Archive for the ‘Costumes’ Category

The Virginia City Premier — March 16, 1940

16 Mar

— Gentleman Tim


Dressing in the 14th Century

09 Oct

“The big trouble with the 14th century insofar as the movies are concerned is the fact that most of the ladies dressed like nuns.”

October 8, 1937

The Evening Herald
Klamath Falls, Oregon

By Frederick C. Othman
Hollywood Citizen News

The big trouble with the 14th century insofar as the movies are concerned is the fact that most of the ladies dressed like nuns. This is particularly bad for movies in full color, and it explains why Milo Anderson, Warner Brothers costume expert, is cheating on history today in dressing the folks appearing in Hollywood’s latest version of Robin Hood.

This picture first was made in 1922 by Douglas Fairbanks, when movies were black and white and noiseless. Warners’ version calls tor full color and a couple of million dollars to make it realistic. Nearly $500,000 of this money went to Anderson for fancy clothes. He was ready for a real spree in silver cloth and slashed velvet and whatnot, when he discovered that all the women of Robin Hood’s time. from the queen on down to the lowliest peasant, dressed mostly in black and dark brown. They all wore coifs, such as nuns still wear, and shoes which look a lot like gymnasium slippers.


“So we had to cheat a little.” young Anderson said. “We put In a spot of color here and a splash there. We had to.”

His spots and splashes looked pretty gay to us. One bolt of cloth, with silver threads running through the gold, cost Warners $25 a yard. “But it looks too fine,” he said. “So I had it dyed a light blue and I told the dyer to be a little careless. The result looks like it may really have been made six centuries ago. He had to make 45 costumes for the ladies in the picture, of whom Olivia de Havilland, as Maid Marian, is the most important. Each dress took about 40 yards of velvet and other rich cloth, which cost an average of $4 a yard.

The result was inclined to depress Anderson. He cheered up only when he got the chance to rig out the men in the film. “They were the gay sex in those days,” he said. “They went in for slashed silks and doublets and whatnot, all in the brightest color combinations available.”

Anderson displayed the costumes he’d built for Errol Flynn as “Robin Hood”; Ian Hunter as “King Richard”; Claude Rains as “Prince John”; Basil Rathbone as “Sir Guy”; Alan Hale as “Little John”; and Eugene Pallette as “Friar Tuck.” These garments really were something with long tight pants of rainbow hue and doublets and tabards and curves of spots and stripes and curlicues.

On the same movie lot we met Mrs. Felix Mauch, wife of the general agent in New York city of the Toledo. Peoria, and Western railroad, and her two 13-year-old sons, Billy and Bobby. Mrs. M. stands by to keep an eye on her famous twins, who now are starring in “Penrod and His Twin Brother.” But it doesn’t do her much good. “I can’t tell them apart myself,” she confessed. “When one of them needs a whipping. I have to spank both of them to make sure I’m punishing the right one.”

Milo Anderson designs for Robin Hood:

— Gentleman Tim


A Natural in Any Costume!

11 Jul

Errol always looked natural in any costume he wore …

C. Henry Gordon, Errol Flynn, director Michael Curtiz, dialogue director Irving Rapper on location for CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, 1936

— David DeWitt

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