Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Orry Kelly: Gypsy Love

While I was coughing and generally feeling sorry for myself on the weekend, I watched Gypsy starring Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood. Ostensibly a bio-pic of famous burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, it is really more a character study of her unsympathetic showbiz mother, played to perfection by Rosalind Russell.
Rosalind's 30s era costumes, including amazing head wear and lush looking coats and blouses, were all designed by legendary Hollywood costume designer (and Aussie!) Orry Kelly. Once Natalie transforms into Gypsy Rose Lee, world famous stripper, she sports some simply stunning gowns that wouldn't look out of place at a red-carpet event today.
You can see some of them in the clip I've embedded.
Orry Kelly was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on this film and although he missed out, he had already won three: for Some Like It Hot, Les Girls and An American in Paris. Natalie actually sang in this film because, unlike in West Side Story where her voice was dubbed, she could get away with it in Gypsy as it fit the character. Gypsy Rose Lee was known for her glamour, her wit and her performance rather than her voice.

I'm about to head down to Melbourne for a few days and will be in sales conference lock-down. I'll be back blogging on Saturday.


Pixie Drive-In said...

Ohmygosh! I LOVE this movie! I just did a post on Natalie Wood yesterday, so it's been on my mind. It's the first "classic" movie I ever fell in love with. I heard many people wanted Ethel Merman to play Mama Rose because she did on stage, but I think Rosalind Russell was so great, and had amazing chemistry with Natalie. Great post!

maggie said...

oh cool! i just saw this movie last week on tcm (natalie wood was the "star of the month"). rosalind was brilliant as mama rose and i loved natalie's singing voice. is it true that it won 2 gloden globes (one for rosalind and the other for best musical/comedy) it said so on wikipedia, but wiki isn't the most reliable source of information.