Peril, danger, distress do not have to be parsed with the level of “precision “ you are imposing unless one is looking for a way to dismiss out of hand a series of films that don’t fit the historical model you created. And that is what you have done here, and you’ve admitted as such in your response.
WWII imposed a series of pressures on noir as it had evolved in the previous decade—without rehashing what happened in France (significant and clearly still barely on anyone’s radar, much less properly understood), it produced a series of home front “propaganda noirs” in America alongside the wide-ranging use of mystery & thriller source novels. These do demonstrate a set of different characteristics that you’ve done a good job of exploring—until the recent need to create an artificial separation in the femme fatale with the twisted logic concerning Brigid O’Shaughnessy, which is a variation on your earlier attempts to characterize hybridized noirs such as PITFALL as “women’s noirs” when in fact they are compounds/mashups of the two competing narrative approaches. To create a chronology with “transitions” to post-WWII with its more formulaic use of the character archetypes, it becomes necessary to “downgrade” any evidence of examples that contradict the method, which (predictably) means that the femme fatale must first appear in “spy noir” even though this is clearly not the case. (It is also telling that your formal analysis, such as it is, comes to an end in 1944, leaving 20+ years of additional development and variation mostly unexamined—the VERTIGO discussion focuses on plot mechanics and not the psychological understructure of the source material—the French team of Boileau/Narcejac, already a sensation in France several years prior to the Hitchcock version of their novel.)
Simenon and Hammett predate all of this, and are central in defining what follows into the flow of dark film, and each creates dangerous, duplicitous ladies who use feminine wiles and sexual attraction for their own ends. The serial killer, the charismatic villain, the colonialist despot, the great man brought down by tragic flaws or circumstance—these all coalesce into European noir in the early thirties and are far more central to the overall development of noir than the spy subgenre. The rise in “murder culture” that Bordwell explores (more cogently on his web page than in REINVENTING HOLLYWOOD, however) dovetails into the “woman in distress” film along with the “uncanny noir/horror” hybrid in the non-period films of Val Lewton and the hysterical undercurrents found in occupied France in its development of the “provincial gothic.” The noir-o-meter was revamped to capture the range of difference that can be quantified with such a method, but you continue to hammer at a fifteen-year old version of it rather than actually come to grips with it. Now you try to lump me in with Eddie (!!) when you clearly know better than that.
I think the problem is that, for you, character is essentially plot, and the inability or unwillingness to examine these separately leaves no other path for describing how noir characters have their own reckoning with the dark forces that operate upon them, much of which comes from within, from an accumulated past, from mischance that untethers them, from obsession or madness or from three or four of the most relevant “seven deadly sins.” These all linger into the noir we see across the world in the fifties and sixties, whereas the spy thriller becomes laden with spectacle and more overt sex, with villains who are cunning but mostly cardboard. See the sickness in the face of Hossein in LE VAMPIRE DE DÜSSELDORF (1965) or the spiraling manic-depression brought on by revenge-fueled PTSD in the sad eyes of Bruno Cremer in OBJECTIF 500 MILLIONS (the anti-heist noir from 1966) and the difference in approach and direction is palpable.
But such perspectives are dismissible (along with entire portions of the noir element method itself) because of a fixation on “owning” the origin narrative for noir. The problem with origin myths is that they assume the form they are describing is somehow static and does not undergo change as it’s used by its practitioners. This goes a long way toward explaining your ongoing hostility to the concepts and definitions in the noir-o-meter’s elements and why you persist in using a fifteen-year old version of it in your “discussion” of it.
I hope you will write a book that makes the spy/war noir research more accessible to the public. It’s uses are more limited than you think, but it is stlll useful. But I ask you again to quit trying to debunk my methods with outdated examples—it is intellectually less than honest to continue to do so, particularly given how many times you’ve already been called out for it.