Posts tagged ‘fur galleries’


Furs in Film – City Heat

I’ve covered Night Shift, and Forever Lulu, so, next up in the famous furs of 80’s Hollywood series: City Heat.

City Heat – The Film

City Heat is part of a long Hollywood tradition of the buddy cop movie, the “half twist” here is one of the cops had retired and is now a private eye. The other twist is, get this, they don’t like each other! Imagine that, a buddy cop movie where they start out not liking each other then grow to respect one another by the end of the film. Burt Reynolds plays former cop, current fast-talking private eye Mike Murphy, and Clint Eastwood plays Lieutenant Speer, a hard nosed cop who thinks actions speak louder than words. Utterly brilliant casting here, folks. Murphy and Speer team up against a gangster… and… yeah, I don’t care either.

City Heat – The Furs

So, onto the important stuff. This is a movie set in the 30’s filmed in the 80’s. Jackpot. Though there is more than one fur in the film, the only one that anyone remembers is the full length white fox coat worn by Madeline Kahn’s character, Caroline Howley, who ends up being Murphy’s love interest in the film. The other furs are a bit more conservative though, ironically, perhaps more historically accurate than the one worn by Ms. Kahn. More on that in a moment.

Very early on, we need to establish some villainy and this lady is on the receiving end of it, looking good in a red fox collared coat. It’s a rather short sequence in which she spends most of it with a gun pointed at her head.

Fast forward (literally, I recommend it) to the third act where Madeline Kahn and her full length white fox fur coat show up and are promptly kidnapped by the minions of the big bad, mob boss Primo Pitt.

She calls Murphy to tell him about it.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, I call into question the historic accuracy of Ms. Kahn’s white fox coat. The fur appears to have a bit of an off-the-rack flavor for the time, “the time” being the 1980’s. This is not to disparage it at all, the fact you could find big, thick white fox coats off the rack in 1980’s what made it such a magical time.

Kidnapped, Madeline passes the time playing poker with her gangster hosts.

In another total non-cliche, she beats the tough, experienced gangsters at their own game.

I’m guessing the excuse to have her wear the coat the entire time was the fact that she’s in her “underwear,” since no one else in the room seems the least bit chilly.

Murphy rescues Caroline, and they exit out onto the street for a little smooching.

Finally, Clint Eastwood’s love of jazz requires a final scene in a random jazz club where he plays the piano. Murphy and Caroline show up, with Caroline expressing how thrilled she is to be there. Her fox trimmed jacket is more reminiscent of actual period dress, though.

City Heat as a film is about a formulaic as they come, lest my earlier sarcasm was missed. Still, Madeline Kahn and her white fox fur coat in combination with judicious use of fast forward, make it quite the enjoyable cinematic experience. If you like Madeline Kahn in fox, you can squint at a younger version playing the Hitchcock Blonde in High Anxiety‘s lounge scene where she’s got a blue fox stole or wrap on the chair behind her. Bonus there is it’s also a really great film you won’t have to fast forward through.

Fur on Film Gallery – City Heat


Gallery Comments Enabled

Quick note to say you can now comment on individual gallery pages and not just posts. Want to agree that the blush fox mega-wrap in the Let’s Do It Again gallery is really great?  Well, now you can.

There is an update coming soon, too, more 30’s fox… from the 80’s.


Furs in Film – Lady Be Good

Lady Be Good – The Film

An Oscar winning film you’ve probably never heard of, mostly because there’s a bunch of Oscars most people don’t consider all that memorable and they’ve been around for along time, thus the winner for Best Original Song in 1942 isn’t really what get’s featured on the usual Oscar B-reel. That would be Lady Be Good, by the way, for the song “The Last Time I Saw Paris.”

The movie itself, like many musicals, is about a struggling songwriting team, played by Ann Southern and Robert Young, who end up writing a big hit, and making the big time. Like, for some strange reason, many of the films I’ve profiled here, they end up getting a divorce because of all that fame. If classic Hollywood has taught me anything, it’s “get a divorce, you’ll encounter women in great fur coats along the way.” Naturally this little hiccup in their relationship doesn’t outlast the third act, and everyone gets married again, and, depending on your views about marriage, lives happily ever after.

Lady Be Good – The Furs

This is another good example of an early ’40’s film costumed like it’s 1939. The film features both Ann Southern and top bill Elanor Powell in large foxes, including some white fox that would be rare in the next ten or thirty years or so. Two very large white foxes appear, in fact, one a coat, one a wrap, as well as a silver fox wrap, that, thankfully, portends the end of fashion’s love affair with the head and legs remaining attached to any combination of silver fox and stole. Those stoles were the sour pill in an otherwise perfect decade of fur fashion.

Newly successful songwriting team of Dixie Donegan (Southern) and Eddie Crane (Young) zip to their societal rounds in whatever passes for a limo at the time. Dixie is wrapped up in a big white fox wrap with veil that accents it well.

Eddie leaves Dixie behind to continue clubbing. Eddie’s hard partying ways will eventually lead to, you guessed it, divorce for the happy couple. I’d like to point out, briefly, I love the name Dixie Donegan.

Bending over to say hello to the doggie is Elenor Powell, playing the equally alliterative but less interestingly named Marilyn Marsh. I put this up mostly because in the still, though it looks like Ann Southern has bunny ears, it’s just her feet.

The costume designer liked veils in this flick, as Elenor displays her black net veil as a complement to her silver fox wrap. Bonus points awarded for the matching black gloves, of course. She’s a long, slim cigarette holder away from perfection.

The cast assembles at the justice of the peace, or maybe a minister. The finer points are hazy to me at this point. Though I’m sure mink fans are pleased, I must state Elenor’s mink get’s a buy because of Ann’s fox.

Not sure why they insisted on the heavy metal breaking up the lines on the fox, I could certainly do with out it, but it doesn’t sully the overall product too much. A rare example of a large white fox coat in the 40’s.

Overall, the 1941 Lady Be Good was positively epic for the time. If the costumer designer was stuck in the 30’s, that’s fine by me. I wish costume designers were still stuck in the 30’s. I have noticed a conspicuous lack of white fox trimmed dresses on prime time television and films these days. Really, would it be so conspicuous if Claire Bennet’s cheerleader outfit was made of fox, or Kara Thrace lounged around the ready room in a crystal fox flight jacket? No, not at all. Oops, my genre cred is showing.

And… here’s a link to the full Lady Be Good Gallery.


Fur Galleries are Open

The first galleries are open.  Check out the main gallery links at the top or right.  After some organizational shuffling more will be on the way.