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The Chanteuse

Chanteuse 2291.jpg

A stock character in anything even very loosely inspired by Film Noir. Every lounge will have a sultry female singer singing a sultry song. Her favourite outfit is a long evening gown, usually red, slit high up on the leg. If she becomes a named character, she will often be the Veronica in a Betty and Veronica romantic subplot. She could just there in the background because every lounge that has anything approaching a Film Noir feel must have this trope.

She is always surrounded by an air of melancholy. This could be because she herself is melancholy, or because the lonely male hero experiences a connection with her while she is singing but cannot have her. She tends to be out of the main hero's reach perhaps because she is a dangerous Femme Fatale, because she is already involved with someone else (usually a villain), or simply because she is so aloof. This character can be very useful for highlighting a feeling of loneliness, because her sultry songs will often create a feeling of a connection between the singer and the listener, but circumstances will prevent that feeling from becoming a true connection. For that reason, this trope is a favourite of Film Noir, a genre that thrives on a feeling of melancholy and stoic loneliness.

This character may frequently be seen Sitting Sexy on a Piano. Compare Glamorous Wartime Singer.

Examples of The Chanteuse include:


FilmEdit

Live Action TVEdit

  • Star Trek: Voyager. Seven of Nine was made one in a holoprogram set in German-occupied France.
    • And in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo was coached in flirting by Vic Fontaine, who created for this purpose a holo-version of Kira, who fulfilled this trope. She was in the end swapped for the real Kira.
  • Jan Levinson makes a cameo appearance as one of these in The Office (US) episode "Threat Level Midnight" movie-within-a-movie possibly a nod to Melora Hardin's cameo as one in The Rocketeer (or maybe simply because she can sing).
  • The season six opener of NCIS had Ziva David playing this part very well, with the actress Cote de Pablo actually doing her own singing. Then someone rudely left a bomb behind. (What, this is NCIS, you know!)

Newspaper ComicsEdit

TheatreEdit

  • City of Angels has Bobbi as this stock Film Noir character. Her number, "With Every Breath I Take," is a slow minor-key torch song.
  • In Follies, Sally takes on this look for her Loveland number, "Losing My Mind".

Video GamesEdit

Western AnimationEdit