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A Film Noir Fur Every Night here (7th Victim etc)

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That could be a good little site; if you like me were brought up on dark sexy vamps smoking in furs in the shadows and even the very word

femme fatale gets you aroused.


But the other day I found a massive book called "The Noir Style" (Silver and Ursini) which has some huge black and white plates with such women in furs.


Now I hadn't heard of this movie. I had liked Jean Brooks in the "Leopard Men", so to see her like this on a 12 x 10 inch b/w plate was awesome. Can't find the pic on the net, but similar which I post in the gallery.


Anyway here is the quote from the book:

"....theseventh victim is a study in self absorbed alienation. She is obsessed with death and the absurdity of life.. Her face is side lit creating a schizophrenic quality....the post to the left of the frame throws a dark vertical .....(so) her luxurious dark hair melds with her fur giving a purely animalsitic dimension and suggesting a caged animal which is an apt metaphor for her mental state."


I can't begin to tell you how fantastic the fur is, and why this shot has nver been published a sa poster is beyond me; it would sell and sell. Wvery goth would immediately become pro fur on sight of it. Hell someone if they have it should post it and we use it in our den image some how. Its awesome.


This is her in the coat but not as good as the pic in the book which shows the texture of the black mink glistening.






Anyway; there are others but I am going to bed now...knackered. About fifty new fur pics sought out and uploaded into the gallery (see redheads thread; plus Sophie Dall smoking in white fox was a great find and others; plus a few of Jean Brooks).


BUT watch this thread. There are other great fur pics in this book that I didn't know so will give you more leads tomorrow.

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Life, death, the beauty in evil, film noir and the femme fatale in furs: a wandering discourse with a review of Jane greer in fur in "Out of the Past" 1947



Sorry I have been sidetracked off this thread by the discovery of the WOMWAM site.


Howver back to what first led me there. It was a great discovery to me btw because I now know the nature of my attraction to women in furs; as I have suspected for a while. It is a tool of feminine allure, its meant to be sexy. I have an attraction to all tools of feminine allure. We just now live in a society which has attempted to lead us away from that for political end.


So anyway, what drives me is exploration of this. Why am I attracted to women if fur, women who smoke, seamed stocking and corsets, high heels and evil looking women?


Well film noir had a role in that. It didn't condition me to it; because all those things were art of the female allure arsenal(CENSOR OVERIDE : NAME OF ENGLISH FOOTBALL CLUB OR WEAPONS STORAGE ROOM...how come you can say the f word here or call someone a liar but not say bottom or ANY similar word?) anyway. We have just forgotten that because it isn't pc....down to feminism, animal rights and health fascism.

It is my view that part of the reason all these things have been targetted is envy. And the fact that women could obtain power through sexual method and elegance was despised by peitit bourgeois women. Women in fur and suspenders and sexually provocative stance were seen as Traitors by middle class femisnsist. Even Germaine Greer is now questioning the wisdom of this; saying maybe women have lost something. Maybe if we take a way a womans right to look like this, they end up frustrated or on valium and drinking beer in pints to oblivion.


Of course, both fim noir and the Gothic are being rediscovered, and the likes of Dita von Teese , Veronika Kotlajic and Miss Persephone have been instrumental in this; so no surprise to see the cultrual references in their work taken from film Noir. THAT is why they are into their furs of course.

Our own Miss Theresa too.


But what is film noir?


Well it is simply the use of the play of light and dark in imagery and narrative content and current in cinema.

It explores the dark side of human nature, dark themes, and illuminates them; making something beautiful from them. This is part of the Gothic tradition via german/norwegian expressionism ; just brought into a modern Art form.


So when you see a medieval church, it is difficult to realise nowadays how a gargoyle could be associated with good. But the knew then that Evil could be FRIGHTENED of evil image. That is how come christians used garagoyles. How come the churches and buildings look satanic to us with a modern eye? Well that is in part the fault of oliver cromwell and his purtitan scum who destroyed them. Killed and burned and given the Irish a bad view of all of the English. The

Welsh suffered terribly too, as did the Aristocracy. Simply it was the very first anglo saxon bourgois revolution; with all their petty prejudices brought into play. They killed people in their thousands, destroyed our greatest buildings, and even killed our king. But it was the demonisation of the gothic spirit and human sexuality and Artistic expression that remains with us. They resented all celebrations of finery and destroyed beautiful churches; replacing them with more simple, but far more strict, forms of worship. It is STILL illegal to cook Yorkshire puddings on a sunday in the UK....nobody ever bothered to repeal it.


But we then rejoiced in it rediscovery in the early 19th century ; our great poets Shelley and Byron , and many of the Victorian gothic spires all over Europe owe their existence to this movement. Hard to imagine now a time when to have cancer ...or consumption as it was known....was "cool". But it was; the gaunt , dying hollow cheeked poet was the ultimate sex symbol in Victorian Britain; and there is still an echo of this with the look of Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. They look sick. And its attractive. To some of us anyway. The romantic hero. My heroes; of my youth and now.


"I awlays flirt with death; I look ill but I don't care about it..." (the Only Ones)


A friend was killed last night In New Zealand. She was a young National Hunt jockey. She died doing something she loved and embraced the danger: steeplechasing. Her horse fell and crushed her. My heart goes out to her family ; but she will always be remembered by me for her love of horses , her heroism and her lack of fear of death. She is not the first of those who I admire and seek the company of to meet their end like this; and she won't be the last. My girlfriend knows every day she sits on our 17 hand mental thoroughbred she risks her life. You think she cares about the damage smoking is doing to her? In the lily livered society we have engineered, where we have contempt for the soldiers who defend us and the hero is a dirty word, mediocrity is king and we make knights of lolipop ladies, these people are my heroes; the last gladiators. And sometimes they die. Sacriifice themselves. For horses; the ultimate animal worship; yet something else slated by the AR lobby and the lily livered.


Not for them poetry of the dark and the true beauty therein:


"In the Full foam of wrath and Dread

To me the desert Born was Led"


So . Back to the gothic spirit. And dark imagery.

In darkness, light has amazing meaning. In Light, darkness is sometimes hidden. I mean that literally; and metaphorically. A society which prevents us from enjoying danger; risking life for pleasure, and seeing beauty iulluminated in darkness is a poor one; and one which the puritan petit borgeis spirit still tries to crush.


Last night on UK TV a Nature Watch programme tripped up. I said to my girlfriend when they did a nightwatch they would shock the nation. She agreed. Because we see nature every day, in all its horrific beauty. We knew what would happen. The townies had all their illusions shattered about animals in glorious black and white unedited film. The stronger barn owls in a brood turned on the younger ones and ate them . The mother watched, then joined in. We found it beautiful, because it was nature. It is not right, not wrong, not good, not evil. It is amoral. Natural History Film Noir; not Disney.


Well it is my assertion we have not just Disneyfied animals; but Disneyfied women too.


Fim Noir was accused of being amoral; developing the anti hero, making one empathise with the criminal mind and glamorising evil women. BUT those crticisms miss the point. The miss the point that in darkness sometimes there is good, and the opposite. A classic example is the LAn Turner "vision in whit" character in "The Postman Always Rings Twice". The remake is tripe...it misses the point. You end up feeling for the John Garfield character, basically a nice guy, and lovely Lana Turner is really as evil as they come. Still evil though; still sexy. Confused boundaries; played on by the film makers to try to get to a fundamental human truth. Beautiful film making; Art. No fur I don't think though. But Gothic. Tragic.


The Fankenstein Monster, the Mary Shelley creation is similarly tragic: and in the monster there is good; and in the enlightened good scientific mind, evil....but nowere near as mucch evil as in the mindset of the frightened mob of townsfolk: a metaphor for the evil of ignorance.


Now what drove me to write this is a fur image. It is a still from a movie called " Out of The Past" starring another Greer...Jane Greer.


I considered it for a long time. She is in a phone booth as femme fatale Kathie Moffatt; in what look slike a sable. A gangster looks on, feeling in control but the look on Jane greer's ace is one of deviousness. The only illuminate parts of the picture are the fur, the jewels on her wrist her hand and her hair and the telephone; a symbol of communication. The still should be in an Art gallery. It is amazing. Now the whole image is sexy to me; was designed to be so. The fur in great texture is part of that, as far the jewels. The message is the secret of female power. A secret lost to most modern women. I used to have a pic of this fur pic on my wall at college; I used to play "hanging on the telephone" by Blondie and look at it while I shagged some student chick in mouton and think I was there.


Females are not nice. I like them when they are at their traditional feminine baddest; that is what makes them beautiful; just like the mother owl prepared to rip apart her own brood . And this clearly shows that; and indeed, Jane Greer has a place in Cinema history because of that. Sadly. I can't find the still on the net. If I could scan it for you I would. But I will post another of her in fur shortly. And when women are this bad they are pure; lovely; not really evil just amoral.



When I asked a moslem friend about the burkha, he said " do you have ANY idea of how sexy our women are, and how they have even learned how to be sexy from behind a veil? Cover them up? They need chaining up (laughs out loud but he was just joking of course). My girlfriend has a yashmak. Some observers in Afghanistan are confused that women now relieved of the Taleban spend hours buying western lingerie and getting hair and make up done and then run off giggling in their burkhas. Black. They want some of their air of seductive mystery too. The best of both worlds. Have you seen their piercing blue eyes? One flicker of the eyelash has massive seductive allure. The taleban stoned such women to death because they feared them; because they know how dark they can be. We have stripped them bare in our society to deny them the tools of their Art. Take away the veils and you have no dance of the seven veils.


Maybe its why some would take their furs too; the furs they should never have given up because of envious puritan women and men who fear real women because they know their Art seduces the best men. A guy once asked me if my girlfriend was a very high class hooker. I almost hit him until she said "thanks...I take that as a compliment...does your wife want some fashion tips?"



In the meantime, until I get the pic of Jane Greer in furs, please read this homage to her. Please. She died a couple of years ago , and she was one of the greatest femme fatales ever. Especially in furs.





I can't really say that Jane Greer was a great actress, or that she might have been, given better opportunities. Chances are not, or she'd have stuck at it. But she had a lethal smile, long floppy hair and eyes like large blueberries floating in cream -- you wanted to play bobbing for eyes. She was one of those women you could smell, even on film. Have you noticed that? There are some actresses who have a fragrance, or a scent. And with Jane Greer it was very sweet and sophisticated, until you got the aftertaste -- and there was something like death in that.


You could say she was lucky. "Out of the Past" is a very good film: Jacques Tourneur knew how to direct such pulp so that it seemed poetic, she had Nicholas Musuraca to gather the shadows around her pale face, she had yards of tart dialogue and she had Robert Mitchum to play off.


But give her credit. Just as she made it absolutely evident why Jeff would do the stupidest things for her, without really doing anything more erotic than getting soaked in the rain in one scene, she made it quite clear -- in the sense of don't tell me I didn't warn you -- that she was treacherous, spiteful and entirely selfish.


No fur but nice interplay with Greer and Mitchum. She smokes too btw; but look at this and the way it is lit. Desire, sexuality, evil....so many things in the interplay over a cigarette:




Hallelujah! NOT the exact image I have been describing But one from a different angle in the phone booth:




An awesome fur pic I am sure you will agree; if you remember the movie from childhood it may make you shudder in delight.



More Pics to follow if I can find them and another Film Noir vamp/movie for you soon.

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The Noir of the night tonight is "The Big Heat" made in 1953


Many of you will already know the imagery from this movie with Gloria Grahame's fur:




What may of you may not know is that it was directed by Fritz Lang, who also made Workers fave movie metropolis of course.

As such, it provides the most direct link between Gothic, german expressionism and film noir.


And the interplay of dark and light are superbly handld in style and contnt.


Gloria Grahame plays Vince Stone's moll. That name should send shuuudders down everyones spine. He was played wondefully by Lee Marvin : he scalds his moll Gloria Grahame in the face.


And that dooms her to Lang's fatalism. Despite basically being a nice girl she is doomed; and her helping of Glenn Ford; and the course she knows....we know...she must take is unveiled.


But its the bandaged face in mink that will live with most people forever; and the gun.


Gloria Graham made some great movies; and was great even in B pictures. sadly tough the end of her career was patchy with years of drought; and then she sadly died of cancer in 1981.

Here is another of her in fur:



Can we outrun our destiny; try to switch sides? No. Tragedy ..some of us are doomed to it according to Lang. But; at least she had that mink; and that was her only achievement; but at a time when that was all any woman wanted to achieve, then maybe the end justified the end.

Yes; the determination of cop Glenn ford to get his revenge for the death of his wife, is total. The right and just destiny....but ruthless and dark. But the moment moll becomes betrayer of the man who scalded her; she is doomed in that process. Classic tragedy. There is good and there is evil; and for us poor scmucks in the middle there is no escape from that struggle and the fate that entails: to be caught in the battle between morality and immorality. Never mind. She had a gorgeous mink; and most women never get that.

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Noir of the Night: Mildred Pierce




Does that name make you feel funny all over? It should. If you haven't got the movie in your collection get it. It must simply be one of the best fur movies ever.

Indeed, it has been discussed here before; but not in context. The point of the fur is therefore missed; and without that fur and Joan Crawford's role, there would have been no 80's power furs.


When Dynasty and Dallas were made, furs were in fashion sure; but it was the decsion to emphasise the power side of charcters like Joan Collins with as much exageration as the shoulder pads in Joan Crawfords sable coat and power suits of Mildred Pierce. Power could be sexy and iconic in a woman.


Of course, Dallas and Dynasty other than the image thing was pretty shallow. Soap . Many have said Mildred Pierce was the first soap movie. After all if you describe the story to someone it sounds a soapy woman's film kind of vibe.

Rubbish. Mildred Pierce was classic film noir; with themes, dialogue and imagery as deep and dark as it comes. THAT is the power of Noir.


Veda: "You think just because you made a little money you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can't. Because you'll never be anything but a common frump whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing."


Mildred: "Veda, I think I'm really seeing you for the first time in my life and you're cheap and horrible."



Many will just see the dialogue in that and think yes great exchange in soap tradition. But it isn't. It highlights the deep and irreconcilable differences NOT just in generations but also in social class perceptions. Because velda is wrong; Midred Pierce IS class; and Velda lacks it because she has no respect for why it exists; and is clearly exposed as cheap. The shock that Veda has started smoking is also a dissappointment to Midlred, but also she too smokes herself; (and then finally when they share the same man well who can blame Velda?)so can say nothing. It is the realisation that her sweet daughter is not so sweet, that maybe even she is not, and that the American family dream is shattered;

dishonest. Maybe Ida's course is more honest: she knows you just take what life gives you and grab and enjoy the fur and cigarettes and sex and don't dream about anything else.


Of course; the thought that her own daughter has turned out such a spoiled brat breaks Crawford's heart; but she still takes the rap for her; because that is what a mother does. And that is why the charcter playd by crawford, is such an icon; and captures our hearts.


There is great support dialogue from other characters:


Ida: "Personally, Veda's convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young."


Wally Fay to Ida: "I hate all women. Thank goodness you're not one."


Great one liners yes....but also a great insight into the darkness of the human condition; never mind how good and hard working and full of hope one is; fate will deal you a killer blow; may aswell accept it.

And so the American dream is exposed as worthless and hollow and those who try to follow it doomed to failure:


Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant (2002):


One of the best-made Hollywood movies ever, Mildred Pierce transcends the genre of the high-powered soap opera (tinged with a definite noir flavor) by encapsulating a number of vital American themes, some of them years before the nation knew they existed. The desperate search for identity and property as the key to happiness, and maternal love misplaced on a grand scale, are the twin engines of this lightning-fast entertainment machine



Joan almost for a moment accepts that fate; but can't; she is a mother after all:




See how it is lit; the expression on the faces. How the cheap will always grovel and the brave will always self sacrific? Brilliant. And the fur? The fur symbolises th dream and the power and the height of achievement but we cannot escape fte. Never mind; when people start realising that all you get out of life IS the fur; then we can end up being a lot more honest. Sod the kids and the veneer of respectability for a start IMHO.


In this famous lit scene from the movie; the bust in the background adds balance to the composition, and emphasises Mildreds "emotional disarmament" (silver and ursini) by suggesting power and success BUT inability to decide or change fate. She is a statue herself:



That is one of the best fur pics of all time to me because it shows power and vulnerability; femininity and masculinity; classicism and romanticism; destiny and inability to prevent it; and so much more.

But above all it is beautiful. It is such imagery of course that unspires the subersive nostalgia and "thousand possible narratives" of Jack Vettriano's paintings btw...which also have furs, smoking and dark imagery.


I will leave you to read into these what you will; but always the fur is important in the scene. Mildred Pierce every scene is a painting of darkness and light of the human condition:




I think you maybe had an idea to take a swim. That's what I think.


Leave me alone.


You take a swim, I gotta take a swim. Is that fair? Since you feel like bumping yourself off, I gotta get pneumonia. Never thought about that, didja? Okay. Think about it. Go on, beat it. Go on home before we both take a swim.







Here is a clue on that one. Ida is the one in the foreground. also in fur:



Although Ida is intriguing, it is nearly impossible to follow her in Mildred Pierce. Despite her compelling, decoratively indecorous presence, the camera persistently moves away from her. Like Mildred, we too are restrained from further contact with her; we are tantalized, seduced, and kept away not only in this scene but throughout the film to various degrees. Secondary, a supporting player, one whose idiosyncratic difference marks her as minor and funny, wise and irreverent, Ida peoples the background fabric of the film, coming forward only occasionally to remind us of the different kind of sense that lurks throughout the story, a sense that might avoid Mildred's tragic decisions. Although films have many secondary characters (rejected love interests, hero's buddies, servants, children, functionaries, extras), wise comic female characters like Ida, who perform modernized versions of the Shakespearean fool, occupy a crucial if eccentric position in film narrative, history, viewing, and operation. They not only figure audience knowledge in dramatic irony, they also mediate between characters and between the audience and the film. Main characters may triumph (or fail) at film's end, but female comic secondary characters play in the middle, producing and sorting confusions and anxieties, threatening short circuits of narrative, and helping the narrative along. They provide humor, wisdom, a point of identification, and the possibility of narrative alternatives until they disappear at the end. They are the site where minor, middle, and perverse overlap, undoing narrative as they do it and showing us another way to look.


The midnight atmosphere of the high-ceilinged anteroom is a mixture of gangster and gothic, a noir milieu of cast shadows, winding cigarette smoke, fedoraed police, and sounds magnified in the empty predawn hours. This is the first time we have seen Ida Corwin, whose sardonic wisecracks toll brassily in the hollow grimness of the Criminal Division. At this point, thirteen minutes into the film, we know there is a dead body, and we suspect that Mildred is involved and that she has embroiled Wally. But in the police station Ida is a mystery woman whose fur coat and fashionable toque signal a refinement her witticisms belie and whose familiarity with both Mildred and Wally suggests their connection. Ida is neither a casual acquaintance nor a nemesis, however; the camera's imperative tug at Mildred as it pulls her around to see Ida, as well as the urgency and surprise expressed in Mildred's unfinished query, raise questions about who Ida is and what part she plays. But beyond the characters' stymied familiarity, Ida is a mystery at the scene's end and will stay that way for another twenty minutes until she is finally introduced in the long flashback history of Mildred's struggle for success.


Source: http://www.press.uillinois.edu/epub/books/roof/intro.html






My fave; because when all is said and done all that remains that is important of the character is her iconic glamour; shame that Mildred didn't realise it:




you should get a vid here:



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I will have to ask Worker to give me a hand with changing the reels then; but will see what I can do!


Okay double feature tonight.

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Curtain is up in half an hour.

Its a surprise for tonight but its a double feature.


Popcorn...ice cream...aparetifs...cigarettes ?(ha its my theatre all served by a cigarette chick in little skirt and silver fox shrug and fishnet seamed stockings. The usherettes have operagloves and little mink capes and uniforms of dior blue silk boned dresses edged with mink and seamed stockings too; with little mink hats with veils.


Gentlemen are expected to be in dinner suits black tie or white tie. Sorry; lounge suits stalls only. Ladies you may hang your furs in the den cloakroom but the company accepts no liabity for loss or damage


Maybe you had better keep them on eh? It does get rather chilly and our movies tonight may disturb the more timid flowers among you so you may need a cuddle in the warmth of your fur.


Sorry for the non smokers among you but lets be serious....you can't have film noir without all that beautiful haze of smoke in the projector can you! Its called atmosphere. Gasmasks provided for those of you who require thm but we must awrn you thre ae some pretty perverse people who like that kind of thing down in the stalls so be careful!


Here is a little clue as to one of tonight stars. Non fur YET but some coming up:

COPY AND PASTE (no hotlinking allowed at this site)



Did I detct a humphy sigh because no fur? I don't want to spoil it!

Oh okay ONE little peep then.

Any idea who I am talking about yet?


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stomps feet, throws popcorn at screen, booo Hissss















Tarzan & the leopardwomen....?

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coming up. Computer crashed. Used 38mb searching for a pic which is about me puters limit then I have to clear out the temp files. Told you it was a useless puter.



have to gimme twenty mins.


Now in the old days they used to have entertainment for when the reels broke and before curtain up/interval.


SO our projectionist will do some magic tricks to keep you occupied.

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The eyes have it.


When does black and white film have colour?


When ELLA RAINES is on screen. Her eyes are green; piercing; expressive. Hypnotic. Killer eyes.




The kind that can turn a man to stone

The kind that make you forget who you are what you were doing where you were going and succumb to the poison willingly.


"That girl is more trouble than a skillet full of rattlesnakes" (Gabby hayes, Tall in the Saddle).


Now when I was about ten I started keping a record of movies and wrote little reviews. I always put an F for furs and an S for smoking, since I didn't want people to know by writing too much about them; and gave a rating based on those things, or if they has aliens/war/gorgeous women in them too.


So one of the films I remember writing loads about is "The Phantom Lady".


I remember writing; "haunting lighting". But then I haven't seen the movie since. I remeber Ella was gorgeus and that she smoked, but whether there is fur in it or not I can't remember. What? I haven't seen it since I was 10 gimme a break!

But I remember this scene:



and her eyes as I wrote that down; I remember.


and I remember the lighting http://www.eskimo.com/~noir/ftitles/phantom/pl10.jpg


here is a review:




ANYWAY that isn't the feature; just a background to how Ella Raines captivated me as a kid.

Get ready for this; you are going to love it. Tonights first movie of a double feature is:


"BRUTE FORCE" starring ELLA RAINES 1947 Supporting actress: Yvonne de carlo


Okay I had to give you all that background stuff about Phantom Lady and Ella's eyes, becasue I wanted to make you really appreciate this image. If this doesn't turn you on you ain't got any attraction to fur NOR to the femme fatale. So go to the theatre next door where you can watch a Disney movie. Because this is for grown ups. Ready?




Every time I see that picture it arouses me. I will never forget the first time I saw it and it still does the same. It her forties hair falling on the mink isn't it? And then you look in the mirror and see her eyes. And those are eyes her husband can't see and she can't see him. All she sees is the mink. Wonderful.

This is told in flashback if I remember right as her husband explained how he embezzled money in order to keep the wife happy and get her that mink; and now, as we see in that mirror shot; though he tries to hang on to her, she has what she wants and it isn't him. A GREAT pic for us femme fatale in fur lovers. And MASTERFUL picture making; two pics in one. From behind, beautiful, nice, the husband and the wife happy as she tries on the fur: and in the mirror, the husbands desperate attempt to satisfy his wife and the evil glint in her eye. Love it. Its a painting no? The reflection being the reality and the reality being the illusion.


I won't overburden you with a review as its basically a dark prison tale; where good and evil are blurrd; authority is evil and the cellmates basically good. Joe Collins initials are JC...and the devil is Captain Munsey.

This review slates it a bit; but I loved the movie...obvioulsly partly for the too brief role of Ella Raines:




Is it worth getting for the fur fan? Well surely it is for that one scene no?

Otherwise; you gotta like gritty grim unrelenting prison dramas with a sense of injustice. Slate this film people can; but it created a genre ....there would have been no Midnight Express etc if it were not for this; and movies like the Birdman of Alcatraz (1961) followed again with Lancaster. Joe says to Munset at one point:

"Why would you quit? You'd run out of helpless flies to stick pins into."

and that is the tone for the movie. The romantic flashbacks are nice for the women of course; with tragdy and blurred morality and fatalism.




Yvonne de Carlo stars in the movie too and she is another of my fave temptresses when I was a kid. She was Miss World I believe. She plays an Italian chick whose botfridn takes the rap for her killing someone.


Anyway some more pics of Ella Raines in furs and some of Yvonne de Carlo:









and from another great Fim Noir, Yvonne in furs from another film noir; "Criss Cross"



And you young 'uns who are trying to remember where you have heard the name Yvonne de Carlo before? Hehttp://www.briansdriveintheater.com/cheesecake/yvonnedecarlo/yvonnedecarlo5.jpgre:



Now ther will be a short interval before the next movie.

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Now for many of us, furs are just a part of female allure. The best part true; but not the only part. Some of us like women in furs; and not all women. Okay its a good job somebody is around to cheer up the bag ladies in furs, BUT I think most of us probably aren't attracted to any old minger in fur.

So many of us find ourselves here lured as kids by bad girls, temptresses, vamps and femme fatales. When you are young and you see these chicks in movies and on tv, you get it. All the rest you learn is bullshit. These women were SEX, and furs, power fashions, black gloves, evil eyes viled hats corstets silk lingerie and beautiful hair and make up seamed stockings etc were all part of that. It was mainstream culture for 60 years and now its not politically correct? Try telling my weapon that; cos he don't get it. As for these guys who marry the girl next door in gingham summer skirt and golden tressle hair and freckles? Well he's a pervert IMHO; unsure of himself so keeps his lady down as far as allure is concerned: he may lose her to another guy.


Anyway, I know ONE person here who loves a girl with a gun. A girl with a man at her feet, a girl who has a man tied and bound, a girl who can cut a man dead with one lash of her tongue and even if you retort with a comeback thrust, she will go one better and finish you off.


Well tonight's main featuure had to be a class act to follow Ella Raines. A real class act. It had to have everything; girls with guns, guys bound and gagged, dead men at womens feet, an INCREDIBLY classy dame in an AMAZING mink(or is it sable?), and a hero who wanders through it all wondering what the hell is going on but he doesn't really care cos he starts to want the class chick in the fur; the one who MAYBE does know what's going on. She may be bad she may be good...who the hell cares when she looks like that; you'd follow her anywhere in the dark and feel like she was in control. All you have to do is come up with the occassional witty one liner and make her eyebrow raise and watch in awe as a milky wisp of smoke escapes the even fainter smile.


There is only one character who has an ambivalent yet fatalist enough personality to go with the flow while try to remember what the hell it was he was supposed to be doing; yet you still trust him with the money you have paid him to investigate. Marlowe. And there is only one Marlowe.


And when he has someone to play off so that as the script meanders and the narrative is disjointed and confused and dead bodies pile up all around and you don't really care whether they are solved because he...and you...are following the elegant feline presence of the aloof slinky elegant girl in the mink..... and the only important thing is the on screen chemistry; so very REAL because it was, you know who I am talking about yes?


Bogart and Bacall


For tonights main feature is:








Okay, before he dozes off and before you get the fur , let me give furelli his girl with a gun:




and a body at a woman's feet:



and the moment Marlowe realises he is out of his depth with these dames:



and always the cigarettes:



and for you bondage dominatrix fans:



Confused? Have you seen it? very time I see it I get more confused, and end up spotting something else and end up just enjoying the dialogue and chemistry between Bacall and Bogart and enjoying what I am sure is the basis of most fetishes around! Because I could NEVER work out why Mona Mars is played by TWO different actresses: Pat Clark AND Peggy Knudsen;

so you can't possibly follow it.


Oh and of course the furs:




well you would follow her anywhere wouldn't you. She doesn't care what's occurring, and Marlowe doesn't really either. They are in love and show it by catty dialogue and witty bitchiness to each other, on screen and off.


Got to love other bits of the dialogue too:


Female cab driver:


If you can use me again sometime, call this number.



Day or night?



Night's better. I work during the day.



And the exchanges are great:


Vivian (Bacall):


And I don't like your manners.



And I'm not crazy about yours. I didn't ask to see you. I don't mind if you don't like my manners. I don't like 'em myself. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings. I don't mind you ritzing me or drinking your lunch out of a bottle. But don't waste your time trying to cross-examine me.


If you want to know the story it here:



confused? Yes so is he.


Now. I haven't read this or any other book (Fur here):




and I haven't read that many interpretations of the movie that don't get bogged down ithr in the plot or in the romance/wit exchange. It is my assertion the plot complexity is confusion: a metaphor for Marlowe's own sexual and class identity crisis.


SO WHAT HAS ALL THIS TO DO WITH FUR!!! I hear some of you saying.


EVERYTHING. For here is the TOUCHOFSABLE interpretation of the movie.


Nothing happens in true film noir without a meaning. Modern film noir is RARELY that. They simply do not have the intelligence motivation or craftsmanship now to make them. Yes they can mimmick the style; very much like they can mimmick making a top hat. But the Art is lost. Nobody knows how silk top hats were made; its lost knowledg. Becausen for some, they were not important. Likewise, I think we are fascinated by, but forget the meaning and misunderstand the craftsmanship of film noir because image is cheap; common; overwhelming nowadays. So we must go BACK and look at the movie with the eye and mind of the time it was created.





Now, all the way throught the movie Lauren Bacall, though attractive, as she teams up with Bogart becomes less and less feminine in her dress.

A clue to why is in the dialogue when she first meets him:


Vivian "I thought private detectives were greasy little men snooping round hotel corridors. My you're a mess aren't you?"


And as we progress:


Vivian: So you do get up, I was beginning to think you worked in bed like Marcel Proust.

Marlowe: Who's he?

Vivian: You wouldn't know him, a French writer.

Marlowe: Come into my boudoir.




Vivian: Speaking of horses, I like to play them myself. But I like to see them workout a little first, see if they're front runners or come from behind, find out what their hole card is, what makes them run.

Marlowe: Find out mine?

Vivian: I think so.

Marlowe: Go ahead.

Vivian: I'd say you don't like to be rated. You like to get out in front, open up a little lead, take a little breather in the backstretch, and then come home free.

Marlowe: You don't like to be rated yourself.

Vivian: I haven't met anyone yet that can do it. Any suggestions?

Marlowe: Well, I can't tell till I've seen you over a distance of ground. You've got a touch of class, but I don't know how, how far you can go.

Vivian: A lot depends on who's in the saddle.


All the clues are there. This woman is WAY out of Marlowe's class; but she sees a challenge in him. BUT you have to appreciate the clothing style she adopts to "secure" him. Now in todays functional clothing world, we may look at some of Vivan's suits and say..chic, nice. BUT at the time, just after world war 2 and people went to the cinema to see luxury, this is odd. Functional, dare I say it masculine clothes, and masculine dialogue from a woman. It is MY theory that Marlowe is a man not only confused by the plot but by his own sexuality, and a chip on his shoulder about his class. She has to dive in, become the masculine figure he needs to "partner" up with ( he is looking for a Tonto to his Lone Ranger... not the glamorous feminine woman we first see) and pull him out of it and let him think he has done it himself; so he gets back his self worth; and realises he is not gay so need not loath himself. This would have been understood by audiences at the time; indeed they were used to looking for hidden meaning. SO, at the end of the movie when Marlowe begins to asert himself after a fashion, we see Vivian as she REALLY is. Rich, powerful yes...but truly feminine too. The sight of her in that fur would have been a great relief to men that were twitching uncomfortably in the cinema, and the women who had had enough of being a land girl and wanted some glamour. NOW we got it, in the shape for the fur. Remember EVERY woman in 1946 thought about only one ambition: to own a mink. And her was a rich classy educated woman who wasn't wearing one. But she HAD one all along then. That's the secret of the movie. ITS IN THE FUR.

All this film buff nonsense about complicated plot, dialogue and romance; and they MISSED the main thing.

Bacall is playing in the gutter with a cute guy who's confused. She sees his potential and needs him to be a man. He gets there; she dons the fur and ends up in his arms.


See what a society that doesn't appreciate fur misses out on?


No wonder we can't understand the Astecs.


Anyway Lauren tended to always do such roles after this. She was a new woman; in charge of her own destiny. So she would often wear the masculine clothing; BUT she could also do this as the same character when she need to; never a bimbo though; always in control, intelligent and still feminine:



More pics from the movie here with a fur pic:



Another fur pic here:




What was "The Big Sleep" btw ? Death. Not just the dead bodies; but the death of conventional life. And new life from it: hence sleep. Bacall and Bogie were the new who have woken.

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We are sorry about the problems during last nights double feature but we hope you enjoyed it nevertheless.

Tonight we are a little better prepared.

We have a part British 1949 movie for the first part of tonights double feature during this festival of "THE FUR IN FILM NOIR"


Tonight's first movie stars James Mason. and one of the Queens of film noir, JOAN BENNETT (sister of Constance Bennett)


That movie is :








This is specially for all you fans of beaver lamb, mouton or Phantom beaver; for Joan Bennetts coat in this one will no doubt get you excited.

Does me anyway; I just love the veil:






Now some would say that the Reckless moment is not film noir; after all by American epic gangaster mvis the plot is very domestic and smal scal.


However because of the firection of Max Ophuls; the movie has a slightly unerving European feel; with shadows and camera work that to me are on a par with welles and hitchcock. The themes too are noiresue so I am including it. As Max Ophuls describes:

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Okay before we go on with our next feature I have found a site with some awesome stills which includes one of the movies we have already looked at. Get ready for these; they are going to make you feel funny all over












oh that's a bit far away for you? Not close up enough? Think of the image? Look at Mitchum the voyeur (errrr...hw many of us have been thre?) and LOOK at Greer's shadow


want it a bit more obvious? Okay:










just a wonderful shot:


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Okay our second part of the double bill tonight; so again I have to find a classic after that.

Well here it is:






Guessed yet?












































I don't think you need any commentary on it do you? Everyone knows it don't they? Nice refresher though of Mary Astor in furs.

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Just arrived here? Tonight's double feature is just on the bottom of page one ( Joan Bennett and Mary Astor in furs in two great movies with LOTS of pics )with an interlude with some AWESOME recaps of "Out Of The Past" with Jane Greer which we already looked at but now I found better stills.


And then I got to thinking about that Greer character and some other femme fatales and got looking to see if anyone agrees with what I think may be a startling theory; they do to an extent.


A common theme among film noir we see emerging is the non traditional role of women. The femme fatale spurns family life and traditional role for greed manipulation evil and ruthless ambition. She wants furs, stylish clothes, she smokes, and she is willing to use all these feminine allures to get either her man or money or a ticket to freedom.


BUT withing the confines of 40s and 50s cinema, this would have been seen as subversive. SO they HAD to punish her. Nevertheless, the "nice" girls; those who are married or have family lives, are portrayed as boring, frumpy and having no sex appeal .


Film Noir was a Liberator for women. By the early sixties women had been so inspird to follow these femme fatale role models that they had produced women like Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies. Real life femme fatales. Legends; with such power they brought a govrnment down and changed the necessity for women to choose conventinal life forever. The Powerful women portaryed in 80s movies could be free; rich powerful and free of moral punishment. Joan Collins revelled in it. And women in real life too were freed.


And what happened? Now women are lost. Conned. They didn't see the opportunity for that freedom, but chose another path. One of burning bras, not dressing femininely because it was for men, rejecting furs and heels, and ending up YES having equality in the workplace; BUT then still coming home to the kitchen sink. And dreary dowdy domesticity.


Well now we have a NEW breed of woman; inspired by the femme fatale. The suicide girl and the Dita von Teese; taking their inspiration often from Film Noir and seeing that amorality , glamour and dark power as the true Liberator of women. And many of those women will want to wear fur, and smoke, and couldn't care less how other women see them; couldn't care less about political correctness of the left or the morality fo the christian right. These are women who aren't going to be told what they can and can't do. I hope. They have sexual power and they are going to use it; like they were meant to. The new modern female is a new traditionalist; rediscovering the tools of her trade to secure her liberation. And one of those tools, and ambitions, is the fur. Fur as Liberation. Ask Miss Persephone, Dita Von Teese, and I dare say one or two of the ladies here from what I pick up: we have a fair cop of femme fatales here I would say! That is why I think there is no stopping the revival of fur; and attempts to will be seen as controlling of women: as was always evident in Miss Theresa's struggle.


A good article about what I am getting at; about the femme fatale in film noir:


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Often in film noir, greed, ruthlessnes, sexiness, strong femme fatales, etc

are symbolised by the fur coat. Often it is the object of desire; the reason of the crime, the temptation.


But how far would you go to get a fur ? Would you sell your soul to the devil?


essentially in the first part of tonight's double bill that is what happens.


"Alias Nick Beal" made in 1949. For Nick Beal in question; a sinister character, is inded Old Nick.


You can read about it here and see a pic but I can't play what looks like a video so have a look:




from the site:


Beal not only corrupts the man with money and power. He also tempts him with sex. Donna Allan (Audrey Totter), a local barfly and failed actress, is recruited by Beal to be Foster

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The scond part of the Noir bill tonight is a movie many of you won't think of as film noir; but IMHO it most certainly is. To take a turn of the British century detective and transfer him to the 1940s; often even whipping him off stateside, and add into the mix diabolical fiendishness, dramatic lighting, femme fatales and all the other elements of Noir, then you have to say if it smells like a rose and looks like a rose its a rose.


So BASIL RATHBONE is the star of tonights movie; though its not him that is in fur of course; but, as the ONLY Sherlock Holmes in my book, he was on the case of the most diabolical female villains in furs ever to grace the silver screen. you will NEVER think of a music box the same again after this movie; and though some critcis regard it as not the best of the series (it was the last one ) that alone plus the incredibly sexy Patricia Morrison means it is to me!


And tonights movie is :






Here are the thumbnails:




and here I think you can see the movie:



PATRICIA MORRISON is the femme fatale and she is AMAZING in furs; and of course, treachorously evil.


Quite a lot of the Rathbone/Holmes vehicles had such gloriously evil femme fatales in them; dark themes and Noiresque lighting. And of course; LOTS of furs.


A few more coming up tomorrow night.

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Okay the first of our double bills tonight as promised is

"Sherlock Holmes and the Spiderwoman"


features Basil Rathbone of course as Holmes and the slinky evil goddess Gale Sondergaard; as featured in my avatar. The still is in the gallery, along with a couple more promo and from a Bob Hope movie:






Here she has Holmes bound and gagged as she smiles on wickedly in her furs:





Here is a nice article about Gale Sondergaard; a very underated actress whose career was ruined by McCarthyism:




Some of the furs in the Spiderwoman are used to slightly different effect . Light coloured furs are chosen such as this huge fox stole, and note it is teamed with a cute chic little hat. That is all intended. The Sondergaard character is so evil she thinks nothing of even using a child to carry off her masquerade; even teasing by red herring that he may even be implicated in the murders. In fact it is a pygmy (being aprtly based on The Sign of Four". But Holmes, while he flirts with her, is not convinced for a minute of course; neither was she when he had tried to pass himself off at her casino as an Indian raj gambler. So the tension sexually between the pair is delightful. He knows she is as wicked as they come.

Such foxes as her character, Andrea Spedding, wears were seen at the time as more "fun furs" than the dark sleek femme fatale minks. But she is the ultimate femme fatale make no mistake.


Here are some of the stills from the movie:





The Rathbone character was great against a good femme fatale . Hilary brooke is another fur clad villainess in "Sherlock Holmes and the Woman in Green". You can read about that here too; and ther are pics in the gallery.






famous for its hypnosis scene. To the xtent where it has reall sexiness and I wondred if it was mentioned aywhere on the net.




Some weird chicks out there. I would do a Holmes and pretend


One of the series that is often never mentioned as some critics regard it as weak, is "Pursuit to Algiers". I like it though. There are one or two furs and some nice ladies and Rathbone is a scream:



I love Marjoie Riordan's dress here too:



Not convinced that Holmes movies are film noir? Well I could go into a lot of depth on that , and the other reason it was shifted from Edwardian times to contemporary times ...nazism was one...Holmes was a genius, a smoker, and a free thinker and the "henchmen" of the villains were an allusion to brownshirts. Rathbone becomes intense and determined in his fight for justice; darkly so, with a very British eccentricity; one on which Doctor Who's character was later based. His constant mention of Moravian red wine is also a reminder that Czechoslovakia was a cultured nation that had come under the Nazi jackboot. BUT it started in Edwardian London; not much fur in this one but features the lovly Ida Lupino who wore furs in many other movies:



So the shift was partly because of the war; but partly because the noir style , and the allusion to the dark shadow of Nazism, suited the series very well. And the dialogue of course; is Noir to a tee...lots of snappy one liners between Holmes and the villains; and the plot complexities explained to the lowest common denominator through the bumbling Watson.


A lovely series of movies. In Holmes goes to washington and maybe one or two others there are bits of fur too. But all the villainesses are gorgeous; and they all smoke and wear furs too!


Another earlier Rathbone movie; again a dark thriller, which I haven't seen is "Love from A Stranger" (night of Terror) 1937 which appears to have some nice big fox collars:



and there appear to be some in the 1943 movie "Above Suspicion" too:




and "The Mad Doctor" or "A Date with Destiny" 1941 looks to have some nice fur but haven't seen that yet either.




LOK at the top right image? See; told you fur fetishism was totally normal once lol!

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You can't really talk about film noir without mentioning Barbara Stanwyck. She made some classics. Double Indemnity is one of her most famous but I can't remember there being much fur in it...I may be wrong; years since I have seen it. But there is plenty in her other movies; some of which are Noir. But there are lots more too. But I haven't seen any Stanwyck movies lately apart form Lady Of Burlesque; which has a fair bit for fur in it. There are images in our gallery.

But which of these has fur in?

"The File on Thelma Jordan"

"Double Indeminity"

"The Lady Gambles"

"No Man of her Own"


There are a few more too. So THESE I am handing over to you to fill us in on and review if you know there is fur in them and you have them on DVD or seen them more recently.



I know the "Strange Love of Martha Ivers " has fur in it but again its a long time since I have seen it. Famous for its dark depiction of Iverstown.


The Strange Love of Martha Ivers:



Here are some nice pics of her in furs from her early days in cinema:


and from "Forbidden" 1932:



One of her films I like though its a while since I have seen it (twenty years ago) is "Sorry Wrong Number". It has some Noiresque elements; though not as much as the more well known Stanwyck roles. Here is a summary:



here is Barbar in furs form that movie:



course she smokes too:



A nice pic from Christmas in Conneticutt:



Here is Barbara with Fred MacMurray looking awesome in furs:




That one is from "Remember the Night"

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I am now guessing that your avatar Touch of Sable comes from film noir perhaps? Helps if one reads down a bit further doesn't it at times?

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Its on this page Lynxette. From "Sherlock Holmes and the Spiderwoman"

with Gale Sondergaard; one of the best villainesses ever in furs.

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BTW some one correct me if I am wrong...is this one from "My Favourite Blonde" ? :




People forget what an amazing actress Gale Sondergaard was. If you haven't seen the spiderwoman get it. Its a fur villainess must.


But in 1937 Gale won the OSCAR for best supporting actress. So with all those wonderful roles, and the fact that she turned down the witch role in the Wizard of OZ (because the wanted her not to be a sexy villainess and put disfiguring make up on she abdicated the role) why don't we know more about her?


Well she is certainly better known in the UK thanks to the Rathbone movie.

In the USA she was married to one of the Hollywood 10. The ones persecuted by McCarthy. She didn't work for 20 years, then came back in the seventies and actually starred in "Return of a man Called Horse".


A wonderful actress and despite her commie sympathies she always wore fur IRL too.

Incidentally, a film was made called Hollywood 10 where Greta Scacchi plays Gale. Any fur in that?

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Verna: Why don't ya keep it all?...Why don't ya? We could travel, buy things. That's what money's for. I'd look good in a mink coat, honey.

Cody: You'd look good in a shower curtain.


They should be words we all know off by heart. That is of course, unless you haven't seen tonight's noir movie (and it is classic noir though oftn not classified as such) the James Cagney and Virginia Mayo classic gangster film, "White Heat".


Think of the psychologial profile of Cagney, his being doomed to the end, and Virginia Mayo's inability (and yet fatalistically actually pushing him) to stop him. And the dark and dramatic inescapable finale; and again the anti American dream sentiment , and the fatalism of that perhaps on the mother and society ( Raoul Walsh seemed to have a mother fixation and a strong sense of social justice).

"Top of the World Ma!" he screams, demented. And in his own way, he is happy to be there.



Th cinematographer was Sid Hickox....the same who worked on "The Big Sleep". It's a Noir. I would go as far as classifying the great sci fi he also did as Noiresque ....think of the sewer scenes, the amorality of the villains in even eating children, and the lighting in " Them!" .


But its Raoul Walsh's movie, and interesting take on the femme fatale. Yes Mayo is a femme fatale, but one we are encouraged to feel sympathy for as she is after all attempting to manipulate bad gus not good guys as most femme fatales do, but an evil vicious sociopath.


But may see White Heat NOT as typical Noir. There isn't the claustrophobia, they say, and look at how beautiful each scene is even the end with nice compositions and beautiful rounded objects, and openess. Yes true. Visually it is diferent. But the feeling of being trapped by destiny is the same, and the use of light and dark to good effect draws heavily on Noiresque cinematography.


Anyway, here is Virginia Mayo in fox :






and mink:




Sadly Virginia passed away just recently 2005. But I remember seeing a documentary on Marlyn Monroe once. They said that marilyn in real life often couldn't get dates. She looked great on screen; the camera was kind to her. They specifically mentioned Virginai mayo as being truly beautiful, but that the camera was not so kind. Certainly, IMHO Mayo was a far superior actress.


Anyway, Virginai Mayo wear the mink lots and the fox in White heat but sadly there are not so many vidcaps I can find so here are lots more of her in furs:


Here IRL with Liz Taylor:



hre in furs signing autograph for a lady in fur:


Here in silver fox:



And now, from the operagloves site, my faves from

"The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" Of Virginia in lots of mink pelts with turban style hat and tan leather gloves: (you may have to copy and paste)














lots more along those lines here:


and here



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Before tonights film a lovely article about the impact of seeing Mildred Pierce on a woman of 1945 from her son; with pics of Joan in the movie and his mum in her fur:




And aslo a stunning woodcut of Gloria Grahame with the mink and a gun:

http://www.filmnoirwoodcuts.com/Art04.html (from The Big Heat...already reviewed)

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