Pacino in Heat: Vincent Hanna’s Checked Canali Suit

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)


Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna, intense LAPD detective-lieutenant and Marine Corps veteran

Los Angeles, Spring 1995

Film: Heat
Release Date: December 15, 1995
Director: Michael Mann
Costume Designer: Deborah Lynn Scott

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


Happy 83rd birthday to Al Pacino, the iconic actor born April 25, 1940. Pacino rose to fame after his performance as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part II (1974), the latter also establishing his co-star Robert De Niro. After two decades heralded as two of the best actors of their generation, Pacino and De Niro were finally reunited in Heat, sharing the screen for the first time as their characters in The Godfather, Part II never appeared together.

Michael Mann was inspired by the real-life exploits of Chicago detective Chuck Adamson’s investigation into an early 1960s bank robber named Neil McCauley to write and direct Heat, which was actually Mann’s second go at the story which he had originally filmed as a much lower-budget, less complicated made-for-TV movie in 1989 called L.A. Takedown.

Pacino stars in Heat as Vincent Hanna, an intense and idiosyncratic lieutenant in the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division given to bombastic outbursts (especially when women’s asses are a topic of discussion), explained in the original screenplay as the byproduct of Hanna’s cocaine addiction. Hanna is as “funny as a heart attack,” as described to Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), the professional armed robber whom Hanna becomes increasingly obsessed with hunting, sure that McCauley is planning on a major score but unsure of what it will be.

Once the anticipated heist is in progress, Hanna finally receives a tip that McCauley’s crew is taking down the Far East bank in downtown L.A., giving Hanna and his team just enough team to load up and ride onto the scene, resulting in one of the most famous and exciting movie gunfights—and one that would eerily parallel a real-life event two years later.

After the bloody afternoon that leaves two crooks and a handful of cops dead, Hanna doggedly continues his pursuit of McCauley, ignoring his own tenuous relationship to his wife and stepdaughter as he fears he’ll lose the chance to bag the master criminal…

Bon voyage, motherfucker! You were good…

What’d He Wear?

While I’ve written extensively about Robert De Niro’s style as Neil McCauley, I’ve also received a few requests from readers interested in how Al Pacino dresses as his intrepid predator, Vincent Hanna. If McCauley follows the Mann criminal “uniform” of gray-toned suits and white open-neck shirts as also seen in Collateral (2004) and—to some extent—Thief (1981), Hanna has his own sartorial guidelines defined by warmer suits, generally in shades of brown with dark shirts and low-contrast ties.

Al Pacino and Diane Venora in Heat (1995)

The happy Hannas.

Hanna’s generously tailored Canali suits reflect the baggy trends of the 1990s, partly developed in reaction to the more form-fitting styles of the 1980s while also expressing a more relaxed style in increasingly informal workplaces. A Canali label can be spied on the inside of Pacino’s jacket as Hanna undresses in his hotel room while estranged from his wife Justine (Diane Venora).

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Note the Canali label on Hanna’s suit jacket.

Hanna gets the tip about McCauley’s robbery while dressed in a brown-and-black micro-checked suit.  This single-breasted jacket has notch lapels with a low gorge similar to his other suits, though the low button stance is only for one button as opposed to his other two-button jackets. One-button jackets are typically most flattering for shorter men, and Al Pacino’s 5’7″ height makes him the ideal candidate to ideal from the balance of a one-button jacket.

The jacket has straight jetted hip pockets and a welted breast pocket, from which Hanna visibly hangs his LAPD badge to quickly identify his alliance—and thus avoid friendly fire—during the gunfight along South Figueroa Street. Each sleeve is finished with two buttons at the cuff. The ventless jacket has wide and heavily padded shoulders, which look even more pronounced given the then-fashionably baggy fit.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

“The suits definitely do reflect 1995 very well—the very wide shoulders, the low gorges,” observed Ken Stauffer while discussing Heat‘s costume design on Pete Brooker’s podcast From Tailors With Love. “[Pacino] kind of gets swallowed up in those Italian designer suits.”

The suit trousers have a lower rise, consistent with ’90s trending fits as the waistband still approximately meets the lower buttoning point on the jacket. Pleats and cuffs were again fashionable on trousers at this time, and Hanna’s trousers have both, with the single sets of pleats adding to the excess fabric through the suit down to the bunched-up bottoms, which are finished with turn-ups (cuffs). He holds up the trousers with a black leather belt that closes through a gold-toned square single-prong buckle.

The low rise and bunched bottoms of Hanna’s suit would have been unfortunately trendy at the time, but they may also be the byproduct of his hefting more than two pounds onto his belt in the form of the fully loaded Colt Officer’s ACP pistol, carried in a black leather Yaqui slide holster on his left side. Yaqui-style holsters are a relatively simple design, consisting of a large leather loop around the center of a handgun’s frame to secure it snugly to the wearer, worn outside-the-waistband (OWB). Hanna keeps his positioned horizontally with the grip facing forward for a right-handed cross-draw.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna reminds Justine’s one-night-stand Ralph (Xander Berkeley) of his place by keeping his holstered Colt Officer’s ACP exposed while, uh, uninstalling his TV.

While his LAPD colleagues all wear traditional business suits and ties with white, blue, and striped shirts, Vincent Hanna follows a flashier pattern of dress with dark shirts and ties. This presents an interesting costume inversion as the criminal Neil McCauley’s gray suits and white shirts are more aligned with more conventional style while Hanna’s darker suits, shirts, and ties are more traditionally associated with underworld characters; consider Robert de Niro’s costumes in Casino, released the same year as Heat.

Unless he’s wearing a black suit, Hanna typically wears black shirts made by Anto Beverly Hills, with a silky finish suggestive of either high-twist cotton, silk, or a blend; synthetic fabrics can also be made to look silky, but the prestige of Hanna’s attire would suggest he prefers higher-quality natural fabrics. The shirts are designed with point collars, button cuffs, and a plain front (no placket).

Hanna’s black tie has a low-contrast foulard pattern, which appears to be a series of dark blue lines against shadowed slate-gray triangles.

Al Pacino and Natalie Portman in Heat (1995)

After a day that saw many lives ended, Hanna does his best to save one after his anxious stepdaughter Lauren (Natalie Portman) attempts suicide in his hotel bathroom.

Anticipating some heavy action, Hanna layers a dark blue ballistic vest under his suit jacket for the downtown gunfight. Body armor like this typically consists of tightly woven “bulletproof” synthetic fibers like Kevlar to provide ballistic protection in combat by absorbing and dispersing the force of a bullet, reducing the force that is transmitted to the wearer’s body.

Hanna and his fellow officers wear vests made of two pieces—one protecting the front, another protecting the back—secured by shoulder straps and two straps around the torso.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna often wears black leather shoes as expected with his business suits, but a quick glance at his feet during the gunfight reveals a pair of black-and-gray apron-toe sneakers with flat black woven laces. I can’t find much verified information about these shoes, other than a suggested comment that they may be Nike Air Trainer SC sneakers.

Their prominence on screen suggests that the choice was intentional (especially given Michael Mann’s attention to detail), so it’s possible that Hanna keeps these more movement-oriented shoes at his office and changes into them when preparing for action.

Al Pacino and Ted Levine in Heat (1995)

Hanna dresses his left wrist with both a silver Jerusalem cross charm bracelet and his wristwatch, which Danny Hilton described last year for Hodinkee as “a period-perfect ’90s Bulgari watch that jives with his character’s off-kilter and frankly unhinged demeanor.” Like their taste in suits, Hanna’s conspicuous Bulgari contrasts against the function-driven practicality of Neal McCauley’s digital Timex Stealth. Recalling Pacino’s earlier role in Scarface, Albert Tong wrote previously for British GQ that Hanna’s Bulgari Diagono is “the kind of watch a Miami drug lord would wear diving off the back of a yacht, rather than an upstanding member of the LAPD.”

Bulgari introduced the Diagono the late 1980s, blending a sporty touch into Bulgari’s heritage of luxury. Hanna’s model is a quartz-powered chronograph, strapped to a black leather band that swells through the center. The stainless steel case includes a fixed bezel with “BVLGARI” etched across the top and bottom, with a standard crown positioned at 3 o’clock, flanked by pushers at the 2 and 4 o’clock positions. The black dial has three silver sub-registers positioned across the bottom, with a small black date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions. Each hour is indicated with non-numeric indices.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna dresses his left hand with the BVLGARI-branded chronograph and a Jerusalem cross bracelet.

On the middle finger of his right hand, Hanna wears a brass ring, shaped like an oval-faced signet ring but with an aquamarine cabochon that has a blue-starred center. The ring is etched with three lines along each side of the band.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna performs a brass check on his Colt Officer’s ACP to confirm that he has a round chambered. The method—including trigger discipline—as well as the action itself are all hallmarks of Michael Mann’s attention to realistically depicting firearms usage.

He rarely wears them elsewhere, but Hanna sports black-rimmed rectangular reading glasses when his team gets Hugh Benny’s tip about the bank job. Otherwise, his eyewear is typically a set of narrow-framed Revo sunglasses.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna also wears his usual pair of gold necklaces, including one on a narrow link-chain that has a stamped gold circular pendant.

The Guns

Beginning with his directorial debut (Thief), Michael Mann grew a deserved reputation for his meticulous attention to technical detail, including the use of firearms and his characters’ proficiency with them. For Heat, Mann brought in well-known SAS operators to instruct the respective teams in the use of their weapons—Andy McNab trained De Niro’s crew of crooks while Mick Gould worked with Pacino and his fellow cops, thus establishing distinctive styles for the gunmen on each side of the law.

Harry Lu was the lead weapons master, and the film’s weapons were rented from the L.A.-based Stembridge Gun Rentals; according to the IMFDB discussion page, some—including Hanna’s rifle for the street gunfight—may have been originally rented from Mike Papac at Cinema Weaponry until the production duration required replacements.

Over the course of Heat, Hanna cycles through his everyday Colt Officer’s ACP pistol, a heavier-duty FN FNC rifle, and a commandeered Mossberg 590 shotgun, all models that had been introduced within the previous decade or two as tactic-informed evolutions of older designs.

Colt Officer’s ACP

Lieutenant Hanna’s primary sidearm is a Colt Officer’s ACP, a scaled-down 1911-style semi-automatic pistol introduced by Colt’s Manufacturing Company in 1985. Designed for concealed carry and personal defense, the Colt M1991A1 Series 80 Officer’s ACP has a 3.5-inch barrel (as opposed to the 5″-barreled full-size 1911) and a shortened grip frame that holds a six-round magazine, to be loaded with the same .45 ACP ammunition as associated with the standard 1911 pistol. Despite its reduced size and lighter-weight aluminum alloy frame, the Colt Officer’s ACP is still a substantial weapon and can weigh more than two pounds when fully loaded. The Officer’s ACP was available in blued and stainless finishes—Hanna opts for a parkerized blued model with custom ivory grips.

One of Al Pacino’s screen-used Colt Officer’s ACP pistols from Heat, serial #CP21094. Photo sourced from Julien’s Live auction.

Though primarily marketed to civilian buyers, the Colt Officer’s ACP also saw use by some law enforcement agencies, particularly those requiring smaller armament for undercover work or off-duty carry. That said, I can’t confirm if such a weapon would have been authorized for LAPD usage. Through the ’90s, the issued sidearm for LAPD personnel was the Beretta 92F and 92FS pistol in 9mm, as exemplified by “loose cannon” LAPD detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) in the Lethal Weapon series. Given that SWAT officers carried Colt Mk IV Series 70 1911 pistols, Hanna may have argued his case to carry his own downsized 1911… or he just may not have cared what his superiors thought.

Stembridge Gun Rentals provided two Colt Officer’s ACP pistols—serial numbers CP21094 and CP21263—to be used in Heat, purchased from Colt specifically for the production and loaned out from February through July of 1995. According to a letter from Brandon Alinger of The Prop Store in London (as related by The Firearms Blog), Mann was so concerned about the possibility of seeing the barrel restrictor on film that the blank-firing adapter was threaded deeper than usual. One of the two pistols—serial number CP21094—has been auctioned several times, including most recently in April 2021 by Julien’s Live.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna stalks McCauley with his .45 cocked and ready. Note the “COMPACT MODEL” etched on the right side of the slide. (The other side says “MODEL M1991A1”).


Rightly anticipating heavy firepower when confronting McCauley’s crew during the daytime bank heist, Hanna supplements his usual pistol with an FN FNC battle rifle. The FNC was developed through the late 1970s by the Belgian manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN) was introduced in 1979 as an intended replacement for the older FN FAL.

Designed to be lightweight, reliable, and modular, the FN FNC features a gas-operated action with a rotating bolt, and is fed from a 30-round detachable STANAG box magazine, chambered for the same 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition as the venerated M16 rifle series. All with a lightweight alloy side-folding skeleton stock, the FN FNC is offered in three different standard barrel lengths: a 17.1-inch “Standard” rifle, the 14.3-inch “Short” carbine, and the 16.1-inch Law Enforcement carbines offered only in semi-automatic mode.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna takes aim with his FN FNC during a crucial moment when precision is more important than power.

The FN FNC has primarily been used by military and law enforcement agencies in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, although it has also seen limited use by some U.S. law enforcement agencies and civilian gun owners. While it is a reliable and versatile rifle, its use in the U.S. has been limited by its relatively high cost compared to other options on the market, as well as restrictions on the availability of select-fire rifles to civilians.

“According to the on-set armorer, Hanna’s rifle was a select-fire FNC (as opposed to the semi-auto only civilian version) that was chopped down by the armorer to a Para length barrel, and an M16-style birdcage flash-hider was attached,” according to IMFDB. “Despite being a full-auto weapon, Michael Mann instructed Al Pacino to fire only in semi-automatic mode, because Hanna and all of the other cops who were involved in the shootout would be concerned about the possibility of endangering bystanders.”

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna takes cover during the gunfight to reload his FN FNC.

Mossberg 590

When Neil McCauley finally feels the heat coming around the corner at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, Hanna again recognizes that he may need a heavier-duty weapon and takes a Mossberg 590 pump-action shotgun from a uniformed LAPD officer when chasing McCauley onto the LAX tarmac.

O.F. Mossberg & Sons introduced the Model 590 in 1987 as a tactical variation of the older Mossberg 590 shotgun, generally differentiated by its magazine tube that was designed to be opened at the muzzle end for simplified cleaning and maintenance. The standard Model 590 configuration loads eight-plus-one 12-gauge rounds into the tube under the 20-inch barrel, though Mossberg has evolved the Model 590 to include a range of ammunition (including .410 bore and 20-gauge), shorter 18.5″ barrels, and pistol grips.

The Mossberg 590 requisitioned by Hanna during the finale of Heat features the standard 20″ barrel length in addition to black synthetic furniture, bayonet lug, and heat shield.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Hanna chases McCauley with his shotgun.

What to Imbibe

Contrasting the undepicted substance rumored to fuel his many outbursts, Vincent Hanna takes the edge off with the help of Jack Daniel’s, the Tennessee whiskey celebrated as a favorite of Frank Sinatra, Keith Richards, and Clark Griswold’s dad. He keeps a bottle on his desk during the second day of the McCauley manhunt, but we more prominently see him drinking some—neat, of course—at the start of the movie when Justine confronts him about his late hours.

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

“I’ve got three dead bodies on a sidewalk off Venice Boulevard, Justine. I’m sorry if the goddamn…chicken…got over… cooked.”

How to Get the Look

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Unlike his colleagues, Vincent Hanna dresses more like a celebrity—or even a celebrity criminal—than a typical cop with his then-fashionably baggy Italian suits, low-contrasting dark shirts and ties, and array of jewelry that includes a luxury chronograph and a chunky ring on his shooting hand.

  • Brown-and-black mini-check Canali suit:
    • Single-breasted 1-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight jetted hip pockets, 2-button cuffs
    • Single-pleated trousers with side pockets and turn-ups/cuffs
  • Black silky shirt with point collar, plain front, and button cuffs
  • Black tonal-patterned tie
  • Black leather belt with gold-toned square single-prong buckle
  • Black leather Yaqui-style OWB slide holster, worn butt-forward on the left side
  • Black-and-gray sneakers
  • Black socks
  • Brass signet-like ring with aquamarine cabochon
  • Silver Jerusalem cross bracelet
  • Bulgari Diagono stainless steel chronograph watch with “BVLGARI”-etched fixed bezel, black dial with three silver sub-registers and date window, and black leather strap

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the movie as well as the 2022 episode of the From Tailors With Love podcast featuring my friends Pete, Ken, and Kyle discussing Heat‘s costume design.

The Quote

I’m very angry, Ralph. You know, you can borrow my wife—if she wants you to. You can lounge around here on her sofa in her ex-husband’s dead-tech, post-modernistic, bullshit house if you want to. But you do not get to watch my fucking television set!

One comment

  1. Mike

    Easter egg for all of us Michael Mann fanatics: the television set scene/quote here was something he used elsewhere earlier, in an episode of Crime Story, said by Torello (Dennis Farina) to his estranged wife’s suitor.

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