Random Review: The Kennel Club Murder Case

April 26, 2011 in Costume, Fashion, Personalities, Random Review, Textile Addiction by alliemcc

Random Review is a monthly article reviewing something– books, blogs, movies, art– who knows, really? But it will be fashion related, some way, somehow.

A couple of weeks ago I treated myself to another dreamboat William Powell movie—I watched him last year in My Man Godfrey with Claudette Colbert (hilarious lady!), in which he was utterly charming.

As the title indicates, The Kennel Murder Case had a very different feel from the light comedy and social commentary of Godfrey. But in true old Hollywood fashion, the—um—fashion did not disappoint.

Right off the rip, the opening credits were nothing less than a parade of sexy mustaches on its leading men—in fact, all the characters but two were men, and almost all the men wore mustaches.

mustaches kennel club

(You know what we say around here: “A man without a mustache…”)

The film itself is punctuated with great fashion:

Recently Updated58

  • Mary Astor’s puffy shouldered suits
  • William Powell’s casually unbuttoned gloves
  • All the fantastic menswear and manly accessories: hats, gloves, walking sticks

The piece de resistance is, hands-down, Helen Vinson’s white gown with fringed epaulettes. That’s right: not just fringe, nor just epaulettes, but epaulettes with long-ass fringe.

Recently Updated59

The costumes were designed by Orry-Kelly, costumer for tons of other awesome films including some of my faves—The Man Who Came to Dinner, An American in Paris, Irma La Douce—plus biggies like several Busby Berkeley musicals, Casablanca, Some Like It Hot. Casa-frigging-blanca! His resume seems inhumanly packed full of credits from 1932-1937, and continues into the ‘60s. Deservedly, he’s a member of the Costume Designers Guild Hall of Fame.

The Kennel Murder Case is your typical, witty-gumshoe plot, set amongst the upper class of NYC and Long Island, with doses of earthiness from the boys of the NYPD, and newspaper reporters.  It’s based on a novel of the same name (which you can read in full here), part of a series starring Detective Philo Vance, whom William Powell played in several film adaptations of the books.

You can download or stream the movie right here. Isn’t the internet amazing?!

It will also be on TCM May 3, if you do the cable thing.

Images courtesy the Internet Archive – apologies for the big glaring 'Play' buttons.

Did you miss my last Random Review? Click here to catch up.

Do you have an idea for a Random Review? Drop a note in my suggestion box.

Use the buttons below to recommend this movie (or this site) to your peeps. Thanks!