Furs on Film – Via Montenapoleone (1987)

Let's discuss the limits of technology. Namely, upscaling technology, where the results can be impressive but are still highly dependent on the quality of the source material. In old programmer lingo: garbage in, garbage out. Thus, when you start with fuzzy-VHS-quality standard def, you are not destined for 4k greatness. Thus do I adjust your expectations about the media quality in this Via Montenapoleone review.

Via Montenapoleone – The Film

As far as I can tell, the film is an R-rated '80s nighttime soap-style film heavily influenced by Dynasty, which is one of the best things you can be influenced by. It appears to be a loosely strung-together anthology of sorts, with an ensemble cast that each has their own storyline running through but still briefly crosses paths with the rest. It's basically Italian rich-people problems, the movie. It's named after Via Monte Napoleone, the Rodeo Drive of Milan.

Via Montenapoleone – The Furs

Carol Alt in a Mink Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

Via Montenapoleone is heavily influenced by Dynasty in several ways; the one we really care about is the furs. First is Carol Alt, an 80s supermodel who broke into acting using *checks notes* Italian films. Well, whaddayaknow?

Carol Alt in a Mink Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

Carol plays Margherita, who appears in a black coat, unconventionally getting a number in the days long before iPhones.

Renée Simonsen with a Marble Fox Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

We quickly skip to, in my humble opinion, the best fur in the movie. This is model Elena (Renée Simonsen) doing model stuff in her huge marble fox .

She's holding it for most of her scene, but you get to see her wear it briefly as she departs.

Marisa Berenson in a Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

My opinion on the best fur could be controversial, as the film has a wide variety of fur. Up next is the core pair of fur wearers in the movie. This is Francesca (Marisa Berenson) in a short hair fur coat. Maybe mink or muskrat?

Marisa Berenson and Corinne Cléry in a Fur Coats - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

She meets Chiara (Corinne Cléry), wearing a fox coat. The usual color conundrum applies, I suspect it's , but the lighting and film quality renders it uncertain.

We're in luck because we follow Chiara and her fox home.

Marisa Berenson in a Sable Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

Francesca gets another turn in this ? which enjoys a decent amount of screen time.

Carol Alt in Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

Margherita has a scene at what might be an airport in this coat. It may be mouton, maybe a sheared mink; it's difficult to say.

Carol Alt in Fur Coat with an Actress in a Fox Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

She hands a postcard to a woman in a fox coat. I could not determine the actress's name because this is just a bit part. 

Carol Alt in a Sable Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

Elena has her own vehicular encounter in what may be the same sable that Francesca was wearing earlier. You only see it in this car, so it's difficult to be sure.

Carol Alt in a Sable Fur Coat and Fox Fur Hat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

The film ends with most of the characters strolling down what, I am going out on a limb and guessing is, Via Monte Napoleone. Margherita is upgraded to a sable coat and fox ushanka hat.

Francesca and Chiara bump into each other. Francesca's back in sable, and Chiara brings along a .

Sharon Gusberti in a Sable Fur Coat - Via Montenapoleone, 1987

Finally, Sharon Gusberti, who hasn't been seen in fur prior, appears in this short hair coat, again, probably sheared mink.

Technically, the film ends with Valentina Cortese in another thoroughly brown affair, but I'm not contractually obligated to care enough to make a little box for it. There are shots of her in the gallery, have at them. 

Via Montenapoleone is a fine example of ‘80s fashion excess that clocks in at a solid 11% based on a pretty impressive variety of furs. According to Wikipedia, a three-hour television cut may have more fur in it, but only the cinematic version could be found. Of course, when I see the fully restored 4k tv cut, I'll update the gallery. (I won't hold my breath on that one, though.)

  • Fur Runtime: 11:54 minutes
  • Film Runtime: 104 minutes
  • On-Screen Fur Ratio: 11%

Find-a-Fur: Via Montenapoleone, 1987

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

  • 2:00 – quick mink on street
  • 23:10 – 26:12 – black mink?
  • 29:45 – 30:30 – marble? fox coat
  • 32:00 – mink trim and hat
  • 37:35 – very short hair brown coat
  • 40:12 – mink? coat + crystal? fox (short)
  • 41:30 – 43:00 – crystal? fox coat
  • 1:00:43 – 03:03 – sable coat
  • 1:06:25 – 1:08:04 – mouton coat to fox to blanket action
  • 1:12:45 – sable coat
  • 1:33:30 – mink coat
  • 1:37:15 – 41:05 (end) fox hat and sable? coat, to another sable coat + lynx, to sheared mink? to roadkill

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