In the 1940s, he was The Ladykiller. One of the great bastards in film noir, he specialized in terrorizing women. The source of his charisma is a transparent sleaziness topped off with a razor-thin veneer of charm (like Eddie Haskell grown up and turned abusive). He oozed his slimey charm arcoss a variety of films, but he set the standard in masterpieces like SCARLET STREET, CRISS CROSS, and TOO LATE FOR TEARS.
Read more about the king of heels in my new piece on Duryea over at Criminal Element.