Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Designer Double-Dip: Cape-ability

As you can imagine, we know every frame of The Poseidon Adventure (1972) by heart and have each perfor- mance, vocal nuance and costuming detail practically memorized. Thus, we are quite familiar with the almost iconic clothing that designer Paul Zastupnevich placed upon the shoulders of his cast during their fiery and watery ordeal. We recall Ernest Borgnine's pink tux shirt (later to be found on Stella Stevens!), Shelley Winters' chiffon dress, Carol Lynley's hot pants and so on. Then there are the earlier, more brief, scenes such as the church service given by Gene Hackman up on deck.
For this windy occasion, Pamela Sue Martin donned a yellow and white cape with a distinctive closure at the neck.
You'll recall that earlier in her cabin, she was seen wearing a yellow blouse and white skirt as she and her brother Eric Shea tussled around about a telegram from their parents, not to mention about going to the church service itself ("Why don't you SHOVE IT!"), so this cape was a fully coordinated accent to her ensemble.

Without realizing it, though, Ms. Martin was being quite fashion forward in her selection of this cape. You see, it was not just a run-of-the-mill item from a store in 1972, but actually a piece of clothing from the far-flung future of 2053, a time we haven't yet reached even now!

The year before Poseidon, Irwin Allen produced a TV pilot called City Beneath the Sea (1971.) The futuristic series, about an underwater compound run by Stuart Whitman and a variety of other subordinates, was not picked up, but the pilot saw release as a feature film in the United Kingdom.

One of his undersea cohorts, Rosemary Forsyth, sports a variety of candy-colored mini- dresses, such as this yellow one with cut-out sleeves.

When she's traipsing through the presumably nippy hallways of the underwater city Pacifica, however, she sports a coordinated cape that fits over her yellow dress. Yep, you guessed it! The very same one that later turned up on Martin in Poseidon.

Here's a close-up look at the detail on that neck-closure.
Forsyth blames Whitman for the accidental death of her husband, which is why she appears so dour in this series of shots.
It's fun that we can take a look at costumer Zastupnevich going green and recycling a bit of clothing from a prior project. As the shipboard church scene in Poseidon is comparatively brief, it was likely determined not to spend too much time or money on clothing for Martin in that fleeting instance. We end with a candid photo taken aboard the Queen Mary (stand-in for the S.S. Poseidon) on the day that scene was filmed.

9 comments:

joel65913 said...

Fun little history of a garment. It looks better on Pamela Sue but that might be because Rosemary is so script dictated stormy in her pics. Fortunately they decided on another top underneath the overlay.

Scooter said...

I am always amazed by your ability to notice these kinds of things. Incredible (and fun)!

Gingerguy said...

It blows my mind that you can pick these things up in such disparate scenes. I studied design and never notice this stuff. Hat's off. It's kind of cute actually, I think 1972 was a wacky time for fashion so this outfit did blend in despite it's time traveling past (future?). I am still floored by the "Valley Of The Dolls" costumes that showed up on "Starsky and Hutch" you did a couple of years ago. What an eye!

Gingerguy said...

I also think that cape closure is called a frog, borrowed from Asian folk costumes. I bet "Madame Sin" had a cape like that in black.

Poseidon3 said...

Joel, if you're familiar with Rosemary Forsyth, and I bet you are, you know that a blank expression was not entirely foreign to her acting style! LOL If I recall correctly, there may have been more variety in "Texas Across the River" and "Shenandoah" but usually it's been more deadpan that I've ever seen...

Thanks Scooter!! It's hard being OCD. LOL

Ginge, nothing blew my mind more than watching Starsky & Hutch and seeing Helen Lawson's suit and Neely's first act costume (which she never truly wore!) pop up... I don't catch all the rerun clothing, but some are just too unforgettable! And thanks for the frog info... I kept calling it "closure" for fear of referring to it incorrectly some other way. Ha!

joel65913 said...

Poseidon for the longest time I would mix up Rosemary Forsyth and Rosemary Murphy until I became more familiar with their respective work then I realized that Rosemary Murphy was an actress of great depth and variety and Rosemary Forsyth was a pretty blonde of extremely limited scope!

Poseidon3 said...

Toss in Rosemary Harris and I was a hot mess for a while sorting them out, too! ;-)

Michael Conklin said...

What I want to know is who is the hottie sitting next to Eric Shea in the first few photos????

Poseidon3 said...

Ha! That's Ernie Orsatti as Terry, Susan's ill-fated boyfriend who asks her to dance at the NYE party and then later has that spectacular fall from the floor to the massive light fixture on the (now upside-down) ceiling! He later popped up (sans the deep tan) in "The Towering Inferno" as the fireman who allows Jennifer Jones to take the quickest possible route to the ground below from the glass elevator...!