A celebration of the colourful life of Australia's great Oscar winner, costume designer Orry-Kelly, played out during the Golden Years of Hollywood
Women He's Undressed is a 95-minute documentary that explores the life of Australia's most prolific costume designer, Orry-Kelly. Until now, he has been unacknowledged in his country of birth, a footnote in the world of fashion design and pretty well forgotten in the adopted country of his greatest successes.
But during the boom years of Hollywood, Orry-Kelly was Costume Designer on an astonishing 282 motion pictures. He designed for stars like Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Rosalind Russell, Errol Flynn and many more of the immortals. His films included Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959), Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942), An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951) and Now, Voyager (Irving Rapper, 1942).
Orry-Kelly ('Jack' to his friends) won three Academy Awards and was nominated for a fourth.
He was head of Warner Brothers' costume department during the richest period of American film history between 1932 and 1944, the establishment of the 'dream factory' and a key influence on mass culture through his costume parents and radio shows.
He was outrageous, witty, outspoken, a drinker, and uncompromising in his sexuality at a time when Hollywood was deeply conservative. He survived partially due to the protection provided by his friendship with Jack and Ann Warner and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper – but ultimately due to his extraordinary talent.
Women He's Undressed would be enjoyed by seconday and tertiary students of Theatre and Costume Design, Film Studies, Media Studies, Australian Biography, Humanities and Gender Studies.