Furs on Film – Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

Marguerite Churchill in a White Fox Fur Cape - Dracula's Daughter 1936

A Secretary in a White Fox Cape

I’ve been spoiling you. Seven color updates in a row? Okay, four color updates, ten years, and three color updates. Still, I double-checked the math; it adds up. So you get to eat your veggies today with a film I was hoping to do back when I was updating this blog with some degree of regularity. It is one I patiently waited for to show up again on TCM, Dracula’s Daughter, and they never obliged. To borrow a phrase: obsessiveness finds a way. In a better resolution, too.

Dracula’s Daughter – The Movie

Calling this a rushed sequel to a movie (Dracula, 1931) that debuted five years before it was released probably doesn’t make much sense, but just read the Wikipedia article. Gloria Holden stars as Countess Marya Zaleska, daughter of a certain well-known vampire, alive and hating it. She tries to cure herself by torching pop’s body, then trying psychiatry. Conveniently, Dr. Jeffrey Garth is already on the case of defending “Von” Helsing from killing dad. Due to peer pressure, she reverts to her blood-sucking ways, kidnaps Dr. Garth’s main-squeeze/secretary, and tries to turn him.

Dracula’s Daughter – The Furs

It’s 1936, and workplace romance is not only acceptable; it’s the plot of hundreds of movies produced every year. Meet Janet Blake, a wealthy baroness’ daughter moonlighting as secretary to Dr. Jeffery Garth.

Marguerite Churchill in a Lynx Fur Collar - Dracula's Daughter 1936

Played by Marguerite Churchill, she has arrived to retrieve her boss to return him to London to defend Von Helsing. She does so in a large, , as any personal assistant of the is prone to do.

Marguerite Churchill in a Lynx Fur Collar - Dracula's Daughter 1936

Garth delivers the line of dialog that establishes she is the daughter of baroness in this scene. Audiences were ready to accept vampires, not Janet’s somewhat lavish wardrobe for a personal assistant’s dime.

Marguerite Churchill in a Lynx Fur Collar - Dracula's Daughter 1936

If you thought the titular character would be doing a lot of the fur fashion work in this flick, you would be wrong. Gloria Holden’s Countess Zaleska has only one fur, and it only appears for a few seconds before it’s gone.

Gloria Holden in a Silver Fox Fur Trimmed Cape - Dracula's Daughter 1936

On to the star of the show. About halfway through the film, Janet cruises around doing secretary stuff wearing this enormous . Again, perfectly normal for 1930s secretaries, or so Hollywood has told me.

Marguerite Churchill in a White Fox Fur Cape - Dracula's Daughter 1936

This beautiful cape gets a nice amount of screen time from all angles. 

Marguerite Churchill in a White Fox Fur Cape - Dracula's Daughter 1936

We are treated to several closeups of Miss Churchill framed by the white fox.

Marguerite Churchill in a White Fox Fur Cape - Dracula's Daughter 1936

Janet is kidnapped at the end of the scene. Sadly, evil Countess Zaleska has no sympathy for her captives staying warm in a drafty Transylvanian castle, and the cape is never seen again.

Marguerite Churchill in a White Fox Fur Cape - Dracula's Daughter 1936

That’s all for the fur, but wow, what a fur. I would have used this without the bonus lynx collar, but that was a solid value add. It would have been nice if Zaleska added more to the runtime, but that’s a minor quibble.

Film Runtime: 72 minutes
Fur Runtime: approx 3 minutes
Onscreen Fur Ratio: 4.2%

One thought on “Furs on Film – Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

Leave a Reply