Well, I was going to post this last week, but it kind of sucks to roll out of bed and suddenly discover the workflow you’ve used for three years now suddenly fails. Ah, codec drama! I have no idea what screwed it up, and the prospect of figuring it out is daunting, so I did a lazy workaround that involves moving mountains of data on an external hard drive and… What, you don’t care? Right, right…
Then how about one of the single most enormous fox collars committed to the screen? Rockabye, baby!
Rockabye – The Film
In this early 30’s Constance Bennett flick, she plays Judy Carroll, a Broadway actress who testifies for her former boyfriend, an embezzler. While I’m not sure about the particular legal statute involved here (probably because they made it up), doing so ends up costing her custody of an orphan she had planned to adopt. She drowns her sorrows with a trip to Europe with (le sigh) her old, rotund, alcoholic mother. She meets a playwright with an eerily autobiographical play called, wait for it: Rockabye. Judy theoretically falls in love with him and wants to take the play back to Broadway, but, in a twist that may not have been quite so cliché in 1932, she ends up with her loving manager instead.
Rockabye – The Furs
As famous Broadway actress Judy Caroll, Constance Bennett does most of the fur-wearing and almost all of the fur-wearing you’d particularly want to see. For the sake of accuracy, if not the level of bile in my stomach, I should mention Judy’s mother also wears fur. She’s played Jobyna Howland, a woman every bit as young, thin, and attractive as Marie Dressler. Okay, that’s a little unfair to Jobyna; she’s maybe 2% more attractive.
How do you get your dirty, embezzling ex-boyfriend acquitted? You go to court and testify in this:
He’d be in the clear if I were on the jury.
Anyone who dated a woman with this kind of fashion sense is a-okay in my book.
Not sure how else to put this, but: I really, really like this collar.
I realize this isn’t precisely the insightful level of commentary you’ve come to expect from me, but, honestly, I’m a little distracted.
Now, the collar is pretty much grade-A, but let’s not forget what’s been in her lap the whole time. As she leaves the stand, she helpfully hefts that big barrel muff, so we get a good look at it.
The cherry on top of this is that not only is the quality exceptional, but it’s not merely a fleeting glance. The courtroom sequence provides over 3 minutes of footage alone.
It’s followed by about two more, most with this shot as she’s riding home from the courtroom. Now, if I were to find fault with any of this, it’s that she spends the entire time in the backseat doing absolutely nothing with that cigarette holder in her hand.
She returns home, where we meet her soon-to-be ex-orphan for a little heart-string tugging. This shot illustrates a point I made in an earlier update. The better the collar, the less of the head you can see from the back (or the side, for that matter).
There’s another fur in the film? Oh, right, yes, there is. Not that I think it matters at this point. There’s this probably mink item that I’ll call a wrap since “bib,” while seemingly more accurate, doesn’t sound all that fashionable.
For a film that starts so spectacularly, it briefly descends into the depths of mediocrity with Constance Bennett in this most basic of full-length mink coats. This fur is given all the screen time it deserves, which is: not much at all.
Finally, in what would have been a fur with a pretty decent collar in any other film but ends up being an afterthought here, we see Virginia Hammond in this black fox trimmed wrap.
It is a lovely, full-body trim, one that I might ordinarily lavish a bit more attention upon, but, really, you can scroll up and call it even.
While the total Fur Ratio is 19%, and that’s pretty darn impressive, the only fur that matters is actually on screen for a total of five and a half minutes. That makes the “Awesome Fur Ratio” about 6%, but that’s still not shabby. That five and a half minutes is filled with close-ups that lavish the appropriate amount of attention on Constance and that fantastic outfit.
Fur Runtime: approx 14 minutes
Film Runtime: 75 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 19%