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August 14, 2018 12:42 PM   Subscribe

You’ve seen rankings of superhero movies, of Netflix originals, of various Hollywood Chrises. But there’s one ranking you haven’t seen: CAPES. The 60 Greatest Capes in Movie History.
posted by everybody had matching towels (50 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
NO CAPES!
posted by Frayed Knot at 12:46 PM on August 14, 2018 [28 favorites]


I was going to scoff but you know what this listicle writer did their homework. I support this effort. If only we lived on a planet of capes.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:50 PM on August 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


Best list I've ever seen of anything ever.
posted by Krazor at 12:53 PM on August 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


The author knows her stuff, and she goes all the way back. This is a superb internets list. I can't argue with any of it.

My only sad is that Christopher Plummer's silver cape in Starcrash was left out, but that's just my love showing for great actors in terrible movies -- and the cape was definitely one of the better actors in that production.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:54 PM on August 14, 2018 [9 favorites]


Damn. I just want to echo others and give mad respect to the author, Rebecca Pahle, for her superb range of filmic reference. A+++
posted by demonic winged headgear at 1:04 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


The author is obviously prejudiced against sentient, moving capes, why else no Dr Strange? Surely Cumberbatch in a cape is worthy....
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:07 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


He's a dude. But Streep ain't. The French Lieutenant's Woman, anyone?
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:08 PM on August 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


ok look "Georgia O’Keefe got tired of painting vagina flowers and instead tried her hand at superhero costume design." is exactly why i loved that Spawn's cape, it made me have feelings about clothing as i was going through puberty
posted by numaner at 1:10 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


where is doctor bumbersnatch and his flying cape friend
posted by poffin boffin at 1:12 PM on August 14, 2018


Vision's cape in the various Cap / Avengers movies AINEC.

I will now read the article
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:13 PM on August 14, 2018


where is doctor bumbersnatch and his flying cape friend

Vision's cape in the various Cap / Avengers movies AINEC

under Hela's entry she links to her list of The Capes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Doctor Strange's cape outranks Hela's there, which is just right above Vision's cape
posted by numaner at 1:17 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


i am impressed she included the cape from Phantom Thread. excellent cape to accentuate mushroom poisoning
posted by numaner at 1:20 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Capes are always touted as on the verge of hitting it big: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, etc etc.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:26 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


The 60 Greatest Capes in Movie History.
posted by everybody had matching towels


eponystericapecal
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:29 PM on August 14, 2018 [12 favorites]


Really, we could have led with the cape from The Cell, and watched all the other capes slink away in shame, leaving this listicle more manageable on a phone. Come on; it’s a cape; it’s drapes; it’s a tether; it’s some aspect of the villain’s id in that glorious and deeply stupid movie.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:32 PM on August 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine did a lot of the animation of the Spawn cape, and it was pretty nuts - these days it would be done with a cloth simulator, which can really accurately mimic the way a cape would move, how the fabric would flow, how it would respond to air etc. Back then every movement was animated by hand, needing to combine the look of billowing satin, and ... sentience? It was a lot of work!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:36 PM on August 14, 2018 [7 favorites]


Hope Titus Andromedon is aware of this for The Capist.
posted by terrapin at 1:44 PM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


This was such a delight! Thank you!
posted by chatongriffes at 1:48 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is Eddie Redmayne's titty cape from Jupiter Ascending on this list

I can't get the mobile site to work right now
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:55 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


There was a real missed opportunity to catch Will Ferrell's character's baby-seal cape in Mastermind. It is the anti-Incredibles movie...

MegaMind: Your a villian allright, just not a super one.
Tighten: Oh ya, what's the difference?

(you'll have to watch the clip to find out)
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:00 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Is Eddie Redmayne's titty cape from Jupiter Ascending on this list

it is not. based on her twitter, i think the author is only ranking capes from movies she'd seen, but also, based on these capes, i don't think his titty cape is all that interesting, which says a lot about the capes she's chosen.
posted by numaner at 2:02 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure a few of these aren’t really even capes at all. Crawford in The Women? That’s just a regular big ol’ fur coat slung over her shoulders. You see that sort of thing all the time in old movies, because it made getting into and out of it a much less huge ordeal.

Also, the pimp in Coffy appears to be wearing a cardinal’s mozetta, which is technically a cape, but seems worth pointing out because hilarious.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:06 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


(Also, just for the record, Blacula is a completely decent vampire/zombie/general-undead movie. I’d even go so far as to say it’s in the top five of all time. Don’t write it off for the silly title.)
posted by Sys Rq at 2:12 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I suppose it's a minor quibble that this list, the Marvel cinematic universe list, and the space cape list are completely inconsistent despite coming from the same author, since they're all very good lists.
posted by ckape at 2:16 PM on August 14, 2018


capes.com (because of course that’s a thing): Types of Capes and Cloaks & The Differences Between Capes and Cloaks
posted by Sys Rq at 2:18 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Happy to see Troop Beverly Hills on this list! All is right with the world.
posted by leesh at 2:26 PM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night does a very good work with a plain black chador. And a skateboard.
posted by ckape at 2:29 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


numaner and ckape, the writer had something specific in mind as she compiled this list. "Most of the most famous capes in pop culture history—we’re talking Darth Vader, Dracula, Batman, and Superman—are boring as shit. They are boring as shit because they are worn by men, and men have never borne the cultural responsibility to devote themselves to fashion the way women have.... If you read this list and ask “why is [ICONIC CAPE] missing?!?!?!,” it’s probably because it was worn by a dude. Sorry."
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:30 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Great Escape has my vote.
posted by pipeski at 2:40 PM on August 14, 2018


I know the writer has feelings and opinions about boring (black) capes on men, but I really would lover to read her take on the topic: best Zorro cape, best musketeer cap, best Scarlet Pimpernel cape, etc. It's not that I don't love this list (I do) it's just that I want more cape-related content.
posted by sardonyx at 3:40 PM on August 14, 2018


So you're saying the author's capes aren't covering enough?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:14 PM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


They are boring as shit because they are worn by men, and men have never borne the cultural responsibility been allowed to devote themselves to fashion the way women have...

...because of toxic masculinity. The patriarchy thanks you for perpetuating it!
posted by Sys Rq at 4:17 PM on August 14, 2018


Pretty sure a few of these aren’t really even capes at all. Crawford in The Women? That’s just a regular big ol’ fur coat slung over her shoulders. You see that sort of thing all the time in old movies, because it made getting into and out of it a much less huge ordeal.

I went looking for The Women and was happy to find it on the list but I expected to see this red & white avant-garde number from the Technicolor fashion show.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:21 PM on August 14, 2018


What about Darkman?
posted by dobbs at 5:04 PM on August 14, 2018


that is clearly a trenchcoat, sir.
posted by numaner at 5:11 PM on August 14, 2018 [6 favorites]


If you read this list and ask “why is [ICONIC CAPE] missing?!?!?!,” it’s probably because it was worn by a dude. Sorry."

I did read this part of the article, but promptly forgot about it and then a bunch of dudes appeared in the list. Which is fine, but to pb's point above, I guess there's only room in this list for one sentient cape worn by a hero dude, and Spawn's hadn't been in a list yet.

I love this list and this post though because I haven't ever talked about capes this much in my life.
posted by numaner at 5:14 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


*puts hand up to ear* I’m sorry, what was that? I’m hearing that the best version of Batman’s cape is the one worn by Adam West in the ‘60s TV show, because it was goofy and cheap-looking and West worked it like a mofo while jamming out to the Batusi? I’m sorry, them’s the facts. But since this is a movie-only list, I am willing to concede that the second-best version of Batman cape is the one worn by Michael Keaton in Batman and Batman Returns, because it is essentially a rubber sheet, and I like picturing Batman as a gimp.

And silent movies and pre-WW2 movies and and and...

I fear the author of this list (Rebecca Pahle, a single credit) has fundamentally misunderstood the nature of their profession. Clickbait lists must be misinformed, poorly edited, and contain numerous spelling errors and errors of fact. Is she a millenial? She may be killing clickbait listicles.
posted by mwhybark at 5:18 PM on August 14, 2018 [6 favorites]


Is she a millenial? She may be killing clickbait listicles.

A hero, then. The Golden Age will never come until the listicle is slain! as the ancient prophecy says, And then goes on to talk about how, in that Golden Age, we will all wear great capes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:31 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad Ben Mendelsohn's cape from Rogue One got a mention because that was a stunner.

My only regret is that Tim Curry only gets one mention because this is from a tv show, not a movie.
posted by h00py at 5:39 PM on August 14, 2018


Hardly Pahle's single credit: "Rebecca is the Associate Editor of Film Journal International and Features Editor at Pajiba." (Lifted from her crowded SYFY-wire profile page, because numaner linked her superhero cape piece earlier in this discussion)
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:40 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


the man of twists and turns: "apes are always touted as on the verge of hitting it big: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, etc etc."

I so wish this would come true and be a lasting fashion thing; I love me a good cape and would love to be able to just wear one as an every day accessory, in the winter anyways, without being "cape guy".
posted by Mitheral at 6:14 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Hey, the site search results clearly show a single credit. I never implied that internet searches would not show more, and it is not at all surprising, as she very clearly knows what she is doing. Except in her listicles game, she's doing it all worng. Thankfully!
posted by mwhybark at 6:15 PM on August 14, 2018


Also from Pahle: Ranking the Space Capes of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:41 PM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Castor Troy in Face/Off?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:29 PM on August 14, 2018


Billy Dee Williams and Vincent Price, yes, this is a mighty list. Man Of Steel is not worthy of it, as Christopher Reeve made it work effortlessly, without CGI. He let it just rest there, sometimes, being all cape-like and chill, like it's an everyday thing. Also, Megamind's outfit, which is aces all around, and featured in the single most bad-ass heel-face turn in animated superheroics, is notable by its absence, as is Christopher Walken in the "Headless Horseman." (No, it's not a great-coat, I double checked.)

In other odd Cinema Fashion Only I Am Into Because I Am Secretly A Supervillain, here's a list of the top 30 higher-than-the-knees-boots worn by men that were not re-purposed women's fashion... no, Sean Connery is not on the list. Charles Dance is, 'cuz we're including TV, too.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:36 PM on August 14, 2018


Bela Lugosi as the original Dracula? I would argue that his was one of the greatest, and most-copied, capes of all.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:55 PM on August 14, 2018


I'm glad they're not ranked, so I can just be comforted in the knowledge that Tim Curry and Yul Bynner are 1 and 1a and not have to worry about it.
posted by yhbc at 8:10 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Look, I gave you people 12 hours, and still nobody responded to my hilarious comment. I'm a patient guy, and I know you're all good people and everything, but this kind of thing messes up my day, not to mention "harshing" my "mellow" and so on. So c'mon, will ya? I've only got so much grade-A material in my repertoire, and you don't want me getting all snippy. Do you?
posted by pipeski at 2:55 AM on August 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Too funny by half, pipeski. Should have used a hyphen to dumb it down a bit.

To address the article, I feel like Travolta's character from Battlefield Earth should be on the list. A quick image search shows that he didnt actually have a cape, but everything about the character screams for it. Maybe I need an invisible cape article.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:51 AM on August 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Literaryhero, I was surprised by the list's blatant Ginger Rogers erasure, and was girding myself for a righteous huff. Then I did the same sort of image search and realized it's the archetypal, girl's-got-moxie Rogers character of my mind punctuating every final scene with her sparkling, swooping cape.

Sometimes there are epaulets. It's pretty rad.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:29 AM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


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