View Full Version : Jacket Origins

07-05-2012, 05:33 AM
I've mentioned in another thread, everyone here needs to see Only Angels Have Wings. You need to see it because it's a damned good movie, but if my word on that isn't enough, you need to see it because in 1939, there was an Indy jacket on screen.
The character MacPherson, who shows up about halfway through, flies in a jacket that HAD to be something of an inspiration.
No knits at cuffs or waist, straps for tightening, scalloped pockets at the sides, light zipper... Now granted, there's no collar stand, and I can't at the moment remember there being a storm flap, but do check it out. I wasn't able to find any relevant screencaps, and if that trend continues through tomorrow, I'll have to figure out how to do that from my DVD.
Just one of those things you're able to see on repeat viewings of a really good flick. Besides, check out the nice A-1 jackets...

St. Dumas
07-05-2012, 02:43 PM
If you have it on DVD send us a screen grab.

07-05-2012, 04:08 PM
I don’t have any screen caps of the MacPherson jacket but I do have some of Cary Grant’s A-1. I’m intrigued by the leather of A-1s, which, like the Raiders jacket, were made of sheepskin. The rudimentary tanning technique of the Raiders jacket leather, the Turn Leather Tanners method described by Peter, seems like something that would have been common in the 1930’s when these jackets were made.





07-05-2012, 07:07 PM
If you have it on DVD send us a screen grab.

It's a process I'll have to teach myself, but I'll definitely give it a go. I won't be able to get to it for another 24hrs, though.

As for the A-1 hides: I want to say the specs were for "capeskin"..."cape skin"? ... Is that sheep? But yeah, I for sure saw the way the grain, etc...was similar. The close fitting nature of that style, however, didn't give much of a clue as to the much discussed drape.

Edit: yeah, man - check the straitions on the sleeve on Mac's second pic down. Amazing even a crummy knock off of the Raiders jacket never turned up with that look over the years.

07-05-2012, 09:24 PM
Capeskin is leather from South African sheep. In fact, the first sheep imported to Australia were merino from the Cape of Good Hope (for which Capeskin is named), which arrived in the late 1700s.

The original A-1 spec called for Capeskin, and it’s worth reiterating for those that don’t follow these discussions that lamb and sheep are the same animal, lamb being a young sheep.

Here are more shots of Grant’s A-1:


You can see that the leather is fairly smooth above where the striations on the arm appear, and it seems to me that the striations on the chest are subtle and not very ‘tall.’

In other places you get a jerky texture:


07-05-2012, 10:19 PM
You could take the grabs cheap and dirty by just using your iPhone or whatever.

07-06-2012, 01:35 AM
You could take the grabs cheap and dirty by just using your iPhone or whatever.

It won't be a problem: I can always pause and screen cap on the laptop. It's just that I'm on shift and away from the vid til tomorrow.

Thanks to Mac for keeping the thread interesting til then.

07-14-2012, 07:02 PM
Okay, man...
Been hella busy, so sorry for the delay. I tried to do this with screen shots, but I guess the copyright protection jacked me up. Instead, you get these crummy pics from my laptop screen using my phone: you're welcome.
The more I look at the thing now, of course, the more differences I see rather than similarities. BUT - It's still the most period oriented Indy-esqe jacket I've ever seen on screen. The film was released in 1939, so I guess it would be safe to assume it was shot in 38. Now I know there's been passed discussion in other places about zippers and blah blah blah... and that Indy picked up his jacket in one of the books in 1920something... I'm sorry, but that's not cannon. In any event, here's the pics -


07-14-2012, 10:18 PM
With a fedora and holster !!!

07-15-2012, 12:28 AM
Cool, so it's really only lacking the action pleats. Seems like its lacking a storm flap too, but its undeniay the closest vintage jacket I've seen that looks the same as the Indy jacket.

06-14-2013, 08:57 AM
I was watching this film again for the first time in a long whole and was also struck by how indy Macphersons jacket looked. Would like an A1 like Carys though....