Death on the Nile: Peter Ustinov’s Tropical Norfolk Suit as Poirot

Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile (1978)

Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile (1978)

Vitals

Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, eccentric Belgian detective

Egypt, September 1937

Film: Death on the Nile
Release Date: September 29, 1978
Director: John Guillermin
Costume Designer: Anthony Powell

Background

In his adaptation of perhaps the best-known Hercule Poirot mystery from Agatha Christie’s prolific canon, Kenneth Branagh all but confirmed at the end of Murder on the Orient Express that his follow-up film would find the fussy Belgian detective solving a murder “right on the bloody Nile!”

Indeed, just weeks after Murder on the Orient Express was released in November 2017, it was officially announced that Death on the Nile would be entering production as the third major adaptation of Christie’s 1937 novel. Even after the intended December 2019 release was postponed to October 9, 2020, Death on the Nile joined the ranks of films like The Many Saints of NewarkNo Time to Die, and Tenet whose release dates were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The October date was optimistically shifted forward two weeks to October 23 (today!) before the perhaps more realistic release date of December 18 was announced.

Of course, Christie fans looking to get their Nile fix have long had a very watchable solution available with the 1978 adaptation of Death on the Nile, the first of six films to star two-time Academy Award winner Peter Ustinov as the detail-oriented detective.

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Death Wish: Charles Bronson’s Herringbone Sport Jacket

Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey in Death Wish (1974)

Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey in Death Wish (1974)

Vitals

Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey, architect and soon-to-be vigilante

Tucson, Arizona, and New York City, Winter 1974

Film: Death Wish
Release Date: July 24, 1974
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

After a wave of films celebrating outlaws during the counterculture era of the late ’60s (i.e. Bonnie and Clyde and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), an opposing wave crashed through American cinema at the start of the following decade, centered around a philosophy of vigilantism. The trend arguably kicked into high gear with Clint Eastwood’s renegade detective in Dirty Harry who despised the proverbial red tape preventing him from bringing deadly criminals to justice with his famed .44 Magnum. Within five years, Martin Scorsese had already evolved the focus from an endorsement of vigilantism into a cautionary tale with the release of Taxi Driver. Before the troubled Travis Bickle took it upon himself to “wash all this scum off the streets” of New York City, there was Paul Kersey.

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Mad Men, 1970 Style – Sterling’s Sporty Turtleneck

John Slattery as Roger Sterling on Mad Men (Episode 7.14: "Person to Person")

John Slattery as Roger Sterling on Mad Men (Episode 7.14: “Person to Person”)

Vitals

John Slattery as Roger Sterling, aging ad man

New York City, Fall 1970

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Person to Person” (Episode 7.14)
Air Date: May 17, 2015
Director: Matthew Weiner
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Mad Men style typically evokes thoughts of men in sleek, ’60s-cut business suits, raising a glass of whiskey behind a veil of Lucky Strike smoke while juggling accounts and affairs. Of course, even a Madison Avenue man dresses down on the weekends.

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Goodfellas: Henry’s Adidas Tracksuit in Prison

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990)

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990)

Vitals

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, imprisoned New York mob associate

United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Fall 1975

Film: Goodfellas
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno

Background

As an Italian-American with no known organized crime affiliations, I was always drawn to Goodfellas for how much I could resonate with the prominence of food—particularly Italian food—throughout my life, such as large family dinners with heaping portions of delicious pasta, sauce, and meats, usually with Dean Martin or Tony Bennett crooning from the hi-fi in the corner. In the spirit of that most relatable element from my favorite movie, I wish you all a Happy National Pasta Day! (And for those outside the United States, let’s all come together to celebrate World Pasta Day a week from now on October 25.)

Last month, as I was rounding up my 30 favorite style moments for Goodfellas‘ 30th anniversary, I realized it had been almost four years since I last explored any of Ray Liotta’s mobbed-up threads as famous turncoat Henry Hill. When I saw back-to-back celebrations of the Italian culinary tradition in October, I knew it was time to explore one of the most famous scenes from Martin Scorsese’s magnum opus.

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Introducing… the Don Draper lookbook!

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a promotional photo for season 6 of Mad Men

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a promotional photo for season 6 of Mad Men

BAMF Style readers are well aware of my fandom for Mad Men and—in particular—the series’ magnificent 1960s style by costume designer Janie Bryant (who, if I’m not mistaken, is celebrating her birthday today!)

While I’ll still plan on covering individual outfits from the show’s central characters, I thought a helpful resource for readers and fans of the series could be a comprehensive portfolio detailing all the suits, sport jackets, and casual attire worn by Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the enigmatic ad man at the show’s center. (Yes, GQ already did something like this… however, I wanted to take my own approach!)

One goal of the project: to discern just how many different suits Mr. Draper cycled through during the series’ run. My current documentation suggests around 90 suits, but time—and the completion of this project—will tell!

To keep this project particularly useful, I’ve chosen to forego including Draper’s pajamas and I’m not considering adding a raincoat, removing a tie, or any other outfit modifications to be a separate look. If you’re curious about what else Don wore with the outfit, feel free to comment, reach out, or look for a separate BAMF Style post exploring the outfit in more detail!

So far, the page is complete through the end of the first season as I want to make sure the chosen format is agreeable to BAMF Style users. Depending on the feedback I receive, I may retool a bit (to the best of my rather limited abilities!) before continuing on, but the goal is to have all seven seasons of Don’s Mad menswear chronicled by the end of 2020.

Happy reading, and please let me know what you think—I’m open to any feedback!

Introducing… The Don Draper Lookbook

Roger Moore’s Navy Assault Jacket in Octopussy

Roger Moore as James Bond in Octopussy (1983)

Roger Moore as James Bond in Octopussy (1983)

Vitals

Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent

India, Spring 1983

Film: Octopussy
Release Date: June 6, 1983
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Emma Porteous

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Born 93 years ago today on October 14, 1927, the great Sir Roger Moore continues to hold the record for the number of films in which he starred as James Bond, playing agent 007 a total of 00-7 times. (Sean Connery also played Bond seven times, though 1983’s Never Say Never Again is considered “unofficial” as it wasn’t made by EON Productions.) In anticipation of Daniel Craig’s final 007 movie No Time to Die—its release yet again delayed for another six months—let’s explore an exciting climactic scene from Sir Roger’s penultimate film as James Bond. Continue reading

Robert Forster’s Sport Jacket and Cherry Red Polo in Jackie Brown

Robert Forster as Max Cherry in Jackie Brown (1997)

Robert Forster as Max Cherry in Jackie Brown (1997)

Vitals

Robert Forster as Max Cherry, reliable bail bondsman

Los Angeles, Summer 1995

Film: Jackie Brown
Release Date: December 25, 1997
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Mary Claire Hannan

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

One year ago today, the great Robert Forster died at the age of 78 after more than a half-century in movies and TV, perhaps best known for his roles in Medium Cool, Jackie BrownMulholland Drive, and most recently as taciturn “disappearer” Ed on Breaking Bad.

Though he’d been acting for three decades, it wasn’t until Jackie Brown that Forster gained widespread recognition with his Academy Award-nominated performance, establishing both Forster and Max Cherry as the latest beneficiaries of the “Tarantino effect” that had renewed the careers of actors like Harvey Keitel and John Travolta after their turns in QT-directed films.

Jackie Brown remains the rare Tarantino joint adapted from another writer’s source material, in this case the novel Rum Punch by prolific crime author Elmore Leonard, who was born 95 years ago today on October 11, 1925.

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Matt Damon in Jason Bourne

Matt Damon in Jason Bourne (2016)

Matt Damon in Jason Bourne (2016)

Vitals

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne/David Webb, amnesiac ex-CIA assassin

Athens, Berlin, London, and Las Vegas, Fall 2015

Film: Jason Bourne
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Director: Paul Greengrass
Costume Designer: Mark Bridges

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy 50th birthday, Matt Damon! Nearly 15 years after the actor first kicked cinematic ass as the amnesiac assassin, Damon again stepped into Jason Bourne’s globe-trotting boots for one more installment of the spy franchise extolled for its relative realism, intriguing narrative, and expertly choreographed fight scenes.

I remember… I remember everything.

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The Sopranos: Paulie’s Black Leather-and-Suede Jacket

Tony Sirico as "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in "Where's Johnny?", the third episode of the fifth season of The Sopranos.

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri in “Where’s Johnny?”, the third episode of the fifth season of The Sopranos.

Vitals

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, mob captain and Army veteran

New Jersey, early 2000s

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “From Where to Eternity” (Episode 2.09, dir. Henry J. Bronchtein, aired 3/12/2000)
– “Second Opinion” (Episode 3.07, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired 4/8/2001)
– “…To Save Us All from Satan’s Power” (Episode 3.10, dir. Jack Bender, aired 4/29/2001)
– “Army of One” (Episode 3.13, dir. John Patterson, aired 5/20/2001)
– “Mergers and Acquisitions” (Episode 4.08, dir. Dan Attias, aired 11/3/2002)
– “Whoever Did This” (Episode 4.09, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired 11/10/2002)
– “Where’s Johnny?” (Episode 5.03, dir. John Patterson, aired 3/21/2004)
– “The Ride” (Episode 6.09, dir. Alan Taylor, aired 5/7/2006)
– “Made in America” (Episode 6.21, dir. David Chase, aired 6/10/2007)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

Heh, heh… happy #MafiaMonday, folks. In response to a request I received from a BAMF Style reader, today’s subject would be particularly recognizable for fans of The Sopranos as a sartorial signature from the wardrobe of the singular Paulie Walnuts.

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Alain Delon’s Leather Jacket in Any Number Can Win

Alain Delon as Francis Verlot in Any Number Can Win (Mélodie en sous-sol) (1963)

Alain Delon as Francis Verlot in Any Number Can Win (Mélodie en sous-sol) (1963)

Vitals

Alain Delon as Francis Verlot, swaggering small-time thief

Paris, September 1960

Film: Any Number Can Win
(French title: Mélodie en sous-sol)
Release Date: April 3, 1963
Director: Henri Verneuil

Background

Any Number Can Win was adapted from Zekial Marko’s 1959 novel The Big Grab, the first of the author’s crime stories that would be adapted to films starring Alain Delon. Marko himself would adapt his novel Scratch a Thief into Once a Thief (1965), starring Delon, Ann-Margret, and Van Heflin.

Considered one of the best and certainly among the most stylish movies of the early 1960s, the ice-cool Any Number Can Win—released in France as Mélodie en sous-sol—begins with recently released ex-con Charles (Jean Gabin) searching for a new partner to help him with his ambitious heist. “I have a kid who just might jut cut it… I hope I don’t find him good for scrap.”

We then cut to what looks like a messy bachelor pad, where a young man is sprawled out on his bed, snapping his fingers to the jazz on his record player. He’s already dressed for larceny in his leather jacket, a dinner plate doubling as an ashtray—crowded with spent Gitanes and shelved on a pile of books—not far from his reach. Pulling back, we reveal that the “bachelor pad” is merely a corner of the family apartment that the young man shares with his reasonably concerned mother, whose shout from the kitchen leaps him to attention… revealing the one and only Alain Delon!

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