Vicki returns to her elder sister Beth's house in Australia after an affair in Italy. Beth, with a teenage daughter, has become involved in something of a marriage of convenience with ... See full summary »
A young independent woman who lives with her grandmother and aunt in the countryside rebels against being pressured into marriage and chooses to solely focus on having a career as a writer. Nevertheless, two suitors propose to her.
In mid-1800s England, Oscar is a young Anglican priest, a misfit and an outcast, but with the soul of an angel. As a boy, even though from a strict Pentecostal family, he felt God told him ... See full summary »
Women He's Undressed is a cinema length documentary that explores the life of Australia's most prolific costume designer. Until now Orry-Kelly has been unacknowledged in his country of birth and pretty well forgotten in the adopted country of his greatest success. During the boom years of Hollywood he was the costume designer on an astonishing 282 motion pictures. He designed for the stars like Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Rosalind Russell, Errol Flynn and many more of the immortals. His films included Some Like It Hot, Casablanca, An American in Paris and Now, Voyager. Orry-Kelly (Jack to his friends) won three Academy Awards and was nominated for a fourth. Orry-Kelly was Head of Warner Brothers Costume Department during the richest period of American film, the establishment of the dream factory and its effect on mass culture. He was outrageous, witty, outspoken, a drinker and uncompromising but he survived partially protected by his friendship with Jack and Ann ...Written by
James A Michener, the celebrated novelist has long claimed (and bragged) that at 37, he was the oldest private serving in the army during the second world war. This movie and the book it was based on prove Orry-Kelly far surpassed that boast when he was drafted at the age of 46 and served until the army finally released all those over the age of 45. See more »
The birth and death dates of Marion Davies and Fannie Brice were reversed. Marion Davies lived from 1897 - 1961; Fannie Brice from 1891 - 1951. The dates given in this film switch the dates, having Davies die in 1951 and Brice in 1961. See more »
Fun, inventive, moving and surprising; an endorsement from someone who thought they were not all that interested in the subject
A terrific biography of Australian-born Hollywood costume designer (and 3 time Oscar winner) Orry-Kelly. Gillian Armstrong's fun and emotional look at Kelly's often challenging life includes wonderful taking heads; actresses like Jane Fonda and Angela Landsbury, great designers of the more modern era like Ann Roth and Catherine Martin, film and Hollywood historians like Leonard Maltin and others. They tell absorbing stories about the wildly talented, sometimes wildly difficult perfectionist, as well as heartbreaking ones about his personal life as a gay man in Hollywood at a time when being 'out' was still cause for possible unemployment and human banishment. These attitudes and threats led to – among other things - a terribly painful and ultimately cruel break-up of many years from his early lover and one time best friend Archie Leach, later known as Cary Grant.
But what makes the documentary much more interesting than most Hollywood hagiographies are the more theatrical elements Armstrong and screenwriter Katherine Thompson bring to the party. Along with the great stories, clips and still photos there are also actors playing Kerry (an excellent Darren Gilshenan), his mother and others from his life. Kerry enthusiastically narrates his own story in the midst of wonderfully surreal, theatrical and playfully symbolic settings (rowing alone in a tiny boat is a constant metaphor). These sequences paradoxically bring both lightness and depth to the film, giving us a far more personal connection to the man than most screen biographies have. In the end it's both a lot of fun and tremendously sad and informative about the sexual and human politics of Hollywood, and their costs on real human beings (not only gay men, but women both straight and gay as well).
One of those films I almost didn't see since it's not a subject that called out for me, only to be very happily surprised at how much I got out of it.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this