Posts tagged ‘1 epic fur’

2010/01/31

Mini-Update – Furs On Film – Reckless

As distractions abound, we’ll go with this, the most efficient way to characterize the 1935 film Reckless, staring Jean Harlow:

Jean Harlow’s White Fox Wrap from Reckless

Yes, that is a single link to a Flickr photo.  The shot is probably better than any still I have for it at the moment, and that is the singular fur in the entire film.  It’s a wonderfully huge white fox fur wrap that sits high on her shoulders and covers half her head in profile.  So, basically, it could have been a little larger… but good effort.

There’s no other fur in the film and this one is only around for about a minute in total.  The formal “fur  ratio” is about 1%.  It’s a really great 1% though.  Harlow’s white fox in this one is a classic. It’s near the beginning of the film, so you can skip the rest once she takes it off.

Completely unrelated bonus white fox: Lupe Valez in Fur

2009/10/11

Furs in Film – The Great Bank Hoax

As mentioned in the last film update, films from the 30’s with an heiress are “must-record”. Films about small towns are… fur fashion kryptonite, so to speak, even if they’re also from the 70’s. Sometimes wild, random hunches pay off, as they did in the case of The Great Bank Hoax. Maybe it was the 1978 glowing in the program guide that suggested that, yes, there was promise here. Expecting five minutes lost to a pointless fast-forward, what I found was a most pleasant surprise.

The Great Bank Hoax – The Film

The plot of the The Great Bank Hoax is virtually immaterial to why it ended up on this site. It’s about 2 officers at a small town bank, Burgess Meredith and Richard Basehart (miss ya, Gypsy), who concoct a scheme to defraud their own bank by way of a teller’s “test” embezzlement. The teller, Richard Smedley (Paul Sand), had done it to prove it could be done and give the money back, but his bosses realize there’s even more money to be made if the embezzlement appears to be quite real. This has nothing to do with the minor sub-plot at the beginning of the film with a lady named Patricia and her desperate need for a loan…

The Great Bank Hoax – The Fur

Patricia is played by Constance Forslund, whose filmography is dotted with a lot of TV guest roles between the odd film. She was on 2 different episodes of CHiPs! Patricia meets up with the 70’s small town bank teller equivalent of a a white knight hacker, Richard, after a game of bingo and takes him back to her place, where…

Where she puts on her full length silver fox fur coat and attempts to seduce him into giving her a loan. Yes, this is an example of the “seduction in fur” cinematic cliché. Granted, I’m not sure how much of a cliché it is, after all, I’d think it would have to happen a lot more often to reach that status. I’d love it if happened a lot more. Patricia’s lovely, large, silver fox is the only fur in the film, but it gets its cinematic due and is used oh so effectively.

Patricia shows off her coat to Richard. This was 1978, and I was 3, and full length silver fox coats were something to be shown off, admired, and used as tool of seduction. Sadly, many of those facts have changed today.

Richard, being that good, honest guy he is, takes a few minutes to catch on.

Though, at a certain point, even he catches the clue train. Right about the time Patricia and her big silver fox fur coat are on top of him, then underneath him, and in generally very close proximity.

As we enjoy a close up of a rejected Constance Forslund laying on the floor in her fur, now would probably be an appropriate time to point out the movie is a family friendly PG comedy. So, get your dirty minds out of the gutter, nothing actually happens.

Not the least of which is because Richard can’t give Patricia the loan she wants, so he feels it would be wrong to take advantage. Patricia shows up at the bank the next day, searching for someone who can give her a loan. She ends up with Jack Stutz (Burgess Meredith).

Patricia arrives working not only the big full length silver fox coat, but a cigarette holder as well.

Sadly, the director of photography for second sequence kind of let everyone down. Outside of a wonderful intro shot as she enters the bank and the camera pans up from her heels over the fur, to her face, the rest of the sequence doesn’t showcase the fur or the holder very well.

Yes, I can find something to complain out in a movie where a blonde vamps it up in a full length sliver fox fur and a cigarette holder. I suppose had been editing the film, the director would have called me in and asked why they never saw Burgess Meredith once in the entire sequence, and lingered on b-roll of Constance smoking with the holder.

Patricia and her attempts to seduce her way to bank loan liquidity are confined to the top of the film, and once she’s gone, there’s no more fur. Still, any film that indulges the fur seduction mystique then tosses in a cigarette holder for good measure is worth some time. Goes to show that sometimes good furs will show up in most unlikely of places.

Full Gallery – The Great Bank Hoax

2009/09/02

Furs in Film – Forever Lulu

Hi there.

Good thing I’ve already posted Night Shift, because we have a new heavyweight champion for “great fox screen time”, one that will be hard to beat. Also can be added to that very short list of films where a fur coat is actually integral to the plot. Fortunately this one has a better screen presence than the one in Butterfield 8.

Forever Lulu – The Film

Forever Lulu is the story of German immigrant and aspiring writer named Elaine (Hanna Schygulla), who’s having a particularly bad day, leading to a minor psychotic break in a rainy back alley where she waves a gun around like a lunatic. In the general vicinity, a couple mistakes these antics for a stickup, and before you know it, Elaine walks away one soaking wet, full length white fox fur coat richer. This was really charity, as the coat’s previous owner clearly did not do it any justice at all.

With the coat comes another man’s coat and a wallet with a photo of a blonde woman with the words “Forever Lulu” penned upon it. Thus Elaine embarks on a journey to find Lulu (Deborah Harry), who always seems to turn up where she is, though she never notices.

Forever Lulu – The Furs

There’s a full length white fox coat in the film Forever Lulu. That, in and of itself may not be particularly notable for something that came out in 1987, but, beyond its role in motivating the flimsy plot, let’s just say you may actually get tired of seeing it before the movie is over… and it’s not the only fur in the film.

Here’s the stats… Forever Lulu‘s run time is 85 minutes, of them, the white fox coat is on screen for approximately 22 minutes, or about 38% of the entire film. Basically, once it’s found, Elaine rarely takes it off. Even when she does, she had on other furs.

Remember how there’s more than 1 fur in the film? Here’s Eline’s more successful friend (Kathleen Gati, I think) lording that success over her at dinner, including her black fox stole.

Leading in part to Elaine’s little mental issue in the alley, where these fine people turn over their valuables, including the white fox coat, to her.

Returning with her “loot”, Elaine catches her reflection in the mirror with the coat hoisted over her shoulders and proceeds to wrap her face with the soaking wet fox coat, openly admiring the results in the mirror. A rare direct cinematic exploration of the power of a beautiful fur coat.

Life turning around, Elaine lets her lovely new fur coat dry out and takes it for a spin.

Following up on the photo in the wallet, she arrives at an address only to become witness to a mob deal gone bad, escaping notice by throwing a sheet or something over her head and standing very still, in a move I think Bugs Bunny probably pioneered.

The cops arrive and she reveals herself, leading to this image. No further comment.

Elaine’s good luck is inversely proportional to the luck of everyone around her, and the cops and everyone else die, leaving a very large suitcase of cash around, to which Elaine helps herself.

There’s not much point to recounting the plot from here, so here’s another shot of Miss Schygulla in an great white fox coat.

Despite having her white fox coat, Elaine seems to borrow her friend’s black fox stole form time to time, just to give us some variety.

And, yes, Elaine finally bumps into Lulu at the end of the film, where Debby Harry utters one of her around 3 lines total, and everyone lives happily every after (except all the dead guys, we presume).

Elaine has yet other fur I skipped near the end as kind of drab in comparison. The fur time ratio is probably pushing 40-45% percent when you factor in the other furs. This is the kind of bold costume design all films could take a lesson from. Imagine how much more visually compelling it would have been if Agent Starling wore a full a full length blue fox coat the whole time? Scarlett O’Hara?

Just sayin’…

Fur On Film – Forever Lulu Complete Gallery

2009/02/16

Furs in Film – The Eagle and the Hawk

When I’m zipping through the channel guide for TCM looking for stuff to drop on the DVR for later review, there are certain rules I follow. Certain “thematic factors” that argue either for or against the likelihood there will be some good fur in the film in question. One of the “against” factors is “war movie,” even “war movie from the 30’s.” So, ordinarily I wouldn’t have bothered with The Eagle and the Hawk. But, TCM was running Carole Lombard as actor of the month, and they had some “new” films. This was one of them, and I reserve the right to break the rules for anything TCM hasn’t shown before.

The Eagle and the Hawk – The Film

Lucky I did. I know the rules are a gamble, there could be furs in a war movie or a western, but I play the odds to keep the amount of stuff I have to deal with manageable. So I DVR’d this war movie and period piece (another “against”) The Eagle and the Hawk, a 1933 film set during World War I about a Royal Air Force squadron and 3 American volunteers flying for it. A supposed “hidden gem” of a film, it’s certainly not a showpiece for Carole Lombard, who appears in about 2 scenes as a woman who’s known only in the credits as “The Beautiful Lady.” Certainly a title she embodies, especially in one of her 2 scenes… Truly a hidden gem.

The Eagle and the Hawk – The Furs

The Eagle and the Hawk is literally a “one fur wonder.” Much like Rendezvous, the costumers probably took a little liberty with this particular outfit. Someone on the IMDb helpfully pointed out the anachronisms in the planes they used, but not this monster beauty of a white fox trimmed coat. I say trimmed, but the trim is virtually a coat unto itself. So sumptuously large are the collar and cuffs they easily hide the silk or satin body of the coat.

The whole sequence lasts about 5 and a half minutes, showing “Jerry Young” (Federic March) taking “The Beautiful Lady” out to a park. Jerry picks her up in a cab. Miss Lombard smokes in the huge white fox beauty while she chats with Jerry in the back.

Light plays across both actors as the cab moves along, alternating between light and shadow, especially alluring as The Beautiful lady smokes in her furs.

Exiting the cab to head for the park gives the best view of the enormity of the collar, fringe, and cuffs. Only a small patch of the satin on Carole Lombard’s shoulder manages to peak through.

The chat on the park bench occupies the rest of the sequence, alternating between this wide shot…

and angles of both…

and, thankfully, beautiful closeups of The Beautiful Lady…

Not a bad use of 5 minutes of screen time. If you’re going to put Carole Lombard in a film for less than 10 minutes total, then choosing to do so with this enormous white fox fur collar and cuffs for half that time was an excellent decision. Sure, I’ll say the entire thing could have been white fox, but even in its current state it shot to a top spot on my “best movie furs” list. Certainly a pleasant surprise from a film I assumed would be a waste of time.

The Full Gallery: The Eagle and the Hawk

2008/10/03

Furs in Film – The Awful Truth

I’d like to think I have pretty high editorial standards for singling out an individual film for recognition. Since this is only the second one I’ve done, then perhaps I haven’t done a great deal to establish those high editorial standards yet. Personally, I think a film needs both quality and quantity to really distinguish itself. The previous film, Roberta, is a perfect example. Great furs and a lot of them.

1937’s The Awful Truth only really has one of any note. But… That one may just be the greatest one in film history.

The Film

The term “divorce comedy” probably sums up the plot. Mining the light-hearted comedy inherent in gut wrenching emotions of divorce was a bit more common in 30s. Irene Dunne and Cary Grant star as Jerry and Lucy Warriner. Jerry divorces his wife after she returns home the country with her music teacher, the suspiciously named “Armond.”

What she returns home wearing we’ll get to in a moment.

Naturally, it was all a misunderstanding, but Jerry ends up divorcing Lucy, and hilarity ensues. Not to spoil the ending, but yes, they get back together. Irene Dunne’s luck in love holds steady from Roberta, apparently.

The Fur

“The” is correct; there’s only one that really matters. Not 2 years earlier Irene Dunne sashayed down the steps of a French boutique in a dress fringed by possibly the biggest white fox wrap ever seen. In The Awful Truth, she gets to top it.

Shortly after entering, Lucy greets Jerry with a big hug. Lucky Jerry.

Jerry notices Armand, demonstrating a rather unnatural amount of willpower.

The scene continues, and I’m no longer really paying any further attention to anything but Miss Dunne’s staggeringly enormous white fox coat.

Fortunately the cinematography gives this singular white fox beauty much of the time it deserves. We see Lucy up close, and enjoy the rather large collar.

One more shot in which the coat is framed perfectly.

Sadly, the tone of this light-hearted divorce comedy is shattered to one of shock and terror as… she takes the coat off…

Irene Dunne’s white fox coat in The Awful Truth is, as far as I can currently remember, the greatest fur coat ever seen in film. Sure, I’ve seen a few other mega foxes in print that would hold outshine it in side-by-side comparison, but on film, I can’t think of anything that’s better. Lucky Irene, going from the white fox wrap in Roberta to this.

Let me say, were I to quibble with greatness, I would have added a couple of cuffs that did the collar and coat as whole justice. Perhaps a couple barrel muffs would have been the prefect addition.

Proving (if nothing else) that I can be picky enough to find fault with the greatest fur in film history.

Full Gallery: The Fur in the 1937 Film, The Awful Truth