Women He’s Undressed

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Australia | 2015 | 99 minutes | Gillian Armstrong

Director Gillian Armstrong pays tribute to Australian Academy Award®-winning costume designer Orry-Kelly, a little-celebrated hero of Hollywood's golden age who adorned the stars in such classics as Some Like It Hot, Casablanca, and An American in Paris, and was scandalously linked to Cary Grant as his former lover.

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Well-known for her costume dramas (My Brilliant Career, Little Women), it's no wonder Australian director Gillian Armstrong was drawn to tell the story of Orry-Kelly, a New South Wales native who became one of the greatest costume designers of Hollywood's Golden Age. First stop, Sydney, where Kelly broke into showbiz via the bawdy revue "Stiffy and Mo"; second stop, New York, where he was "roommates" (code word for lover) with Cary Grant, and where the flamboyant gay lad enjoyed a measure of outness before the Depression forced him West. For a costumier, L.A. was Nirvana career-wise, but with sexual openness forbidden, he smothered his personal life. Decades of ups and downs followed. He began with Warner Bros. B-melodramas, moving expertly from hallucinatory Busby Berkeley spectacles to the wartime elegance of Casablanca. His drinking landed him in rehab, but Dorothy Hammerstein revived him by insisting he be hired for Oklahoma! Thereafter, Auntie Mame, Some Like It Hot (he dressed not only Monroe but Lemmon and Curtis), and Gypsy (his architectural skill turned the 5'2", 90-pound Natalie Wood into a voluptuous stripper) made for a glorious Indian summer before his 1964 death. Appropriately, Armstrong goes beyond mere reenactments to confect lush, Luhrmannesque fantasies with actor Darren Gilshenan reminiscing in the guise of her subject. Her affectionate, dishy camp valentine is a movie lover's movie, a lavender kiss blown to the grand master of screen-goddess fabulousness.

Director Biography
One of the first Australian women ever to direct a film, Gillian Armstrong is an award-winning director, with a filmography dating back to the 1970s and her feature-length debut, My Brilliant Career.

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  • Director: Gillian Armstrong
  • Principal Cast: Darren Gilshenan, Deborah Kennedy
  • Country: Australia
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 99 minutes
  • Producer: Damien Parer, Gillian Armstrong
  • Screenplay: Katherine Thomson
  • Cinematographers: Anna Howard
  • Editors: Nicholas Beauman
  • Music: Cezary Skubiszewski
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Love, Lust & Lies (doc, 2010); Death Defying Acts (2007); Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst (doc, 2006); Charlotte Gray (2001); Oscar and Lucinda (1997); Not Fourteen Again (doc, 1996); Little Women (1994); The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992); Fire’s Within (1991); Bingo, Bridesmaids & Braces (doc, 1988); High Tide (1987); Hard to Handle (doc, 1986); Mrs. Soffel (1984) ; Having A Go (doc, 1983); Starstruck (1982); Fourteen's Good, Eighteen's Better (doc, 1980); Touch Wood (doc, 1980); My Brilliant Career (1979); Smokes and Lollies (doc, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: The Film Collaborative
  • International Sales: Hollywood Classics