Tony Soprano’s Black Floral Assassination Shirt

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 1.13: "I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 1.13: “I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano”)

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James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob chief

Jersey City, NJ, Fall 1998

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano” (Episode 1.13)
Air Date: April 4, 1999
Director: John Patterson
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This week marks the sixth anniversary of the June 19, 2013, death of James Gandolfini, the brilliant actor who made Tony Soprano one of the most compelling TV characters of all time. Today’s #MafiaMonday post celebrates one of Tony’s most iconic moments on The Sopranos… pulling a pistol out of a dead fish’s gaping mouth to shoot a rival mobster. Continue reading

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Shaft’s Brown Leather Coat

Richard Roundtree as John Shaft in Shaft (1971)

Richard Roundtree as John Shaft in Shaft (1971)

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Richard Roundtree as John Shaft, tough private detective

New York City, January 1971

Film: Shaft
Release Date: June 25, 1971
Director: Gordon Parks
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi

Background

Almost 50 years after Richard Roundtree first stepped out onto a busy New York City street, John Shaft remains a cultural icon with the release of the fifth and latest installment of the Shaft canon that arrived in theaters this weekend.

Roundtree made his cinematic debut in 1971’s Shaft, establishing the blaxploitation genre and rapidly followed by two sequel movies and a short-lived TV show that all starred the former model as the tough private eye from Ernest Tidyman’s series of novels. Roundtree would reprise his role as John Shaft I—uncle of Samuel L. Jackson’s character—in Shaft (2000) and Shaft (2019)… yes, that’s three films in one series all named Shaft.

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Casino – De Niro’s Pink Robe

Robert De Niro as Sam "Ace" Rothstein in Casino (1995)

Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino (1995)

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Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate

Las Vegas, Spring 1978

Film: Casino
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn

Background

More than a year has passed since I last explored the expansive and flashy wardrobe worn by Robert De Niro as “Ace” Rothstein in Casino, so what better occasion than the real Ace’s birthday to take another look at the casino executive’s colorful attire.

Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal was born 90 years ago today—June 12, 1929—in Chicago, where he spent his formative years and early career until moving to Miami in the early ’60s. Within the decade, Lefty grew tired of the attention from local police and federal authorities and moved out to Las Vegas, where he swiftly and secretly established himself as the operator of the now-demolished Stardust Resort and Casino.

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Richard Burton’s Golf Cardigan in The Sandpiper

Richard Burton as Dr. Edward Hewitt in The Sandpiper (1965)

Richard Burton as Dr. Edward Hewitt in The Sandpiper (1965)

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Richard Burton as Dr. Edward Hewitt, self-righteous Episcopal boarding school headmaster

Pebble Beach, California, Spring 1965

Film: The Sandpiper
Release Date: June 23, 1965
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff

Background

This Thursday, June 13, the USGA U.S. Open begins at Pebble Beach Golf Links, a renowned public golf course in Monterey County celebrating its centennial this year. 2019 marks the sixth time that Pebble Beach has hosted the U.S. Open, the first time being in 1972, seven years after Richard Burton teed off for a brief scene in The Sandpiper.

The Sandpiper recognizes the golf course’s significance in business transactions, even for school headmasters like Dr. Edward Hewitt (Burton) and his group of major donors. One fellow golfer offers to donate $300,000 to the school’s chapel fund if Dr. Hewitt hits the green… unfortunately, his ball flies into the water instead. Continue reading

Matt Helm’s Blue Blazer in Murderers’ Row

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers' Row (1966)

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row (1966)

Vitals

Dean Martin as Matt Helm, smooth secret agent

French Riviera, Summer 1966

Film: Murderers’ Row
Release Date: December 20, 1966
Director: Henry Levin
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry
Tailor: Sy Devore

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy birthday to Dean Martin, born Dino Paul Crocetti on June 7, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio! After a successful singing and acting career that included partnerships with Jerry Lewis and the Rat Pack as well as his own TV show, Dino was tapped for the role of Matt Helm, the American counter-agent at the center of author Donald Hamilton’s espionage novels.

While Hamilton wrote his Matt Helm novels with a serious tone, Dino’s characterization parodied the character as more of a playboy lounge lizard, the American satirical answer to his contemporary womanizer James Bond. Thus, the four Matt Helm movies produced in the late ’60s often starred the popular singer opposite many of the most attractive leading ladies of the decade. Continue reading

Don Draper’s Gray Plaid for Summer, Part 2: 1970

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.08: "Severance")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.08: “Severance”)

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Jon Hamm as Don Draper, somewhat less mysterious advertising creative director

New York City, Summer 1970

Series: Mad Men
Episodes:
– “Severance” (Episode 7.08), dir. Scott Hornbacher, aired 4/5/2015
– “The Forecast” (Episode 7.10), dir. Jennifer Getzinger, aired 4/19/2015
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Ten years after Don Draper (Jon Hamm) walked the halls of Sterling Cooper in a gray-blue plaid summer suit, let’s see how the ad man updated his look for the summer of 1970.

As Monday’s post highlighted a suit worn in the eighth and tenth episodes of Mad Men‘s first season, this post looks at a similar suit worn in the eighth and tenth episodes of the seventh and final season as the late spring of 1970 extended into the summer.

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Don Draper’s Gray Plaid for Summer, Part 1: 1960

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 1.10: "Long Weekend")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 1.10: “Long Weekend”)

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, mysterious advertising creative director

New York City, Summer 1960

Series: Mad Men
Episodes:
– “The Hobo Code” (Episode 1.08), dir. Phil Abraham, aired 9/6/2007
– “Long Weekend” (Episode 1.10), dir. Tim Hunter, aired 9/27/2007
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy first full week of June! As the weather warms up, let’s take a look at comfortable yet appropriate dressing for the summer workplace with a few cues from the dapper Don Draper. Continue reading