Orry-Kelly : an Australian in Hollywood : producing meaning through costume

Lewis, Shane (1997) Orry-Kelly : an Australian in Hollywood : producing meaning through costume. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Costume designer Orry-Kelly has a unique place in Hollywood history as one of the few designers to win three or more Academy Awards and one of the few Australians to succeed in the Hollywood studio system. His work was a major factor in the success of Bette Davis at Warner Bros. However, Orry-Kelly and his work have received little critical attention. This study examines the function of Orry-Kelly's costumes in a selection of Bette Davis vehicles produced at Warner Bros. between 1938 and 1942. In order to assess the value of Orry-Kelly's contributions, the thesis charts the development of the role of the Hollywood studio costume designer and summarises theories relevant to the function of costume in classical Hollywood narrative. Films analysed are Jezebel, Dark Victory, The Letter, The Little Foxes, Now, Voyager, The Great Lie and In This Our Life. Sources consulted for background to Orry-Kelly's life and career include records in the Orry-Kelly File in the Warner Bros. Archives at the University of Southern California, and material gathered in Australia which has not been previously presented in an academic study. The study concludes that Orry-Kelly's costume concepts display an intuitive understanding of processes of human perception and behaviour, and knowledge of the requirements of the film medium, to convey the preferred meanings about characters and aid in story-telling.

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ID Code: 35888
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Bruce, Graham
Additional Information: Presented to the School of Media and Journalism, Queensland University of Technology.
Keywords: Costume designers California Los Angeles, Costume, Motion pictures California Los Angeles, Motion picture actors and actresses California Los Angeles, Orry-Kelly, costume design - motion pictures, motion pictures - Hollywood, Bette Davis, motion pictures -narrative, Orry-Kelly - biography, Warner Bros, thesis, masters
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Shane Lewis
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:03
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2017 00:55

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