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A Huge Goof In Lean's DOCTOR ZHIVAGO


Palmerin
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Have you noticed how Julie Christie and Geraldine Chaplin wear hair and makeup that is clearly in the style of the mid 1960s, the time when the movie was made?

Truly regrettable, how Lean repeats a mistake already common in the work of such as De Mille and Griffith, of blindly assuming that the women of the past wore the same hair and makeup as women of the present. Look at Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra: her mouth is painted in the cupid's bow style of Jean Harlow.

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Have you noticed how Julie Christie and Geraldine Chaplin wear hair and makeup that is clearly in the style of the mid 1960s, the time when the movie was made?

Truly regrettable, how Lean repeats a mistake already common in the work of such as De Mille and Griffith, of blindly assuming that the women of the past wore the same hair and makeup as women of the present. Look at Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra: her mouth is painted in the cupid's bow style of Jean Harlow.

 

We have covered this before;   The make up artist clearly knows what the makeup of the women during a given period wore.   It is illogical as well as rude to assume they lack this knowledge.

 

The actual reason is that audience members,  especially women,   preferred that women have a more modern look since they were more interested in getting a fashion tip then authenticity.     Producers \ Directors said they learned this from focus group. 

 

While I it regrettable the main purpose of making a film is to make money and I assume these producers \ directors felt a more modern look was better for the box office.   

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While this seems to have been prevalent throughout the history of film making, it did seem to be particularly rampant during the 1960s:  "Anne of the Thousand Days" and "The Group"  are other obvious examples where I really notice it.......

 

Well at least they didn't have beehive hairdos!

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AW, C'MON now.

 

We all know these aren't documentaries  we're discussing here.   American audiences probably tired of reading movies when "talkies" came out.

 

And probably, then, as in now, the number of people who don't mind movies with subtitles is relatively small.  Subtitled foreign films have more of a CULT following than a wide ranging audience.  But then, most people ARE probably well aware that ROMANS in the time of Christ didn't speak English with a British accent.  Any more than a man getting his leg sawed off without anethesia weakly would moan instead of sceam loud enough to shatter glass.(remember that guy in GWTW?)

 

Yeah, and I noticed the hair thing too in other quarters.  I once saw a "made-for-TV" western where the young newlywed guy had the same haircut I had in the mid '70's when the movie was made.  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

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Think Christie's and Chaplin's hair styles and makeup are anachronistic in this flick, do ya Palmerin?! Well, that isn't it only thing in it that is, ya know.

 

Uh-huh. You must have forgotten that one scene where some balding Cossack rides a horse through it while shirtless and sportin' sunglasses like THIS guy here...

 

 

 

 

vladimir-putin.jpg

 

 

(...and so unless those Ruskies have been doin' this sort'a thing since that little revolution of theirs back in 1917, I'd say that THAT is pretty darn anachronistic TOO, wouldn't ya say?!)

 

;)

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Oh Vladdy, honey, Tovarich...

Those glasses are a big, fat, fashion NO.

 

Oh Lorna, you're SUCH The Fashionista, ya know!

 

(...which if ya think about it I suppose is at least better than bein' a Fascist, huh)

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Even MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, which at least tries to replicate 1903-era clothing, slips up a bit.  In some scenes, you'll see porkpie-style hats on the male characters, even though that style didn't become popular until the 1930s and 40s.  Here's a shot from "The Trolley Song" scene, showing Tom Drake about to take off his porkpie:

 

meetmeinstlouis.jpg

 

 

I've also been bothered by hair/clothing style anachronisms in TV shows that are set in the past.  THE WALTONS, which I always loved, had an uneven record in this regard.  In the early years, the cast's hair and clothing styles were close enough to the intended 1930s styles, if you assume that men living in the country might have had slightly longer hair than the typical city dweller:

 

the-waltons-cast.jpg?fit=crop&w=720

 

But as the long-running show neared its end in the early 80s, the producers apparently felt it was OK for the characters' hair styles, in at least some cases, to look more contemporary.  Jim Bob (below, second from left) especially has a fairly long 1980s hair style that's nothing like what his character would have had in the mid-1940s of the show's then-setting, and the young women seem to have the fuller, permed hair styles that were coming into vogue in the 80s.  (The clothing in individual episodes were sometimes way off, too.  I recall one where Mary Ellen and Erin were actually wearing fairly tight jeans that were exactly what young people were wearing at that time in the late 70s or early 80s, but definitely not what a young woman in the 1940s would have worn.)  

 

I suppose to some extent, the cast members themselves may have wanted their hair especially to be in current styles, so that they didn't look odd when they were out in the real world.  I well remember that in those days, it was very unusual for younger guys (and even some older guys) to not have longer hair with sideburns.

 

In any event, THE WALTONS was still a good show, even if the hair and clothing styles were sometimes a bit off.

 

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Even MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, which at least tries to replicate 1903-era clothing, slips up a bit.  In some scenes, you'll see porkpie-style hats on the male characters, even though that style didn't become popular until the 1930s and 40s.  Here's a shot from "The Trolley Song" scene, showing Tom Drake about to take off his porkpie:

 

meetmeinstlouis.jpg

 

 

 

 

This may interest you---   The first hat to be called a pork pie was a hat worn primarily by American and English women beginning around 1830 and lasting through the American Civil War. It consisted of a small round hat with a narrow curled-up brim, a low flat or slightly domed crown with a crease running around the inside top edge, and usually with a ribbon or hatband fastened around the shoulder where the crown joined the brim.[2] It was often worn with a small feather or two attached to a bow on one side of the hat. Such hats might be made of any number of materials (straw, felt, cotton canvas covered in silk, etc.)—what made them "pork pies" was the shape and crease of the crown and the narrowness of the brim (sometimes called a "stingy brim" in reference to its brevity).---From WIKIPEDIA--

 

When the style first came to America I couldn't find anything about.  But true, BUSTER KEATON wore one as his signature, and hs always looked pretty beat up, so you could assume it was an old hat.  But I think it was in the early '20's when Keaton started sporting it.

 

Incidentally, saxophonist  LESTER YOUNG always wore a pork-pie right up until his death in '59.  Which is fondly remembered in the title of CHARLES MINGUS' tribute tune, "Good-Bye Pork Pie Hat".

 

 

Sepiatone

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Thanks for the background on the porkpie hat. It's interesting that it actually went back to the 19th century before being resurrected by men in the 30s through the 50s.

 

The porkpie was certainly a trademark for Buster Keaton and Lester Young. I suppose that along with Mingus' great, sad tune, it's their wearing of the hat that's one of the few reasons that the style is even remembered today, to the small extent that it is. (I once attended a showing of THE GENERAL at the AFI Silver Theatre just outside DC, and there was a youngster in the audience wearing a full Keaton costume, right down to the porkpie hat!)

 

Elsewhere in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, the male characters wear the flat-brimmed straw hats known as "boaters" or "skimmers," which to my non-expert eye seem more appropriate to the era than the porkpie. And, of course, there's Grandpa, who sometimes wears a fez!

 

My wife and I often discuss the style anachronisms that we see in "period" movies. Our theory is that audiences at the time were so used to seeing the then-contemporary styles that those styles weren't noticeable to them as being wrong for the historical era being portrayed; only later on, when those styles were no longer current did viewers notice that they were more appropriate for the era when the movie was made than for the historical period being portrayed in the movie. Anyway, that's our theory...

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Scorsese certainly did not prettify the women of GOODFELLAS and CASINO. Excessive, almost mask like makeup; hair that looks as hard as electric wiring; exaggerated clown like dresses: the ugly fashions of the 1970s and the 1980s are all there!

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