Re: Fedoras and such

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Posted by Michaelson from on November 18, 1998 at 18:12:52:

In Reply to: Re: Fedoras and such posted by Greg on November 18, 1998 at 16:04:32:

: : : I posted this earlier, but everyone focused on the first part of the message, so here goes take 2:

: : : It has become commonly reasoned that Herbert Johnson made the fedora hats used in at least some of the Indy movies. Is there anyone out there who has OFFICIAL proof from say Lucasfilm or the head costumer for the films proclaiming HJ made all the hats? This doesn't seem to me to be very likely. All the hats worn by Harrison Ford have different blocking(or bashing if you prefer) styles in each movie. If HJ really did make all the hats, did they pick somebody different to style the hats in each movie or what? Does anyone have OFFICIALLY VERAFIABLE information on this subject?
: : : Finally a serious question Regards,
: : : Groo

: : And a good discussion one too. My other question would be regarding the MidWest gloves. The only source of info regarding this glove was that it was discovered that MidWest had shipped these to Paramount in the early 1980's for studio general use. But then so did Wells Lamont, who still offers their gloves in all equipment catalogs I receive here at my studio. I never even heard of MidWest until the forum listed it, and it has never appeared in the literature. The scenes shot with Indy wearing the gloves in Raiders were shot in England and elsewhere, not California. The story goes also that he had to borrow the gloves from a grip working on the set, because they hadn't provided him with a pair, and he kept them for the remainder of the movie. Years ago in my own research, Wells Lamont also has records of supplying Paramount with grip gloves going back into the 50's. So where does MidWest get the nod to a collector as being THE gloves? Wells Lamont has been the industry supplier for decades. As to the fedora, I also find it strange no one has stepped up and said, "Yes, I did the deed!!!" Maybe they are so secure in their business they don't care who knows. A few companies are like that. One of those items to ponder. Regards. Michaelson

: The glove information is largely, I believe a combination of the info about a shipment to a film production in 1980, and the fact that their deerskin model we have talked about matches the gloves he wore in style. I have looked at a lot of unlined leather gloves in the last six months in particular and cannot find a single wells lamont glove that matches the gloves in the movie with the "keystone" thumb. Another glove source, Hawkeye gloves, makes a deerskin glove that I have purchased that has a keystone thumb and closely resembles the movie gloves. I am afraid that the glove bit is something that we may never get an answer to (too obscure a costume item), and I for one haven't pained myself too much over that one. I have two pair of gloves (one from midwest and one from Hawkeye) that fit my hands just great and look sharp, so I am content. In addition, I have discarded the story about the grip on location loaning his gloves to Ford as a rumor or legend. I find it hard to believe, after seeing the making of Raiders that the gloves worn by the two principle stuntmen doubling Ford would have also "borrowed" the gloves either from Ford or from other film crew, but believe it to be more likely that a professional film production would have had the foresight to supply gloves for a film character that wears that item of apparel for well over half the film. As far as the hats go, If you read the standard hat brochure that Herbert Johnson often provides with their hat shipments (a small, thin color brochure detailing their business and pictures of the many hats they make), they state quite clearly, however inconspicuously, that they are, in fact the original suppliers of the Indiana Jones fedoras. I am not inclined to believe anything from hatmakers like Gary White who claim to have made hats for any of the films, save for the possibility that Stetson may have provided some hats during Temple. I agree that it would be nice if the makers of every costume item would make a public announcement that they made the item and how we might go about obtaining duplicates, but unfortunately, I think most people don't appreciate the hobby that those of us on this forum have stumbled upon. Alas! Alack! This is my two cents on costume authenticity.

: Greg

Well Greg, the glove/grip borrowing story was not opinion, but documented information from a couple of sources, Making of Raiders paperback, as well as sources from the studio who have told the story before. Also, bearing in mind that all the scenes with the gloves were made in Europe, there's a better than even chance that the gloves were none of the above, but obtained in England along with all the other items in his wardrobe, especially if they were borrowed from a grip who worked for an English production firm, as were most of the 2nd production group. Considering the only item made outside of London were his shoes, it's an assumption of course. As to the oversight, believe me, it happens all the time in production work. The simplier the detail, the better the chance of being overlooked. As you say, we'll probably never know. Regards. Michaelson

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