13 thoughts on “TBT: Suez (1938)

    1. Thank you @NuitedeYoung, I did a double take at first. Toni (or Annabella) in a few photos looks astonishing like Madeline Kahn!

      @Kendra, yet another great collection of photos. And you are right, Young was so damn beautiful – those cheekbones! I’m going to need to rent this to drool on those beautiful gowns….and I have a crush on Tyrone too :-)

    2. Goodness, she looks like Nancy Drew in that one shot–all the better to contrast with Loretta in full regalia? (I liked L.Y. a lot better in her early roles, where she got to change expression and stuff.) But that 1900 Worth ball gown with the wheat sheaves…scrumptious.

  1. “Crumb Catchers”,1930s interpretation of bertha collars usually go so crazy and over the top,they stop looking like a bertha and more like the wacky heart shaped Elizabethan ruffs.SO.MUCH.FLOOF.
    The satin and hat game is on point in this film.30s is one of the few eras that manage to make mid Victorian clothing interesting,if not accurate(though truly talented designers like Tosi managed to do both).Most movies tend to forget that a boring silhouette could be compensated for by embroidery and beautiful accessories as was popular in the 19th century,but why would films do that(upholstery fabrics,poorly fitted corsets,horribly patterned armscyes,phobia of hats and bonnets,bare necks and ears with not a bauble in sight and either milkmaid braids or beachy waves.)

  2. I love the actual portraits of Eugenie, and some of the dresses are fab, and Loretta Young is just gorgeous. But the plot sounds ridiculous. I guess it was probably the studio system, which had everyone cranking out film after film, but when I read the screenwriter saying our main plot was a snooze fest so we had to fabricate a love story with a famous person–rather than just… write about something else, or even just go along with their made up character.

  3. I’m more interested in that jellyfish necklace Eugenie is wearing in the bottom photos.

    1. Loved this analysis of the film, and the real portraits of Eugene.

      Did a huge double take at the one of her on horseback though. The museum I work at has an almost identical version (also by Boutibonne). Only the actual colour of the dress and the gardens behind her are slightly different.

      Ditto the matching portrait of Napoleon III. Both on display. (Look up Cliffe Castle)

      (The wife of the chap who built the castle was a Roosevelt, and lady in waiting to Eugenie).

      The portraits are huge!

      The dresses then were ridiculous but I rather like them!

  4. “There’s some unnecessary skirt hiking. Learn how to glide, Loretta Young.”

    Funny (though certainly not undeserved) that you should say this, because Gwen Wakeling was quoted as saying of Young:

    “…She could handle anything. She knew exactly how to handle the big hoop skirts in SUEZ. First of all, she wore bedroom slippers when she was sure her feet wouldn’t show because it was more like being barefoot and gives a graceful action. If you walk barefoot, you can really control your body. And as long as it is a long, long skirt, no one can see your feet anyway…

    “…The thing with hoop skirts is to watch when you sit down. They can fly up, but she knew exactly how to do it. In going through a doorway, she would take her skirt and go through semi-sideways. She knew how to handle clothes exactly…”

    Wakeling also said that Young got the petticoats from SUEZ and other period roles (“–without paying for them–“) and “gave them to her mother, who was a decorator who used to make lamp shades out of them.”

    (Quoted in THOSE GLORIOUS GLAMOUR YEARS, Margaret J. Bailey, p.329)

  5. Insanely, the Cairo Marriott has at its core the El Gezira Palace, which was built to house Eugenie et. al. for the Suez Canal celebrations. We stayed there, and appreciated that there was a bit of the old structure left, mostly for looks but leading into a lovely garden.

  6. As usual, I went wandering through wikipedia to learn about her, and whether I wanted to investigate further. Eugenie lived a long life.

    A little factoid– apparently that “cute hat” is known as a Eugenie hat. LOL. It needs a comeback.

    1. I did the same thing! Honestly a movie about her life sounds way more interesting than this lol. If Lesseps was so boring why did the studio decide they had to make a movie about him?

  7. I might be mistaken, but Eugenie’s “super cute” hat strikes me as wrong for the 1850s. If this had been set in the mid-to-late 1860s, I could understand her wearing it.

  8. “Look! NECESSARY skirt hiking!”

    But in period it would have been considered not only not necessary but very gauche. A lady never hiked her skirt at all, unless possibly to avoid mud (then again,a lady wasn’t supposed to go where there was mud in the first place, cf. the Bingley sisters sneering at Lizzy Bennet for getting her under-petticoat muddy). There’s an amazing short memoir by Christian Miller called ‘A Childhood in Scotland’, of her privileged (but weirdly deprived and neglected) 1920s childhood in her ancestral baronial castle in Aberdeenshire; she describes being put into a skirt several inches LONGER than floor-length and made to walk up and down the castle stairs without ever touching it, until she had fully mastered the art of not tripping over mega-long skirts, and could be confident that as an adult she would be able to float down grand staircases into ballrooms without ever disgracing herself by hiking her skirts, even infinitesimally.

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