17 thoughts on “The King’s Man: An Edwardian Action Movie

  1. Looking forward to this. In an earlier Rasputin film, Christopher Lee played the maleficent monk, and had a scene where he danced. I think the tailor shop front is probably a nod to “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” which co-starred David McCallum. Set in NYC, DelFlorio’s tailor shop was the entry to the secret headquarters.

    1. The tailor shop front is a carry-over from the first two films where the cover for the Kingsman agents is that they’re tailors; Matthew Vaughn, the director of the films, has apparently the visiting the real Huntsman tailor shop mentioned above for years, which gave him the inspiration to make that their HQ, since in the comics you only ever see their secondary HQ which is a manor estate.

      1. I really wanted to watch this movie for the costumes, but the story is so full of homophobia and misogyny that I found it totally unwatchable. Ugh.

  2. Addendum: a lot of British military officers’ uniforms were custom-tailored, which might account for the variation in detail mentioned in the interviews.

      1. When W.S. Gilbert joined the Army in the late 1860s, he did a pair of cartoons: The Lovely Uniform, and The Bill for It. Very funny and accurate.

    1. Much of the individual tailoring had decreased by the time of the Boer War as officers no longer purchased and therefore owned their commissions to do with pretty much as they pleased.

  3. I loved seeing the variation of younger gentleman vs older gentleman costumes, especially with all of Conrad’s lovely sweaters (that cream roll-neck is my platonic ideal sweater); it’s not something you see too often on film, when the tendency is more to put all the characters, regardless of age, in formal/structured dress. I also really like the slight differences in class represented in the men’s suiting – how Djimon Hounsou and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are still well-dressed but you can tell their suiting isn’t quite as bespoke as Ralph Fiennes, because they obviously wouldn’t have the money for a full Savile Row suit.

  4. My period is Regency, so I don’t know whether it carried on, but during the Napoleonic Wars, officers had to provide their dress uniforms, which were the fanciest of the fancy, with tons of gold and silver bullion, (those Hussar uniforms!) as well as their own horses, so being in a posh regiment could cost a fortune. They were definitely tailored. Officer dress uniforms were always tailored, right up to the present day, but by approved tailors and to accepted standards.

  5. Oh, God. This movie was a hot mess–a beautiful hot mess! When they were at the Russian ball I thought, “Oh, they used the fairy ball scenes from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell as their inspiration.”

  6. Utter bollocks, we turned off after half an hour.
    ‘Riffing’ on history is all very well in it’s place, but there are some things that are too big to be messed with and the origins of WWI is one of them. The film was also heavily dumbed down presumably for American audiences, as no European should need the relationship between George V and his cousins explained.

    1. Yes, I groaned as they Clearly Explained Things, but I’m guessing 99% of Americans wouldn’t have understood if they didn’t.

    2. So you didn’t see The Death of Stalin, then? Perhaps that’s as well. A wonderfully funny movie about another turning point in history, perhaps even more momentous that the causes of World War One. Written by a Brit, with a mixed American and British cast, received well in the US as well as in the UK. Nothing needed explaining.
      It might be the writing skills. I don’t know because I haven’t seen this one yet,

  7. I loved it. It was the first movie to accurately show the original concentration/death camps set up by the British in South Africa so the independent republic had to surrender to the Empire.

    The drama interspersed with humor showed it didn’t take itself too seriously, and I look forward to more from these folk.

  8. Even granting that the movie isn’t supposed to be 100% period-authentic, as a long-time student of the life and death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie, I still feel annoyed about the Sarajevo sequence. We’ll leave aside the fact that the Duke and his son were riding shotgun with FF and Sophie; the actual assassination scene is wrong. Gavrilo Princip wasn’t contemplating suicide though he was thinking about giving up and going home, and the scene is filmed from the wrong side (Princip should have been facing the car from the right-hand side; the Duchess was sitting to the right of the Archduke). Also, Sophie was shot in the abdomen, not the chest, and nobody knew she had been shot until people trying to render aid undressed her and discovered the fatal wound.

    Sorry. Excuse my rant; I’ve never yet seen a totally accurate rendition on film of this event, one of the pivotal ones of the 20th century. Anyway, the costuming.

    Ron Cook actually does look right for Franz Ferdinand, though a bit older and a good deal thinner (the real Archduke was fairly chunky and had to be sewn into his uniform tunic, which made it difficult for his aides to get it off him after he was shot). The uniform itself looks pretty accurate to me. Barbara Drennan, who plays Sophie, is an atrractive woman of about the right age (Sophie was 46, her husband was 51) but her physical look is all wrong; she’s a redhead where the real Sophie had dark brown hair, and she’s fairly slender where Sophie was tall and plump. I think the actress who looked the closest to the actual Duchess was Margaret Dumont – yes, that Margaret Dumont – who played her (uncredited) in the Kay Francis movie “Storm at Daybreak”.Then again, Drennan isn’t nearly as wrong a physical type as the French actress Edwige Feuillere, the German actress Luise Ullrich, and the Polish actress Lucyna Winnicka – all blondes – who also played Sophie.

    Once you get past that, though, I think Drennan’s costume for the scene is not too far off the historical dress (which is preserved at the couple’s estate Konopischt in the Czech Republic). She wears a high-necked dress with a broad sash (the original was green, and had a bouquet of flowers tucked into it) and a wide-brimmed, feathered hat. The dress has mid-length sleeves (accurate) and she wears long white kid gloves, which I believe is also accurate. Historical photos of the fatal day sometimes show her wearing gloves, sometimes not. One interesting little detail that’s not authentic is that the gloves have pearl buttons up and down the sides; you can’t see the detail in the scene as filmed, but a behind-the-scenes photo shows it. Her feet aren’t shown so I can’t tell whether the shoes were accurate; historical photos don’t show them clearly so I don’t know whether they were white or black. A slightly macabre note; after her death, Sophie’s gloves and shoes were cut up – the accounts I’ve read claim this was an Austrian custom – to be distributed as mementoes to her friends and family.

Comments are closed.