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As the person who generally posts images to our Frock Flicks Facebook feed, every so often, as I’m scouring the Internet for images, I come across a few clunkers. This post was inspired by an image of Casanova from 1987, starring Richard Chamberlain and what looks like all the extras from Dallas. I had to find more for Snark Week!
Now, I know this is shooting fish in a barrel. The 1980s was all about low-budget TV movies and miniseries, and I realize that many of these films probably weren’t even TRYING to be historically accurate … and I’m sure the costume designer spent most of the production quietly weeping in the corner, wishing desperately s/he had just five more dollars to spend.
Also, I haven’t seen ANY of these! So they could very well be god’s gift to acting/storytelling/whatever. I don’t care. Behold, where polyester goes to die…
10. Ivanhoe (1982)
Watch one scene in HD on YouTube!
9. April Morning (1987)
This would be higher up the list if I could find more images than just these two, which hint at SO much American Revolutionary War goodness:
8. The Blue and the Gray (1982)
It’s the American Civil War (1860s), baby! And yeah, it’s not all bad:
But then it quickly goes downhill:
7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982)
With none other than Anthony Hopkins as the hunchback! But what’s far more entertaining is Lesley-Anne Down as Esmerelda, just your average Romani (i.e., Gypsy) woman in medieval Paris:
Note: the costume designer’s (Phyllis Dalton) credits include: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
Watch one scene in HD on YouTube!
6. Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story (1987)
But wait, there’s more!
And then you’ve got a wardrobe for Josephine that consists of:
5. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1980)
This would again be higher up the list if I could find clearer images.
Jeff Goldblum as Ichabod Crane:
But where it really gets good are the two main women. First there’s Thelma Dumkey (woo, that’s quite a clunker of a name), who has the hots of Ichabod and is mean girl-y to Katrina:
And your resident 1790s Dutch-American It Girl, Katrina van Tassel:
Also, let us not forget the members of the Sleepy Hollow Glee Club:
4. George Washington (1984)
This miniseries was nominated for SIX primetime Emmys. SIX.
A shitty copy of the whole thing is on YouTube!
3. North and South (1985)
The American Civil War. When brother fought brother and women fought over the Aquanet.
Watch the trailer, then check out the whole thing on YouTube!
2. Casanova (1987)
- Drew Barrymore, is that you? LOVE the winged eye-makeup.
- Does #2 have a mustache, or is it just me?
- Apparently they let #3 come straight from the set of North and South.
- I kind of can’t handle the fact that 4’s outfit is pretty great. Put your hair up, girl.
- I think the Van Helsing set is that way.
- Not bad! Here’s some hairpins. No no, don’t thank me.
- Now we know what Alison was doing before Melrose Place!
- Siouxie Sioux?
But wait, there’s more to love!
Watch the trailer on YouTube!
1. The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch (1982)
You guys. I didn’t think anything could top Casanova. Until I found The Wild Women of CHASTITY Gulch (get it?). Here’s your synopsis, courtesy of Wikipedia:
In Civil War-era Southern Missouri, Dr. Maggie McCullough (Priscilla Barnes) travels to the aid of her ailing Aunt Annie (Joan Collins), the town’s madame, in the lovely community of Sweetwater. With all of the men away at war, Maggie coordinates a truce between Aunt Annie’s girls and the respectable women of the town. While Maggie contemplates the love triangle that’s formed with an injured Union fighter (Donny Osmond) and a captured Confederate doctor (Lee Horsley), a demented faction of soldiers invade Sweetwater and the women must spring into action to defend their homes.
Watch a (nail fetish) fan-made compilation on YouTube!
Okay, have at me. Which made-for-TV movies and miniseries of the 1980s did I miss?