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Furs on Film – Madame Claude (1977)

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Today we answer the question: why did the 2021 version of Madame Claude so prominently feature fur coats? Was it because the film's costume department meticulously analyzed the fur-wearing habits of high-class '70s escorts and cross-referenced the socioeconomic status of the average Parisian citizen during the decade in question? No. It's because the 1977 version prominently featured coyote fur coats.

Madame Claude – The Film

While the 2021 version attempted a slightly more docudrama feel, the 1977 original played things a little less seriously. It slid into that niche of “serious drama” that also happened to have a lot of nudity and some softcore scenes. That was the MO of director “Just Jaeckin,” whose filmography is replete with similar efforts. I only mention the director because I have no idea how to pronounce his name in French, but in English, it's friggn' hilarious. 

Madame Claude – The Furs

We establish the titular character's status as a high-class, jet-setting madame by having her arrive on the Concorde wearing a full-length coyote .

You get a lot of the coat in this early sequence because Madame Claude (Françoise Fabian) is off to meet one of her high-powered clients.

Shortly after that, the scene switches to another coyote fur coat. 

This one needs help staying on veteran escort Anne-Marie (Vibeke Knudsen-Bergeron). I can't pronounce that either, but it's not as funny as Just Jaeckin. Nothing is as funny as Just Jaeckin: softcore drama director.

We switch over to a central storyline, as the Madame is out shopping in her full-length black coat and catches a woman shoplifting.

She covers for her and, of course, eventually offers her a “job.”

Anne-Marie, the coyote fur coat, and the rest of the staff return for a team-building meeting with the Madame.


Anne-Marie is written up.

Later there is a brief glance at another coyote coat (which may be the same as Anne-Marie's coat).

There is also a blink-and-you-‘ll-miss-it fox stroller, worn by someone I cannot identify, who passes by with her client while the Madame watches while wearing her mink.

The dark mink returns for an extended sequence in a dark car, so it's hard to count that to the total since the fur is virtually invisible the whole time.

Fortunately, the coat is seen clearly once they leave the car.

Finally, this mink-trimmed coat gets more screen time than it probably deserves as the Madame shows her recent recruit around the new apartment she's been gifted.

Hang around to the very (very) end, as, just before the credits roll, the black mink shows up one more time.

So, how do they stack up? As far as fur fashion is concerned, the remake is definitely better than the original. The 1977 version is good, but the 2021 version sported better furs overall and gave them a decent amount of screen time. It also had more fox fur, so that's a lot of points in its favor. There is less fur overall in the 2021 version, but it uses six minutes better than the 1977 version, with almost fifteen.

  • Fur Runtime: approx 14.25 minutes
  • Film Runtime: 105 minutes
  • On-Screen Fur Ratio: 5.18%

Find-a-Fur: Madame Claude, 1977

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

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