Pick of the week
Women He’s Undressed Sunday, 8.30pm, Showcase (115) If, like me, you’d never heard of Orry-Kelly, this documentary by award-winning director Gillian Armstrong will be a treat. How his story has gone largely untold for so long is beyond me. So, hats off to Armstrong for giving him air. Orry-Kelly (1897-1964), born Orry George Kelly, lived with his doting mum in Kiama on the NSW south coast before taking off for New York where life was just a bit more colourful. He shared an apartment with his close friend Cary Grant and began designing costumes for Broadway before moving to Hollywood in 1932. Warner Bros snapped him up as chief costume designer. He created the most stunning wardrobes for leading actresses such as Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Olivia de Havilland, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner and Merle Oberon. Some refused to do a film unless he designed their clothes. Orry-Kelly worked on 285 films, including Casablanca, Irma la Douce and Auntie Mame, and won three Oscars for costume design for An American in Paris (1951), Les Girls (1957) and Some Like It Hot (1959). A brilliant, daring perfectionist, he was also a difficult character. An alcoholic with a hot temper, he hit rock bottom at one stage, but managed to climb back. Armstrong pieces together a fascinating story using old film clips and interviews with people who knew him, such as Jane Fonda and Angela Lansbury.