James Cagney as Tom Powers in The Public Enemy (1931)
James Cagney as Tom Powers, petty criminal
Chicago, Fall 1915
Film: The Public Enemy
Release Date: April 23, 1931
Director: William A. Wellman
Costume Designer: Edward Stevenson
Wardrobe Credit: Earl Luick
In the waning years of Prohibition, Warner Brothers met the public demand for bringing the violent daily headlines to the screen with a succession of films that firmly established the genre of American gangster cinema. One of the most enduring of these pre-Code hits is The Public Enemy, the 1931 movie that made an instant star out of James Cagney.
Sean Connery and Lana Wood in the seventh James Bond film, Diamonds are Forever (1971), filmed and set in Las Vegas.
Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent
Las Vegas, Spring 1971
Film: Diamonds are Forever
Release Date: December 17, 1971
Director: Guy Hamilton
Wardrobe Master: Ray Beck
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
It’s Friday the 13th! Considered an unlucky day by some, this summer occurrence feels like just the right time to follow James Bond as he tests his own luck in a Las Vegas casino in Diamonds are Forever, the 1971 film that convinced Sean Connery to portray the British secret agent one more time.
Luck appears to be initially on 007’s side as he wins $50,000 at craps and makes the acquaintance of the voluptuous Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood).
Sonny Corleone (James Caan) pummels Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo) in The Godfather (1972)
James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, hot-headed mob chief
New York City, Summer 1948
Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
For this midsummer #MafiaMonday, BAMF Style is taking a look at this much-requested outfit from Sonny Corleone’s street takedown of his abusive brother-in-law Carlo Rossi (Gianni Russo).
It’s a hot June day in New York City. Carlo and his cronies are all out on the street, loafing around, listening to the radio, and not expecting much from their day… until a black sedan squeals to a stop, and out charges Sonny Corleone, charging after Carlo with designs on at least ruining the latter’s orange two-tone leisure suit. Continue reading
Warren Oates as Bennie in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
Warren Oates as Bennie Benjamin, piano-playing bounty hunter
Mexico, May 1973
Film: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
Release Date: August 14, 1974
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Wardrobe Credit: Adolfo Ramírez
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today would have been the 90th birthday of Warren Oates, the grizzled Kentucky-born actor celebrated on BAMF Style for his depiction of John Dillinger in 1973’s Dillinger and also his collaborations with director Sam Peckinpah including The Wild Bunch (1969) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). It was this latter film that the iconoclastic director deemed the only one from his three-decade career that matched his original vision.
Robert Mitchum as Lucas Doolin in Thunder Road (1958), frisked next to his classic Ford.
Robert Mitchum as Lucas “Luke” Doolin, moonshine driver and Korean War veteran
Rillow Valley, Tennessee, Fall 1957
Film: Thunder Road
Release Date: May 10, 1958
Director: Arthur Ripley
Wardrobe Credit: Oscar Rodriguez
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
There’s a Treasury agent down the line someplace with three bumpers hangin’ on his car.
For the first Car Week post of this year, and just in time for the fourth of July, BAMF Style celebrates the all-American tradition of car-racing and its moonshine-running origins with the 1958 action film Thunder Road.
Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Paul Newman as Lucas “Luke” Jackson, chain gang inmate, war veteran, and “natural-born world-shaker”
Florida Road Prison 36, summer, early 1950s
Film: Cool Hand Luke
Release Date: November 1, 1967
Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup
What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.
The iconic “failure to communicate” line in Cool Hand Luke is first uttered by Strother Martin as the stern, insensitive captain in charge of Road Prison 36 where most of the film is set. Lucas “Luke” Jackson (Paul Newman), recently sentenced to the facility after a drunken night of vandalizing parking meters, is proud to be one of the men that the captain can’t reach.
Just in time for the stifling midsummer heat, I’m focusing on Cool Hand Luke, voted one of the sweatiest movies of all time by the patrons of Cheers… in addition to various other accolades.
Denzel Washington as Banyan Key police chief Matt Whitlock in Out of Time (2003)
Denzel Washington as Mathias Lee “Matt” Whitlock, Banyan Key police chief
Banyan Key, Florida, summer 2002
Film: Out of Time
Release Date: October 3, 2003
Director: Carl Franklin
Costume Designer: Sharen Davis
If you’re lucky enough to count a well-made Aloha shirt or two in your closet, summer is the time to bring them to the front of your rotation. After all, boldly printed shirts dominated at Milan Fashion Week this month, and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a few more Hawaiian shirts on gents of all generations this summer.
While Hawaiian shirts in movies and TV are often played for comedic purposes, the tropical neo-noir Out of Time unironically – and successfully – dresses its protagonist in a setting-appropriate printed Aloha shirt for the lion’s share of the film’s action.