Palmerin

No Surprise Here

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Almost the moment I started THE HARVEY GIRLS I noticed something typical of practically every movie set in the past: the women have their hair done in the fashions of the time that the movie was made, in this case the mid 1940s.

Why do movie hairdressers keep acting as if there was no abundant accurate evidence of what the hair styles of the past looked like? Certainly there are plenty of photos of the time of the real Harvey Girls!

No surprise here, of course: there is already the precedent of a movie like THE CRUSADES of 1935, an story set in the 12th century in which Loretta Young and all the other women wear their hair in a manner suspiciously reminiscent of the hair fashions of the mid 1930s.

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No surprises is right.  That sort of thing has been happening for quite some time.  And still does probably.

I've seen TV movies that had stories that took place in the 1870's in which the younger men wore hair styles that guys were wearing in the NINETEEN seventies.  But, that's OUR faults.  After all, we're just those "little people" who aren't SUPPOSED to notice stuff like that. ;)

Sepiatone

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I wouldn't be surprised if some of the actresses refused to have their hair done up in old fashioned styles. They didn't all want to be method actors...some wanted to make sure their present-day glamour remained intact. 

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I think that to some degree, it's also a case that audiences expect hairstyles more contemporary to their own times. Not sure why that might be - perhaps something to do with the way our brains recognize faces, but it may be more visually jarring to see some familiar acting face in period correct hair (like Gable's pork chops in Parnell), than an anachronistic, but more contemporary coiffure.

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Okay, and now that we've once again brought up and have once again seemed to have explained the phenomenon of anachronistic movie hairstyles, AND because Palmerin in this latest case has used the film The Harvey Girls to bring it up again...

Just wanna say here that if anybody ever finds themselves in Winslow Arizona(yeah yeah, that's right...just like in that Eagles' "standin' on the corner" song) while traveling down Interstate-40 and/or parts of its predecessor road historic Route 66, BE SURE to visit one of the remaining hotels that Fred Harvey built along the bustling railroad system of his time and located in the aforementioned Arizona town, and known as the La Posada Hotel...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Posada_Historic_District

I have a feeling many of you classic movie fans around here will especially find it well worth your time to find and explore its interior and surrounding grounds.

(...and no if you're wondering here, I don't belong to the Winslow Chamber of Commerce and/or have no affiliation whatsoever with this hotel or its owners ;) ...but I am thinkin' that one of first rides I'll take when I get my new Indian Springfield motorcycle in a couple of weeks from now, will be a nice little three hour ride from here in beautiful picturesque Sedona to Winslow and maybe stay the night in that hotel)

 

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16 hours ago, limey said:

I think that to some degree, it's also a case that audiences expect hairstyles more contemporary to their own times. Not sure why that might be - perhaps something to do with the way our brains recognize faces, but it may be more visually jarring to see some familiar acting face in period correct hair (like Gable's pork chops in Parnell), than an anachronistic, but more contemporary coiffure.

Rex Harrison was too vain to wear a beard for his role as HH Pope Julius II in Reed's THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY. Poor decision, for, as the portraits by Raphael abundantly reveal, Pope Julius did not look anything like RH.

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9 hours ago, slaytonf said:

It's easy to change clothes, but not hair.

Really?

There're women in my family whose hair changes from WEEK TO WEEK.  Not only style, but COLOR too! :wacko:

And I KNOW you've seen the ordinarily  bald SAMUEL L. JACKSON sport some good lookin' hair in some of his movies.

And @ LIMEY:  They're actors.  People should expect them to look different in certain movies depending on the kind of movie it is.  I think it's the ACTOR'S VANITY that's more behind the not wishing to look "period correct".  Like what Palmerin stated about REX HARRISON.

I mean, if they could give LOUIS GOSSETT the look he had in ENEMY MINE,  what would be so hard about making any  20th-21st century actor look 18th-17th century?  Even back in the '30's(think Karloff) and '40's?

Sepiatone

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10 hours ago, slaytonf said:

It's easy to change clothes, but not hair.

You can shave it off.

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A lot of hairdressers, actors and actresses in those days were most likely uninterested in being as true to the time period as much as possible.  As long as the script was good (though in some cases it wasn't).

I actually don't have a problem with the lack of staying close to the period (hairstyle wise that is) when the story is compelling enough. I chalk it down to maybe their characters wanting to make a bold statement, lol.

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2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Really?

There're women in my family whose hair changes from WEEK TO WEEK.  Not only style, but COLOR too! :wacko:

And I KNOW you've seen the ordinarily  bald SAMUEL L. JACKSON sport some good lookin' hair in some of his movies.

And @ LIMEY:  They're actors.  People should expect them to look different in certain movies depending on the kind of movie it is.  I think it's the ACTOR'S VANITY that's more behind the not wishing to look "period correct".  Like what Palmerin stated about REX HARRISON.

I mean, if they could give LOUIS GOSSETT the look he had in ENEMY MINE,  what would be so hard about making any  20th-21st century actor look 18th-17th century?  Even back in the '30's(think Karloff) and '40's?

Sepiatone

 

1 hour ago, Fedya said:

You can shave it off.

Anything to be contrary.

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2 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

A lot of hairdressers, actors and actresses in those days were most likely uninterested in being as true to the time period as much as possible.  As long as the script was good (though in some cases it wasn't).

I actually don't have a problem with the lack of staying close to the period (hairstyle wise that is) when the story is compelling enough. I chalk it down to maybe their characters wanting to make a bold statement, lol.

I cannot bear to be indifferent to anachronisms as blatant as the women of the time of Richard the Lionhearted looking like flappers of the 1930s. Such obvious mistakes ruin forever the credibility, and thus the enjoyment, of any story that is supposed to be set in the past. How did you feel about the mention of CLOCKS in the JULIUS CAESAR of Shakespeare?

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On 2/2/2018 at 8:15 AM, Palmerin said:

Almost the moment I started THE HARVEY GIRLS I noticed something typical of practically every movie set in the past: the women have their hair done in the fashions of the time that the movie was made, in this case the mid 1940s.

Why do movie hairdressers keep acting as if there was no abundant accurate evidence of what the hair styles of the past looked like? Certainly there are plenty of photos of the time of the real Harvey Girls!

No surprise here, of course: there is already the precedent of a movie like THE CRUSADES of 1935, an story set in the 12th century in which Loretta Young and all the other women wear their hair in a manner suspiciously reminiscent of the hair fashions of the mid 1930s.

You asked this before and I answered it.

First you have the bogus assumption that hairdressers did NOT have knowledge of the hairstyles of the past.  (as well as costume designers).    Nothing could be further from the truth.    That is an insult to these professional.

Instead these professionals do NOT have final say.   

So it is NOT lack of knowledge,  but instead that the director wanted more modern hairstyles because that is what the public wanted.    Women went to see pictures to see the looks of the stars so they could copy them.    Historically accuracy wasn't a priority to these women and therefore NOT a priority to the director \ producer.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

You asked this before and I answered it.

First you have the bogus assumption that hairdressers did NOT have knowledge of the hairstyles of the past.  (as well as costume designers).    Nothing could be further from the truth.    That is an insult to these professional.

Instead these professionals do NOT have final say.   

So it is NOT lack of knowledge,  but instead that the director wanted more modern hairstyles because that is what the public wanted.    Women went to see pictures to see the looks of the stars so they could copy them.    Historically accuracy wasn't a priority to these women and therefore NOT a priority to the director \ producer.

 

 

That is why Marisa Berenson in BARRY LYNDON wears her hair and makeup in a manner that makes her look like a 1970s disco queen in Georgian petticoats. 

So much for Kubrick's reputation as a director obsessed with accurate detail.

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16 minutes ago, Palmerin said:

That is why Marisa Berenson in BARRY LYNDON wears her hair and makeup in a manner that makes her look like a 1970s disco queen in Georgian petticoats. 

So much for Kubrick's reputation as a director obsessed with accurate detail.

Great example.      Note that while you and I prefer historical accuracy I assume we are in the minority.

E.g. take the gunfight at the O.K. Corral;   This lasted 30 seconds.   Most of the studio-era films had this gunfight going on for over 5 minutes.   I bet if one asked the director why the gunfight wasn't  historically accurate at 30 seconds, the director would say 'because I can't do much in 30 seconds!!!').

I.e. historically accuracy be dammed. 

 

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1 hour ago, Palmerin said:

I cannot bear to be indifferent to anachronisms as blatant as the women of the time of Richard the Lionhearted looking like flappers of the 1930s. Such obvious mistakes ruin forever the credibility, and thus the enjoyment, of any story that is supposed to be set in the past. How did you feel about the mention of CLOCKS in the JULIUS CAESAR of Shakespeare?

Okay, that's you....sue me if I won't allow the filmmakers not going to 100 painstaking details to stay true to the period to ruin my enjoyment of a movie. 

Not saying I don't notice when a movie set in the past doesn't exactly stay within the time frame, whether it be hairstyles, slang or whatever. But rather than nitpick over it, I just sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

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7 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

And @ LIMEY:  They're actors.  People should expect them to look different in certain movies depending on the kind of movie it is.  I think it's the ACTOR'S VANITY that's more behind the not wishing to look "period correct".  Like what Palmerin stated about REX HARRISON.

Whilst not disagreeing that actor vanity may play a part, what people (on both sides of the camera/screen) should expect & what they actually do can be very different things...

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19 minutes ago, limey said:

Whilst not disagreeing that actor vanity may play a part, what people (on both sides of the camera/screen) should expect & what they actually do can be very different things...

Actor vanity shouldn't play a part unless the actor is also a producer,  as well as providing funds for the project or working for only a percentage of the box office;   (which was rarely the case during the studio-era). 

Of course actors are entitled to their opinion but in most cases they should be ignored.   I.e. the director needs to be in control.     This is why I defended the professionalism and knowledge of the stylist and designers under the assumption that they are providing what they were asked to provide.

 

 

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1 minute ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Actor vanity shouldn't play a part unless the actor is also a producer,  as well as providing funds for the project or working for only a percentage of the box office;   (which was rarely the case during the studio-era). 

Of course actors are entitled to their opinion but in most cases they should be ignored.   I.e. the director needs to be in control.     This is why I defended the professionalism and knowledge of the stylist and designers under the assumption that they are providing what they were asked to provide.

I'm sure that on some occasions, producers, directors & studio execs have deferred to a star's wishes in order to keep them (and the investors money, based upon their appearance & likely audience appeal) on the project.

I actually agree with your defence of stylists/designers, although I haven't read your previous discussion with Palmerin on the subject.

I'm also an advocate of historical accuracy (both visually, but also in anachronistic application of contemporary sociopolitical themes - except when deliberately employed to make a point), but since movies are usually aiming more to provide entertainment, I'm not that shocked to find that they're frequently not faithful reproductions of the facts (assuming the facts are definitively known).

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1 minute ago, limey said:

I'm sure that on some occasions, producers, directors & studio execs have deferred to a star's wishes in order to keep them (and the investors money, based upon their appearance & likely audience appeal) on the project.

Of course deferring to a star's wishes to the determent of the film happens to keep the star 'happy' but under the studio system most actors were under contact so the concept of 'keep them' didn't really apply.   (instead being put on suspension did).

To me a great director is one that is able to get their stars to 'play ball';   E.g. William Wyler.   So many actresses won Best Oscar in Wyler films because Wyler was able to channel these highly creative but often difficult actresses in a direction that was a win-win for all involved.  

 

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3 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Of course deferring to a star's wishes to the determent of the film happens to keep the star 'happy' but under the studio system most actors were under contact so the concept of 'keep them' didn't really apply.   (instead being put on suspension did).

If the end result was losing the box office appeal of the desired actor for that project, then it really didn't matter whether or not that was through suspension, or failing to keep them. Also, whilst such deferment may be detrimental to historical accuracy, it may not be detrimental to advancing production of the movie product, nor of it's box office success.

11 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

To me a great director is one that is able to get their stars to 'play ball';   E.g. William Wyler.   So many actresses won Best Oscar in Wyler films because Wyler was able to channel these highly creative but often difficult actresses in a direction that was a win-win for all involved. 

I'd agree with this (especially with respect to Wyler), but I'd extend it to cover 'playing ball' with all participants in the film-making process that the director has to work with.

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Really though, how much input to the SET DESIGN or make-up and costuming DOES any director( if not also producer) have in the average production?

Sepiatone

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35 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Really though, how much input to the SET DESIGN or make-up and costuming DOES any director( if not also producer) have in the average production?

Sepiatone

A lot. Depending on the film, the director and/or producer has final say on all aspects of the movie.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

A lot. Depending on the film, the director and/or producer has final say on all aspects of the movie.

Correct.   E.g. take when Gary Cooper was the producer of the film Along Came Jones.    He saw the budget for Loretta Young's costumes.    He asked the costume designer why the cost was so high since the character Young was playing in this western film was an everyday,  not-well-off,  country gal.    The designer said that was the cost to make the costumes.     Cooper told her to purchase Young's wardrobe at a second hand store and this is what was done.

 

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