Sorry I haven't been doing a good job of keeping up with this series and really this blog in general. I have a whole slew of films just waiting to be shared with you all! This film for this week, Mr. Lucky (1942), is a Warner Archive release and one that I was super excited about when I discovered the Warner Archive. Let me just say that what Warner Bros. has been doing with the Archive is really something special. I feel that it is so important that us classic film lovers and vintage enthusiasts that love old films show our support by purchasing dvds from the Warner Archive. I am by no means getting paid or sponsored to say this, but it is my opinion that if we do not help these companies willing to sell classic films on dvd, the sales of all classic film dvds might cease to exist. Anyways, I'll get off my soapbox now.....
Cary Grant.....Joe Adams
Laraine Day.....Dorothy Bryant
Charles Bickford.....Hard Swede
Gladys Cooper.....Captain Veronica Steadman
Directed by H.C. Potter
Joe Adams (Cary Grant) is a man in the gambling business; but when it comes time that Joe might have to gamble with his own life, he decides to dodge the draft and take his chances. Since receiving his 4-F rating, Joe is free to cook up some new schemes, which include swindling a great deal of money from a female war relief group. In order to do this, Joe must join the group and act as one of the members. Here he meets Dorothy (Laraine Day), one of the leaders of the group. The two eventually fall in love, as to be expected, and Joe must decide whether or not to go through with the job. Will he choose love or money?
When I first viewed this film, I was immediately stuck by the fabulous hats the female leads and extras were sporting throughout the course of the film. While majority of the women are shown in typical 40s suits, which can sometimes be a bit boring if that's all the women are wearing from scene to scene, the hats in this film really stood out because of the more simplistic attire. I also feel that this film makes an excellent case study for how accessories during WWII were used as a way to spice up outfits and add elements of style to a rather simple look of the suit. I also like to see fashion directors to pay attention to not only their leads, but their extras as well, something this film does a wonderful job with. Sometimes it's the extras that are wearing the more interesting hat!
The only costume credit on this film is Renie for gown design. Towards the end of the film is the charity benefit, which is a formal event, and the gowns definitely do not disappoint. I do wish that there was a credit for who choose/made the hats for this film, as I feel they are an intricate part of the costume design. Renie, or Irene Brouillet Conley as she was known in her private life, had a long career in Hollywood; beginning in the late 30s and ending in the early 80s. She pretty much worked up until the last ten years of her life, which I am assuming was spent in retirement. Some of her fashion sketches belong to the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, which seems to own quite a bit of Adrian's work as well. I am not sure if these items are always on exhibit, but it definitely has given me something to research!
Fashion Grade: 6/10 (Watch this film mostly for the hats and for the charity dance sequence)