Costuming Casts of Color: The Great Debaters

I've decided, as I often do, to add a new series to the blog. I want to highlight period films with mostly black casts where the costuming is from my favorite era 1934-1945 (and no, Idlewild will not be on this list).

I'll start the series out strong with The Great Debaters (2007).

While I actually didn't care too much for the film, its lack luster direction, and its atrocious editing, it was the since of atmosphere and the wondrous costuming that were the real stars of the feature. It was alright. Frankly, a movie about debating should have, well, more debating in it. With a modern audience what does not know much about this type of 'sport', I would have been lush just to hear their conversations and preparations on the art of debating.

It had too many stories going on, and focused way too much on the personal lives of theses characters. It had its cliches; the silly love triangle of the only woman ever to be on the debate team, and altho she wants to be taken seriously as a formidable equal, she gets romantically involved with one on her team. Snore.....

So I'll be superficial and just cram the post with some of my favorite screen shots.

With all that I felt they nailed the look. Oh, the look!

The set dressings of the film were something I noticed as well.

Clean and purposeful not, "Hey, look what we got from the prop house! Lets put it in the movie!" Everything looked calculated to the intentional, and it was a visual treat.

The film is set in 1935, and the fashions are as they would have been of the time in a rural area, a few years behind. But everyone is clean, polished, and looking great.

There were great liberties taken with Samantha's wardrobe, which was to be expected seeing as she is the only female lead, but it fit.

LOOKIT THOSE SHOES!!!

The real gems are the group shots and wide shots in the film. And as is with anything thats great, there were not nearly enough of them.

Seeing so many in great wardrobe was like a time warp.

Stupendous.

1 comment:

  1. I have this on my Netflix list and it's sort of been languishing because my impression was (as you mentioned) that the story was a bit "meh". But now I think I'll have to bump it up just to check out those FLIPPIN' AMAZING SETS. And costumes. And cinematography. Thanks for the boost!

    ReplyDelete

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