She won an Oscar, an Emmy, and a BAFTA for costume design, and these wins and all her award nominations were for historical costume dramas. Yet Margaret Furse is one of the lesser-known costume designers in the frock flick world today. You’ll probably recognize her work though because it’s been hugely influential for the generation of costume designers that came after her in the ’80s and ’90s.
Oliver Twist (1948)
David Lean directed this Dickens classic starring Alec Guinness as Fagin and John Howard Davies as Oliver.
A Victorian melodrama directed by David Lean.
Elegant Victorian gowns, oddly 1950s hairstyles.
The Mudlark (1950)
Margaret Furse received her first Oscar nomination for costume design with this film, shared with Edward Stevenson.
I’ll Never Forget You (1951)
A modern scientist travels back in time to 1784.
The Crimson Pirate (1952)
A romantic swashbuckler set sometime in the 1700s.
The Master of Ballantrae (1953)
It’s 18th-c. Scotland!
Richard III (1955)
Laurence Olivier’s version.
Love that hennin.
Another Robert Louis Stevenson adventure tale.
Sons and Lovers (1960)
Adapted from D.H. Lawerence’s novel and set in the 1900s.
Margaret Furse won a BAFTA for Best British Costume (Colour) with this film and received an Academy Award nomination for a Best Costume Design, Color.
This garnered Margaret Furse an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design.
Great Catherine (1968)
It’s a comedy but she still looks regal.
Sinful Davey (1969)
OK, so that’s pretty groovy for the 1820s.
Ahh, here comes the one we all love!
The fabrics are so rich!
Geneviève Bujold, our one true Anne.
Richard Burton, the Henry we could fall in love with.
The gowns work quite well, it’s just the headgear that’s the least accurate.
These designs finally won Margaret Furse an Academy Award for Costume Design.
The Christmas standard as a musical, starring Albert Finney.
The Ghost of Christmas Past is both a woman & wears a stunning red 18th-c. gown.
Margaret Furse was again nominated for a Best Costume Design Oscar for this movie.
This was Margaret Furse’s final Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design.
Yeah, yeah, they shouldn’t meet, that’s not the costume designer’s fault.
The Nelson Affair (1973)
Glenda Jackson as Lady Hamilton in an elegant Regency gown.
Love Among the Ruins (1975)
Hepburn & Olivier pair in this TV movie set in the 1910s.
Margaret Furse won a posthumous Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for this work. She died of breast cancer 1974.
What’s your favorite historical costume movie or TV show designed by Margaret Furse?