Furs on Film – Bluebeard (1972)

We return to what this blog is known for, reviewing fur fashion in terrible movies. This week, it is the later Richard Burton vehicle Bluebeard. Burton went from one of the most respected dramatic actors in Hollywood to closing out his career with a guest spot on The Fall Guy. This is also a period piece, as it is set in the 1930s. So we have the ideal combination of a movie from a great fur decade set in another great fur decade.

Bluebeard – The Film

Bluebeard tells the tale of Baron Kurt von Sepper, a WWI vet who marries an American girl, the latest in a long string of wives who died under “mysterious circumstances.” He forbids his new wife, Anne (Joey Heatherton), from only one room in his palatial estate. Naturally, Anne starts snooping around, leading to the revelation the Baron killed all his previous wives, whom we see in extended flashbacks.

Bluebeard – The Furs

Karin Schubert in a Fox Fur Hat - Bluebeard 1972

The film starts with the Baron’s first wife, Greta (Karin Schubert), who wants to hunt with the Baron while wearing this lovely fox tail hat. I’m sure nothing ironic will happen to her.

Karin Schubert in a Fox Fur Hat - Bluebeard 1972

Something ironic happens to her.

Joey Heatherton in a White Fox Fur Wrap - Bluebeard 1972

Many years and many wives later, he meets Anne. Anne and the Baron get married, of course, after upwards of five minutes of screen time. Anne does some modeling for the Baron in what is one of the best furs in the film, a large stole.

The photo shoot isn’t very long, but it is an excellent example of using fur for titillation.

Joey Heatherton in a White Fox Fur Wrap - Bluebeard 1972

Shortly after the shoot ends, Anne starts the snooping. She takes the white fox stole with her, as any good amateur detective should.

She discovers a room with the corpse of the Baron’s ancient, nearly mummified mother being tended to by a cray old caretaker. She reacts accordingly.

Doka Bukova in Red Fox Fur Collar and Cuffs - Bluebeard 1972

Rosa (Doka Bukova) is not an ex-wife; she is the castle’s only housekeeper who still gets killed in a horse-and-car accident while wearing this meager red fox trim. The trim does not survive the accident, as she falls into a creek while wearing it.

Virna Lisi in a Fur Coat - Bluebeard, 1972

Via flashback, Anne learns about the ex-wives. “The Singer” (Virna Lisi), who meets the Baron at a horse race where she gives him a trophy. Some flashbacks are longer than others; thus, we are apparently not concerned enough with the victim to learn their actual name. This is one of the more obvious callbacks to ‘30s fur fashion.

Nathalie Delon in a White Fox Fur Stole - Bluebeard, 1972

On to Erika (Nathalie Delon), a model who catches the Baron’s eye on the runway while wearing this white fox wrap.

Nathalie Delon in a Ermine Fur Wrap - Bluebeard, 1972

Erika makes it to two furs, showing up shortly after that with an or possible rex wrap.

Raquel Welch in a Fur Collar - Bluebeard, 1972

Another short-timer is “The Nun” (Raquel Welch), whom the Baron woos from the habit to more fashional fare, including this fox collar. Before killing her off, of course.

Marilù Tolo in a Monkey Fur Coat - Bluebeard, 1972

Brigitte (Marilù Tolo) is important enough for a name and a monkey hair jacket when she first appears to the Baron while playing a caricature of a militant feminist delivering a fiery speech.

Karin Schubert in a sleeveless Fox Fur Coat - Bluebeard, 1972

Finally, we return once again to Greta, where we get some additional details on their story, including a scene of her arrival at the castle in this magnificent sleeveless hooded fox. 

Unfortunately, it is only on screen for a criminally brief period.

Bluebeard has a lot of different fur in it, though only a couple are given any room to breathe while on screen. Fortunately, one of them is the white fox stole. The film’s length pushes the ratio down to 4.4%, but the quality and variety of the furs, and the ladies wearing them, still make it worthwhile to check out. I’m not sure it sufficiently captured the grandeur of ‘30s furs, but it was a nice try.

  • Fur Runtime: approx 5 minutes
  • Film Runtime: 145 minutes
  • On-Screen Fur Ratio: 4.4%

Find-a-Fur: Bluebeard, 1972

(all times are approximate and are affected by the cut of the film)

  • 12:00 – 14:30 – fox tail hat 
  • 26:20 – white fox stole/wrap
  • 27:55 – 29:00 – ”
  • 43:00 – red fox trim
  • 53:20 – sable trim
  • 1:01:10 – white fox wrap
  • 1:02:30 – ermine wrap
  • 1:18:20 – fox trim
  • 1:28:40 – monkey
  • 1:46:10 – large, hooded red fox
  • 1:51:10 – fox hat again (same shots)

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