Women He's Undressed (2015) Script


JACK WARNER: Let's call a spade a spade.

He could be a real pain in the ass sometimes.

But he was our pain in the ass.

BETTE DAVIS: When Orry-Kelly left Warner's, I felt as if I'd lost my right arm.

WALTER PLUNKETT: I can't believe I have to share one-third of this damn Oscar with that sonofabitch Orry-Kelly.


You say nobody knows who he is? Who doesn't know who he is?

Orry-Kelly was one of the greatest costume designers of all time.



I was pretty awed by Orry.

He was out. (CHUCKLES)

He was definitely out.

If he was with some people and wanted to say something, he said it, he didn't hold back.

Even if it would piss people off, he'd still say it.

The great mystery of Orry-Kelly is - did he have a personal life?

I think we can say yes.

With whom was it?

That I do not know, and it was never discussed.

ORRY GEORGE KELLY: When my now rich and famous lover and I first met, the one I'm not supposed to talk about, we marvelled, as you do, at how much we had in common.

How we'd both grown up in towns by the sea.

How our fathers had both been accomplished tailors.

And even more accomplished drinkers.

And we talked about how, when you grow up with the smell of the ocean, the horizon beckons you every day.

ANN ROTH: This is making me sad.

Why are you doing this?

Because why?

Because he's a citizen of your country that made it in Hollywood?


Orry's the name of an olden-days king from the Isle of Man, from whence my father came.

ORRY: Kiama was quite dramatic for a small bush town.

We even have our own blowhole at the end of the street.


My rich and famous former - insert euphemism here - room-mate, the one I'm not supposed to talk about, would say that the blowhole explained a lot about me.

Never too good at masking what I think, or who I am, for that matter.

I wondered if he'd ever even talked about us.

The hungry years in New York.

Stage-struck, scared to death we'd never amount to anything.

Nothing, he says.

Talking each other up.

How true we'd remain.

How we wouldn't change if one of us made the big time.

The bathtub gin parties.

On Mother's money.

I get nothing.

No-one must ever know.

What was it Cole Porter used to say?

Drop a spangle.

Drop a spangle before it's too late.

Ditch the mask and let your hair down.

Drop a goddamn spangle!

Having to hide what you are is nothing short of tragic.

I don't think he ever really acknowledged Orry-Kelly's existence, let alone the extent of their relationship.

You know, there is something higher than artistic professionalism, and that's ethical behaviour and loyal behaviour.

Stardom was this magical institution that you could not mess with stardom.

And once you had achieved stardom, there was an unspoken rule that you didn't pull someone down.

ORRY I blame my mother.

For my seventh birthday she takes me to Sydney to see 'Dick Whittington', a pantomime.

When the curtain call was over, she had to prise me out of the red velvet seat.

For Christmas, Mother brings the theatre to Kiama.

The supplied costumes and scenery are unspeakable, of course.

So every Saturday, all day, I dress my duchess in jewels and make my prince look perfect.

MAN: If I've told you once I've told you a hundred times to give that away!

ORRY: My father was a hero in Kiama.

He once dived under a sinking ship and helped to plug up the hole.

What does happen to boys who like to dress dolls?

My son would play football, but he has weak arms.

He does study painting, and I'm not just saying this, but we think he's talented.

Under Mr Cox, a professional teacher of art.

If only he'd pass his blessed exams.

-(WHISTLE BLOWS) -MAN: All aboard!

MOTHER: You'll live with Aunty Em in Sydney, study hard and then join the bank, where you'll work your way up and meet a gentler class of people.

ORRY': Not that Mother is a snob, but she is a Purdue.

When my father gives up the booze he dedicates himself to propagating the perfect carnation.

The screaming pink creation Father names 'The Onry...

It's not an insult.

Trying to say he knows I'm different.

Good luck. It may not be smooth sailing.

-(SHIP WHISTLE BLOWS) -MOTHER: Don't forget to write.

ORRY:: Dear Mother, I'm in the bank and meeting nice people.


The only people I want to meet are in there.

It would have been hard to be a very creative gay man in a small country town in Australia.

So I'm sure the big smoke allowed him to express himself in all aspects of his life much more freely.


The war's over before I can enlist.

And I'm in a party that will last a decade.

And everything, even our clothes, all start to loosen up.

Farewell to the bank.

Sorry, Aunty Em!

An audition pays off.

Just one line of dialogue in a bawdy revue, and chorus in 'Eileen'.

Leading man, here I come!


MOTHER: Dearest Orry, All those theatre types.

Couldn't you just keep on banking and join an amateur group?

Or find a nice school of art?

I think he was an incredible observer of humanity, and I think he was able to move in all kinds of different circles.

I'm torn between the posh end of Sydney town, where wealthy wives and widows pay handsome young theatre types to do the tango, the bunny hug and the turkey trot, and the underworld of Woolloomooloo - ladies my mother would never approve of, and the only place to get a beer after hours.

Prostitutes, coming and going, who love a chat, in amazing, ever-changing, bold-as-brass outfits.

Better than any art college.

And where the motto is "Only be ashamed

"of being ashamed."

And where, of course, I fall for the most handsome man in the underworld.

Gentleman George.

He's a double for Wallace Reid.

Those eyes.

Unfortunately, he's Sydney's most notorious pickpocket.

But he's a pickpocket with a conscience.

-He really is. -(SIREN WAILS)

I'm in too deep.

I'm on my way to a life of crime.

-(WHISTLE BLOWS) -Those eyes!

Need to get away.

Knuckle down where no-one knows me.

Start again.

Mother helps me with a ticket.

MOTHER: You haven't got a girl into trouble, have you, son?




ORRY': Dear Mother and Father, People rather stared at my new Prince of Wales suit on arrival.

American men have not yet caught on to the casual style of English clothing.

I just cannot imagine what it would have been like for Orry-Kelly to come to New York SO young, in his early 20s.

It must have been like going to another planet.

It is that adventuresome Australian spirit.

ORRY: I joined the bums and bandits of Broadway, and soon had to pawn the suit.

My building is filled with showbiz folk.

My new friends, a young Gracie Allen, George Burns and Jack Benny practise their acts, and we happily flaunt prohibition.


The good news is... I've got a job in the chorus.

The bad news is...

...I dropped another actress yesterday and we both fell off the stage.


I'm dropping the boards before I kill someone.

You were right about my arms, Mother.


When he would describe his early days in Manhattan, it made you want to be there with him.

New York at the time was called the City of Bachelors, because it was all these men coming from all over the country and from other countries, coming into the city and living there and making their way.

The theatrical community was thriving.

There were a lot of plays being put on.

Vaudeville was very big.

You were surrounded by people who were living openly in ways you couldn't have imagined back home.

He was a young, wild...

Young and wild and fun.

And a super sense of humour.


ORRY: I'm covering the rent sketching on silent films and designing hand-painted shawls.

Le Toquet French Imports.

French, my arse!

But they're walking out the door until they go out of fashion.

Before I'm properly paid.


Then through the courtyard he walks, carrying his worldly possessions in a shiny tin box, and wearing a much shinier black suit.

The bow legs of an acrobat, kicked out of his hallway room and as penniless as he looks.

He's about to turn 21.

Archie Leach.

From Bristol, England.

By the sea, like me.

Devastatingly handsome, and he doesn't know whether he's Arthur or Martha.

And each time I look at him, neither do I.

Two peas in a pod.

The start of an on-again, off-again...


He buys English cod and makes us fish and chips to keep us from feeling homesick.

We tell each other to - nya-nya-nya-nya-nya - have faith.

He longs to get down off the stilts and get his handsome face on the stage.

He gets a job playing the devil in a full-face mask.

-Nya-nya-nya-nya-nya-nya! -Oh! (CHUCKLES)

Greenwich Village in those days was a great literary and theatrical centre.

WILLIAM J. MANN: There were socialists, political radicals, there were lesbians, there were transgendered people living openly at the time.

So there was really a sense of 'anything goes' here.

Young Archie meets Orry-Kelly, and, you know, in a finger snap they're living together.

They made ties to get along.

And then...and steamed them in the apartment.

It's very industrious.

We pay the rent with our ties.

I allow Archie to cut stencils.

The Kelly-Leach era.

Archie sells them to performers, and soon everyone from prize fighters to politicians are wearing them.

We sell hundreds of ties on credit to Cuba.


What's Spanish for 'we've been done like a dinner'?

With those looks, Archie picks up money walking the wealthy women of New York, and never tires of reminding me that he's always got his eye out for beautiful blondes.


I believe it was Orry-Kelly who dressed him.

So he helped him pick out a tuxedo and customised it for him.

During the hard times, he actually became a professional escort.

He breaks hearts all over town.

But he still comes home to me.

I sail to Australia for Father's funeral.

He's still here when I get hack.

That gave him the best lesson he ever had about acting, and that was that if you look the part you can become the part - it's so important to everything that followed in his life.

I could wring those Cubans' necks!

Now, use the little gift I'm sending you to buy some canvas and oils.

People still pay good money to have beauty on their walls.

Even the Americans.

So Orry didn't...approve of Archie's lifestyle.

And also things were happening for Orry.

He was beginning to get real work, real show-business work.

ORRY: Success!

Nightclub acts are spending big money on sets.

My transformation scenes get good notices.

And it's sets for Shubert musicals and dressing the wonderful Miss Ethel Barrymore and someone called Katharine Hepburn.

Shuberts say I give better frock than I do scenery, and I'm promoted to wardrobe maintenance.


WILLIAM: The Wall Street Crash in 1929 changed everything.

The New York theatre scene practically stopped.

ORRY: We join the speak-easy crowd.

My fornicating monkeys on the wall at Belle Livingstone's, most dangerous woman in New York, make the papers.

ANN: It sounded very happening, this place.

And it was very popular.

Archie helps out and holds on to every penny that he makes.

The older he gets, the stingier he gets.

At least one of us has a business head.


And it was a big success, which empowered Belle to decide to go west.

Why not open our own speak-easy?

Archie Leach, we're gonna be rich!

ORRY: My friends spend up credit like there's no tomorrow.

We're in trouble with the mob, and we're too young to die.


The Shuberts give me a season in St Louis.

Isn't there anything down here for Archie?

I know he's a lousy actor, but something?

Anything? Please?

Idiot me goes with known con artist Belle Livingstone to set up a casino in Reno and get rich.

When the mob tracks us down, they decide not to kill me because I'm "the guy who done the monkeys", and they give me till sundown to get out of town.

MARC ELIOT: You know, there was a kind of a gold rush happening in Hollywood.

Everybody was running there for the money.

For the fame.

ORRY: Los Angeles.

People are getting breaks there, so why, oh, why can't... et cetera.

I hitch a ride there with 30 cents to my name, until a huge fruit truck takes us out.

It's ironic that so much wonderful moviemaking was going on in Hollywood at that time when the country, indeed the world, was in the grip of the Great Depression.

Hollywood in the early 1930s was a town undergoing radical change.

First of all, sound was still very, very new, and so many of the old players from the 1920s from the silent era just were not equipped to face that microphone.

So eventually, both of them wound up in Hollywood.

ORRY: Hurrah!

Archie's got a movie star name!


When the heads of Paramount see his test, they say, "We've got another Gable."

He's signed to a contract.

Now all he needs is to get cast in something.

To Mr Cary Grant.

And me next?

The leading designers in the early 1930s would have been Travis Banton at Paramount and Gilbert Adrian at MGM.

So, Adrian was designing for Joan Crawford, for Greta Garbo, who was the biggest star of the time.

At Paramount...

...Banton was working with Clara Bow, who he thought was too fat.

He was designing for Mae West, and most famous of all, it was his collaboration with Marlene Dietrich that set her style for the rest of her life.

ORRY: For six hungry months, I sneak into double features.

Hollywood's dripping with glitter and beads.

What they need is a good plain gown with line.

MOTHER: Dear Son, Persevere.

The upside of these tough times is that people need motion pictures.

You get your size-10 Kelly boot in one of those studio doors.

What about Joan Crawford's latest?

They have her dressed like a wedding cake gone mad!

ERIC SHERMAN: Every studio in those days had a...

...almost a symbolic nature.

MGM was big fancy musicals.

Paramount was kind of exotic black and white -

Josef von Sternberg.

LEONARD MALTIN: Warner's films were the grittiest.

They called on real people.

They drew on actors who, many of them from the stage, who were more realistic and more recognisable as real people than, say, the glamorised stars of MGM.

So at Warner Bros you had Jimmy Cagney, Edward G. Robinson.

Not pretty boys.

Warner Bros was always considered a poor studio.

LEONARD: Rather notoriously, Jack Warner stole or poached talent from mostly Paramount, and also Columbia, by hiring some very big female stars, which the studio needed and lacked at the time.

So all of a sudden they had under contract Kay Francis, who was a clothes horse, and Ruth Chatterton, who was a very popular leading lady.

And Barbara Stanwyck, who wasn't yet an A-list star.

It wasn't Barbara.

It was Ruth Chatterton, Kay Francis and William Powell.


JACK WARNER: One thing is the dames are gonna need clothes.

ORRY: Here. Me. The chap on the pincushion.


Thanks to Archie's agent, my sketches are at the powers that be.

Warner Bros studio.

Could it be possible that, for once in my life, I really am in the right place at the right time?

For 42 long days and even longer nights, I wait.

CATHERINE MARTIN: I love that Orry-Kelly had this revolutionary idea to include the actresses' faces in the drawings.

I think it's something that I relate to specifically in my work, because Baz always wants the actors' faces in the costumes.

I think for any costume designer to kind of really make their mark, it's important to offer something new and different that people haven't been doing before.

If this doesn't work, back to Australia.


I imagine it would have been very intimidating to have to prove oneself as an outsider, as a newcomer to the country, a newcomer to the movie business.

JACK WARNER: OK, OK, try him out!

ORRY:: It all works, and now I'm engaged to dress film stars.

Hello, Malbro.

How are you, dear?

Surely you knew that Julian and I were having a little intrigue on the side.

Oh, don't look so shocked, Daddy dear.

-Well, I-1... -You're just plain shocked.

We just came for a drink, Julian.

No use being coy about it.

I think that his strength was, whatever he did for his actors and actresses, he always enhanced their very best aspects.

I want you to see me next in China.

Goodbye, dear.

KYM BARRETT: And it wasn't all in-your-face design.

That is what stands the test of time.


ORRY: The kid from Kiama.

The boy from the bush.

Into a company that has built its fortune on the heroic adventures of a dog.


ERIC: Each studio made a hundred pictures a year.

That would be 800 pictures.

Now each studio is lucky to make 10 a year.

The mechanism that the studio system had in place to create these things was tremendous.

A lot of things were done in-house, where they would make their own shoes, they would make their own hats.

There were glove-makers.

Because a woman didn't step out of her house without gloves then.

And in the storeroom, the costume designer would go down and shop for buttons, shop for fabric, shop for linings.

All of that happened on the studio lot.

MOTHER: "Dear Mother, The studio wants me to change my name.

"Like Archie has.

"They wanted something more Parisian."

He's using my maiden name.


Purdue up in lights!

Ah. "But I told them 'Kelly' is good enough for me "

Of course it is.

"So we compromised on the hyphen.

"I'm still Jack to my friends.

"When I get my first movie, feel free to applaud the credits.

"Your loving son, Orry-Kelly."


People might think he's a corporation!


I think the interesting thing about the perception of costume design is it's just about making people look good.

But I think your job as a costume designer is to be an adjunct to the storytelling.

You're trying to help the director and the actor who are creating a performance, are creating a character.

I don't really think that it's our job to have any of our costumes be...

...something that you really notice.

I'm so interested in the full spectrum of humanity, you know?

And the most compelling roles are always when you see someone at their most triumphant and glorious moments, but also at their deepest, darkest moments of despair.

I have to do a drawing for myself.

Because I work purely from instinct, not intellectualised, although I am the biggest researcher in the world.

And to be able to bring out the good things to somebody in front of a mirror is a really important part of the process.

You keep looking in the mirror, and suddenly another being is there.

And the actor, for a second, does not recognise himself.

It sounds like magic, but it isn't, it's real.

And, I mean, you can do it with a shoulder pad.

You can do it with a beer belly. You can...

Something that removes the actor from himself.

KAY FRANCIS: Mr Kelly understands emotion.

MAN: Pour me one, huh?

KAY: When I'm playing a big scene, when I'm trying to kill my boyfriend, I need something plain, not dramatic.

LARRY McQUEEN: They were dealing with an awful lot of women that had very strong opinions as far as how they looked, how they wanted to look, how they wanted to be perceived by the public.

And they needed someone that could be their best friend, that could make them think they did look beautiful, even though they might not have, and to actually make them look beautiful.

I'm a character actress, so you're really talking to the wrong woman, in a way, because I...

I'm always trying to... to create a character.

So the clothes are terribly important to me.

But the average leading lady just wants to look fabulous.

ORRY: Miss Del Rio is a beautiful wild anemone, with a back that does not need dressing.

Oh, Inez, I love you.

Jack Warner was a very tough boss.

And he and Orry had some legendary clashes.

I liked him because he was showbiz, unabashedly showbiz.

JEAN MATHISON: Orry-Kelly knew what he was doing, and he knew what he could produce for Jack Warner.

He could give Jack a bad time.

ORRY: Repeat after me.

No actress of mine does a love scene in floral and freaking puff sleeves.

I love you.

I think he would have been working from dawn till dusk.

Because he never would have completed his job because another script would be on his desk.

LEONARD: Nothing escaped Jack Warner's notice, whether it was somebody leaving a light on...


...or tossing a crumpled piece of paper on the lawn.

It was his property.

It was his lawn.

It was his light bulb being wasted.

On Saturday after my dad had finished a picture, there would be a script on his desk with a note clipped to it saying, "Here's your next project, Vince."

And one out of 10 he said, "Mr Warner, you've got to be kidding."

And Warner would say, "But I paid a fortune for it."

ORRY': Dear Mother, I'm dressing 60 pictures a year with not a lot of help.

And some of them look it.

For my contract renewal, I told you I'd get my Aussie up.

And he did.

Stood up to Mr Jack Warner for six weeks, until he caved in.

You see, he does have a brain for business after all.

$750, not pounds, a week.

ORRY: When you come to visit, you'll have a butler, a chauffeur, a maid, and a room with your name on it.

Do you know, he was on the verge of sharing with his good friend again, Mr Cary Grant, as a matter of fact, but when all's said and done I think he's better off living alone for now.

ORRY: At first, we meet for dinner a lot, but Cary's got his head in the stars.

And so I get a dog.


But what he discovered, and what Archie would soon discover...

...is that Hollywood wasn't Greenwich Village.

Hollywood at the time, when the golden age of cinema was happening, was probably the most homophobic city in not just America, but the world.

With the Depression worsening, we saw a reaction against the excesses of the 1920s, and we began to see raids on 'pansy clubs' - which is what they were called in the '30s - at the same time that we see the Production Code being implemented in Hollywood, where any inference to being gay or lesbian on the screen had to be wiped out.

MARC: I mean this was a city run by European moguls who probably had never heard of homosexuality.

I mean, these were...

They came from tough families that were always on the run.

Most of them were Jews, and they kind of escaped to Hollywood.

And their desire was to create a beautiful American dream on screen.

And the American dream in those days did not include homosexuality.

When Cary Grant meets Randolph Scott...

Here's Randolph Scott from a wealthy Southern family where he too has to leave Virginia because he's gay, and being gay in the South is like being black in the South.

They take a beach house out in Malibu.

They did a layout, I think, for 'Architectural Digest'.

How beautiful, how tasteful their home is.

There are pictures of Cary Grant cooking and both of them weightlifting.

MAN: Aren't those boys carrying that 'buddy business' a bit too far?

Paramount had a fit about all of this, you know?

They said, "What are you two guys doing?!"

Your public image became as important as anything else in your career.

And when the studios would get a little upset, they would throw some starlet at him, and he would take them out and he would be photographed, and play the whole game.

Opening nights. "Oh, yes, she's very beautiful."

And go home to Randolph Scott.


Orry never tried to fool anyone, which many people do.

And Cary Grant and Randolph Scott did, and would never admit it.

I don't blame them for not admitting it.


There'd been lots of musicals when talking pictures first started.

1929 and 1930 there were so many that the public got tired of them.

And theatres were actually advertising

"not a musical”.

But then Darryl F. Zanuck, the head of production, took a chance on a film called '42nd Street'.

And the film was a sensation.

It was an absolute smash.

ORRY: A musical that's gritty and now.

DEBORAH NADOOLMAN LANDIS: I'm sure that Orry-Kelly pulled from personal experience where '42nd Street' was concerned.

ORRY: They're as close to naked as I can get away with.

It's for every chorus girl I ever dropped.

LEONARD: '42nd Street' had an immense vitality to it.

Coming out during the Depression had something to do with its success too.

It just lifted people's spirits, and yet didn't take them out of the Depression entirely.

Busby Berkeley, I guess, was the ultimate reason it succeeded, because he had such astonishing imagination, which the Warners let run free.

ORRY: Busby and I hit the tiles together, and he tells me the military is where he got all his manoeuvres.

Started out not knowing a plié from a platoon.

Hollywood finds few in its own backyard.

Busby's fearless.

The way he uses the camera through the legs of the girls.

Shooting not just from the roof but through it He literally raises the roof.

(ALL SING) & Old Man Depression

3 You are through, you've done us wrong... &

ORRY: 54 girls dressed in 54,000 silver coins.

4 And when we see the landlord

& We can look that guy right in the eye... &

75 women worked eight days to make the hoop skirts.

Then one day I'm called down because the electric violins are shorting and giving the chorus girls shocks.

The Warner musicals are happy days.

The tech fellas arrive early on set for a glimpse of the Berkeley girls all scantily dressed.

Spoilsport Warner chases them off.

"Back to work!"

Nothing makes you a better designer than experience.

And having been there, Orry was a witness to backstage life, to backstage chorus girls.

ORRY: Well, of course, no girl minds stripping off in front of a fairy.


Kelly's room's a confessional for the broken and disappointed.


Ginger Rogers just read in a gossip column her fiancé's engaged to another gal.



And the boy from Kiama flies in William Hearst's private plane to deliver wardrobe sketches, and remembers to pinch himself.

And at the parties, for everyone who is anyone, I make those lifelong girlfriends that every boy needs.

The exquisite Marion Davies, who doesn't believe her own talent.

Fanny Brice, funny and brilliant.

Ann Warner, who collects humans who need warmth and understanding.

All gals who see the joke on themselves before anyone else does.

Suppers for 50.

Costume bashes for 500.

The Hearst Castle.

Ann and Jack Warner's.

At the castle, if you misbehave, you're tapped on the shoulder with an escort to a car provided.

So far, I remain untapped.

There'd already been a Production Code, but nobody paid much attention to it.

And the early '30s movies, especially Warner Bros movies, really pushed the envelope, to use a contemporary term.

Come here, sweetheart.

LEONARD: In films like 'Baby Face', nothing was off limits.

'Baby Face' is the story of a woman, an abused young woman, who flees from her Pittsburgh steel-mining home town to the big city...

Boy, I'll bet there's plenty of dough in this little shack.

LEONARD: ..where she literally sleeps her way to the top and becomes a big executive.

COLLEEN ATWOOD: In the film 'Baby Face', the sort of transformation that Orry-Kelly did with the character of Barbara Stanwyck is a kind of journey that is fun to watch and also fun to learn from as a designer.


COLLEEN: An actor like Barbara is so amazing to watch because she's so not traditionally beautiful.

But I get so lonesome out there all by myself.

Don't do that!

Did Fuzzy Wuzzy enjoy his dinner?


COLLEEN: But stunning-looking in the film, and her changes are so kind of striking and strong in a life journey from one point to another.

It's hard to believe that 'Baby Face' got by at all.

But in fact the Warner Bros had to go back and re-shoot the ending because they were obliged to show...

Get a doctor, quick!

LEONARD: ..that Stanwyck's character did pay a price for what she did.

Oh, darling.

Darling, don't leave me!

And eventually, some members of the audience started to protest.

And church groups and civic groups started to protest.

And Hollywood heard the drumbeats.

WILLIAM: The Code sterilised American films overnight.

On the other hand, the Code did make the great directors rise to the challenge.

And the list of rules that they came up with were, I mean, really astonishing.

No kissing longer than two seconds.

Separate beds.

You couldn't criticise religion.

Crime couldn't pay.

You couldn't show women's bodies above the knee.

You know, before this, Hollywood was a pretty wild west place.



ORRY: My heroic friend Billy Haines is shown the front gate at MGM.

WILLIAM: He was a huge, huge star at the end of the silent era and the early talkie era.

He also had a partner who he had met in 1925, Jimmy Shields.

And they lived together and they entertained and they socialised.

And the press came to their parties, and the studio heads came to their parties.

There was no pretence.

There was no disguise.

Billy Haines was called into Louis B. Mayer's office, and Mayer, the head of the studio, looked at him and said, "Billy, it's either Jimmy or your career."

Mayer didn't like the idea that he was a gay gentleman.

And Billy said to him, "If you would leave your wife, I would leave Jimmy."

And Billy walked out.

And then he went into the design business, and became one of the top interior designers of all time.

WILLIAM: So it took a lot of courage at that moment to say, "I'm walking away from the only thing I've ever done, "and I'm going to, you know..."

But out of principle and out of love.

It's really a great love story between Billy and Jimmy.

ORRY: What the hell do they expect us to be?

Some of us ask ourselves, "Would we do the same thing?"

In the case of Travis Banton and Adrian, the great designers from Paramount and MGM, they played the game, and both of them got married.

LARRY: Orry-Kelly refused to play along with that game.

He was who he was. He never made excuses.

And sometimes he stepped on some toes or ruffled some feathers, but, in fact, he lived an authentic life.

ORRY: Don't do it!

! try to warn Virginia that Cary will break her heart.

But she's smitten by the Grant charm.

In the case of Cary Grant, he got married to Virginia Cherrill, a very kind of young and innocent starlet.

MARC: After they come back to the States, Randolph Scott is still there.

I mean, he's just...

To him, nothing is different.

That this is a marriage of convenience.

He understands it. He gets it.

But he's really the wife, not Virginia Cherrill.

So there's a kind of a struggle - who's the wife here?

HEDDA HOPPER: Randolph Scott and Cary Grant are now both married, and live in separate houses, a few doors apart.

WILLIAM: Shortly after that, he attempted suicide.

And even though some people say it had nothing to do with the marriage, it seems to me awfully suspicious that here's a man who had lived quite happily and openly with Randolph Scott, and had moved within a largely gay circle when he first came to Hollywood.

And then suddenly he gets married and there's suddenly a suicide attempt.

I believe there must be some connection there.

What might life have been like for them if they hadn't had to go their separate ways and live a life according to the studio's rules, according to society's rules, and lived together, as they seemed to have been so happy in those early years?

ORRY: Fights is where Hollywood gets together.

Sometimes I run into Cary, but seems he can do without a friend like me.

Come on!

ORRY: Meanwhile, I keep trying to subvert the Hays Code.



LARRY: Orry was sometimes a better friend of Jack's wife Ann than Jack appreciated.

And when she was your friend, she was there for you.

Believe me.

I remember him being at the house very, very often.

Not just for dinner parties, but casually, coming over in the afternoons, sitting and chatting with my mother.

And I could hear the laughter all the way down the hall.

And the moment I got a little closer and they saw me, they'd stop talking.

Mr Nash, Miss Mason.

-How do you do? -How do you do, Miss Mason?

MAN WITH FOLDER: Oh, call her Lynn.

-Shall I? -Why not?

When she arrived at Warner Bros, Bette Davis was kind of an odd duck.

She was not a typical ingenue.

She was not compliant... (LAUGHS)

.like a typical ingenue.

And she didn't have conventional pretty-girl ingenue looks.

DAVID CHIERICHETTI: But Kelly always made her look very good, and her lack of a movie star look was a great concern to everybody.

But what she could do was act.

You told me that one day you'd find a fellow that would go the whole distance and take orders all the way, and you'd make him a champ.

And she suffered through a lot of potboiler movies.

And then, finally, on loan to RKO, made 'Of Human Bondage'.

Well, one thing I can say for you...

...a gentleman in every sense of the word.

LEONARD: Everybody sat up and took notice.

And from that day forward, she fought for better parts at Warner Bros.

And she and Jack Warner became combatants, but not always enemy combatants.

ORRY: The most important attribute for a successful film actress is intelligence.

Bette Davis isn't easy, but she's worth it.

LEONARD: 'Gone With the Wind' fever was in the air.

And Bette Davis was among those people caught up in that.

And when she realised she was not going to get the part or maybe even have a chance to get the part of Scarlett O'Hara, she put her weight behind a not dissimilar story called 'Jezebel'.

JACK WARNER: Who wants to see a movie about a woman who wears a red dress to a white ball?

BETTE DAVIS: Only 10 million women, Jack.

LEONARD: And finally talked Jack Warner into buying the property and letting her play it on screen.


Evening, Miss Julie.

Thank you, Gros Bat.

"Jezebel' was Warner Bros' answer to 'Gone With the Wind'.

But the funny thing was that it was in black and white.

...simply bowled over by it, I won't know what to think.

Wait a minute. Bring that over here.

LEONARD: And yet the storytelling is so good and so persuasive that you think you are seeing a red dress.

You really believe that she's wearing a red dress, and yet all you're seeing are shades of grey.

Well, shall we go, Pres?

Not till you're properly dressed.

You're sure it's the dress?

Costume designers, including Orry-Kelly, worked really using contrast - black, white and shades of grey.

It's not that they designed in black and white. Not at all.

They designed in colour.

It was a brown dress, a reddish-brown dress, but it photographed red.

Now, there was an awful lot of experimentation that had to be done by the designers to sort of create a look of colour without really having colour.

Take me out of here!

COLLEEN: I thought that the translucence of the fabric and the way that it moved was really beautiful.

And I think that his hand with fabric and his choices of light fabric and layering light fabric together is one of the things that set him apart from other designers of the period.

Let me send for him.

JULIE: No, he'll come back.

Wait and see.

ORRY: So many people swear they saw a red dress in black and white.

Bette Davis's figure was very difficult, and Orry-Kelly had a lot of problems that he had to solve with it.

The biggest problem was her breasts.

They were very large and limp, And they fell down to her waist, practically.

Did I hear you say that you were a writer?

And Kelly wanted to give her bras that would have underwires in them that would push her up, but she wouldn't allow him to use any wire because she thought it would give her breast cancer.

And so he had to make undergarments for her, and he did, that pushed them up as far as they could go.

But if you pushed too hard, they would simply double over.

There'll be a wonderful world...

DAVID: Another way he did it was to put some detail above her breasts, like a pocket handkerchief or a corsage.

COLLEEN: I think that the collaboration with the knowledge that Orry-Kelly had about how to transform a body and a character through their costumes is probably one of the things that gelled his relationship with Bette Davis.

ORRY: She never disagrees about unimportant details.

One of a handful of actresses who can look in the mirror and tell the truth.

What makes many of the actors today exceptional is all the things that they think are wrong with them, because those things are what make them unique.

And the combination of those things are what make them beautiful.

JACK WARNER: Who wants to see a movie about a goddamn girl dying?


DAVID: 'Dark Victory' was one of Bette Davis' most important films.

She was nominated for the Academy Award for it.

And she was playing a wealthy woman who's very stylish, so Kelly made very high style and flattering costumes for her.

I played bridge in the afternoon, I went to the theatre in the evening.

DAVID: There was little hats she has to wear because she's had her head shaved in the story, and she wears these little caps to cover it.

I'll die as I please. Now, leave me alone!

You hate me, don't you?

DEBORAH: Orry must have worked very closely with Bette Davis on that character arc and the evolution of that person through the screenplay, because there's not one false move.

What did you do?




LEONARD: 'Now, Voyager', she is the ultimate ugly duckling who turns into something of a swan.

And part of that transformation, of course, is the way she dresses.

Oh, uh, this is my very good friend Mr Jaquith.

I ran into him on the street and brought him by for tea.

I thought Mother would be pleased and I...well, I hoped you would be too.

How do you do, Miss Vale?

She fought to do it even though it was being offered to Irene Dunne.

She fought to get it for herself.

And she was not afraid to look very unattractive in the early part of the film.

Kelly padded her to make her look overweight.

She goes away to the mental hospital and she goes on a cruise afterwards and her family comes to meet her.

She's now more slender and much more beautiful and wearing fabulous clothes.

ORRY: I could have killed her during this.

She won't even look at my dressy evening clothes.

Won't look! I fly to the bottle.

She apologises - family problems - and we make up.

Hello, everybody.

I love her for being a true artist.

Always attempting the impossible.

Oh, you look simply gorgeous!

How quiet and strong those clothes are.

I think you can really understand that he was...

...he was a master of silhouette and of nuance.

The final scene where Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes and gives her one, she's wearing a very simple blouse and skirt, because she didn't want to wear something that would be too eye-catching and detract from the drama of the scene.

In everything she did, she was very purposeful and decisive.

And to have another person on her side I think really, um, added to her vision of those characters.

I mean, they're strong.

They're actually sometimes quite affronting.






LEONARD: 'The Letter' simply has one of the greatest opening scenes of any movie ever made.


How do you not grab an audience by starting out your story with the leading lady, a well-known, recognisable leading lady, shooting a man point blank?

(LAUGHS) Just incredible.

Well, he took hold of my arm and swung me back.

But I tried to scream and he flung his arms about me and began to kiss me.

I struggled to tear myself away from him.

He seemed like a madman. He kept talking and talking.

And saying he loved me and...

Oh, it's horrible! Can't go on!

MICHAEL: They say that Orry-Kelly was the only person who knew how to flatter Bette Davis's figure and her personality.

It was a good marriage.

I mean, Orry was very in tune with her.

He loved her and she loved him.

And rightfully so.


MOTHER: He comes home every two years and I'll be sailing over shortly.

He's a very busy man now with over 50 films a year.

Doesn't it just take your breath away, the way he comes up with all these ideas?

ORRY: Tell Jack Warner if he's going to flog my frocks to freaking Macy's in crap fabric, in crap colours, then take my double-barrelled bullshit name off them!


JACK WARNER: Yeah, yeah. Kelly can be trouble.

But his clothes have got the one thing I insist on - quality.


ORRY: And at a party, I get the Cary Grant mask and now I'm the murky past.

The half-English, half-Cockney, half-arsed "Hi."

No eye contact.

I try to figure out if he's happy living his normal life.

Am l7?

He's marrying an heiress.


"Cary Grant to wed" and I'm picking up sailors on the San Pedro wharves.

SCOTTY: He was openly gay.

That's one thing, as I said, I liked about Orry - he was honest and above board, and wasn't sneaking about.

Men and the teeny tiny number of women...

...who were gay...

The word we don't use.

...were very much intimidated by the studio system.

Back in those days, it was illegal to be gay.

I mean, it was like being a Communist. (LAUGHS)

You know, you could, as you pointed out, you could lose a job if there were people on a particular movie or in a particular studio that was homophobic.

The two great hosts of Hollywood's society were Cole Porter and George Cukor.

And they would have visiting royalty, but also, you know, just the royalty of the stage and Hollywood would come by, you know, the Barrymores and Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier.

And Orry-Kelly was a huge part of that.

He was a regular at Cukor's house.

I remember at one Cukor dinner having cold cherry soup.

(LAUGHS) I didn't even know there was such a thing, and it was really good.

And Orry-Kelly was at that dinner along with Warren Beatty who was at the time dating Natalie Wood.

They never took their hands off each other.

WILLIAM: After all the famous stars went home, there would be a time for Cukor and his young men.

Cary Grant never came to George Cukor's house in the way other actors did.

And that was, friends of Cukor told me, because Cukor thought he was a phoney and didn't really want him around.

ORRY: Meanwhile, Cary sues Louella Parsons, gossip columnist, for insinuating he's not "a normal man".

I would not have taken that from the King, your father.

Much less will I accept it from a king in petticoats.

DEBORAH: There are lots of stories about the creation of

'Elizabeth and Essex'.

I mean, apparently Michael Curtiz who was the director, tested the costumes, hated the costumes!

ORRY: I've been around too long for this.

Our director, Curltiz, who no doubt researched the Elizabethans while he was on the john, wants Bette's ruffs and hoops smaller.


"Too big! Too big!"

Together, Bette Davis and I fight the good fight for authenticity.

I make two versions.

She tests in the scaled-down ones and wears the historically correct dresses on the day.

It's very naughty, but the story is that that's what they did.


ORRY: Finally, the USA joins the war.

To my mind, 'Casablanca' is the perfect movie.

It's certainly the perfect Hollywood movie.

They all thought it was a piece of trash when they were making it and they had no ending and they couldn't figure out how to end and it got written at the last minute, the ending, I mean, it's funny.

ORRY:: Dear Mother, My war effort is 'Casablanca', with Bogart, your favourite, Claude Rains, and a young Swedish actress named Ingrid Bergman.

She prefers to be made up on set to avoid the make-up room gossip.

One could learn a great deal from the Swedes.

And of course, every producer, his wife and their dog knows how she should be dressed.

Orry-Kelly, from producer Selznick -

"Miss Bergman looks like

"she's dressed up like a candy box.

"Her hat's hideous.

"White shoes - her feet look like the 'Titanic'.

"Evening dress hideous.

"She looks big from the rear."

-Yes, monsieur? -I reserved a table.

-Victor Laszlo. -Yes, Monsieur Laszlo.

Right this way.

DEBORAH: So many of the clothes that Ingrid Bergman wore in 'Casablanca', you could wear now.


DEBORAH: She glowed.

He put her in so much white, which would be appropriate for...for Morocco.

COLLEEN: I do remember the clothes from 'Casablanca' as being absolutely elegant and stunning.

Rick, I have to talk to you.

COLLEEN: Humphrey Bogart - you never forget that character and the looks.

I think people still want to achieve that feeling with the character, like he was the ultimate cool guy.

I thought it was such a great fit between the personality of Ingrid Bergman, her character.

Orry-Kelly really understood that and gave it such force.

There's sort of an almost minimalist approach to the clothes.

COLLEEN: I think the cut of them and the way they drape just looks so beautiful that people would put them on today and be happy in them.

DEBORAH: I'm not surprised that when the audience saw her and saw her clothes, they were so affected by the movie.

They wanted to be her.

They wanted some of that romance.

Any chance of a royalty on my dress that the New York houses are all knocking off?

The first thing I do is call Bette.

"Darling, we'd better get a move on dressing your next picture cause Uncle Sam's about to dress me.

"At 46, I'll be peeling spuds.” Or, as it happens, shovelling shit.

MAN: Ain't your name Kelly?

And don't you come from Hollywood?

And don't you have something to do with women's dresses?

And don't I read in the paper you are more than all of us dumb bastards put together?!

I start drinking after breakfast.

I'd start drinking before except they'd see where I hide my stash.

Uncle Sam releases the over-45s.

Thank God!

Orry and Cary met again on the set of 'Arsenic and Old Lace'.

Get out of here! Do you want to be poisoned?

Do you want to be murdered? Do you want to be killed?!


And Cary was a big, big star at this point.

But this was the first time they'd actually worked together on a film.

There was a little bit of tension between the two of them.

Whoo-hoo! Please! For heaven's sake.

But, Mortimer, right out here in the open with everyone looking?

WILLIAM: And at one point, the television show, "Queen for a Day', had sent a limo over to the set.


Cary noticed the limousine out in front that had the words "Queen for a Day' emblazoned on its side and Cary turned to Orry and kind of said, "Orry, your limousine has arrived."

Now, this was not something that Orry took very well.

But it was also a real low blow from Cary Grant with whom he had had an intimate personal relationship with for so long, and to say this now was a jab.

I don't think he ever really acknowledged Orry-Kelly's existence, let alone the extent of their relationship.

DAVID: When he came back from the army, things had changed at Warners.

Howard Shoup had been promoted a little bit and given an 'A' picture to do.

ORRY: So relieved to get back to the frills, I failed to notice the frisson.

I'm designing bugger-all while Mr Howard Shoup shafts me and gets all the good jobs.

I can't believe my mother couldn't do anything.

There must've been something so extreme.

Perhaps he didn't show up for a week.

I have no idea what it could've been.

I punch out a Warner's executive who won't square with me and tell me I'm sacked to my face.

And Warner's out of town. Help!

Jack Warner eventually says I can stay even if I am a mean drunk.

JACK WARNER: If it's any consolation, Kelly, and if I know your kangaroo hide, you'll double your money wherever you go next.

BETTE DAVIS: I miss Kelly desperately.

My next film is a hodge-podge.

Such inferior clothes.

ORRY: Anyone need a dressmaker?

Going cheap-ish.

DAVID: And I guess he must've been idle most of the time between '42 and '45 when he went to Fox and Charles Le Maire, who was the head of design there, was prevailed upon to give him a job and he didn't want to.

So he put him on the most unpleasant assignment of the period, was working with Betty Grable.

ORRY': Dear Mother, I've moved over to Fox.

Costumes for Betty Grable.

And time off to open an atelier on the side.

Dear Mother, Grable is something on wheels to dress.

So unpredictable, she'd tear the clothes off her back.

Couldn't think of two actresses more different than Bette Davis and Betty Grable.

ORRY: { thought you could use another sable.

And as promised, I'm taking notes for my memoir.



LEONARD: Betty Grable became America's sweetheart during the war.

DEBORAH: It was her face and body that was painted on our B-52s.

So she was a very important commodity for that studio.

People enjoyed going to see her in these mindless escapist musicals where she showed off her beautiful legs.

DAVID: They were not true period at all.

Betty Grable wanted to show her legs all the time, whether it was appropriate or not.

BETTY: Thank you. Oh!

DEBORAH: He was so comfortable in every genre.

I think he was amazing. But very funny.

I mean, those clothes were very, very funny in "The Dolly Sisters'.

(SINGS) J Your little poor relation, Patsy Powderpuff... &


Please someone get me out of here!

After Kelly had been fired from Warner Brothers, Bette Davis insisted that he be brought back to design the clothes for 'Mr Skeffington'.

ERIC: My father described working with Orry that as they would discuss the character, there would come a moment where Orry would kind of lock on, like a radar, and say, "I've got it, Vincent!"


There's a famous staircase scene in the picture and Warner said, "Use that stair over there."

And my dad said, "But, Mr Warner, "that stair was in four other films."

And Warner said, "Use it, anyway."

-Good evening, Fanny. -Hello, Fanny.

Fanny, you look beautiful.

DAVID: Kelly made very elaborate and stylish clothes, but they were a little bit too fussy.

Too much detail.

This was to show her vanity.

And they get worse and worse as the story progresses.

Oh, there's an attractive man!

DAVID: And Bette Davis wasn't afraid to look foolish because it underlined the points that she was making with her acting.

'Mr Skeffington' was an enormous SUCCESS.

She got to know Edith Head somehow.

Then after that, she didn't ask for him again.

She was arare, totally individual actress, who had a quality of her own.

He understood that totally.

ORRY:: Oh, fine, run off with pushy Miss Edith Head.

DAVID: He lost 'The Razor's Edge'.

Gene Tierney, who was the star of the film, wanted her husband to design it.

And Kelly had actually done some work on it when Gene Tierney said she wouldn't appear in the film unless her husband, Oleg Cassini, got the job.

Everyone needs one person who believes in them.

Florence Kelly, farewell.

She loathed wasted words, my mother.

She was the original morse code.

Even when she shared gossip, her writing got tinier and tinier, like a whisper.

Over the years, every letter ended in precisely the same way.

"Be sure to keep your bowels open

"and you won't get appendicitis.

"And have faith."


Hollywood and Vine.

The famed corners are a little dim these days.

I christened it 'the street of disappointments”.

Until I met someone to go home to.

A fine romance.

A builder. Bob.

SCOTTY: Everybody I fixed Bob up with fell in love with him, liked him.

He was very square and kind of a farm boy type, you know, kind of with 'dis, dat, dose and dem'.

And Orry liked him very much.

ORRY: Robert. Robert Roberts.

My friends like him.

(CHUCKLES) He makes me laugh.

JEAN MATHISON: We used to meet at The Brown Derby and after work, many of us would gather there after business and catch up on, you know, events of the day and whatever happened and that sort of thing.

And Orry-Kelly was one of the fellows that used to drop in and join the group.

He always had fun.

One time, Kelly crossed the street in the middle of the street between the traffic and the cop was standing there and he stopped him.

And he looked at the guy and he said, "How fast was I going?"


HEDDA HOPPER: When a man over 40 says he's fallen for a girl of 20, it isn't her youth he's seeking but his own.

ORRY: Cary Grant to wed.

Divorce coming soon.

DAVID: Kelly got a couple of jobs at MGM because of George Cukor.

The first one was 'Pat and Mike' starring Katharine Hepburn.

And the MGM wardrobe department found him to be difficult.

He was unpopular there. They thought he was foulmouthed.

LARRY McQUEEN: What I've heard is that he could be a very charming, funny man unless he drank.

And then he could get rather vindictive and rather loud.

And, uh...

...that may have been part of his downfall.

(MAN SINGS) & I'll build a stairway... &

DEBORAH: The musical 'American in Paris' was divided between three designers -

Walter Plunkett, Orry-Kelly and Irene Scharaff.

DAVID: I don't know how he got 'American in Paris' and why Walter Plunkett didn't do the whole film.

Kelly did all of the book of the picture.

Plunkett did the black-and-white ball.

And Irene Scharaff was brought in to do the ballet.

And the three of them won the Academy Award for it.

The Academy Award for costume design wasn't established until 1948.

LEONARD: And winning that Oscar certainly didn't do him any harm.

It may have re-established him in many ways.


Mr and Mrs Kelly of Kiama, this is for you.

Wherever you are.

JUNE DALLY-WATKINS: I knew Orry when he was the celebrity and lived in that beautiful white house.

And everybody respected him.

ORRY: Another brilliant business move from Kelly.

The sole purpose of a dress salon, it would seem, is to lose money.

I'm obviously very good at it.

I'm losing every last dime.

The men I thought were distributing my dresses have been busy knocking them off.

Most of the costume designers did drink.

I'm not really sure why.

I'm not sure if there's a correlation.


If you're drinking and you're gay and you're under a studio system, what would you say?

I never saw him ever drinking.

I think he wanted to give a good impression of himself to me.

Of young Junie from Australia.

MRS FREEMAN GOSDEN: A good friend of my husband called one night and they talked about other things from time to time, but this night she talked about Orry-Kelly and that he had his, uh...

He had fallen upon hard times and could Freeman buy some of his pictures which were for sale.

And Freeman said, "Of course, Ann, I'd love to do that."

Freeman was a very good friend of Bob Cobb who ran that famous Brown Derbys.

I guess they must've been talking about the problems that Orry had and he explained to Freeman what had happened and that he knew about them and that he had offered the restaurant for the rest of his life, to eat his meals there.

Lunch, dinner, whatever.

ORRY: The phone stops ringing.

The Oscars curse.

Nothing to do with the bottle.

Where is Bob, actually?!

If I could just find Bob!



When Orry went away, believe me, he didn't have a lot of friends.

People did not rally.

Mrs Warner did and, um, Rosalind Russell did.

My understanding is that he came out of rehab.

We didn't use those words then.

He had been away for quite a long time to get sober.

That he told me. That was no secret.

He was not being invited out at all.

When he came out to do 'Oklahomal', believe me, it was like working with a nun who didn't know how to read a menu.

DEBORAH: 'Oklahomal' had been a huge hit on Broadway.

And I wonder how he got that job.

DAVID CHIERICHETTI: Two women from London, I believe, were assigned to do "Oklahoma!' and for some reason, Kelly was brought in.

ANN ROTH: Mrs Hammerstein, who had a very dear friend who has just been rehabilitated, named Orry-Kelly, was in a little apartment on Larrabee.

And she said, "Let's have Orry. He's this fabulous designer.” And so Orry arrived.

He thought that I was just fine.

And I was hired.

Because I was this pretentious brat from a farm in Pennsylvania with a cigarette holder and a string of pearls.

And I wanted to be taken very seriously and Orry could do the most divine imitations of me being Madame Chanel, who...no-one knew who that was!

I mean, it was... l was in Hollywood!

They didn't know anything!

Orry was empowered by the success of 'Oklahoma!'

MICHAEL: You see a great example of bravura use of colour.

You know, it's so exuberant.

It really matches the tone of the music and the spirit of the film so well.

DEBORAH: It's very theatrical.

And very, very broad.

And painted with very plain colours and plain surfaces.

ANN ROTH: I brought him out.

I did. There's no question about it.

He was like a butterfly that had been released.

(ALL SING) s Oklahoma! &

'Les Girls' is all about style, it seems to me.

It's not the greatest screenplay, it's not the greatest concept, but you have Gene Kelly and three gorgeous women gorgeously costumed and that ain't bad.

DEBORAH: 'Les Girls' was a film where Orry-Kelly was really allowed to put on show all of those glamorous tools in his toolbox.

All the sparkle and the things that really make little girls fall in love with the movies.

COLLEEN: It had a kind of lightness and humour to it in the clothing and in the characters and in the palette.

DEBORAH: Because these women had to be completely irresistible and seduce everyone, including the audience.

So I think that's what 'Les Girls' is all about - fun and sex appeal.


Mr Corey, would you like to announce the winner?

Yes, the envelope is in pure white with a nervous green seal.


The winner...

.'Les Girls', Orry-Kelly!



ORRY: Amazing.

Back in the same office I started in 30 years ago.

All I want to do is make Rosalind Russell happy.

Give her frocks that her Mame can play with.

Help is on the way, darlings. Henri, ca val ORRY: Living life on her own terms - exuberantly, without a whiff of hypocrisy.

...is on his way over here with another gallon of gin.

Oh, Alan, darling! I'm so glad to see...

Edna, I called you yesterday. Where on earth...

-Hello, Mame. -Hello, darling.

I'll be with you in just a minute.

ORRY: Actually, all I want to do is be Auntie Mame.

And of course because it's about a woman who is larger than life, played definitively by Rosalind Russell, who had introduced the character on stage, it gave Orry-Kelly licence to go bigger, bolder, brighter than he might've dared otherwise.


DEBORAH: In the scenes where there was drama, in the scenes where it was serious...


Should she know that I think you've turned into one of the most beastly bourgeois babbity little snobs on the eastern seaboard?

DEBORAH: Most of the design was quiet.

ROSALIND: Oh, I'm comin', Beau, sugar!

FORREST TUCKER: Here we are, honey.

DEBORAH: And in the scenes where we're supposed to be co-conspirators, where we're in on the joke, where it's supposed to be funny, Orry-Kelly was able to go as big and crazy and witty as anybody.

MICHAEL: Her outfits were so extraordinary and over the top that they just made you love the character more.

LARRY McQUEEN: I think I enjoy Mame because of the outrageousness of the character.

It's sort of like that mother that would probably drive you crazy if you actually had, but you sort of wish you knew.

I'm going to open doors for you!

Doors you never even dreamed existed!


The voice starts up without introducing himself.


20 years since he's called.

Last night, he saw one of my Samoan paintings.

He'd like to buy something similar.

Where's my studio?

Could he come and see the paintings tonight?

He starts coming round a couple of nights a week after he's finished shooting for the day.

One hears he's rather friendless.

Anyone not of use has been dropped over the years.

But he makes me laugh.

It seems possible, delightful, that we could be pals again.

Until he asks me, "Is it true?

"Am I seriously writing a memoir?"

He wants to know what's in it.

What am I going to say about him?

That you lived a perfectly normal life?

Tell them nothing.

No-one must ever know.

I turn on the television and catch 'Dark Victory'.

-Judy, darling. -Yes?

Trotty, trotty.

ORRY: 20 years on.

Not a bad job.

All his genius was on display in 'Some Like It Hot'.


Most memorably the dress that Marilyn Monroe wore when she was sitting on a couch and Tony Curtis was talking to her, and you could not take your eyes off her breasts.

You know, skeet shooting, dog breeding, water polo.

Water polo? Isn't that terribly dangerous?

I'll say. I had two ponies drowned under me.

LEONARD: Marilyn was at her sexiest in that film.

There's just no question about it.

DEBORAH: She has two dresses where she is completely naked.

And I don't understand to this day how the fire brigade wasn't called out.

COLLEEN: It brings a smile to your face when you watch it and you know, as a designer, doing those kind of movies is difficult.

DEBORAH: The story of 'Some Like It Hot' asks us to believe that Jack and Tony look like women.

So they can't really look like obvious drag queens.

They just have to look like not very attractive women.

-Thank you, Daphne. -Oh, thank you, Daphne.

LEONARD: It was crucial to that film's success there be some degree of credibility to these two guys trying to pass themselves off as women.

ORRY: They were just picking off old costumes from wardrobe for the boys.

Finally, I took them in hand.

LEONARD: They lobbied for Orry-Kelly to do their costumes as well as Marilyn Monroe's.

And it's a good thing they won that fight.

DEBORAH: His design for Jack and Tony is so joyful.

And they seem to embrace it with two hands.


LEONARD: Jack Lemmon loved telling the story of the two of them going on a lunch hour into the ladies rest room at the studio to see if anybody noticed, and no-one did.

DAVID: One of the things that Kelly dealt with initially was that Marilyn Monroe was pregnant and he had to hide that.

ORRY: I make a few mistakes with Miss Monroe, like telling her Tony Curtis has a better arse.

LARRY: She also didn't want to play that role.

She thought it was just going to be one more in a string of dumb blonde roles.

It seems like you have the wrong track.

Do you mind riding backwards?

MICHAEL: The way that he uses the nude silk souffle that looks like the beading and the embroideries are just sitting right on top of Marilyn's body.

(SINGS) & Why did you leave me to... &

LARRY: Everything shows except the things that are strategically beaded to not show.

I'm surprised they allowed it to stay in the film, but he got away with it.

I think he was trying to push it as far as he could push it.

It was sexual and innocence all at the same time.

& I wanna be loved by you J Ba-deedly-deedly- deedly-dum... &

LARRY: Since I own the dress from "Some Like It Hot', I do have a soft spot for it.



The winner is...

...'Some Like It Hot'.

-(APPLAUSE) -Orry-Kelly!

HEDDA HOPPER: Kelly, you're having your third wind.

JANE FONDA: I mean, I go to watch that movie just to see Marilyn Monroe in that scene.

And I'm not gay.


I'd like to brrrr in those breasts, though.


ORRY: It's four years since Thanksgiving that I've given up the booze.

More offers for pictures than I can accept.

And I finally finish my book.

The publisher says it reads like a charm.


JANE: Orry rolled up in that kelly-green, really expensive car, and the signal was

"I am important and I'm rich."

And the first movie that I did with him was called 'In the Cool of the Day', which I think was not even released.

There was Angela Lansbury in it and Peter Finch.

She was always in drapes and lovely sort of folded capes and hats and snoods and all kinds of rather exotic outfits.

Whereas my character was right out there, you know?

I mean, there's no question about it, that she wore everything with, you know, "Look at me" kind of attitude.

"Look at my tits."

And that was alright because that's what she was.

She's Mrs Bonner. I'm Mrs Logan.

ANGELA: You wondered how the hell Peter Finch ever went for her in the first place, actually.

That was the only quarrel I had.

I thought the script was pretty god-awful.

He took to me.

I knew that he liked me and even though none of the films we did together were really any good.

You'll have to forgive me, I'm sorry.

JANE: Maybe Orry befriended me because...

.that I was Henry Fonda's daughter and they knew that that put a certain kind of pressure on me and that I was vulnerable and lacked confidence, and they kind of wanted to buoy me up.

LOUELLA PARSONS: Tell me, Kelly, what are you going to do for Natalie Wood?

The girl has to play a stripper.

ROSALIND RUSSELL: And I do it damn well!

NATALIE: Momma, this will be much better than vaudeville for June, and for us.

Nothing is better than vaudeville.


ORRY: Well, playing the greatest stripper of all time with a shortage on the bust line is what Natalie's up against.

But nothing that we can't fix.


I'm a pretty girl, Momma.

LEONARD: She emerges as this glamorous, savvy stripper.

And that legendary costume that she wears which shows off her figure to its best advantage stands out.


Natalie Wood was only 52", She weighed 90 pounds.

And I didn't realise until I started to look at the costumes how much of that womanly transformation was done in the costume itself.

I mean, the bras are totally built out.

The hips have ornamentation and additions to them to make them look bigger.

To make her look taller, there's beadwork that's running in a linear pattern down the front of the dress.

That's to create height.

LEONARD: Natalie Wood never looked more stunning that she does when she is Gypsy Rose Lee.


As if I'll kick the bucket.

As if cancer ever killed anyone.

I'm in my fourth wind.

And if I win an Oscar for 'Irma la Douce' and my glorious hookers, I'll thank the girls of Woolloomooloo.

Only be ashamed of being ashamed.

I was pretty young when I saw the movie and it was very risqué for me to see.

I must've snuck off to see it.

And I was just captivated by her green stockings, especially.

I don't think I'd ever seen a green stocking.

You know, I've never seen a girl in green stockings before.

But it matches the ribbon. And my underwear.

Say, what does that 'X' stand for? Eccentric?

COLLEEN: I loved the black-and-green theme.

I just loved everything about it.

The way he used colour, like with all the ladies of the night that inhabited the street.


COLLEEN: The diagonal zipper, the breakaway thing.

The black with the pastels.

It was sort of like 'Edward Scissorhands' to me.

It's a film that's stuck with me in a subliminal way, I think, as a designer through time.

ANith this ring, I thee wed. -And I pledge thee my fidelity.

And I pledge thee my fidelity.


ORRY: 'Irma la Douce' has a happy ending.

I love this film for that.

Darling Ann Warner is the last of the girls still standing.

The booze took its toll on our other party princesses.

Ann wants a list of honorary pallbearers.

Oh, God!

Tony Curtis.

Jack Benny.

People with biceps.

Katharine Hepburn.

Bob. Bob Roberts.

Ann's a recluse these days.

But she's come back into the world to help me leave it.

And Cary.

A pallbearer. Cary Grant.

In with the friends of Dorothy.

Tell him it's the last time I'll say, "Drop a spangle.” I bet you an Oscar he doesn't show.


All the way to Australia.

Ann asks me what I want said.

The truth.

Just the truth.


You came!

Best bet I ever lost.

He was a master of colour.

He was a master, obviously, of dressmaking.

But his training as an artist was really the key to his career.

The man put out something like 285 films.


That's an incredible accomplishment.

And they were good films and they were good costumes.

Orry just loved the milieu he was in.

He just loved making those women look glorious and he did it uniquely.

And the range of films he designed is so great.

It's not apples and oranges.

It's a whole fruit basket.

He had a calling.

He listened to his heart and he left his home, went to the other side of the world and kind of explored the person that he had always wanted to be.

Australia should've been incredibly proud of him, but I just don't think that they knew that this famous Orry-Kelly in Hollywood really belonged to them.

Her great friendship for Orry was probably a wonderful thing for her too.

I'm sure he returned it and I'm sure she missed him very much.

Oh, there was something wonderful...

...about working with a great talent who built clothes, specifically for this character, for you.


LARRY: A lot of people who are very good don't even get one Oscar, but Orry won three.

ARLENE DAHL: The winner is...

...'Some Like It Hot'.

-(APPLAUSE) -Orry-Kelly!


Why, thank you. Thank you.

Beautiful. I thank you.

And particularly Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.


As Louella would say, "They never looked lovelier."



ANN ROTH: Yeah, he lived a big life.

If you asked me if I thought he...

Did he have a happy life? I'd like to think that he did.

I mean, those paintings are certainly...

They say a lot, don't they?

CATHERINE MARTIN: We jokingly say he's not only one of the great costume designers and he is a three-time Oscar winner and an Australian, he was also Cary Grant's boyfriend.

Now, come on, that's the trifecta, surely?

WOMAN: For the last 40 years, it's been in my daughter's swimming bag, which has been in my cupboard.

The promise to my mother was to never let this out of my sight and her last words were, "I'll kill you if you do."