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Film / The White Orchid

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Claire, a shy detective, has been tasked to solve the gruesome murder of a woman in a small town. As she investigates, Claire slowly takes on the dead woman's identity to help her find the murderer, thus reinventing herself while doing so. However, things are far more complex in the case than they first seem.


  • Auto Erotica: Claire gets fingered by a woman in a taxi as they go home together.
  • Depraved Bisexual: The White Orchid turns out to be a con artist and murderer. She had seduced men and women to kill them or take their money.
  • Faking the Dead: The White Orchid made it look like she'd been murdered, but actually was to cover up the murder of a plastic surgeon's wife by using her mutilated body.
  • Femme Fatale: The White Orchid is a very beautiful woman who had used her good looks to seduce both men and women, using this to rob or murder them.
  • Flower Motifs: White orchids traditionally symbolize innocence and purity. It's ironic here, as the woman called The White Orchid is anything but innocent and pure.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Claire takes off her glasses and uses contacts instead as part of her makeover to appear more like The White Orchid. It helps change her from a nerd to simply gorgeous. Here it's more justified at least in that she's trying to appear like a specific woman too, who didn't wear glasses.
  • Honey Trap: The White Orchid turns out to be one. She seduces men and women to kill them or take their money.
  • Karma Houdini: The White Orchid, a murderer and con artist, gets away at the end.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Claire starts out with her hair in a neat bun, as a shy, rather nerdy woman. Then, while getting into the shoes of The White Orchid, she lets it down to become looser like the dead woman was.
  • Lingerie Scene: Claire has a lengthy scene in which she's seen wearing an old-fashioned corset and garter belt when dressing as The White Orchid did. She's also later seen in her bra.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: The White Orchid was a lipstick bisexual, a very elegant woman who liked to wear fancy dresses, with long hair, very red lipstick and acting in a highly feminine manner. Claire also emulates this when taking on the same style, and goes to bed with a woman.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: As Claire investigates the murder of the eponymous Femme Fatale bombshell The White Orchid, she becomes more and more entranced by the idea of her, with one scene showing this by having her masturbating in bed while fantasizing about The White Orchid.
  • No Name Given: We never learn what the actual name of The White Orchid was.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Claire starts out with her hair in a bun, indicating her as a nerd (she looks more like your stereotypical librarian-albeit she's pretty young-than a detective at first).
  • Really Gets Around: The White Orchid was very promiscuous, having sex with a lot of people (both men and women, being bisexual), which is indicated to have caused a jealous person murdering her. She's actually still alive.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Who really is The White Orchid? The film never says, as she uses multiple false identities and then successfully escapes in the end. We also never learn if she'll be caught and answer for her crimes.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Claire initially has very plain, modest attire with her hair in a simple bun. She slowly dolls herself up with makeup, a wig and fancy clothing, stepping into The White Orchid's shoes to make herself really shine. Even before she'd gone to this point, people complimented Claire simply on doing things such as letting down her hair and wearing a nicer outfit (she was pretty already, just not flattering herself much).
  • Shrinking Violet: Claire starts out as a quiet, bookish young woman but becomes the opposite after taking on The White Orchid's style to solve a murder.
  • Slut-Shaming: One of the women whom Claire interviews who knew The White Orchid expresses strong dislike of her promiscuity, saying it was inappropriate in a decent town like theirs.
  • Stereotypical Nerd: Claire is a shy and modest detective who begins the film with wireframe glasses, hair in a bun, and plain clothes. When she takes on The White Orchid's style, this changes entirely.
  • Worthy Opponent: Jessica calls Claire this in their meeting near the end, congratulating her on being a worthy adversary. Her boss The White Orchid seems to think so too, and leaves Claire her namesake flower at the beach before waving goodbye from a car in the distance.