Sunday, 5 February 2012

Casablanca, 1942 and Orry Kelly

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, 1942

This weeks movie is the most iconic movie of 1942 -  Casablanca.  Even those not really into vintage will have heard of it , and probably already seen it.  If you haven’t, you must!

Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of WWII, before the US is in the war that is, an American expatriate (Humphrey Bogart) meets a former lover (Ingrid Bergman), and trouble, of course,  ensues.

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, 1942  Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, 1942

Bogart and Bergman are great together.


The music is wonderful.

  ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, 1942

The costumes are gorgeous.  Including the hats.

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, 1942    Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, 1942

Orry Kelly, and Australian,  designed the women's wardrobe for the movie.

Orry-Kelly with Kay Francis
Orry-Kelly with Kay Francis  source
Trained as a singer,  window dresser and mural painter, Kelly had  left Sydney in 1923 for New York to pursue an acting career.  He shared an apartment there with Cary Grant with whom he became great friends.   He found a job painting murals in a nightclub, which led to his employment by Fox East Coast studios illustrating titles, and also designing costumes and sets on Broadway.  At he age of 35, in 1932, he went to Hollywood, and worked for all the major studios.  He ended up designing for all the great actresses of the day, including Bette Davis, Kay Francis, Katharine Hepburn, and Ava Gardner, on around one hundred movies, many now deemed classics, including 42nd Street, The Maltese Falcon, Arsenic and Old Lace, Harvey, Oklahoma!,Auntie Mame, and Some Like It Hot, winning three academy awards in the process.

He died on  27 February 1964 of liver cancer.

Find a copy of the movie here, or watch highlights here.

Deb xxx


  1. Wonderful movie, I have some outstanding costumes to sew on it.

  2. Such a gorgeous movie, its timeless and a real classic! Thanks for reminding me how great it is! XxxX


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