I'll watch absolutely anything if it means I get to see the magnificent Naomi Watts. Fortunately, King Kong also turned out to be surprisingly good. Here's our leading lady one more time in all her splendor:
It's taken me a while to warm up to Robert Rodriguez's work, so maybe a second viewing will improve my opinion of a film I wasn't crazy about the first time around. It generally only takes one look at Salma Hayek to like what I see, however.
Kirsten Dunst starring in the very definition of a "Damsel in Distress" scene here. I personally had a tougher time than most working up any real excitement over the Spider-Man series. But if over-the-top CGI- friendly comic book actioneers are your thing I suppose Sam Raimi and co. delivers. Don't look now, but it would appear that our damsel got herself trapped again. A super-hero's work is never done.
If you haven't yet seen The Fifth Element then you're missing one of the best sci-fi adventures to come out in the last fifteen years. You're also missing a look at one of eastern Europe's finest exports to come along in just as long. She looks vulnerable above, but I'd say she's got the upper hand back now:
We've grown accustomed to watching Cameron Diaz escape tricky situations over the years. Here she is in Danny Boyle's "A Life Less Ordinary". Worth a look if you're a Boyle fan, but not essential viewing. Let's check in again with Diaz to make sure she's alright...
Just when the "Damsel in Distress" theme was beginning to become a tired Hollywood cliche, along comes the Gold Bikini to breathe new life into it all. JEDI knight saves beautiful captive princess in GOLD BIKINI. See how original that is?!
Leslie Bibb, the female lead in "Midnight Meat Train". This is actually one of the better American-made horror films to come out in the last few years. (Which isn't saying a whole lot) But it's bloody fun and you get to watch HER. Leslie seemed to be having a rough time of things there, but she's back in the driver's seat now. (Sorry- couldn't be helped)
You're looking at Odette Yustman, leading knockout in the lackluster American horror remake, The Unborn. Not the worst 2009 horror film I saw, but far from good. If you're a fan of the genre you can justify seeing it for Odette. The rest of you will have to make do with this:
Rachel McAdams experiences a bout of terror at 30,000 feet in the thriller Red Eye. Here she's back on the ground but the nightmare's not over yet. Look, this is far from the best thing that Wes Craven has attached his name to, but it allows me the chance to indulge my crush.
If Naomi Watts is my favorite thing on two legs making films today, then Grace Kelly takes the honor for yester-year. Here she is in the must-see Hitchcock thriller "Dial M for Murder" That damn prince of Monaco robbed America of a true gem. A stroke atop a windy, cliff-top road robbed the world of Grace some years later.
I wouldn't have included this obvious title but to call attention to my deliberate ommision of Drew Barrymore and Rose McGowan from my list (loathe one, dislike the other- I'll leave you to speculate which is which). And besides, there IS something about Neve Campbell on a good day. Looks like she's having a good day here:
Yikes! "Distress" is putting it mild. Jordan Ladd stars here as 'extra-dead girl' Guess her knight in shining armor was running late. Truth be told, I've never seen Cabin Fever, and probably never will. Why would you do that to her, Eli Roth? Here's a better last impression:
This is the lovely Elisabeth Shue holding on for her life in this surprisingly satisfying, shamelessly lewd gore-fest of a creature feature. Apparently she worked up her own appetite warding off all those hungry fish.
Wrong Turn was nowhere near as bad as I figured it would be. In fact I rather liked it. And Eliza Dushku isn't too tough on the eyes. You'd HAVE to be a monster to inflict harm on this:
The "damsel in distress" is a classic theme that has run through literature, art, and film for ages. We often think of a beautiful princess locked away in a tower reaching toward the clouds, waiting for her knight in shining armor to come rescue her. This damsel has become a stock character over the centuries and encompasses many variations.
Here I use the term rather loosely in many cases, often looking toward the horror genre, a style of film that has embraced the damsel in distress over the years, though as (more?) often than not her rescue never arrives.
Photographs/images of women in a state of terror or distress have, for better or worse, become something of a visible and permeating social motif, especially in popular culture. Debates that bring in ideas revolving around feminism, patriarchy, and hero-worship can be heard today in various circles. This is something that has fascinated me and piqued my curiosity over the years and I suppose this list is a result.
I hope you enjoy this list as much as I enjoyed making it. I present two seperate images in the case of each actress, and offer both from a sense of respect and awe.
Comments and suggestions are of course welcome and encouraged. Thanks for viewing!