Furs in Film – The Awful Truth (1937)

I’d like to think I have pretty high editorial standards for singling out an individual film for recognition. Since this is only the second one I’ve done, perhaps I haven’t done much to establish those high editorial standards yet. Personally, I think a film needs quality and quantity to distinguish itself. The previous film, Roberta, is a perfect example. Fabulous furs and a lot of them.

1937’s The Awful Truth only really has one of any note. But, that one may just be the greatest in film history.

The Awful Truth – The Film

The term “divorce comedy” probably sums up the plot. Mining the light-hearted comedy inherent in gut-wrenching emotions of divorce was a bit more common in the 30s. Irene Dunne and Cary Grant star as Jerry and Lucy Warriner. Jerry divorces his wife after returning home to the country with her music teacher, the suspiciously named “Armond.”

What she returns home wearing, we’ll get to in a moment.

Naturally, it was all a misunderstanding, but Jerry ends up divorcing Lucy, and hilarity ensues. Not to spoil the ending, but yes, they get back together. Irene Dunne’s luck in love holds steady from Roberta, apparently.

The Awful Truth – The Fur

“The” is correct; there’s only one that really matters. Not 2 years earlier, Irene Dunne sashayed down the steps of a French boutique in a dress fringed by possibly the biggest wrap ever seen. In The Awful Truth, she gets to top it.

Irene Dunne in a Huge White Fox Fur Coat - The Awful Truth - 1937

Shortly after entering, Lucy greets Jerry with a big hug. Lucky Jerry.

Irene Dunne in a Huge White Fox Fur Coat - The Awful Truth - 1937

Jerry notices Armand, demonstrating a somewhat unnatural amount of willpower.

Irene Dunne in a Huge White Fox Fur Coat - The Awful Truth - 1937

The scene continues, and I’m no longer really paying any further attention to anything but Miss Dunne’s staggeringly enormous white fox coat.

Irene Dunne in a Huge White Fox Fur Coat - The Awful Truth - 1937

Fortunately, the cinematography gives this singular white fox beauty much of the time it deserves. We see Lucy up close and enjoy the rather large collar.

Irene Dunne in a Huge White Fox Fur Coat - The Awful Truth - 1937

One more shot in which the coat is framed perfectly.

Irene Dunne in a Huge White Fox Fur Coat - The Awful Truth - 1937

Sadly, the tone of this light-hearted divorce comedy is shattered to one of shock and terror as… she takes the coat off.

Irene Dunne in a Huge White Fox Fur Coat - The Awful Truth - 1937

Irene Dunne’s white fox coat in The Awful Truth is, as far as I can currently remember, the most extraordinary ever seen in film history. Sure, I’ve seen a few other mega foxes in print that would hold outshine it in a side-by-side comparison, but on film, I can’t think of anything better. Lucky Irene, going from the white fox wrap in Roberta to this.

Let me say, were I to quibble with greatness, I would have added a couple of cuffs that did the collar and coat as a whole justice. Perhaps a couple of barrel muffs would have been the perfect addition.

I am proving (if nothing else) that I can be picky enough to find fault with the most significant fur in film history.

6 thoughts on “Furs in Film – The Awful Truth (1937)

  1. […] Miss Stanwyck’s crystal fox coat is notable not only because it’s the largest fox in the film and lovingly documented, but from a fashion perspective, the coat is very similar to many white fox coats of the day that I’ve documented in previous updates. The broad shoulders and lack of a collar are instantly familiar. If it where white it would be a few pelts short of Irene Dunne’s famous coat from The Awful Truth. […]

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