Beautiful Damsels in Distress
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King Kong (2005)
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
The Others (2001)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
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.
The Birds (1963)
The Fifth Element (1997)
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:
A Life Less Ordinary (1997)
The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
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)
Starship Troopers (1997)
The Unborn (2009)
Dark City (1998)
Red Eye (2005)
Dial M for Murder (1954)
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:
Cabin Fever (2002)
Piranha 3D (2010)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Wrong Turn (2003)
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!
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