Furs on Film – Girls About Town (1931)

Enough of this 2020s BS; let’s head back to simpler times where the women were of low moral character, and the Hays Code had yet to be implemented. Amusingly, the low moral character in question of these Girls About Town is of the fiscal variety, though I’m sure the film producers would have no qualms about your mind wandering. 

Girls About Town – The Film 

This is the story of Wanda (Kay Francis) and Marie (Lilyan Tashman), a couple of girls about town who help swindle rich guys. They go out to dinner and some dancing, but no one get’s “invited up,” if you know what I mean. And I think you do. Naturally, Wanda meets a mark (Joel McCrea) and falls in love. Complications arise in the form of Wanda’s not-exactly-ex-husband, who demands some cash. Because this is Pre-Code, these women of easy virtue overcome these obstacles and live happily ever after.

Girls About Town – The Furs

We get a taste of the grift in the opening as Marie and Wanda take out a couple of non-plot-relevant guys. Marie wears what appears to be a mink-trimmed dress throughout most of the date.

Lilyan Tashman in Fur Trim - Girls About Town - 1931

Marie slips into this fur-trimmed robe to relax upon returning to their swanky shared domicile.

Lilyan Tashman in White Fox Fur Trim - Girls About Town - 1931

Hello, Pre-Code Hollywood’s shot of two grown women in the same bed. This is all the more ironic since there is no sexual tension at all here. While I’m hardly above shipping them, the simple fact is these women are aggressively heterosexual.

Lilyan Tashman in White Fox Fur Trim - Girls About Town - 1931

Ah, we make it to the boat. We like the boat. The boat is where Wanda wears this magnificent fox-trimmed bolero jacket for a good six and half minutes.

Kay Francis in a Fox Fur Trimmed Bolero Jacket - Girls About Town - 1931

The enormous collar and double cuffs are simply gorgeous, and over those six and a half minutes, we are treated to multiple angles and closeups.

Kay Francis in a Fox Fur Trimmed Bolero Jacket - Girls About Town - 1931

Plot? Oh, right, this is where Wanda and Jim fall in love. Can’t say I blame him.

Kay Francis in a Fox Fur Trimmed Bolero Jacket - Girls About Town - 1931

There are more hijinks on the boat, and Marie is relegated to the b-plot of the film. Here she’s pulling on a very short-haired fur-trimmed robe.

Lilyan Tashman in Fur Trim - Girls About Town - 1931

Marie is chummy with Jim’s business partner, who is on the outs with his wife because he’s stingy. They meet, and Marie is sympathetic to her plight, so she tries to ‘cure’ him of his stinginess at a jewelry store in this fox-trimmed dress.

Lilyan Tashman in Fur Trim - Girls About Town - 1931

Advancing the plot a bit, Wanda discovers her ex-husband was shaking down Jim because he needed the money for his new bride and child. This discovery is made while wearing one of the standard-issue ‘30s fur stoles.

Kay Francis in a Silver Fox Fur Stole - Girls About Town - 1931

Now unwilling to demand the money back, Wanda and Marie decide to sell off some of their possessions to raise funds to pay Jim back. What are they selling? Furs! Here Marie wears -trim while discussing selling an ermine coat.

Lilyan Tashman in Ermine Fur Trim - Girls About Town - 1931

The whole “fur sale” sequence lasts around three to five minutes. Here Marie demonstrates the benefits of a scarf.

Lilyan Tashman in a Sable Fur Scarf - Girls About Town - 1931

Wanda models the ermine coat for the ladies.

Kay Francis in an Ermine Fur Coat - Girls About Town - 1931

The final scenes have Wanda Marie visit Jim to give him the proceeds from their impromptu fur fire sale. Wanda wears a really short hair and Marie a much nicer fur-trimmed stroller with an oversized collar.

Kay Francis in a Fur Jacket and Lilyan Tashman in a Fur Collar - Girls About Town - 1931

Jim and Wanda reconcile, and Marie wraps up the b-plot by reuniting comic-relief husband and wife.

Lilyan Tashman in a Fur Collar - Girls About Town - 1931

It’s Pre-Code, baby; all the terrible people get a happy ending! The producers of this film wish you to only mildly consider that a double entendre. This film is excellent from the amount and quality of fur fashion and gets bonus points for fur being tangentially related to the plot. Kay Francis’ huge fox-trimmed coat is the marquee fur, and it gets all the attention it so richly deserves. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but Kay Francis on the marquee is a good sign you’re gonna see fur in a movie. A solid 15+ minutes of screen time makes it a real heavyweight in the on-screen fur ratio department.

Fur Runtime: approx 15 minutes
Film Runtime: 80 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 18.76%

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