She's wily, murderous and unquestionably seductive. In fact, the femme fatale may well be one of American cinema's most complex characters. And as surely as she draws men into her orbit, the femme fatale of classic film noir cinema has sparked intense interest among film buffs, sociologists, and feminist academics, among others. In Femmes Fatales: Resistance, Power, and Postfeminism, author Janine Paver dives into this lively debate, tracing the history of the femme fatale from pre-Code Hollywood to contemporary film. By looking at how this iconic character changes over time, Paver provides extraordinary insight into the complex social and political dimensions of feminist thought. The author incorporates film criticism, literary review, academic scholarship, and ethnographic interviews to give the reader a rich insight into this deeply controversial and intensely interesting on-screen persona, and how she mirrors the changing views of sex, power and gender in America.