Another big one I’d been hoping to post, checks notes, ten years ago. This one is even more fun because I suspect the tone would be different had I gotten around to it then. Progress is fun… except in fashion norms (sigh). Let’s chow down on some Breakfast for Two.
Breakfast for Two
Genre: Comedy/Classic Comedies
Format: Full Screen, NTSC, Black & White
Breakfast for Two – The Film
Okay, let’s get problematic. The film is about the relationship between drunken playboy industrialist Jonathan Blair (Herbert Marshall) and Texan heiress Valentine Ransome (site favorite Barbara Stanwyck). The titular breakfast occurs in act 1. We find Blair awakening with no memory of the previous night and Ransome in his house. It’s 1937; you’re not allowed to think any hanky-panky happened. Ransome decides to reform Blair, and we embark on an odyssey of corporate espionage, homewrecking, and assault.
Breakfast for Two – The Furs
Buckle up; we get to the best stuff right out of the gate. Breakfast time finds our heroine in the Blair mansion with her evening gown and something to keep her warm during the previous night on the town. That would be an enormous white fox fur cape.
Honestly, this entire sequence, in which we are subjected to the banter between the leads and are expected to find Blair “charming,” is exasperating on several levels. The worst: this magnificent white fox cape is very poorly filmed.
Valentine mostly holds it off the shoulder, and there are only a few very brief closeups of Barbara with the fur. Blair is in pretty much every single shot, like the inescapable asshole he becomes in the film’s climax.
We also briefly meet Carol Wallace (Glenda Farrell), Blair’s current fiancé and immediate romantic rival to Valentine. Homewrecking ahoy! Carol thinks Blair bought her the white fox cape.
Carol does some work in the film. She is an actress and is costumed accordingly. This fox fur jacket is probably just gray, but it’s black and white; we can imagine it’s something exotic like fuchsia or electric purple.
Amusingly it seems Carol has white fox cape envy. Same, really. There is an unfortunately short sequence where we Blair sliding her into this white fox trimmed cape with a huge collar.
As the byzantine pot progresses, Valentine appears in a couple of other furs. The first in the bog-standard silver fox fur stole of the ‘30s. For a movie with other fabulous foxes, this seems like the costume designer took a break that day.
Next up is easily the worst of the bunch, a mink stole that looks like it’s falling apart.
Worse still, this is the fur the director decides to lavish close-ups on.
Finally, we arrive at the climax of the film. The good: this fox-trimmed cape is seen on screen for a solid four minutes. The bad: despite being on screen for four minutes, it’s still poorly filmed. The worst: we have to endure the “comedic comeuppance” of Valentine’s schemes wherein Blair engages in the textbook definition of assault.
(sarcasm) It’s okay, they’re really in love. (sarcasm)
This cake isn’t a lie, bitch.
Because it’s 1937, we move immediately from a scene where a woman is forcibly detained to the part where they get married in a train station.
I thought about providing some context to the events of the film’s climax, and I decided not to. Does it exist? Sure. Does it excuse the behavior at the end of the film? Still no. Anyway, this is a pretty good flick from the fur fashion perspective. Most other perspectives, probably less so. The marquee furs are fabulous, but they aren’t well filmed, and it clocks in at a solid 12%.
Film Runtime: 67 minutes
Fur Runtime: approx 8.5 minutes
Onscreen Fur Ratio: 12.7%
Now let’s try some cheap editing tricks. Presenting the Breakfast for Two fur fashion sizzle reel!