Fatal(e) Crossings: Figures of the Feminine in French and American Film Noir

  • Deborah Walker
Part of the Crime Files Series book series (CF)


Cherchez la femme! the age-old French adage that unambiguously singles out Woman as the underlying cause of man’s woes. Whenever there is trouble, particularly whenever a serious crime is committed, in order to find the cause or reason or culprit: look for the woman! Emblematic of the noir attitude to the (often darker) fairer sex, the phrase, Cherchez la femme, sees in every woman, a potential femme fatale.1


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  1. 1.
    The adage is explicitly evoked in aaa Melville’s Deux hommes à Manhattan (1959) and reprised in Polanski’s neo-noir classic, Chinatown (1974).Google Scholar

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© Alistair Rolls and Deborah Walker 2009

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  • Deborah Walker

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