Frock Flicks Free-for-All April


You asked for it, so here’s an occasional open thread to bitch about anything tangentially related to history, costume, movies, or TV shows! Or whatever else is on your mind right now. Note that URLs are automatically held for moderation, but most anything else goes as long as you’re not bitchier than we are!

No foolin’, here we are again, muddling through another month of sketchy schedules for upcoming frock flicks and just trying to keep up. Who knows what the future holds!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Most of the time I have no idea what you're talking about


What are you talking about, really?


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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

24 Responses

  1. mmcquown

    There are some excellent critiques on YouTube by Bernadette Banner. On her best list are “Gentleman Jack,” “Harriet” “Tulip Fever,” “Emma” and a live production of “Twelfth Night” at the Globe. Bottom on her worst list is “Reign.” There are also many critiques of clothing, armour, and weapons as well as battle scenes, etc. Toby Capwell, curator of the Wallace Collection, says that leather armour was nonesistent and that nobody ever made clothing from leather.

    • Fran in NYC

      I love Bernadette Banner! Nicole Rudolphe also has an excellent YT channel where she talks about period fabrics, clothing and shoes and how they were made.

  2. Susan Pola Staples

    Same here with Bernadette Banner and Nicole Rudolph. But why oh why did the waste of space and Jane Austen insult drama called Sandition get a season 2?

    • Mizdema

      Lost illusions takes it all at the french cesars (= oscars for french movies)
      I Know rights were sold for USA. So, if you get any chance to watch it , there is a lot to talk about frocks and hair!
      However this Balzacfordummies movie is certainly explaining ( off voice) but actually entertaining. I remember how boring it was to study Balzac when I was 16 and I really enjoyed that movie.
      More Balzac, there is Eugénie Grandet, more plain.
      Pretty boys, in both movies.

  3. florenceandtheai

    Nose piercings, with my sister. Septum vs. nare. And also how to sneak up on the dog with a sweeper.

  4. Saraquill

    Gentleman Jack season 2 is coming out soon! I’m very looking forward to it. Until then, there’s season 3 of Pose to marathon. It might be too recent to be a Frock Flick, but I’m happy it exists.

      • Trystan L. Bass

        It’s about the queer ballroom scene in the late 1980s / early 1990s New York City. Billy Porter is one of the stars. There were 3 seasons, & all are on Hulu.

        • Susan Pola Staples

          Thanks. I’ll look for it, at my library and if not I’ll add Hulu back.

      • Deb

        Pose is AMAZING! Everything about it is so well done. As someone who lived during the AIDS crisis and had a bunch of queer friends who were involved in the protests, this series really hit home.

    • Trystan L. Bass

      I adore Pose! Too modern for FF, but an amazing show, heartbreaking, beautiful, funny, grand.

      Oh & I wish Gentleman Jack would hurry up & name an actual date for S2.

  5. Katie O.

    I just finished Our Flag Means Death. While it has a loose grasp on history, it was so good that frankly I didn’t care. The choices were made intentionally to make Blackbeard look more like a rocker or Stede to look more like an 18th century dandy, and they really worked.

  6. Kathryn Mehlhorn

    I am going to digress from the above comments. My pet peeve has long been the horrible hair and costuming of women in ’60’s television series, particularly westerns. For example, in “The Big Valley,” Linda Evans looks like she walked in off of the street and by-passed the wardrobe department. Her hair and clothes are laughable for supposedly being set in the 1870’s, and she was always running around in pants and flowy blouses. Barbara Stanwyck’s hair looks like ’60’s “Mom Hair” usually with the addition of a pin-on ponytail or bun. For another look at atrocious hair and clothing in ’60’s westerns, Google “Women of Bonanza.”

    • Roxana

      I remember the younger women tended to wear culottes. I’m pretty sure those weren’t period! 😁

  7. Gray

    I posted on my FB wall that excellent article you guys put up about the bogus complaints actresses make about corsets (especially in a period where the gowns don’t have a waist).
    I said the actresses were lying… UNLESS there was something wrong.
    I have now been declared a sexist.
    Because I said actresses lied.
    I assured the poster that I would also include men complaining about their corsets in the future. That didn’t appease them though.

    • Saraquill

      Maybe show them some Karolina Zebrowska videos where she parodies actresses calling corsets evil incarnate?

  8. Kae-Leah Williamson

    I’d like recommendations for lighthearted, fun period dramas. Something not dark in theme/subject matter with minimal violence.

    • Gray

      Tom Jones 1963
      Thoroughly Modern Millie. 1967 (musical)
      A Room With a View. 1985 (romance)
      Love And Friendship. 2016
      Love and Death. 1975 (Woody Allen absurdity)
      Bullets over Broadway 1994 (Allen again, but a black comedy)
      Zelig. 1983 (OK… my last Woody Allen!)