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Furs on Film – The Bitch (1979)

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Guess I should put some more effort into this. Thus, as of the current status of my review of all fur media, I present the greatest fur film of the , The Bitch. It has a couple of things in common with the greatest fur film of the 1930s, The Mad Miss Manton: lots of furs and a protagonist with a funny name. Something it does not have in common… lots of softcore scenes. 

This is our note that this is an R-rated movie, and our update references some “adult themes.” Continue at your own discretion.

The Bitch – The Film

The titular character, Fontaine Khaled (Joan Collins), is a woman fallen on hard times, something the film only tells and in no way shows, thankfully. She's divorced her billionaire husband, and her nightclub is struggling. For those interested, the thrilling details of these events are lovingly rendered in the film The Stud. If I recall correctly, that film has one fur in it, and not for very long. The film follows Fontaine's romance with a grifter in debt to the mob and culminates with fixing a horse race. It's a boring melodrama that exists solely for the extended, not particularly explicit sex scenes. Even then, there aren't a lot of them, either. Yet, it was one of the biggest films in the UK in 1979 and helped revive Collins' career.

The Bitch – The Furs

Again, there's little reason to care about anything that happens in the film; just enjoy a cavalcade of the late 70s immense fur goodness. Honestly, this is pretty much an 80s fur film, but release dates do not lie.

Starting slow. Our love interest, Nico, meets up with a shady character and his girlfriend at the New York airport when he first notices Fontaine. I believe this is Alibe Parsons playing Bernice in a cream-colored coat. Her few lines will remind you it's the 70s, that's for sure.

While that was happening, eagle eyes would notice Fontaine's with someone carrying something exciting indeed. Thankfully, patience is rewarded, and Fontaine wears it when she arrives in London. We get our first glimpses of this enormous blue fox cape with a magnificent collar.

Sadly, whoever was in charge of continuity really dropped the ball because she is out of it again a few minutes later. This entire airport sequence feels like most of the film's first act. She meets up with someone far less spectacularly dressed. This is Carolyn Seymour in a pretty basic mink coat. She's playing Polly Logan, who is there for 2 reasons, to tell us Fontaine's disco is in trouble and to bring along her chauffeur.

We get a shot of them together in their furs in the back of the Rolls. Fontaine expenses a particular interest in the chauffeur. Oh my, I wonder where this is going?

Exactly where you think it is for a 70s softcore drama. She seduces the chauffeur with a bit of help from her fabulous blue fox cape. Keep in mind this entire six to eight minutes of the film is entirely unrelated to the plot, such as it is. Not that I'm complaining.

Blink, and you will miss a shot of Fontaine in the back of the Rolls with a silver fox stole.

Fontaine and Nico's romance, such as it is, unfolds. Nico used her to smuggle a fake gem out of New York. That leads to… oh, yes? No one cares? Right. Moving on. More importantly, we learn Fontaine Khaled has an affinity for big fox fur capes. This one looks to be a marble fox.

Another blink and you will miss the shot of Fontaine exiting her flat with a black fox wrap.

Nico and Fontaine have similar views on monogamy, so he has a bit of a fling with a lady sent by the mob. Pamela Salem, playing Lynn, is briefly seen in this fox jacket in a couple of shots.

They drift back together long enough for a much better shot of that marble fox . Lucky us.

The film meanders into the third act as Nico and Fontaine visit the countryside to fix a little horse race. Fontaine arrives in style in a full-length lynx .

She meets up with and hugs, Sue Lloyd, playing Vanessa Grant. Sue greets Fontaine in a red fox jacket.

You're here for “Sue Lloyd in fur,” right? Because you're gonna get a lot of that from here on out in the movie. Also, horse smooches.

Fontaine graces us with “one” more fur before the film is out. This raccoon appears.

I posted about a possible fur coat continuity error with Christmas Vacation. I am 100% sure there's a continuity error here. This sequence includes two shots, one inside the car, and one outside. Here's Fontaine inside the car.

And here is a simple of the short cutaway shots from the exterior looking inside. This is an entirely different coat. I suspect the severe reflections on the windshield were shot on purpose when they realized just how different the two coats were because they fully interfered with a clear view of Fontaine.

This is what you're reading this blog for, fur coat continuity errors:

So we arrive at the end. The big horse race. Sadly Fontaine chooses this one moment not to wear fur. We have to make it through with the Vanessa Grant character wearing a full-length coyote fur coat and hat. 

In fairness, she does so throughout the entire sequence.

And that is it. My main quibble is the lack of a good fur on Joan Collins at the end. But, overall, easily the best 70s fur film I have seen so far. I alluded to it earlier, but I think what we think of as 80s fur fashion was in full swing in the late 70s. This also lines up with the fact that it ended ‘early', trailing off before the 80s ended. 

Fur Runtime: approx 10 minutes
Film Runtime: 89 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 11%

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