27 thoughts on “Iconic Historical Movie Costumes of the 1950s

  1. Um, totally loving your snarky photo captions. I laughed out loud on a couple of them. And bonus, you listed two Yul Brynner films. Plus, I don’t know if Liz Taylor was ever more ethereally gorgeous than in Ivanhoe.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking! I had to do a triple take because I’m SURE nip-edges are showing!

      1. It was a French film, so the Hollywood standards wouldn’t have applied. It only played “art houses” in the U.S., where they could even get away with brief nudity at the time.

    1. That was ancient Egypt? I had to look at the title.

      By the way, there’s that hairstyle again–the one that was mentioned in “Hairstyles of the 30s part I.” Straight hair and bangs. And the only thing in the costume that looks even remotely Egyptian is the pair of pleated oversleeves (if that’s what they’re called). And if they’re not made of linen, they’re wrong.

      1. There are more um, “stylized” Egyptian costumes in the actual movie, mostly with Anne Baxter wearing slinky gowns with pleats and spectacular Egyptian jewelry, like those shoulder covering jeweled collars, and adornments attached to her wigs.

  2. Elizabeth Taylor’s Ivanhoe bullet bra beats out Raintree County (and all other) bullet bras.

  3. Love the list and the comments, but that’s not a still of Chris Lee from “Dracula/Horror of Dracula” (1958). That’s from “Taste the Blood of Dracula” (1970).

  4. whoa, how did she keep them in?
    I’d add one of my favourites, Renoir’s “French Can-Can,” not to be confused (ever!) with the Hollywood version with Frank Sinatra. I love me some Frank, but…

      1. I’ll just take the coat when she goes to meet the dreadful prospective in-laws and that elegant black mourning dress she somehow makes sexy when she meets the rakish Irish ghostwriter.

        Okay, fine, throw in that golden sari-wrap dress from the end.

  5. I have a story to tell about the Vikings movie. I was watching it on cable one day and my dad came into the room and watched a bit with me. [My dad is a retired engineer, this is relevant.] At the scene where the Vikings are dragging a big tree to make a battering ram, he talks about how that’s not very efficient, they surely would have thought of a better way, etc. “Dad,” I said. “If we’re supposed to buy that Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas were both Ernest Borgnine’s sons, I think we can overlook inefficient weapon-making.” “Fair enough.”

  6. Anne Baxter was EVERYTHING in the 10 Commandments. I know that Elizabeth Taylor’s tacktacular Cleopatra launched an Egyptian style fad, but Nefertiri was divine. I am surprised she didn’t kick it off a decade early That aqua colored dress! Her cat-like purr. The naked longing in her eyes for the manly manliness that was prime Charlton Heston.

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