Posts tagged ‘furs in film’

2009/11/08

Furs in Film – The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt

While the Thin Man series of films is ripe for inclusion on this site, the genre of “gentleman detective” was certainly not the lone province of William Powell and crew. The Lone Wolf was another, this one a jewel thief named Mike Lanyard who was featured in upwards of 20 pictures, a lot more than Nick and Nora. This incarnation was portrayed by Warren William, doing a good William Powell impression, and was released in the magical year of 1939.

The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt – The Film

The Lone Wolf, debonair jewel thief, has quit his jewel thieving ways and is settling down with girlfriend Val Carson and daughter Patrica. A gang of spies looking to swipe some plans for a new piece of anti-aircraft artillery frame The Lone Wolf for a theft in order to blackmail him into helping them. With the police aware of his past and unwilling to help, The Lone Wolf takes on the spy gang with Val’s mostly unwanted assistance. Despite having Rita Hayworth on their side, The Lone Wolf foils their plans and sends them all to the slammer.

The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt – The Furs

It’s 1939 and this is a “gentleman’s detective” film, which means it’s only slightly less likely to have amazing furs than a “madcap heiress” film. It is certainly no disappointment in that regard, as we have both Ida Lupino and a very young, pre-super-stardom Rita Hayworth in large fox coats. Ida spends most of the film in one of 2 furs, while Rita similarly, is rarely out of fur herself between a full length mink and large black fox that befits her stature as main squeeze of the spy ring leader.

This is Val Carson, Mike Lanyard’s girlfriend who supplies much of the film’s comedy. Played by a barely over 20 Ida Lupino, she spends a great deal of time in this silver fox trimmed jacket. Though not visible in this shot, a silver fox muff accompanies it usually.

There’s the muff, a lovely combination with the hat and most likely a silk blouse.

And here is Karen, played by Rita Hayworth, also barely over 20 and looking very refined in this full length short-haired coat as she prepares to crash a date between Mike and Val.

Crash she does, as Miss Lupino’s expression indicates how overjoyed she is this development.

Throughout the film Ida Lupino’s expressive face is one of the highlights, and here it is surrounded by silver fox fur.

Ida and Rita are not the only ones in fur in the film. This is Helen Lynd, playing a prospective buyer for The Lone Wolf’s completely legitimate antique business, who must deal with Val Caron’s jealous streak over her boyfriend.

Really jealous… Though perhaps not obvious from the stills, the scene is rather amusing and showcases Miss Lupio’s comic chops. Unfortunately one of the few scenes in the film where she’s not wearing fur.

Somewhere around act 3, both Ida and Rita step up the fur quality, with Miss Lupino winning handily in this white fox coat.

Briefly seen holding a cigarette in this sequence, though not actually smoking, the white fox is a classic example of the period, full, but lacking any sort of collar or cuffs, cape-like.

Not to be completely outdone, Rita and the gang show up to help her show off her black fox stroller coat. No doubt it’s black because she’s the bad girl in this flick, accented by her veiled black hat over her dark brunette locks.

To drive that point home, she and Ida share the screen, good girl in white fox, bad girl in black fox, the way the universe intended it should be.

Like Ida earlier, Rita briefly holds a cigarette but never actually does much smoking.

One more shot of the 2 together briefly, because two great foxes are always better than one.

Finally, one of the best shots of Ida Lupino’s white fox coat occurs just before “THE END”, here at the police station after The Lone Wolf’s been hauled away as his chip-off-the-ole-block daughter presents the keys to his cell.

Though certainly not the only reason this film deserves mention, it is great film for those interested in “fur runtime”. Not quite a Forever Lulu, but you certainly won’t fall asleep waiting for the next fur to show up (and hang around). In honor of The Green Fairy’s suggestion, I’ll post some “box stats” for each film from now on so people know roughly how long you’ll be enjoying fur on screen in the films I post. The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt definitely clocks into the top 3 at this point.

Fur Runtime: approx 20 minutes
Film Runtime: 71 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 28%

The Fur Fashions of the The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt Full Gallery

2009/11/01

Furs in Film – Born Reckless

There were a lot of movies made in the 30’s. A lot them turn up on Turner Classic Movies, and even Fox Movie Channel from time to time, but by and large they all pull from the same pool of films with “name” actors and directors of the day. There are a bunch that never got “names” and probably languish in a vault somewhere, probably decaying beyond repair. There’s probably hours of spectacular classic Hollywood fur fashion footage that will never be seen again. No, as much as it sounds like it, this isn’t a pitch for you to donate to a film preservation society (though you could, I wouldn’t stop you), this is an intro to the 1937 film, Born Reckless.

Born Reckless – The Film

There’s pretty much no one on the roster of Born Reckless whose name is remotely familiar to me. Somehow it ended up on Fox Movie Channel, though. It’s the story of a former race car driver who joins up with a cab company run by Sybil Roberts (Rochelle Hudson), who is being muscled for protection by racketeers who want to take over all the town’s cab companies by taking out their cabs with armored cars. Hey, that’s how I’d do it…

Born Reckless – The Furs

For what is essentially a “B” movie of the period, they did not skimp on the costume budget. Sybil Roberts, the owner of the cab company, is apparently doing quite well for herself despite her problems with the mob. She’s not the only one, though. A variety of very nice fox coats abound in this obscure little film.

As we open, these two ladies are rooting for ace race car driver Bob “Hurry” Kane (Brian Donlevy), to win his race.

In coats outfitted with sumptuous fox collars, you won’t expect them to be the “gold digger” type. That’s what I love about 30’s films, even the girls out to get rich were still draped in huge fox furs.

Bob Kane won the race, but ended up squandering his dough on those two pictured above. In a poorly montaged sequence, he even bought them more furs. Out the racing business and in need of cash, he literally “runs into” Sybil Roberts and her cab on the street.

Bob loads her unconscious driver into the cab and takes her where she needs to go, impressing her with his “taxi cab driving” skills. As Sybil, Rochelle Hudson gets the most furs in the film, starting with this fur trimmed jacket.

She’s not the only one, though. In a much smaller part in this already small film, Pauline Moore plays the girlfriend of one of Bob Kane’s partners who also joins up with the cab company. She appears in this thickly collared coat as well.

Very briefly, Sybil looks on in this silver fox coat, which may or may not be only a collar, as this is the only shot of it. Poorly framed, the edge of the window hides the cigarette in her gloved hand, though in the film you will see the smoke play across her face as she watches.

We arrive at the film’s marquee fur, a white fox stroller length cape. Rochelle Hudson wears this beauty well, as it plays off nicely with her brunette hair.

Thankfully she doesn’t just remain in the car with it this time.

Making up in some small part for the bad angle on the silver fox earlier, we see the white fox cape from front and back.

All this is happening while Bob Kane is turning the racketeers own armored car against them. Even with a mini destruction derby occurring, I’d still find Miss Hudson and her cape a far more interesting sight.

Finally, in another very brief appearance, Pauline Moore appears in this fox trimmed coat for another few seconds. Not exactly “blink or you’ll miss it”, but not around for very long at all.

Outside of the big white fox cape, there is a lot of very full collars in this film. Sure, it would have been preferable if they were more than just collars, but finding this much fur in such an obscure little film is reason enough to love it, and they’re mostly shot in such a way that the remainder of the coat is a mere afterthought. Just makes me think there’s a whole lot of other hidden gems out there that will never see the light of day.

Full Gallery: Fur Fashions of 1937’s Born Reckless.

2009/10/25

Furs in Film – The Hotel New Hampshire

Were I possessed of any sense of timing, this would have been a great week to post the Dr. Phibes update. Halloween, etc… Lacking any suitable alternatives from the horror genre (again, not a lot of furs there, and “SyFy” doesn’t show Dracula’s Daughter anymore); I’ll go with young Jodie Foster in fox fur stoles. Never a bad fall back position. The film in question is The Hotel New Hampshire. It’s notable to me because I’ve capped it multiple times, and I still have no clue what’s happening in this movie no matter how many times I fast forward through it.

The Hotel New Hampshire – The Film

Off to Wikipedia, where I learn the film is based on a book of the same name by John Irving. Then I read the plot summary of the film on Wikipedia and quickly realize why I’ve never really been able to put everything together since it seems there’s enough material in there for eight different films. There’s at least 2 different Hotels New Hampshire, a plot to blow up the Vienna State Opera, and very “non-traditional” family interaction. This isn’t the first R-rated film I’ve profiled, but it’s the first one that suggests I actually point that out.

The Hotel New Hampshire – The Furs

With the massive amount of “stuff” that happens, it’s fortunate the costumers were well aware that it was 1984 and, accordingly, provided a fine selection of nice, thick fox furs, and one coyote. The latter is featured most prominently in a few scenes, whereas Jodie Foster’s fox stoles are not quite as lovingly documented.

On the one hand, attempting to set up the backstory of each sequence with this film is tricky due to sheer mass of said backstory, so for this one, let’s go with… nice looking blush fox collar:

In the second Hotel New Hampshire, in Austria, John Berry (Rob Lowe) encounters one of the ladies of easy virtue that lodges there. Again, it’s 1984 and we follow the “all hookers wear fox” rule.

John Berry, amongst the myriad other plot threads for his character, is in love with his sister, Franny (Jodie Foster), so he resists the temptation, something the hooker doesn’t particularly appreciate.

After the whole terrorist plot to blow up something in Vienna part of the film ends, the family returns to the states, with “Susie the Bear” in tow. Susie is played by Nastassja Kinski, who did this film right after the remake of Unfaithfully Yours, another film that I should put up here someday.


Susie spent a lot of time in a bear costume, thus the “the Bear” part of her name, so the fact that she wears this coyote fur coat a lot is probably “significant.” I agree, because it’s Natassja Kinski in a big coyote fur coat, and that is significant. It would only be more significant if it were fox.


We now get to what the intro paragraph teased, Jodie Foster in a black fox fur stole. In the film, Franny Berry writes a book and becomes famous. Then she writes another one and becomes less-famous. This is the press conference where the latter fact is driven home.


Jodie storms off, her stole complimenting the primary red suit jacket nicely. A combination of a fox dyed that color and the stole would have worked better, I think.


Later, as more massive amounts of plot have happened, Susie and John get together for another chat, giving us another opportunity to see Natassja in fur.


Franny eventually marries a guy from high-school that, eons ago in this film, helped break up a little a non-consensual sex act. White fox as a bridal fashion accessory just isn’t as common as it should be, even back then.


This is John hugging Franny, which is awkward for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which are those shorts.


Eons later in the film, Franny has committed suicide and the surviving members of the family mourn, including Susie, who shows up one last time in her big coyote fur coat.


Suffice to say, there’s stuff in The Hotel New Hampshire that could make viewers of a more delicate constitution a bit uncomfortable. So, fairly warned be thee, says I. Still, it’s a good flick for the number of furs, and especially for 80’s sex symbol Natassja Kinski in the big coyote stroller. I would have put Kinski in a fox instead of a coyote, but if you really need to see her in a full length fox for a long time, that’s what the 1984 version of Unfaithfully Yours is for.

The Furs of The Hotel New Hampshire – Full Gallery

2009/10/04

Furs in Film – No More Orchids

After our last 70’s horror flicks, it’s back to one of my co-favorite decades, the 1930’s, with another Carole Lombard outing. This is No More Orchids, which, though it predates The Eagle and the Hawk by only a year, is actually separated chronologically by three other Carole Lombard films. This was back when movie studios, you know, made movies. Lot’s of ’em.

No More Orchids – The Film

Miss Lombard stars as Anne Holt, a “spoiled heiress.” To provide some insight into my methodology for picking films to record, any combination of 193x and “heiress” are “must haves.” Grass is green, the sky is blue, and films from the 30’s about heiresses have fur in them, this is pretty much a universal law. I’m close to adding a “+divorce” rider to that, but No More Orchids doesn’t have a divorce plot. No, it’s a pretty straightforward “love conquers all” plot with Anne falling in love with Tony, and overcoming betrothal and blackmail on the part of her grandfather, the richest man in America.

No More Orchids – The Furs

As alluded to earlier, heiresses from the 30’s wear furs, and Anne Holt is no exception. Anne wears three different fox and fox trimmed outfits over the course of the film. The opener is probably the best, but the others are quite enjoyable as well. We have white fox, and

We open on Anne Holt, passed out in her cabin on a cruise. Passed out in style in this big white fox wrap.

Anne get’s a ride from Tony Gage (Lyle Talbot).

The ride was at the behest of Anne’s grandmother, also on the cruise with Anne, seen here later as Anne has replaced her white fox warp with, black and white being what it is, what may be a red or blue fox wrap. It may be electric pink fox, but I doubt it. The wrap accents what appears to be a black satin dress nicely.

Anne and Tony meet again on the deck, where, as they stare out a the ocean, we get a good glimpse of the rear of the wrap. Always appreciate it when a good fur is shown from all angles over the course of a scene.

Anne and Tony start to fall in love. Altogether now… Awwwww…

Closeup of Carole Lombard’s face framed by fox fur, because that’s pretty much what this site is about.

Later on, her grandfather’s threats to their relationship pile up, Anne goes to get advice from her father. She does this in a dress trimmed with very large fox sleeves.

This is one of those things I wish never went out of fashion, big fox trim on random evening wear.

No More Orchids is one of those films that’s not particularity memorable, well, for anything but the furs. In terms of film history, it merely exists, but for fur fashion, it provides a nice contribution. Lombard in fur looks amazing as always, despite the fact there were no full length coats in the film, the wraps and trim are used to great effect.

Gallery Link: The Furs of 1932’s No More Orchids