Ronin - Costume Design

Last Update: 19 September 1998

MAY ROUTH (Costume Designer) has collaborated with John Frankenheimer on two widely acclaimed television movies, Andersonville and George Wallace, the former of which garnered her an Emmy Award nomination. Ronin reflects a professional reunion with director Frankenheimer.

Born in India, Routh studied dress design and fashion in London, eventually working as an assistant designer on Richard Attenborough's Oh! What a Lovely War in 1969, followed by similar assignments on Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers before becoming the costume designer for the first time on Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth in 1976.

Her subsequent feature film credits include Hal Ashby's Being There, Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year, Ron Howard's Splash, Marty Feldman's The Last Remake of Beau Geste and Kenny Ortega's Newsies. Routh also designed the wardrobe for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Caddyshack II, Ghost Story and The First Family.

Her extensive television credits include numerous telefilms: Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter (for which she received an Emmy Award nomination for Best Costume Design), Marina's Story, Blood River, Connecticut Yankee, The Image and Capital News. Routh has also worked on music videos for Barbra Streisand and Queen.

She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on the Frankenheimer telefilm Andersonville. She also did George Wallace for the director.

The costume design reflected Frankenheimer's commitment to gritty realism. "When John described Ronin to me, he often mentioned The Battle of Algiers, a black and white film with a very gritty look," she says. "He did not want anything that looked like costume design, which meant that we had to eliminate a lot of color. Most of the wardrobe had to be anonymous and functional, because the characters had to be believable in everyday clothes, and at the same time not too noticeable."

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