhibitions. Do the bitchy girls and crude bullies who incur her wrath and later end up dead do so by accidental prank gone too far, or does Veronica know exactly what she's doing? With the first "suicide," perhaps, but after that, we rule her incidental house cleaning as very intentional.

39. Ann Merai Harrison

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Played By: Sanaa Lathan
Movie: Out Of Time (2003)

For most of Out of Time, Ann is presumed to be a harmless woman trapped in a loveless marriage to her abusive husband Chris (Dean Cain) while she secretly sees Chief of Police Matt Whitlock (Denzel Washington). And then she's presumed dead when she and Chris' house goes up in flames, along with a near half-million dollars in confiscated drug money that Matt loaned her in desperation. While Matt investigates the missing money and her alleged death, Ann Merai teaches him and Chris a lesson in assumptions: It really just makes asses out of them, not her.

38. Brigid O'Shaughnessy

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Played By: Mary Astor
Movie: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Noir women don't just resort to murder as a way to quickly sever a relationship—it's more like their first course of action. For most of Maltese Falcon, Brigid O'Shaughnessy plays it straight and true with P.I. Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart). But as it turns out, she had a bigger hand in the inciting incident than she initially let on.

37. Laura Manion

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Played By: Lee Remick
Movie: Anatomy of a Murder(1959)

Lee Remick as Laura effortlessly portrays a woman who may be a victim in more ways than one, or who could just as easily be a manipulator that drove her husband into a jealous rage. Did Lt. Frederick Manion (Ben Gazzara) kill a man because he raped his wife Laura, or because they consensually slept together? As this trial unfolds under the guidance of defense attorney Paul Biegler (James Stewart), Laura's actions and flirty, flighty demeanor make it clear that both scenarios are possible. By the end of the film, Biegler, and the audience, still aren't quite sure either way.

36. Matty Walker

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Played By: Kathleen Turner
Movie: Body Heat (1981)

The heat is on during a Florida summer when Matty Walker strikes up an affair with an unscrupulous lawyer (William Hurt), and embroils him in her plot to take her husband (Richard Crenna) out of the picture, so as to avoid that pesky pre-nup business. Naturally by the time he stops to consider that a woman out to ruthlessly kill her husband might not be the most trustworthy partner, it's way too late.

35. Lucinda Harris

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Played By: Jennifer Aniston
Movie: Derailed (2005)

Possibly the foulest chick on this list, Lucinda Harris runs an elaborate racket with her boyfriend Philippe and his main goon (Vincent Cassel, Xzibit) to ensnare rich, married businessmen and take them for all they've got. She pretends to be a married businesswoman herself and stages innocent meet-cutes during the morning commute, which in no time at all results in drinks and a motel room to consummate the attraction. Only, it never goes further than that because Philippe bursts in pretending to be a random mugger, knocks the hapless dude out and "rapes" her before dipping out.

The mark is then blackmailed into giving up more money, with the guilt of Lucinda's fake assault looming over them as a shameful incentive. Like we said, grimey to the highest degree.

34. Norma Desmond

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Played By: Gloria Swanson
Movie: Sunset Boulevard

Bagging cougars is always cool, but the novelty wears thin when they're as self-conscious and deluded as Norma Desmond. Unable to cope with the fact that she's no longer hot in the Hollywood Hills, she clings to screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) as she plots her comeback, and he reluctantly goes along with it because he's got no better option at the moment. She's rich, and she still looks good.

The more time spent in her lavish Sunset Blvd. mansion, the more he gets sucked into her self-destructive orbit, until he finally pays the ultimate price for underestimating just how nuts she actually is.

33. Kathryn Merteuil

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Played By: Sarah Michelle Gellar
Movie: Cruel Intentions

The only thing worse than a scheming, conniving trick is one who's acting up out of sheer boredom. Rich girl Kathryn Merteuil and her douche of a step-brother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) literally have nothing better to do than systematically dismantle the lives of their innocent classmates around them—namely the virginal, pure Cecile (Selma Blair) and Annette (Reese Witherspoon)—and try to bring them down to their narcissistic, warped level.

32. Maggie Hayward/Claudia Anne Doran/Nina

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Played By: Bridget Fonda
Movie: Point of No Return (1993)

Point of No Return is just as entertaining as the original Nikita. When we first meet Maggie Hayward, she's a drugged up, ratchet mess. After a government funded extreme makeover, she becomes the alluring Claudia, a lethal killing machine for the CIA. But more importantly, she's transformed from the non-descript druggie you'd ignore to the mysterious stunner you just have to know.

31. Aisha al Fadhil

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Played By: Zoe Saldana
Movie: The Losers (2010)

Aisha, the shadowy operative who promises to revive rogue Special Forces operative Clay (Jeffery Dean Morgan) and his team's reputation incites distrust from the minute she saunters on-screen, but the colonel simply can't resist her. Their combustible relationship is one of the many highlights of this underrated graphic novel adaptation. At any given moment, they could be in bed and two seconds later there's hand-to-hand combat and gunplay involved. Who is she really? Pft, who cares?! We'd just consider the fighting as foreplay.

30. Suzie Toller/Kelly Van Ryan

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Played By: Neve Campbell/Denise Richards
Movie: Wild Things (1998)

What's deadlier than one conniving, jailbait high school student? How about two of them, working together, swimming together, and bedding/scheming with an idiot guidance counselor (Matt Dillon) who makes the fatal mistake of thinking he can outsmart two teenage girls? He might actually be better off dead than having to live out his days with an astronomically shameful fail like this hanging over his head.

29. Suzanne Stone Maretto

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Played By: Nicole Kidman
Movie: To Die For (1995)

Once again we have a narcissistic wife plotting her husband's murder when a simple divorce would suffice. The duplicitous Suzanne aspires to be a famous news anchor and has a long way to go towards progressing to that from her quaint position as a local news weather girl. Thus, one can understand why she has no time to entertain her loving husband's (Matt Dillon) pleas to start a family. We guess divorce would be too messy and too expensive, because instead she quickly resorts to gassing hormonal, delinquent high schoolers into knocking hubby off while she continues to climb the ladder.

28. Gail

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Played By: Rosario Dawson
Movie: Sin City (2005)

Male or female, one has to be tough and fearless to make it in Basin City, let alone the especially seedy area known as "Old Town." Gail does her part to enforce Old Town's familial prostitute community while dressed head to toe in all-leather S&M glory and an Uzi to make her cypher complete. No male presence necessary, the girls have it handled.

27. Selina Kyle

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Played By: Anne Hathaway
Movie: The Dark Night Rises (2012)

Anne Hathaway's take on the Batman foe is pure no-nonsense badass thanks to a life spent on the harsh Gotham City streets, and she proves to be a worthy match against the city's players both mentally and physically. As Bruce Wayne discovers though, there's an irresistible charm underneath her steely exterior, that when combined with her self-preserving instincts, and that skin-tight suit, make her a beauty and a beast.

26. Pussy Galore

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Played By: Honor Blackman
Movie: Goldfinger (1964)

The most fantastically named Bond girl to date is the double entendre that keeps on giving (word to her aviator troupe "Pussy Galore's Flying Circus"). More importantly, P.G., also the oldest Bond girl to date, has quite possibly the best screen chemistry with 007 over any of his other romantic foils, suggesting the martini-favoring spy may actually prefer his women like he prefers his wine. Her shift of allegiance from Goldfinger to the good guys is inevitable, yet the careful battle of the wits between her and Bond is entertaining nonetheless.

25. Laura Dannon

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Played By: Nora Zehetner
Movie: Brick (2005)

High school student notwithstanding, Laura Dannon plays up the most classic aspects of the femme fatale in the neo-noir cult favorite Brick. Instead of exposing herself as an outright antagonist, Laura subtly derails Brendan's (Joseph Gordon Levitt) investigation by pretending to be a willing co-conspirator, thus throwing him off her trail for as long as she can. Nora Zehtner's unassuming, pixie-girl look only strengthens the misconception.

24. Xenia Onatopp

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Played By: Famke Janssen
Movie: Goldeneye (1995)

They say sex is a weapon, and when Xenia is your target, chances are you'll meet your death in less than eight seconds. As the Janus crime syndicate's chief enforcer, Xenia is always down to mix business and pleasure, getting her kicks by knocking dudes off during sex. Honestly, as lethal as those legs of hers are, there are about a hundred worse ways to go, are we right? It's been reported that she's the first Bond girl to experience an orgasm on-screen, which is simultaneously hot and, given the homicide aspect, very unsettling.

23. Amy North

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Played By: Lauren Bacall
Movie: Young Man with a Horn (1950)

A noir leading man could have a cute, ride-or-die chick on his side, but they always inevitably fall for the hot, sultry, clearly-something-off-about-her femme, striking up an unhealthy relationship that ultimately leads to his downfall.

That's exactly what happens to Rick Martin (Kirk Douglas) when he ditches Jo (Doris Day) for Amy North, the type of would-be psychiatrist who fails to get her credentials but still manages to cite assorted psycho-babble during arguments, and is probably in need of a shrink herself. As her career stalls and his ascends, she launches a mental assault that brings Rick down to her bitter level and renders him into an alcoholic mess that barks on his own friends. We've all had friends that dated an Amy North once upon a time.

22. Ajedrez Barillo

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Played By: Eva Mendes
Movie: Once Upon A Time In Mexico(2003)

Eva Mendes' character in Robert Rodriguez's fantastically twisty bloodbath Once Upon a Time In Mexico is something like a dirty-double agent. She pretends to be a cop on the take in league with Johnny Depp's morally bankrupt CIA agent Sands, but she's actually the daughter of the drug kingpin that he's trying to remove from power. The brutal way in which she shows her betrayal is classic Rodriguez-by-way-of-Tarantino sadism: an eye-opener, to say the least.

21. Samantha Caine/Charly Baltimore

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Played By: Geena Davis
Movie: Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

There's been a fair progression of female characters from damsel-in-distress to badass in cinema over the years, but the trade-off is, if they excel in that area, then they're more than likely a wreck in any domestic situation. Which is why we give props to Charly Baltimore, who, by the end of Long Kiss Goodnight, has learned to reconcile her elite assassin skill-set with holding it down in the suburbs as well. A woman who can more than handle her own and still keep it together on the PTA and around the house is a keeper.

20. Mrs. Robinson

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Played By: Anne Bancroft
Movie: The Graduate (1967)

The cinematic Queen of All Cougars practically stopped time with some simple, yet extremely suggestive leg positioning, and made a once regular-ass name into a classic pop culture connotation. The aimless college graduate Ben's (Dustin Hoffman) summer is given purpose early in the film when Mrs. Robinson more than implies that she wants to see what his bachelor's degree is all about first-hand. She remains the dominant personality during the affair, which takes a cold, vengeful tone when Ben starts to fall for her equally hot daughter Elaine (Katherine Ross). Nevertheless, here's to you Mrs. Robinson, for making the thought of living in suburbia that much cooler for every teenage male.

19. Jennifer Check

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Played By: Megan Fox
Movie: Jennifer's Body (2009)

Thanks to a Satanic ritual gone wrong, Jennifer Check is a literal man-eater, forced to consume human flesh in order to stay alive. She limits her diet to horny classmates, mostly because she's so hot that they don't think twice about traveling to dark, secluded spots with her. However, unfortunately for them, she's the only one getting lucky.

18. Laure Ash/Lily Watts

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Played By: Rebecca Romijn
Movie: Femme Fatale (2002)

Thief Laurie Ash lives up to the title of the film with nearly every aspect on the femme fatale checklist covered: absconds with money, assumes identity, executes multiple double-crosses, possibly bi-curious. She's the whole package, and thus, every rational-thinking man's nightmare.

17. Catwoman

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Played By: Michelle Pfeiffer
Movie: Batman Returns (1992)

In Tim Burton's gothic Batman universe, Selina Kyle is positively unhinged, her personality disorder represented by her oddly stitched, patchwork yet form-fitting costume, one of the hottest in all of superhero cinema. She's also a more vengeful take on the character, spending most of Batman Returns expending her (literal) nine lives in an effort to take out the murderous millionaire (Christopher Walken) who tried to kill her, all while driving both Bruce Wayne and Batman (Michael Keaton) wild. Everything about her is over the top, from the purrs to the whip, but Michelle Pfeiffer makes it all work, and then some.

16. Bridget Gregory

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Played By: Linda Florentino
Movie: The Last Seduction (1994)

Bridget is yet another seductress out for dolo who runs off with a Brinks truck worth of her drug-dealing husband's (played by Bill Pullman) cash, and seduces a clueless simp to kill off her hubby and shoulder all of the blame as well. The funny thing is, when aforementioned simp Mike (Peter Berg) fails to do the job, Bridget steps up and handles the wet work herself, thinking of a new way to spin it on Mike on the spot.

15. Phyllis Dietrichson

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Played By: Barbara Stanwyck
Movie: Double Idemnity (1944)

Phyllis Dietrichson is not above seducing anyone—thirsty insurance agents, her step-daughter's boyfriend—or murdering anyone to further her own goals. She murders her husband in a specific manner to double down on the life insurance money, plots to murder her barely suspicious stepdaughter, and probably murdered her husband's original wife as well. And yet, none of the crimes are tied to her because, like a true femme G, she gets p-whipped men to do all the heavy lifting, men who for some reason never stop to consider if one day they'll be next on her list.

14. Laura Hunt

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Played By: Gene Tierney
Movie: Laura (1944)

Although Laura Hunt doesn't commit or commission any fatalities herself, her very unattainable allure inspires an unrequited-love murder plot and the detective investigating the case to fall for her, despite the fact that she's dead. If enrapturing dudes beyond the grave isn't worthy of femme fatale clout, then we don't know what is.

13. Rita

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Played By: Laura Harring
Movie: Mulholland Drive (2001)

Rita, a dead-ringer for Gilda, another femme fatale on this list, is notable in that she has all the mystery and intrigue of a classic femme, but in this case, those charms have a woman under pressure, namely Betty Elms (Naomi Watts). Betty arrives to stay at her aunt’s house only to find Rita, who's suffering from amnesia, having just survived both her attempted murder and a car crash, with a purse full of stacks and a mysterious key. Which is to say, she can only be trouble.

12. Lana Carlson

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Played By: Ida Lupino
Movie: They Drive By Night (1940)

Lana Carlson is notable because she doesn't plot her wealthy businessman-husband's murder simply for the money. She does it to start a genuine relationship with the younger stud, Joe (played by George Raft), whom she falls for, despite the fact that he's dating another girl. The problem is, however, Joe accepts the benefits of Lana's husband's murder, but still plans to marry his current girlfriend anyway. Naturally, a hysterical Lana pins the murder on him out of revenge. Would've been profitable to keep the crazy in this case, bro.

11. Jane Smith

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Played By: Angelina Jolie
Movie: Mr. And Mrs. Smith (2005)

The illicit romance and subsequent relationship that was borne out of Mr and Mrs. Smith will always be more famous than the film itself. Retrospectively, however, we really can't blame Brad Pitt for falling head over heels, especially when this particular role finds Angelina Jolie at her sexiest.

Whether she's pulling knives out of suggestive hiding spots in a floor-length dress, hitching said dress up while cradling a shotgun, or snapping necks in an S&M getup, Angelina-as-Jane is deadly as fuck, but it's for that same reason that she's irresistible. If we were filming those scenes alongside her, we'd have definitely fallen in love as well.

10. Jane Palmer

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Played By: Lizabeth Scott
Movie: Too Late For Tears (1949)

Jane Palmer's previously happy marriage is interrupted when she and her husband Alan (Arthur Kennedy) happen upon a bag full of cash, unleashing greedy and inner homicidal tendencies she didn't know she had, to counter his unwavering morality. Naturally, she murders him and the unscrupulous, simpering detective after the money as well, because who really needs men when you've got a bag containing $60,000 in cash (roughly over a half million today)?

It should be noted however, that the Palmers at least appeared to be middle class. There was no impending surgery or any other event that required a ton of money, quickly. So basically, Jane Palmer was just tired of having a lame goody-two-shoes for a husband and wanted to floss on these other bitches tax-free. We approve.

9. Eileen Wade

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Played By: Nina van Pallandt
Movie: The Long Goodbye (1973)

It seems like private eyes exist exclusively to get duped by dashing duplicitous wives. P.I. Phillip Marlowe (Elliot Gould) doesn't make the classic mistake of falling into bed with Eileen, but that's about the only error in judgment he avoids when she hires him to find her missing, alcoholic husband. Naturally, the investigation plays out exactly as Eileen wants it to. Which is to say that in noirs, P.I.'s are the next best thing to divorce lawyers, only with half the fee and double the accountability.

8. Evelyn Mulwray

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Played By: Faye Dunaway
Movie: Chinatown (1974)

Has there ever been such a thing as a strictly professional relationship between Detective and Mysterious Widow-Client? When Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) and Evelyn Mulwray succumb to their sexual tension, her husband has barely been in the ground for 72 hours. Not to mention, he still isn't quite sure whether she's a victim or murderer, and if the girl last seen with Mr. Mulwray is her daughter or her sister, putting his license, and his freedom on the line.

We'd accuse Jake of being a sucker for love, but amidst the lust, his pimp hand remains strong. However, it was only until he resorts to physical questioning that Evelyn surrenders her secrets.

7. Kathie Moffat

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Played By: Jane Greer
Movie: Out of the Past (1947)

Unlike most of the low-aiming femmes on this list, Kathie Moffat isn't in it for a trivial sum of money or to escape a loveless union. Granted, those things are factors, but in the third act of Out of the Past, she proves her true G when she effectively pits crime boss and lover Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) and former lover Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) against each other, removing Whit from the scenario so she can proudly declare that she's running things now. You can be the king, but watch the queen conquer (length of her reign before death notwithstanding).

6. Cora Smith

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Played By: Lana Turner
Movie: The Post Man Always Rings Twice (1946)

Most young women in dead-end jobs dream of being whisked away by a handsome stranger. Cora Smith makes the dream real, with a pro-feminist spin. Instead of running off to an ambiguously bright future in parts unknown, she stays right where she is, murders her old, boring husband, and upgrades herself from worker to boss. Not the least suspicious way to come up, but we respect the forward life improvement either way.

5. Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton

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Played By: Kim Novak
Movie: Vertigo (1958)

Judy Barton is responsible for enabling one of the greatest simpleton affairs in cinematic history, thanks to her Oscar worthy performance as Madeleine Elster. In Vertigo, she takes part in Gavin Elster's (Tom Helmore) elaborate plan to murder the real Madeleine and baffle Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) into inadvertently providing an alibi. Not only does the seduction succeed, but her lingering effect on Scottie—her "death" sends him to an insane asylum for months—ascends to insanely sprung heights when he catches Judy as herself on the street, figuring her for a coincidental dead-ringer for Madeleine, and embarks on a mentally unhealthy effort to reenact his time with Judy-as-Madeleine down to the last detail.

4. Lynn Bracken

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Played By: Kim Basinger
Movie: L.A. Confidential (1997)

Glamor, sex and greed rule 1950s in L.A. in the fantastically sordid L.A. Confidential, and the center of the action is "Fleur-de-lis," an ingenious prostitution racket that advertises girls who closely resemble the most alluring movie stars of the time. Veronica Lake look-a-like Lynn Bracken is the top earner, and may or may not be a part of a larger murder conspiracy that's got the city up in arms. However, Detectives White (Russell Crowe) and Exley (Guy Pearce) are too preoccupied with bagging and subsequently beefing over her to get any real questioning done.

3. Gilda Mundson Farrell

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Played By: Rita Hayworth
Movie: Gilda (1946)

The eponymous cabaret singer is simultaneously the object of every man's love as well as their contempt, rarely resembling anything close to faithful during her two dysfunctional relationships in the film. She first surfaces as the brand new trophy wife to casino owner Ballin Mundson (played by George Macready), but all she's really concerned with is driving her former lover, and Mundson's right hand, Johnny (Glenn Ford) wild with jealousy—with other men.

When Mundson disappears, she and Johnny consummate their sexual tension and marry...only to devolve right back into the hate side of their love/hate dynamic, leading her to stripteasing for other men to send him up the wall again. Whatever helps to spice up the relationship.

2. Catherine Tramell

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Played By: Sharon Stone
Movie: Basic Instinct (1992)

The poster girl for the contemporary femme fatale had all of San Francisco under pressure with the mini-skirt leg cross heard round the world. So much so that despite all signs pointing to her being a murderer, who likes to kill after sex no less, Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) still hopped into bed with her, giving the phrase "to die for" literal meaning.

With a career defined by playing loathsome yet sexy women, Sharon Stone has revisited this type of character often, and we'd be remiss if we didn't give a shout-out to her turn as Arnold Schwarzenegger's loving wife turned fake spouse ice-cold homicidal government plant in Total Recall.

1. Kitty Collins

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Played By: Ava Gardner
Movie: The Killers (1946)

Fact: If you're part of a gang, have a beautiful woman on your arm, and you go to jail—even if it's for a skid bid—your chick will be "the boss' girl" by the time you get out, and she will no longer give a single fuck about your well being. Case in point: Kitty Collins' hand in setting up former squeeze "The Swede" (Burt Lancaster) with boss Big Jim (Albert Dekker) to take the fall for running off with a quarter million dollars in ill-gotten funds. Talk about no love lost.

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