Furs on Film – Singing in the Rain (1952)

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 decade’s 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.


Jean Hagen in a Pink Fox Stole - Singing in the Rain - 1952

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Singin’ in the Rain [Blu-ray]

Genre: Musicals & Performing Arts, Drama, Love & Romance, Comedy
Format: Blu-ray, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Dolby


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.

Actress in an Ermine Coat - Singing in the Rain - 1952

This 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.”

Actress in an Chinchilla Cape - Singing in the Rain - 1952

Enter Lina in this coat with a huge collar. Lina spends most of the opening silent, the reason for which becomes evident towards the end.

Jean Hagen in a White Fox Trimmed Coat - Singing in the Rain - 1952

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.

Jean Hagen in a White Fox Trimmed Coat - Singing in the Rain - 1952

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:

Model in an Fur Trimmed Coat - Singing in the Rain - 1952

Meh:

Model in an Fur Trimmed Coat - Singing in the Rain - 1952

Not really trying:

Model in an Feather Muff - Singing in the Rain - 1952

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.

Model in an Dyed Fox Fur Trimmed Coat - Singing in the Rain - 1952

Lina wears this 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.

Jean Hagen in a Black Fox Stole - Singing in the Rain - 1952

Lina heeds the film’s advice, though she chooses a slightly less saturated pink for her final fur of the film. She wears this fur stole while in contract negotiations/blackmail with the studio boss.

Jean Hagen in a Pink Fox Stole - Singing in the Rain - 1952

Closer angle, providing a good shot not only of the fur but Lina’s highly color-coordinated pink .

Jean Hagen in a Pink Fox Stole - Singing in the Rain - 1952

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!”

5 thoughts on “Furs on Film – Singing in the Rain (1952)

  1. Cool, I can retire.

    Heh, for anyone of a more delicate constitution you should be aware there’s a bit of an adult flavor to the website that SimonG has linked, so enter at your own risk. Of course you’ll have to register to enter at all, I should also point out.

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