14 thoughts on “How Contemporary Hairstyles Affect Historical Costume Movies: The 1940s, Part 1

  1. ‘Three Musketeers’ is meant to be in 1620s (Louis XIII’s reign, and includes assassination of Buckingham), not 1720s. You may wish to change the comparison painting.

    1. What started as a typo led me to a mistake, but it’s too much work to fix it now! Y’all can just twitch about how wrong I am :)

  2. Yay! Thanks for this. I really find it interesting. I think the hair is one of those things where I too would be tempted to make it “relatable” but… that’s just a quick way to looking dated in a few years. I mean, maybe some people don’t care, maybe a lot, but it’s just the sort of attention to detail that I think really shows (and often I take to indicate an overall attitude towards the history).

  3. Under the one about Josephine you mentioned her being in “Australia”. I know you meant Austria! Good work though. People get mad at me when I point out un-historical things in movies and tv and say I’m nitpicking. I don’t look at it that way. So many people get their “history” from movies. If something is easily researchable, why not do it??

  4. I, too, find Nelson Eddy unshaggable. But I wonder why Hollywood did? The hair runs the gambit from really missing the point to meh to semi-acceptable. But Vivien Leigh could not look more beautiful and I need to find the Ingrid Bergman one. She also looks beautiful.

    BTW will you do an episode by episode of Catherine the Great? Pretty please, with cases of Macallen, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Mouton Rothschild, and Glenfeddich.

  5. Kendra, you are a goddess to have put such love and work and scholarship and time into this subject. Nothing is more fun than strange and ahistorical movie hair styles. (Could we just bury every picture of Nelson Eddy, though? Ralph Bellamy, too.)

  6. Wonderful snark. I know about 40s hairstyles because of all the 40s costume dramas I watched as a kid.

    Off topic, but I would love to see a man crush on Michael Rennie (wicked lady brylcreem guy). He was one of my first heartthrobs (after Roy Rogers). I fell for him in Desiree, but see that he’s got a lot of costume dramas to his record.

  7. Sometimes I wonder what required more time and effort,18th century coiffures or the painfully immaculate pincurls of the ’30s and shoulder rolls of the ’40s

  8. That was certainly interesting. I still say that you guys should do the costumes for “Gone With the Wind”. You would be surprised at how much the fashions of the late 1930s influenced Walter Plunkett’s designs.

  9. I was watching a June Allyson/Peter Lawford movie the other day, which was set in the 1920s but made in 1947. The men all passed easily for collegiate men in the ’20s, costume-wise (hair was a little suspect), but the women were universally clad in sweater sets more appropriate for the late ’40s, and their hair was straight from your graphics here. Apparently costumers couldn’t be bothered to stretch even to a modern period.

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