The ’80s: the decade of mega foxes and power furs. The decade that, at the moment, it’s not really easy to find a whole bunch of people broadcasting content from. There are a few gems that appear, for whatever reason, from time to time. Like our next pick, Night Shift, which is notable primarily for the pure length of time the showcase fur appears on the screen.
Night Shift – The Film
Henry Winkler spent a lot of time on TV as the Fonze, but like many famous television personalities, he could never thoroughly translate that small-screen success into the big screen. One of the more memorable attempts was Night Shift. Memorable to me, but not for the reason Henry Winkler wants.
Winkler stars as the standard troubled loser Chuck Lumley who achieves self-esteem and gets the girl through circumstances that would never occur outside of an ’80s comedy. He accomplishes this via his new night shift co-worker Bill Blazejowski’s (young Michael Keaton) wacky plan of running a prostitution ring from the morgue where they work.
Ah, ’80s hookers. If television and films taught me anything about them, they all wore really fabulous furs.
Night Shift – The Furs
There are a variety of furs in the film Night Shift, though only one receives the kind of screen time it deserves. Also desperately searching for a springboard to film stardom from a popular television series, Shelly Long stars as Belinda Keaton, the hooker with a heart of gold and a closet of increasingly more attractive furs. We start with this (probably) mink trim when Belinda and Chuck first meet over the corpse of her pimp.
Belinda’s next fur is not much of an upgrade. I suspect it’s monkey fur, and it’s the coat with the second longest screen time as it’s the one she wears for most of Act I.
After their initial success in the world of pimping, Chuck buys his working girl’s stake in a fast-food restaurant. They arrive bundled up in a variety of furs.
Belinda’s fur wardrobe ramps up quickly with the success of their prostitution ring. This is her next fur, not a bad little silver fox jacket, but the main event is not far off. This one does not get a lot of time on screen.
This would be that main event, a full-length fox coat. I’m now slightly more certain this is frost fox, but that’s just a guess. Whatever it is, we are treated to quite a lot of it, and that’s a good thing.
Not that I question Belinda’s financial acumen, but the reason this entire scene is played in that beautiful fox coat is the heat in her apartment doesn’t work. With all her newfound “full-length fox coat” money, one would think a better apartment would be on her wishlist.
Not that I care, as this circumstance leads to Belinda and Chuck’s first kiss and a rather drawn-out scene in which they try to pull each other’s coats off to comedic effect.
The tub shot.
Naturally, complications arise in both the relationship and the prostitution ring. Chuck is arrested. The girls come to bail him out on a cold winter night.
Love wins the day as Chuck rescues Belinda from a life of prostitution and, presumably, gets some blood tests shortly after skipping off into the neon sunset.
Night Shift is an excellent example of a “long scene fur.” Certainly unheard of in recent memory, the idea that entire scenes would play out with an actress in a full-length fox coat was rare even in the ’80s. Miss Long was not a particularly great beauty, but she managed to fill out the coat well enough. A 1982 Morgan Fairchild would have done the coat justice, but then Morgan really didn’t play to the “heart of gold” type required for the film.
Fur Runtime: 15 Minutes
Film Runtime: 105 Minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 14.3%
Find-A-Fur, Night Shift, 1982
- 06:40 – 8:45 – short mink? vest
- 31:50 – 34:10 – monkey hair? coat
- 43:10 – 45:10 – ”
- 47:35 – 51:05 – first group shot, very few
- 58:40 – monkey? hair coat
- 1:01:35 – 02:25 – 2nd group, more furs
- 1:06:45 – 12:45 – the fox coat
- 1:13:55 – ”
- 1:15:40 – ”
- 1:16:40 – 17:40 – ”
- 1:26:45 – 3rd group, more furs
- 1:32:04 – 33:31 – the fox coat
- 1:38:15 – 42:30 – ”