Frock Flicks Free-for-All March


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!

We’ve been locked down for a year now, and OMG are we tired of it. Please everyone, wear masks, wash your hands, social distance, and get vaccinated when you’re eligible because we want this goddamned pandemic to end.

Titanic - it's been 84 years

Plus, if we can get control of the coronavirus, movie and TV production can get back on schedule, and we’ll have new frock flicks to watch! Hey, it’s something.


How are you holding up after a year of this?


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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.

34 Responses

  1. nazzy

    Now that the entire first season has aired here in the States, I am deeply, deeply in love with the All Creatures Great and Small reboot and everyone involved with it (but especially the man candy).

      • nazzy

        Samuel West is completely dreamy, and I could listen to Nicholas Ralph talk all day.

        • Charity

          SPOILER. When Siegfried refused to fire James in order to get the prestigious position he wanted at the local racetrack, I fell in love. ;)

    • Joni

      Actual conversation between me and my sister about the new James Herriot:

      me: he has a long nose, big eyes, and a perpetually worried expression

      sister: Oh, so he’s a greyhound.

  2. Constance

    I have not yet found a show or movie to really look forward to in the coming year, still looking…

  3. Shannon Russell

    I really loved Netflix’s Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung. I don’t know anything about the era but the costumes and textiles were beautiful and the actors and storytelling was excellent.

    • DistantAudacity

      Yes, that one’s lovely, and a great way into K-drama!

      I felt the need to brush up on some basic Korean history to get the highlights, and also clothing to understand all the hats! Interesting to watch when I didn’t have any contextual information (due to European background with zero exposure).

      For western stuff, I can generally tell when someone’s a priestly figure or military or a noble or a royal, based on clothing, buildings etc, and also roughly intended time period. When I first started in on the Korean historicals, I …did not have that.

    • DistantAudacity


      May I recommend «Love in the Moonlight» next?

      I’ve been using the Baeksang Arts Awards (main Korean TV awards) nominees and winners to sort out the good stuff :)

  4. Boxermom

    I’ve been watching a series of Glamour YouTube videos with fashion historian Raissa Bretana. She covers historical accuracy in TV shows and movies, including things like Mad Men and The Queens Gambit. She also does a great job showing how each character is represented by his or her choice of clothing.

  5. Frances Germeshausen

    We rented the new Blithe Spirit the other evening, expecting to love it. While it looked gorgeous (and I wanted Ruth’s brown lace dress with the little jacket IN THE WORST WAY), we thought it feel sort of flat. Anyone else?

    • ScreenFashions

      I was pretty disappointed too. I didn’t really know what to expect from it but I feel like there was something missing.

  6. Saraquill

    Not a flick, but my regency short stays have arrived and I greatnesses enjoy them as a bra substitute. Way more supportive and no elastic to give out on me. The bustline under modern clothes waffles between bizarre and comical.

  7. Alice Freiler

    Spanish Princess, while it had its issues, was an inspiration (those gorgeous printed velvets) and I have also been rewatching Secrets of the Six Wives. I have been sewing through the whole pandemic in the hopes that the proposed new Ren Faire at my local fairgrounds will happen (and also to save my sanity). Will it? If it does I plan to outfit everyone I know, including the unwilling. I am a librarian and have threatened to barcode all of my costumes and check them out to patrons to wear to the Faire, but I expect that ambitious plan may need to wait til next year.

  8. Katy

    We’ve just found Badehotellet/The Beach Hotel. It’s a Danish period drama set from the late 20s to late 40s.

    The costuming looks pretty good (nice undies and things like detachable collars for the hotel staff), and the pace and subject matter are just perfect at the moment.

    • Fran in NYC

      I think this is the series that PBS is running as Seaside Hotel? Very enjoyable!

  9. Jose

    I watched a lot of old beautiful movies recently lacking something new to watch I would recommend The Lady with the lamp with Anna Neagle
    Mrs Parkington Valley of Decision and That Forsyte Woman (And The Law and the lady but that is beautiful in costumes and weak in plot) with Greer Garson
    Anna Karenina With Vivien Leigh and just maybe the 2017 which is very beautiful and is on YouTube with English Subtitles in 4k
    And last but not least Senso by Luchino Visconti and Starring Alida Valli actually this girl deserved a WCW she done lots of costume pictures and a Luchino Visconti is a Great addition
    Also Danielle Darrieux and Susan Hampshire getting a WCW wouldn’t hurt

    • M.E. Lawrence

      Agreed re. Darrieux (am not sure how many frock flicks she made, but a fair number). “The Earrings of Madam de…” will always be in my top 10.

      • Jose

        In mine too the ending is a bit of a turndown but that’s just a drop in the ocean i discovered a remake with Carole Bouquet and watched for curiosity as she has made the remake of Red and Black and was fine for me but Madame De really can’t be beaten carole doesn’t hold a candle to Danielle
        P.S: she must have done at least 30 period dramas she has a carrer of about 76 years i guess she would be the first 2 part WCW kkk

  10. Jose

    Relic Hunter is set during it’s actual late 1990’s but all episodes begin with Scenes set in past times maybe you should try

    • Boxermom

      Loved Relic Hunter! My mom and I would never miss an episode. I have to say though, that once Claudia left it just wasn’t as good. :)

  11. Charity

    I was looking forward to The Luminaries on Starz, but after one episode was “meh” about it. I’ll probably watch the rest (or as much as I can before my cheap subscription runs out) but I hope it picks up and the heroine isn’t as foolish moving forward.

    Last year in March, I saw the new Emma in theaters with two friends — two weeks later the world went into chaos and lock-down, and I am no longer friends with either girl, which means it’s been a weird 12 months and I damn well want theaters to open up again. I fully hope to watch Cruella in one in May and not have to wear a damned mask. So yes, people, do your part, cuz I NEED THAT TO HAPPEN. LOL

  12. Amanda J Shirk

    I’m watching season 2 of A Discovery of Witches. (Don’t judge me it’s schlock but its also Matthew Goode.)
    Anyway the A Plot is set in 1690’s and I’m seeing a lot of questionable-ness particularly vis-a-vis boob placement and bodices. No floating ruffs yet though so that’s a win.

    • Alison

      I’m jealous! I thought the first season was mindless fun and am looking forward to watching season two with all the costumes…and more Matthew Goode (:

  13. Shashwat

    Bridgerton announced season 2 and I am disappointed.Of all the possibilities they went with Kate Sharma for Kate Scheffield.Having Brahmin characters does not amount to representation.This is blatant tone deafness and caste baiting.They ignored the fact that Brahmins retained their privileges for millennia by avoiding overseas travel on religious grounds.Heck,caste system itself was sanctioned by Brahminical religion that the 20th century preferred to call ‘Hinduism’.Most of the Indians who migrated to islands in the Pacific tended to belong to oppressed castes,particularly from Thamizh Nadu and Odisha.If they could not research a non upper caste surname they could have gone with Kavitha Sheffield.An English name with a caste based surname is problematic.Flaunting Indian roots doesn’t imply continuing the use of upper caste surnames which can be mental trauma for DBA folks.Sadly Brown influencers will never acknowledge their privilege and call out the blatant casteism in the character naming,not to say that Bridgerton team should have researched more before coming up with character names if they were so confident of their ‘inclusive’ casting(which they had been criticised for on account of colorism in the first season).
    Not trying to sound woke but the level of privileged caste blindness among NRIs is disturbing.Coconuts,if I may say so.

    • Alison

      Thanks for explaining! I would not have known there was a problem otherwise and just been happy to see a POC as the female lead.

  14. hiitssomeone

    Could you review the behind the behind the scenes photos of an upcoming drama about the early life of Elizabeth I?

  15. Julia

    Just wanted to suggest a WCW for the British actress Nicola Pagett who died recently. She seems to have been a costume drama mainstay in the ’70s, including Upstairs Downstairs and Anna Karenina.

    • Jose

      She died March 3rd just knew it and came here to ask the same she deserves she gave us lots of great characters to love respect and admire and some gorgeous dresses as well

  16. Marianne Todd

    The Essex serpent has Claire Danes in it, and it has begun filming. One of the costumes that I’ve seen in a behind the scenes photo looks great. Also, I’m really looking forward to Hulu ‘s Mexican Gothic.

    Loved All creatures great and small, too.


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