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Film portraits of femme fatales: 4 favorites

"The Women" (1939) stars Rosalind Russel, Norma Shearer

"The Women" (1939) stars Rosalind Russel, Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford.

Love her or hate her, "the other woman" has been a staple character in hundreds of movies. Here are four classic and very different portraits of this femme fatale.

THE WOMEN (1939) -- Norma Shearer's "jungle red" claws come out as she plots her revenge on husband stealer Joan Crawford in George Cukor's catfest that also starred Rosalind Russell and Joan Fontaine.

BACK STREET (1941) -- No one has ever been more sympathetic as the other woman than Margaret Sullavan as she pines for married lover Charles Boyer amid the strains of some heavy violin music. The story was also filmed in 1932 with Irene Dunne and in 1961 with Susan Hayward.

A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949) -- In writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Oscar-winning gem, Celeste Holm was heard but not seen as the other woman who pens a note to three wives (Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell and Ann Sothern) informing them that she's run off with one of their husbands.

FATAL ATTRACTION (1987) -- Glenn Close could not be ignored with her riveting performance as a psycho who seeks revenge on one-night stand Michael Douglas. His daughter's pet rabbit also ends up in plenty of hot water.

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