Posts tagged ‘Ida Lupino in fur’

2010/01/17

Furs on Film – Fight for Your Lady

Who can’t use more Ida Lupino in white fox? Fight For Your Lady was Miss Lupino’s film before her fashionable exploits in The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt two years later. It’s a broad comedy with the usual themes of suicide and alcoholism.

Fight for Your Lady – The Film

Yes, this is lighthearted comedic romp that mixes opera, wrestling, and the ever amusing alcohol abuse and suicide. Ah, simpler times. Cash strapped Manager Ham Hamilton’s (Jack Oakie) champion Mike Scanlon gets involved with opera singer Marcia (Margot Grahame) and doesn’t throw a fight. This causes Ham more money problems, but leads him to meet with the singer’s fiance Robert (John Boles), whom Marcia eventually leaves at the alter for Mike.

This leads to heavy drinking, thoughts of suicide, and eventually to a trip to Budapest where Robert falls in love with a local singer named Marietta (Ida Lupino) who has a jealous boyfriend named… wait for it… Spadissimo (Erik Rhodes). Spadissimo is quite the killer of Marietta’s would-be paramours, and Robert thinks death-by-Spadissimo is just as good as any… Man… this is a complicated plot… Anyway… uh… Robert and Marietta live happily ever after, which you all knew going in, but this one takes a really twisted road getting there.

Fight for Your Lady – The Furs

Convoluted plot or no, they did a good job in the costuming department. We have the two female leads in lovely fox furs, and, for a very brief moment, in lovey fox furs on screen together. This is always notable if the film you’re watching isn’t The Mad Miss Manton, where in it’s notable because there’s only two.

The character of Marcia Trent follows the standard 1930’s gold digger pattern of being well off enough already to wear furs, yet still desperately needs to marry into money. I have absolutely no trouble at all suspending disbelief for this. Granted… I’d suspend disbelief if someone onscreen walked into a fast foot restaurant and the girls behind the counters were draped in huge fox coats. Wait, that kinda already happened… I digress… Here’s Marcia in a nice silver fox collar.

Marcia is played Margot Grahame, who is costumed very blonde femme fatale in this film, and it works well for her.

Enter Lupino. If you’re keeping score, and I know you are, this lovely full length white fox wrap is rather reminiscent of the full length white fox coat Miss Lupino will we be wearing 2 years later in The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt.

It’s almost as if she took a couple years off to negotiate a pair of sleeves.

Not that I mind, I can put up shots of this all day. Though I regret to say, while this is the best fur in the film, it also appears for the shortest period of time.

The consolation prize isn’t all that bad, though. Here we have Miss Lupino in a fox collared dress and matching fox muff. This is a the start of a reasonably long sequence of the scenes in which she wears this outfit.

Here’s one of the better views, as Marietta, Ham, and some other guy chat about how complicated the plot is for a late 30’s screwball comedy. I do levy my usual critique of most furs on screen; the muff could be larger. You could say I’m a fan of very large muffs… but then everyone would start giggling, and we can’t have that.

Fortunately, we do get some quick close up shots of Ida Lupino’s lovely features framed by the fox fur collar of her dress.

Marcia ends up in Budapest too, of course, otherwise things would not remain sufficiently complicated. Margot and Ida have one quick scene together in their fine fox furs.

Really easy to figure out which one is the “bad girl”, right?

While part of me wishes it was a silver fox hat, I can’t deny the way this one accents the fur is damn near perfect. This is textbook period femme fatale in furs.

Finally, near the very end, we have a short sequence with Ida in a silver fox collar of her own speeding to some destination to save Robert before good ole Spadissimo can kill him. This one is kind of annoying in that the characters she shares the back seat with are far less photogenic than Ida Lupino.

A solid outing from 1937, not only for Ida’s big white fox wrap but the Margot Grahame’s skillfully constructed bad girl outfits. The runtime stats aren’t spectacular, but solid. For any film a 10% ratio is pretty good. Stills last forever, after all, even if they are captured from something that was on screen for only a few seconds.

Fur Runtime: approx 7 minutes
Film Runtime: 66 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 11%

The full gallery is here: Fur Fashions of the 1937 film Fight for Your Lady

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