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Dress Shields

September 3, 2015
Posted at 8:43 pm

When I re-read tonight's chapter of LNDtH2 (Chapter 36), I started giggling about a scene in the 1974 movie "Towering Inferno." If you're not a woman, you might need to know that a dress shield is a pad that fits in the armpit and prevents perspiration from being visible on your clothing, also protecting the shirt or dress from damage.

I got my first degree in theatre in 1972 and finished my grad studies in 1978. It was not uncommon for everyone going onstage under hot lights to be issued dress shields to cut down on damage to costumes and unsightly wet spots on stage.

Well, in Towering Inferno, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen are the heroes who finally fight their way to the top of the burning skyscraper and blpw a hole in the water tanks to put out the fire. When the blast goes off, they grab onto a pole to keep from being washed away in the deluge. You finally see them lean back as the water drains away and their dress shields are clearly visible through their soaked white shirts. I think the scene was a one-shot thing that was way too expensive to shoot a second time.

Well, that's my little reminiscence. You'll figure out why when you read tonight's chapter!