Catherine Tramell

December 4, 2012

Arts and Culture | by James Joseph


Catherine Tramell is perhaps the most infamous and revered of all neo-noir, even film noir femme fatales.

Played by Sharon Stone in the 1992 film, Basic Instinct, Catherine Tramell was catapulted into movie theatres and homes as a obsessively sexual and psychopathic crime writer novelist.

Tramell became the lead figure for noir femme fatale’s for one very good reason, her character was perfectly created with personality traits that fit. Tramell whilst outwardly provocative, sexual, empowered and sociopathic only wanted to be loved, a tormented soul that had turned the pain and anger into the opposite traits.

This is the formula for a noir femme fatale, and was acted outstandingly by Sharon Stone.

The character caused some of the greatest controversy in movie history for both her lesbian relationship and for flashing under her skirt revealing no underwear, whilst engaging in her provocative manipulations.

Most of the controversial anger stemmed from American Gay rights groups, upset at the portrayal of a bisexual woman as a murderous sociopath.

The character of Catherine Tramell simply re wrote the rule book. Winning a place in the American Film Institute’s “Best Villains” list as well as Entertainment Weekly’s 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years.

basic instinct