Olivia’s Dress from Elizabeth and Essex

17 May

Some of you may recall in 1970 MGM Studios, out of business, held a huge auction, liquidating assets, props, clothes, memorabilia, etc. from it’s treasure troves….   TCM had a short film on it the other night.  Always brings a tear to my eye….

Actress Debbie Reynolds frantically purchased many items to save for posterity. Here is a short clip of her collection. At 1:21 in the film, you’ll see Olivia’s dress from Elizabeth and Essex, cleaned and restored, being put into proper acid-free storage.

Debbie Reynolds’ film memorabilia collection:…




— The Zaca


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  1. timerider

    May 17, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Awesome! Wow and triple Wow! The history and the need to preserve these one of a kind items is really important to all of us. The actors are long gone, but the wardrobe remains with the film footage for all posterity. Thank you for the link to Youtube….

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  2. Gentleman Tim

    May 17, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Flynntaztic, TZ! What a great and very cool find!! Thank you for sharing it with your Flynnmates!!!


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    • The Zaca

      May 18, 2017 at 2:56 am

      I forgot to add this to the main post. I finally found the old MGM Auction film “Hollywood: The Dream Factory”, in which Our Man FLYNN is seen briefly at a huge gathering – a dinner with “more stars than there are in heaven” – long rows of tables seating a collection of stars that would never again be assembled together like this. We see Errol, as the camera pans by, looking bored, distracted almost – like “what am I doing here?”. The first part of the film shows the auction – a tear jerker for me – haunting – sad….…

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    • The Zaca

      May 18, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      GT – thanks for the photo – one of the only films I think OdH and EF were not paired as a romantic couple? She wanted it to go further…and the audience did too…but Essex had other plans….! They both looked gorgeous in that film and wore those costumes as if they’d been born in them!

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      • Gentleman Tim

        May 18, 2017 at 3:24 pm

        So true, TZ. Orry-Kelly really excelled in his designs for this picture. Surely he recognized that he had the most sublimely beautiful couple in Hollywood, at their simultaneous peaks of physical splendor. Heck, even hellacious Bette the 1st is outfitted majestically.

        Here’s a fun, expert review of the E&E costuming, with great photos, including the one below of Bette and Olivia’s capturing some of Bette & Olivia’s “cat-fight” over Errol. As a boy I couldn’t comprehend or enjoy Errol going for Bette ove Olivia. Still don’t.…


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        • The Zaca

          May 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm

          Great link, GT~~~!!! Thank you again…..although she pans many of the outfits – and I suppose for historical accuracy she may be right – E & E still takes the cake with me for splendor and beauty. No one makes costumes like those anymore…!

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  3. Sergio

    May 18, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I wonder what will happen to all of Debbie’s
    wardrobe collection now that she and her daughter are gone?

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    • The Zaca

      May 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      If I am not mistaken she auctioned off her collection before she – and her daughter – died. I think if you Google “Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Memorabilia Auction” something will come up to that effect. Correct me if I’m wrong….

      Last night I trolled an auction website and found some tidbits that EF wore in Don Juan and Silver River that had gone up for auction, as well.

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