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Classic "Clothes Horse"


alix1929
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I was playing a movie trivia game, and the question was who was the screen's classic "Clothes Horse?" My answer was Kay Francis, but the correct answer was Joan Crawford. Was Joan really considered to be such a clothes horse? I thought that honor went to beautiful Kay? What do you think?

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Alix, I would have said one of the three of Joan, Kay or Connie Bennett. I don't know what game you were playing (I'd love to know so I could get it myself) but my guess would be that since Joan is more commonly known that Kay Francis, that's why they came up with that answer. And I guess it depends on your definition of "clothes horse". Joan definately collected clothes and Kay was known more for an individual style. I did read somewhere, though, that she actually didn't care that much about clothes.

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Alix, my deah! I-Am-Back! I used to be known as the notorious and acid-tongued Jery Son! But--this dag-burned new system has forced me to use this really fun name for the time being. Anyhoo, I agree completely--as usual--with you. Kay Francis was the only genuine clothes horse of the 30s! Joan Crawford look okay. But nothing like the luscious, gorgeous, classy Kay! Whenever I watch her in the pricless "Jewel Robbery" I drool over her fab wardrobe and wish I could wear rags like that. Anyhoo, I just dropped by to say 'Hi' to everyone before I head back to Dixie for a lil' ole while. I'll talk to all you old-time movee people later! Or, as Bette Davis used to say: "I'd Luv To Kiss You (all) but I jus' washed mah hairrrrr!" Did you get that Jeanne and Olmstead and Mongo and Coffee Dan and Sandy and Richard Kilduff and on and on?

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Well, Alix, I would say that La Diva Jona was the greater clothes horse, as that's generally considered a pejorative, much like our current "fashion victim."

 

Miss Fwancis generally played a socialite who could afford fabulous duds, but Miss Crawford often played a shopgirl who made good, largely by turning up in fabulous Adrian creations that her real-life counterparts could only dream about.

 

It was completely unrealistic, but was probably a contract provision, no matter how ludicrous, know what I mean?

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Glad to know you're still around. This danged new message board is very hard to manage, or at least I've found it so. I do think our friend Mongo has helped me achieve "log in" status, so maybe I'll be more available to chat now.

 

Kay had gorgeous gowns, not only in JEWEL ROBBERY but also in MANDALAY. Being tall, thin and flat chested sure makes a difference!

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Lolmsted, I was playing the "Silver Screen" edition of Trivial Pursuit. It is fun, but I usually don't win because many of the questions are about movies from the 50's - 70's. That's about 20 years past my favorite trivia genre! It is fun though, to blow people away when there's a question like, "What's the only western to win an Academy Award for best picture," and the person reading it starts laughing, and you say, "Cimmeron of course. 1930...or maybe 1931?" Heeheeheehee.

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Ooh, Alix, I want that game. I have two movie games already, but like you said, not enough from my favorite era(20's-50's) Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know--in case you didn't yet--next Monday morning TCM is showing a bunch of Kay Francis movies from the mid-late 30's! Too bad no pre-codes though.

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Alix, do you realize that our darling, gorgeous Kicky Kay would be well over 100 years old by now? I read a book that mentioned in it that Kay privately HATED to dress up! Her favorite outfit in her dressing room was a pair of beat-up old mules, a plain cotton robe and at home, it was the identical outfit! Also, for breakfast, she had the identical menu each morning during her movie days. It was a sour pickle, a small bowl of vanilla ice cream and a ham sandwich with lots of mayo. This wasn't a press agents fantasy. Several people confirmed it. Ah, those movie gods and goddesses. Why should we expect them to act like us mere mortals? Maybe you haven't gotten the news yet but I usta to be Jery Son. But--this system has destroyed Jery Son and demanded I become Patypancake!

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Kay ate ALL THAT for breakfast? My, that girl must have had an awesome metabolism! She is one of my favorite pre-Code actresses of all time. I only wish the studios had worked a little harder to make her hairdo more attractive. Sometimes, like in JEWEL ROBBERY and TROUBLE IN PARADISE she has the most beautiful, becoming hair. And other times....well, let's just hope she didn't tip the hairdresser!

 

I think I'll go make a ham w/mayo sandwich myself!

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  • 4 months later...

Alix, I loved Claudette's gowns in TORCH SINGER! Especially those with the plunging necklines. Everyone seems to think Jennifer Lopez has something to talk about with that barely there dress she wore to some awards show a couple years ago--but what they don't realize is that these ladies were doing it decades ago and with CLASS! BTW--Travis Banton was the costume designer--also did costumes for CLEOPATRA (with the lucsious Claudette), TROUBLE IN PARADISE, SHANGHAI EXPRESS, TOVARICH, MY MAN GODFREY, and MOROCCO to name ONLY a few.

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Yep, those daring but oh, so classy frocks for Claudette in "Torch Singer" fitted the main character perfectly. I just wonder if Claudette really sang or was that her real voice? I think it was since she sang in several of those early efforts. Have any of you noticed how differently Travis Banton designed his creations over Orry-Kelly at Warner Brothers? Orry wanted a gaudy, flamboyant look for his gals. You certainly saw that in Barbara STanwycy's "BabyFace" after she's gotten some money. There's one part of the flick where she has huge collars and cuffs and buttons and her hair's all marcelled. Also, in those "Gold Digger of___" movies, he seems to have caught the fleshy, naughty, gaudy flavor in his wild costumes for Ginger, Aline McMahon and all the others.

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I kind of thought it was Claudette's voice. She sings in a similar way in SMILING LIEUTENANT.

 

Travis Banton was an awesome designer. If he did the costumes in the 1934 CLEOPATRA he also designed the toga that Warren William wore! Anyone who puts William in a toga gets an A+ from me!

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  • 1 month later...

Another actress who was said to be the most beautiful clotheshorse ever to become a Hollywood star, was Loretta Young, who even ended winning an Oscar in 1947 for her role in the wonderful "The Farmer's Daughter"....although I must sayy I prefer her in such pre-codes as "Born to be Bad" (1934) with Cary Grant or 1933's "Midnight Mary" ...... but her movie which I'd love to see, is the 1933 "Zoo in Budapest" with Gene Raymond, regarded as one of the great romantic films of that decade

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  • 1 month later...

Lupe Velez in PALOOKA. There is one scene in particular where here dress keeps falling off! What about Scarlett O'Hara and her mothers' curtains? No one can accuse Hedy Lamarr of being a clotheshorse in EXTASE! My favourite costumes are Claudette Colberts' in CLEOPATRA! Art-Deco meets ancient Egypt! She'd fit in perfectly at the Luxor in Vegas!

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