I want to say this isn’t a “fallback” update, but it is. I think I’ll have to readjust my standards if I’m going to have a steadier stream of updates. Or the next decades’ Thirtiesesque renaissance of enormous fur fashions needs to get here sooner. (You heard it here; first, I hope.) Grab your umbrellas, we’re Singing in the Rain.
Singing in the Rain – The Film
We have another decade-hopping entry, a film from 1952, set in 1927 when those state-of-the-art “talkies” threatened silent films. Someday they’ll remake this film; only it’ll be about 3D. Silent film couple Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont are America’s current set of onscreen sweethearts but have a slightly more complex relationship off-screen. Lina’s voice isn’t quite up to the difficult task of “being heard” and jeopardizes their first major talkie. Don has a chance meeting with Kathy Selden (Debby Reynolds), who, in a completely unexpected twist, is an enormously talented and endearing woman with whom he falls deeply in love. Despite Lina’s best efforts, they end up living happily ever after.
Singing in the Rain – The Furs
Jean Hagen plays Lina Lamont in the film and, as a successful silent film star, wears (almost) all the furs. The role earned her a Best Supporting Actress nod.
The film starts with the premiere of Don and Lina’s latest film, The Royal Rascal, with a staple of film-making from the period: the red carpet arrival sequence. There are a couple of vaguely interesting pieces on display here.
This chinchilla is quickly dropped to the dragging position. It reminds me of a bit from Get Smart where Max asks a movie star why she has two minks, and she responds to the effect of “one for wearing, one for dragging.”
Enter Lina in this coat with a huge white fox collar. Lina spends most of the opening silent, the reason for which becomes evident towards the end.
Enjoy a close-up of the collar; the white fox very nicely frames Jean Hagen’s ultra-blonde locks. The entire outfit is a 50’s musical version of the classic flapper look. It gets points for the inclusion of white fox and quickly loses them for want of a very long cigarette holder.
We have a brief detour through a musical number that features a fashion show. Sadly, most of the furs (or attempts at simulating them) aren’t all that great, such as:
Not really trying:
BINGO. Yes, the best thing in the film, visible for but a few brief seconds as the lines “If you must wear fox to the opera, dame fashion says, Dye it!” I could not agree more, my friend, couldn’t agree more.
Lina wears this black fox stole while attempting to get vocal coaching. Like our next entry, it’s the kind that has a few too many extra bits for my liking.
Lina heeds the film’s advice, though she chooses a slightly less saturated pink for her final fur of the film. She wears this pink fox fur stole while in contract negotiations/blackmail with the studio boss.
Closer angle, providing a good shot not only of the fur but Lina’s highly color-coordinated pink gloves.
So, we’ve got some variety and a couple of decent foxes as anchors. While I would have preferred the pink fox wrap from the fashion sequence have been all fox (same for the white fox in the opener), at least it got the color right. If there’s no danger of inducing blindness, then there’s not enough dye for me. The ratio is 8% because Lina spends a good few minutes in both white and pink fox.
Fur Runtime: approx 8 minutes
Film Runtime: 103 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 8%
Full Gallery: Fur Fashions of the 1952 film Singing in the Rain.
Warning, editorial content: Seriously, WTF? Heavens, TWO “darns!”