Archive for November 15th, 2009

2009/11/15

Furs In Film – The Lone Wolf Strikes

Since TCM hasn’t run a Thin Man marathon in at least two weeks, we’ll stick with The Lone Wolf.  This Lone Wolf guy knows a lot of women with fine taste in furs, it seems.  This is the first time I’ve reviewed a sequel right after the original.  Now if they’d just made a series of 20 films about Melsa Manton…

The Lone Wolf Strikes – The Film

I digress. The Lone Wolf Strikes is the follow-up to last week’s The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt. If you thought The Lone Wolf and Val Carson lived happily ever after at the end of that film, well, sadly, they did not. Single, and, apparently not grieving the loss of his child either, Mike Lanyard (Warren Williams) is hired to retrieve an expensive pearl necklace. In the process he’s framed for murder and has to use all his Lone Wolfy skills to prove his innocence and bring the guilty to justice, gentleman detective style.

The Lone Wolf Strikes – The Furs

Released in 1940, but costumed like it’s 1939, this film is long on big fox furs. Probably because they were filmed back to back with access to the same wardrobe department, perhaps? Though not quite as packed as the first Warren Williams Lone Wolf outing, this film has two very nice fox coats, and it completely inverts the good girl/bad girl fur rules! Shocking, I know.

Here we have a character by the name of Binnie Weldon, played by the actually alliterarively named Astrid Allwyn. Yes, she’s not Rita Hayworth, but she fills out a full length white fox fur coat nicely.

This is a classic white fox from the period. Huge wide fox pelts create a very full coat. It’s virtually identical to the coat worn by Ida Lupio in the last film… and may well be the same coat.

My only quibble with foxes like this is the lack of any collar and cuffs, but that is a minor quibble indeed, considering the high-wattage of what is the forerunner of every 80’s mega fox coat.

Binnie steals the pearl necklace that will later involve the Lone Wolf by nefariously dating jeweler Philip Jordan (Roy Gordon) in order to do a switch, then turns it over to her boyfriend.

Yes, this white fox is on the bad girl this time. The fur is well documented in the early sequences of the film as we get to see it from all angles.

Phil was planning to give the pearl necklace to his daughter for her wedding, and that brings us to Joan Perry playing Delia Jordan and supplying the “madcap girlfriend” role for this film. For part of the film she’s wearing this fine silver fox bolero jacket.

I like big fox bolero jackets, and this is a nice one. Joan Perry isn’t Ida Lupino just like Binnie Weldon isn’t Rita Hayworth, but Joan looks fine in the fox jacket.

There’s a few nice closeups of Joan framed perfectly by the silver fox jacket.

We even get to see the silver fox jacket from behind as well, so obviously the director of photography was on the ball for this film.

The Lone Wolf eventually recovers the stolen merchandise, but sadly we never get to see either fur in the film with a pearl necklace. Everything from the wattage of the star power to the amount of fur screen-time is slightly toned down in The Lone Wolf Strikes as compared to The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt. Still, a fine outing for furs, and a 10% on-screen fur ratio is still enormous by any standard.

Fur Runtime: approx 7 minutes
Film Runtime: 67 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 10%

Speaking of comparisons… The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt and the The Lone Wolf Strikes were probably filmed very close to one another. They both feature very similar white fox fur coats. So, what do you think… did bad girl Binnie Weldon steal good girl Val Carson’s white fox coat?

Val:

Binnie:

Explore this question and more with the full gallery: The Fur Fashions of the The Lone Wolf Strikes Full Gallery