2011/07/31

Furs on TV – Moonlighting Seasons 1 and 2

Posting has been a little thin in these, the dog days of summer. Not that that’s an actual excuse, mind you, just sounds nice. In any case, I think this one may be a little popular. My stats are clear on one thing, readers like color, and readers love the 80’s. Hey I love both too, just a little trickier getting 80’s furs here, at least with televised sources. Which leads me to this, which isn’t from a televised source at all. They didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but I’ll try refining my technique over time.

Moonlighting- The Series

Not to say that Moonlighting wasn’t televised, it certainly was, and I watched it. The story of a down-on-her-luck model/actress (Cybill Shepherd) with only one remaining source of income, a detective agency she didn’t know she had, and the rather free spirited guy (Bruce Willis) who ran the place solo until she showed up. Romantic tension abounded, cases were solved, and some very innovative television appeared from time to time. Then the writers screwed it all up. But that was season 3 and 4, and so my annoyance with the show shouldn’t be much of an issue here.

Moonlighting- The Furs

While the monetary woes of Madeline “Maddie” Hayes drove her to a day job at a detective agency, little about her home, and, most importantly, her wardrobe, suggested she was in any real financial trouble. No, Maddie generally looked the part of a model/actress, and she certainly didn’t have to sell her furs to make ends meet. Oh, what furs they were…

Gunfight at the So-So Corral”

This episode introduces us to the full length amber fox coat that receives quite a bit of screen time in this and another episode. It’s the coat that ends up in the credit sequence for Cybill Shepherd in later seasons.

This episode provides two fairly long sequences for the fox coat, which is, like every fur Maddie wears, a poster child for 80’s mega fox.

There’s a few good close shots of it as well.

Fur Runtime: 3:55

Read the Mind… See the Movie”

Up next is this equally ravishing crystal fox.

Like the previous episode, the coat is given quite the display, clocking in at nearly 3 minutes, with some great wide shots.

And closer shots as Maddie argues with David later. Them, arguing? I’m shocked!

Fur Runtime: 2:41

Next Stop, Murder”

The full length amber fox fur coat is back, and, if you didn’t get enough of it in “Gunfight at the So-So Corral,” then “Next Stop, Murder” will help you out… a lot.

The coat clocks in at about 8 minutes of screen time, almost a fifth of the episode.

She wears it dangling from her shoulders most of that time, as we’re treated to it from most every angle and width of shot.

Multiple close ups provide very nice views of Miss Shepherd’s face framed by the fur.

Fur Runtime: 7:30

Brother, Can You Spare a Blonde?”

Season two starts off fairly light, with what may be the crystal fox coat seen in “Read the Mind… See the Movie” in a confined driving shot.

The coat is only seen twice, once when she’s driving, once when she’s a passenger. Not all that great an episode by any stretch of the imagination.

Fur Runtime: 0:40

Knowing Her”

Things don’t pick up, much, as season two rolls on. While Miss Shepherd did most of the fur wearing in the series, it certainly wasn’t exclusive to her. This rather fast shot of a quintessential 80’s prostitute, wearing fox, of course, isn’t very long, but is appreciated for keeping the stereotype alive.

Fur Runtime: 0:18

“The Bride of Tupperman”

Things get back on track with this episode, and a full length lynx fur coat that receives all the attention it deserves.

There’s a few close ups, and the coat is seen from all angles.

Plus, for those who may be interested, she is wearing some gloves with lynx.

This was the second season’s second best fur episode overall.

Fur Runtime: 2:45

“North by North Dipesto”

In keeping with the opening up of mega fox fur coat wearing to those not Cybill Shepherd in season two, there’s reliable Agnes Dipesto’s shot at glamor with this episode.

While Agnes Dipesto (Allyce Beasley) doesn’t quite fill this fur out the way Maddie might, she makes a go of it.

It becomes the focus of a joke as Agnes’ encounters a man who (dashingly) removes it and tosses it over a railing where it lands on a chatting couple.

Fur Runtime: 0:20

“Every Daughter’s Father Is a Virgin”

Season two’s final fur is a good one to go out on. This is a different full length white fox coat, and it is worn a bit more appropriately by Maddie Hayes. It also receives the screen time such a large fox merits, a good 2 minutes.

At no point in any episode has Maddie worn anything but a huge 80’s fox fur, and for that we can certainly appreciate the dedication of the show’s costuming department.

You can tell this a different white fox from “North by North Dipesto” because of the chevron pattern to the pelts in back, which the previous white fox lacked.

Fur Runtime: 2:15

Moonlighting‘s overall episode ratio isn’t quite the impressive stat of a Dynasty or Dallas, but the quality of furs when they appear is exquisite. As I said, Maddie Hayes has only one kind of fur in her closet, and that’s big. There’s little doubt these wonderful fox and lynx coats hailed from the mid-80’s. Later seasons didn’t have quite so much fur, but when they did, they were still uniformly large. That certainly makes Moonlighting a worthy addition to any collection.

Full Gallery: Fur Fashions of Moonlighting’s 1st and 2nd Seasons

2011/07/17

Jane Russell in White Fox

jane Russell 1964  (June 21, 1921 – February 28, 2011).

We return with another hot geo-political topic: should Panama be the 51st state? Morton Kondracke, your thoughts?

Oh, wait, the cover, riiiight! Sorry, majored in government in college, and philosophy, too. Très useful, kids. That would be non-blonde bombshell Jane Russell, still looking the part 1964, draped in a thick white fox fringed wrap. Not only that, happily married after 21 years. Um, don’t ask about year 25…

Bonus points for anyone who gets the Morton Kondracke joke.

2011/07/03

More Dietrich, More Fur

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich in White Fox Trim

Getting more search traffic to this blog with terms related to Marlene Dietrich… Wonder why? Oh, right, the wonderful ease it is to find her draped in the largest, most beautiful furs. While I do strive for a little variety, of course, I admit I have trouble passing those images up when I see a “new” one, especially when it’s embed-able. Big fur hat tip to Shanghai Lily, of course.

2011/06/26

Furs on Film – This is the Night

Back this week with an actual update, one I’ve been sitting on for a while now. Another entry from the early 30’s, this one pulls out the big gun right up front, but doesn’t completely fizzle later. It also boasts two prominent female roles where one is not objectionable to look at. That’s a sad rarity for films from this period.

This is the Night – The Film

I’ve read two different summaries of the plot of this film and am still not entirely sure how all the characters fit together. One thing is certain, there’s marriages, both legitimate and sham, and cheating on said marriages. There’s a lady pretending to be an actress playing someone’s fake wife, and a man named Bunny. That later fact does not make reading plot summaries any easier. Because, seriously, there’s only one reason someone with a Y chromosome should legitimately be called Bunny, and it’s generally only a temporary state, and he better be good at it.

The is the Night – The Furs

Okay, so our designed fur-wearers in this complex little relationship comedy may at least be named. They are Thelma Todd as “Claire” and Lily Damita as “Germaine.” Lily is memorable from one of the other 3 films she appeared in during 1932: The Match King. She does not fare as well in this film, though.

As alluded to in the opening, This is the Night hits the ground running with one very short exception. This very quick shot happens just before the arrival of Claire, part of a set of shots that build to her appearance.

Appear, Claire does, stepping from the limo in this marvelous white fox trimmed coat.

The coat’s collar and cuffs are the appropriate size, namely the sort that makes it hard to tell there’s parts that aren’t fur.

In the opener, Thelma Todd’s character suffers the 1932 version of the “wardrobe malfunction,” where she looses her skirt before the crowd that gathered to watch her arrival. The results were a little more demure, as one might expect from the period. She lost a skirt but still had a slip. For those wondering, seeing a ladies slip at that time was rather “scandalous”. What can I say… they didn’t have the Internet then.

Fortunately for us, that means an extended limo ride back home where Claire chats with… Bunny. Yep, the thing on the left, that’s “Bunny.”

The combination of the arrival and the return provide three and a half mintues to enjoy this lovely white fox trimmed coat.

Say what you will about spread of modern 3D films (fine by me), back in 1932, single color sequences were the super high tech gimmick of the day. We do get a brief look at the white fox as more white than super light blue as Claire returns home.

The white fox is the best thing in the film, but not the only thing. Later Thelma Todd appears in more fur trim. This time it appears to be lynx.

The wider shot gives us a better idea of the extent of the trim.

I’m more partial to this close-up, of course.

As you can see, Lily Damita shares some fur in this scene, sadly one that pales in comparison to Themla’s lynx fur trim.

Lily doesn’t fare much better later, as my old nemesis returns: ugly-silver-fox-stole-with-bits-still-attached. It’s the poison pill of 30’s fur fashion.

Finally, near the end, Lily finally gets a nice looking fur, sadly all she does his hold it over her forearm.

As you may hopefully infer, that is a large fox collar, and it’s part of a cape or coat that Lily mostly keeps firmly folded over her arm for the entire scene.

One, admittedly enjoyable, exception is near the end of the scene where she’s hugging it to her body, making for this oddly compelling close-up shot.

Honestly, you can probably give up after the white fox goes away, but the remainder of the film isn’t a complete wasteland. Unlike The Awful Truth, there’s more fur here, and substantial fur in a couple cases. Granted, Irene Dunne’s white fox coat could easily carry the entire film. Themla Todd’s white fox fur trim, though very nice, can’t. I would have liked to have gotten one nice close-up shot of Miss Todd’s face wreathed in white fox, but that’s the one fur the director of photography chose not to display in close up.

Fur Runtime: approx 10 minutes
Film Runtime: 80 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 10%

Full Gallery: Fur Fashions of the 1932 film This is the Night

2011/06/12

More Awful White Fox

Irene Dunne, ''The Awful Truth'' 1937- publicity still

Irene Dunne, ''The Awful Truth'' 1937

It’s clever title week! Sometimes relevancy has to take one for the team.

That being said, this is quite the nice still shot of that most “well known” of furs from 1937’s The Awful Truth. Displays excellent highlights on Miss Dunne’s face and the fur.

2011/06/05

Furs on Film – I’ll Take Romance

Hey, I should post one of these “review” things… Admittedly the allure of just tossing out something I find on Flickr each week is pretty strong, but this is what I’m “supposed” to be doing, after all. This entry is from the late 30’s, that most special of times, and this film is another fine example of why.

I’ll Take Romance – The Film

This film is based around the romance of kidnapping. Just one of the many felonies made attractive by Hollywood’s lighthearted romantic comedies over the years. Fonts of juvenile delinquency worse than comic books, they are. Elsa Terry (Grace Moore), budding opera singer, is contracted to do a show in Buenos Aires, but isn’t going thanks to a better offer in Paris. James Guthrie (Melvyn Douglas), responsible for getting her to the Buenos Aires show, meets and ends up romancing her, but she still refuses to go. Elsa enjoys his company and, forewarned, plays along when Guthrie puts her on the “wrong” ship. That’s only the fake kidnapping in the film, there’s more real ones later. Lighthearted-romantic-comedy-immunity applies, though, and everyone lives happily ever after, instead of, you know, in a supermax facility.

I’ll Take Romance – The Furs

More Broadway divas in fur here, as actual-Broadway-turned-Hollywood star Grace Moore does almost all of the fur wearing, and all of it you’d want to see. Grace’s character has an “aunt,” you see, the kind scraped up from the leftovers of Marie Dressler’s fat and wrinkles (Helen Westley), who disgraces a silver fox fur for a mercifully brief few seconds early in the film.

Elsa’s first fur is not only refreshingly unique, but given quite a bit of screen time.

The silver fox fur trim on this dress is thick and heavy, just the way I like it.

One might say the 80’s big shoulder craze had nothing on this.

How you really boost your on-screen fur time? Easy, if you’re a musical, you do a number.

Elsa sings wearing the silver fox, accumulating an impressive seven minutes and some change in the big fur trimmed dress.

This next one is kind of tricky, because, while it suggests that it is pretty impressive, the age old quandary of black fox at night rears its… well, not exactly ugly… mostly just “hard to make out” head.

Most of the time she’s wearing this it’s in the dark backseat of a cab or on the equally dark deck of the ship. However, very briefly, she enters her stateroom and we get a better idea how nice it is.

Sadly this is a very short scene, but it does look rather nice for these few seconds we can actually make it out.

To the marquee fur, a white fox cape, as usual. Also a pretty good example of why white fox should always be your “go-to” choice for evening fur filming. Because… you can see it.

And this one is, like most from this period, rather hard to miss.

Melvyn’s getting himself a handful. Easy there, cowboy.

This is a good sequence, giving up almost 3 minutes of white fox goodness. Sadly, Melvyn’s also in frame the entire time.

The film doesn’t stop there, providing this shorter tidbit on the dock where Grace appears in a coat with a large fur collar.

This is fairly short, and while a very nice collar, it’s not a particular loss that we don’t see it for very long.

To cover absolutely everything, there is another sequence near the end where Grace wears a different fur trimmed dress, but there’s not much fur and it’s very hard to see. Hard to film black fur even in the daytime. Even without this sequence the ratio clocks in at an impressive 16%, so there’s no reason to pad the totals with it. The white fox cape is virtually definitive of the period, and makes the film worth a look all by itself.

Fur Runtime: approx 14 minutes
Film Runtime: 85 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 16%

Full Gallery: Fur Fashions of the 1937 film I’ll Take Romance

2011/05/29

Barbara Stanwyck In Lady of Burlesque

Barbara Stanwyck - Lady of Burlesque 1942

Barbara Stanwyck - Lady of Burlesque 1942

There was a shorter, more obvious title for this, but I went the more verbose version to spare everyone the indignity. This is a beautiful publicity shot from 1942’s Lady of Burlesque, featuring that most lovely and rather appropriately sized white fox muff. And the bird… that… bird. I can verify that Photoshop CS5’s content aware fill and patch tools do make short work of it, at least.

2011/05/22

Anita Ekberg – Fox Fur Hat

Anita Ekberg in Fur

Anita Ekberg in Fur

Large fox hats are difficult to find, so surprising this one reports in from 1968. It sits rather perfectly upon the head of Swedish actress Anita Ekberg. The Flickr description says it’s from a postcard, though the postcard could be from a film. Feel free to weigh in via the comments if that’s the case. The pose seems rather “theatrical,” so to speak.

2011/05/15

FurGlamor’s Top 12 Actresses

Comments on the last post got me to thinking a little harder about my favorites, so I decided to try and get them down, all official-like. So here is my entirely subjective personal opinion on the top 12 fur wearing actresses of the last 80 or so years (mostly minus the last 20 since they… sucked). If you’re thinking I started with 10 then remembered some more, then you’re absolutely correct. After I post this, I’ll probably remember a lot more.

Greta Garbo

This list technically covers fur wearers only, but Garbo is also on top of my all time most-attractive list, with or without fur. It’s the face, really. That face is the greatest ever, and for once I’m not alone in having that opinion. Actually, all of these women share that quality, the face is what I first “fall” for, Garbo just does it best.

Greta Garbo - Inspiration - 1931

Greta Garbo - Inspiration - 1931

Notable Fur Films: Inspiration

Marlene Dietrich

I really went controversial with the top 2, picking two of the most highly regarded women in the world. Dietrich has the face and the furs to frame it with, and certainly a sultry voice to back up the entire package.

FurGlamor- Marlene Dietrich - Shanghai-Express - 1932

Marlene Dietrich - Shanghai-Express - 1932

Notable Fur Films: Shanghai Express, Pittsburgh, The Scarlet Empress (lots of fur, but way too “period” for my tastes.)

Barbara Stanwyck

Her films from the 30’s are the source of some of the best furs filmed, and she certainly backed them up with beautiful features and masterful performances. If there’s going to be a “tough broad” in the picture, than Barbara is the one for the job.

FurGlamor - Barbara Stanwyck - The Mad Miss Manton - 1938

Barbara Stanwyck - The Mad Miss Manton - 1938

Notable Fur Films: Breakfast for Two, Baby Face, Lady of Burlesque, The Mad Miss Manton

Joan Crawford

As usual, the sad, wish-it-weren’t-needed, caveat of “early” Joan. Her youth and beauty in the 30’s and early 40’s was exquisite. We can just conveniently overlook what happened later.

FurGalmor - Joan Crawford - The Bride Wore Red - 1937

Joan Crawford - The Bride Wore Red - 1937

Notable Fur Films: Mannequin (1937), The Bride Wore Red, They All Kissed the Bride, Ice Follies of 1939

Ann-Margret

That face and that wonderful red hair, a beautiful combination. Red is my favorite hair color, and I generally like it like I like my fox fur coats: lacking any shred of subtly. Ann’s fame put her in some of the “lean” years of fur fashion, but she managed to find her way into some stunning fox coats from time to time, like this one in Once A Thief, a film I’ve not yet seen.

Ann-Margret - Once A Thief - 1965

Ann-Margret - Once A Thief - 1965

Notable Fur Films: The Swinger, Once A Thief (maybe)

Natalie Wood

Broken record at this point, but I said what I liked at the top and Natalie Wood is, in fact, another pretty face. I could even imply something stereotypical like: Miss Zakharenko’s Russian heritage makes her natural in fur. Much like Ann, she experienced super stardom in the 50’s and 60’s, which makes it more difficult to find her in great furs.

FurGlamor - Natalie Wood - The Great Race - 1965

Natalie Wood - The Great Race - 1965

Notable Fur Films: The Great Race

Sophia Loren

I don’t think Italian heritage can make for any dumb statements about how well you wear fur, but it certainly didn’t hurt Miss Loren’s lovely features. Her most productive years were similar to Natalie’s and Ann’s, so finding Sophia in exceptional furs is a little tricky, but there are a few gems.

FurGlamor - Sophia Loren - The Millionairess - 1960

Sophia Loren - The Millionairess - 1960

Notable Fur Films: The Millionairess

Morgan Fairchild

Ah, the 1980’s report in at last. Miss Fairchild embodied the 80’s blonde in big furs, and she did so with the utmost glamor and class. If there was an 80’s mega fox coat in the picture, she probably wearing it. After saying that, here’s a shot of her in lynx.

FurGlamor - Morgan Fairchild - Paper Dolls - 1984

Morgan Fairchild - Paper Dolls - 1984

Notable Fur Films and TV: Paper Dolls, Any other 80’s soap she was ever on, most likely

Anna May Wong

Absolutely gorgeous in fur, though sadly not afforded nearly as many opportunities to wear it as her contemporaries. If I had a time machine, I’d go back and fix that. If nothing else, that suggests I have really bad priorities.

Anna May Wong - Piccadilly - 1929

Anna May Wong - Piccadilly - 1929

Notable Fur Films: Piccadilly

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy’s lovely features are framed by my second favorite hair color: black. Not dark brown, or really dark brown, or even so-dark-brown-it’s-almost black; no: black. This kind of black is a gleaming obsidian set off so nicely by a thick, white fox. There’s some good films with Hedy in fur, but they’re harder to find for some reason.

Hedy Lamarr in White Fox Fur. 1938

Hedy Lamarr in White Fox Fur. 1938

Notable Fur Films: I Take this Woman

Joan Collins

This may be a controversial choice only because she’s so low on the list. If it makes any ardent Joan fans feel any better, this is like the top 10 of all actresses ever, so, percentile wise, this is still huge. Joan is actually here more for the 70’s than the 80’s, since Morgan covers that. She pretty much nails it in The Bitch. I know, date-wise that’s almost a technicality, but it’s still the 70’s.

Joan Collins - The Man Who Came to Dinner - 1972

Joan Collins - The Man Who Came to Dinner - 1972

Notable Fur Films and TV: The Bitch, Dynasty

Lucille Ball

The downside is strong, but much like ignoring what happened later with Miss Crawford, assuming Miss Ball’s career ended in the mid 40’s means she’s one of the fur wearing greats in film. Back when she was young and doing films, she was quite the classic beauty, and commonly draped in beautiful furs.

FurGlamor - Lucille Ball - Dance Girl Dance - 1940

Lucille Ball - Dance Girl Dance - 1940

Notable Fur Films: Annabel films, Dance, Girl, Dance, Easy to Wed

That wraps up my current top 12, at least until I remember more. Feel free to try and help me out in the comments. Or suggest that I’m wrong, and also a doo-doo head; you can do that too.

Bonus points for throwing out names of any actress from the last 20 years. I should point out you’ll need to do better than one or two furs, and, if you’ve been reading for any amount of time, you should know I’m not going to look kindly on any suggestion that includes mink. There are a number of modern actresses I’d like to put on the list, but they can’t make the grade fur-wise.

2011/05/08

Claudette Colbert in Fur – “The Gilded Lily” 1935

Claudette Colbert in 'The Gilded Lily' 1935

While Claudette Colbert is not a particular favorite of mine from the period (she’s not even my favorite Colbert), she does look rather nice in this exemplary white fox fur cape from 1935. I haven’t seen The Gilded Lily, but it is going on the “remember to record” list, that’s for sure. Sadly I don’t even remember ever seeing it in TCM’s listings lo these many years, so my hopes aren’t particularly very high in that regard. I’ll be happy enough if they get back to showing Mannequin (the 1937 version with more and better fur), Breakfast for Two, and Pittsburgh. Oh, and the cinematic tour de force that is Ice Follies of 1939.