Good thing I’ve already posted Night Shift because we have a new heavyweight champion for “great fox screen time,” one that will be hard to beat. Also can be added to that concise list of films where a fur coat is integral to the plot. Fortunately, the one in Forever Lulu has a better screen presence than the one in Butterfield 8.
Forever Lulu – The Film
Forever Lulu is the story of a German immigrant and aspiring writer named Elaine (Hanna Schygulla), who’s having a particularly bad day, leading to a minor psychotic break in a rainy back alley where she waves a gun around like a lunatic. A couple nearby mistakes these antics for a stickup, and before you know it, Elaine walks away one soaking wet, full-length white fox fur coat richer. This was really charity, as the coat’s previous owner clearly did not do it any justice at all.
With the coat comes another man’s wallet with a photo of a blonde woman with the words “Forever Lulu” penned upon it. Thus Elaine embarks on a journey to find Lulu (Deborah Harry), who always seems to turn up where she is, though she never notices.
Forever Lulu – The Furs
There’s a full-length white fox coat in the film Forever Lulu. That, in and of itself may not be particularly notable for something that came out in 1987, but, beyond its role in motivating the flimsy plot, let’s just say you may actually get tired of seeing it before the movie is over, and it’s not the only fur in the film.
Here are the stats: Forever Lulu‘s run time is 85 minutes; of them, the white fox coat is on screen for approximately 22 minutes or about 38% of the entire film. Basically, Elaine rarely takes it off once it’s found, and even when she does, she had on other furs.
Remember how there’s more than 1 fur in the film? Here’s Eline’s more successful friend (Kathleen Gati, I think) lording that success over her at dinner, including her black fox stole.
Leading in part to Elaine’s minor mental issue in the alley, where these fine people turn over their valuables, including the white fox coat, to her.
Returning with her “loot,” Elaine catches her reflection in the mirror with the coat hoisted over her shoulders and proceeds to wrap her face with the soaking wet fox coat, openly admiring the results in the mirror. A rare direct cinematic exploration of the power of a beautiful fur coat.
Life turning around, Elaine lets her lovely new fur coat dry out and takes it for a spin.
Following up on the photo in the wallet, she arrives at an address only to become witness to a mob deal gone bad, escaping notice by throwing a sheet or something over her head and standing very still, in a move I think Bugs Bunny pioneered.
The cops arrive, and she reveals herself, leading to this image. No further comment.
Elaine’s good luck is inversely proportional to the luck of everyone around her, and the cops and everyone else die, leaving a very large suitcase of cash around, to which Elaine helps herself.
There’s not much point in recounting the plot from here, so here’s another shot of Miss Schygulla in a tremendous white fox coat.
Despite having her white fox coat, Elaine seems to borrow her friend’s black fox stole from time to time, just to give us some variety.
And, yes, Elaine finally bumps into Lulu at the end of the film, where Debby Harry utters one of her around 3 lines total, and everyone lives happily ever after (except all the dead guys, we presume).
Elaine has yet another fur I skipped near the end as kind of drab in comparison. The fur time ratio probably pushes 40-45% percent when you factor in the other furs. This is the bold costume design all films could take a lesson from. Imagine how much more visually compelling it would have been if Agent Starling wore a full-length blue fox coat the whole time? Scarlett O’Hara?