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The 'femme fatale' figure in film noir has long served as a central defining feature of these rich and compelling films of the post-war American period. In Rethinking the Femme Fatale in Film Noir, Julie Grossman shows the extent to which the women often labelled as 'femmes fatales' are in fact sympathetic modern women, whose stories of strength, wit and privation command fascination. This study undertakes to erode the category of the 'femme fatale' in favour of careful close readings of film noir and a larger consideration of the drawbacks of labelling women as angels and 'femmes fatales', a perverse cultural inheritance from the Victorian era. Moreover, the book offers a case for reorienting attention in studies of film noir away from the narrow construction of the 'femme fatale' phantom and toward a more open receptivity to the vibrant women, the compelling female narrative, and the imagery sympathetic to both that, Grossman argues, are all commonly on offer in film noir.