Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, affable leader of the Hole-in-the-Wall bandit gang
Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, Fall 1898
Film:Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Release Date: September 23, 1969 Director: George Roy Hill Costume Designer: Edith Head
“He speaks well and quickly, and has been all his life a leader of men; but if you asked him, he would be damned if he could tell you why,” William Goldman introduced Robert Leroy Parker in his Academy Award-winning screenplay, inspired by the true story of Parker and his partner-in-crime Harry Longabaugh… aka Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, respectively. Continue reading →
Alain Delon and Romy Schneider in La Piscine (1969)
Alain Delon as Jean-Paul Leroy, moody ad agency writer on vacation
French Riviera, Summer 1968
Film:The Swimming Pool (French title: La Piscine) Release Date: January 3, 1969 Director: Jacques Deray Costume Designer: André Courrèges
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
“Actually, I don’t care much for summer,” the glamorous sun-kissed socialite Marianne (Romy Schneider) explains, clarifying “just the in-between seasons.” As tomorrow marks the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, start finding your style for this transitional “in-between” season! Continue reading →
Philip Michael Thomas and Sonny Crockett filming “Brother’s Keeper”, the pilot episode of Miami Vice
Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo Tubbs, vengeful undercover detective
Miami, Spring 1984
Series:Miami Vice Episode: “Brother’s Keeper” (Episode 1.01) Air Date: September 16, 1984 Director: Thomas Carter Creator: Anthony Yerkovich Costume Designer: Jodie Lynn Tillen
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
This week in 1984, Miami Vice debuted on NBC, introducing us to the cooler-than-ice cops Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas). Per the detectives’ duties for the Metro-Dade Police Department’s vice division, the episodes frequently included thrilling gunfights and car chases against drug-peddling foes amidst a stylish backdrop of sleek cars, sleeker clothes, pop music, and a parade of guest stars ranging from Liam Neeson, Willie Nelson, and a young Julia Roberts to… G. Gordon Liddy.
The title of the Emmy-winning pilot episode, “Brother’s Keeper”, refers most specifically to Tubbs, a New York transplant who arrived in Miami seeking vengeance on the wily drug kingpin Calderone, who killed his brother Rafael. Despite their head-butting personalities, Tubbs joins forces with Crockett, hoping to soften the tension between them by bringing coffee and donuts onto his boat as well as the results of his own surveillance on Calderone, but Crockett informs him that “down here, you’re just another amateur.” Continue reading →
In recognition of POW/MIA Day, observed on the third Friday of September, let’s delve into one of the first major movies to shine a light on the POW experience.
William Holden as Staff Sergeant J.J. Sefton in Stalag 17 (1953)
William Holden as J.J. Sefton, USAAF Staff Sergeant and prisoner of war
“Somewhere on the Danube”, December 1944
Film:Stalag 17 Release Date: May 29, 1953 Director: Billy Wilder Wardrobe Credit: J. Allen Slone
I don’t know about you, but it always makes me sore when I see those war pictures… all about flying leathernecks and submarine patrols and frogmen and guerrillas in the Philippines. What gets me is there never was a movie about POWs… about prisoners of war.
… and so Clarence Harvey Cook (Gil Stratton) begins his narration, setting the scene for the week leading up to Christmas 1944 when he and his fellow downed colleagues discovered a potential informant—er, a “dirty stinkin’ stoolie”—in their barracks.
After two airmen are shot trying to escape, suspicion eventually falls on J.J. Sefton, the cigarette-dealing but cigar-chomping staff sergeant whose cynicism has already rendered him unpopular with most of the Americans aside from Cookie, who serves as Sefton’s unofficial batman and describes him as “one of the most unforgettable ch-characters you’ve ever met.” Continue reading →
Tom Hardy as Ricki Tarr in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Tom Hardy as Ricki Tarr, disillusioned British spy
Istanbul, Fall 1973
Film:Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Release Date: September 16, 2011 Director: Tomas Alfredson Costume Designer: Jacqueline Durran
Happy birthday to Tom Hardy, born September 15, 1977. Following his debut in Black Hawk Down (2001), Hardy’s steady work through the decade established his stardom by the time he joined the ensemble cast of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, based on John le Carré’s famous 1974 spy novel of the same name. Continue reading →
Gene Hackman as Harry Moseby in Night Moves (1975)
Gene Hackman as Harry Moseby, private detective and former professional football player
Los Angeles to New Mexico, Fall 1973
Film:Night Moves Release Date: June 11, 1975 Director: Arthur Penn Costumer: Arnie Lipin Costume Supervisor: Rita Riggs
He may wear rollnecks and drive a green ’68 Mustang, but Harry Moseby ain’t no Frank Bullitt. Five years earlier, this type of character may have been styled in the manner of the cooler-than-cool Steve McQueen archetype, but the tumultuous half-decade that passed between the production of Bullitt and Night Moves saw waves of political assassinations, civil unrest, disillusionment in Vietnam, and post-Watergate paranoia that shifted the zeitgeist to a pessimistic cynicism that permeated much of ’70s cinema.
A decade after his career with the Oakland Raiders, Harry Moseby’s best days are well behind him as he continues eking out a living as a shabby Hollywood private eye, entertaining himself by playing chess on the passenger seat of his Mustang. Continue reading →
Chaim Topol as Milos Colombo in For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Chaim Topol as Milos Colombo, gregarious smuggler and pistachio addict
St. Cyril’s, Greece, Spring 1981
Film: For Your Eyes Only Release Date: June 24, 1981 Director: John Glen Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller Wardrobe Master: Tiny Nicholls
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Continuing my commemoration of my favorite of Roger Moore’s James Bond adventures, For Your Eyes Only, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, today also marks the 86th birthday of Chaim Topol. Born September 9, 1935, the Israeli actor may be best known for his memorable performance as Tevye the Dairyman in the stage and screen versions of Fiddler on the Roof, though he also has a significance for Bond fans as 007’s charismatic ally Milos Colombo in For Your Eyes Only.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Lorenza Izzo in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, re-energized movie and TV star
Rome to Los Angeles, Summer 1969
Film: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Release Date: July 26, 2019 Director: Quentin Tarantino Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
I recently had the good fortune to rejoin my friend Peter Brooker on his excellent podcast, From Tailors With Love, joined by John Williams of James Bond Radio to talk about the style in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Tarantino’s ode to the movie industry at the close of the 1960s.
Though Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cycles through the orbit of real-life stars like Sharon Tate, Steve McQueen, the Mamas and the Papas, and James Stacy—to name just a few—the central story focuses on the dynamic between the fictional actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his best friend, the laconic stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).
The movie begins with Rick coming to terms with his “washed-up” career, his desperation leading to a meeting with talent broker Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino), who suggests spaghetti westerns as the gateway to the next phase of Rick’s career. Following Rick’s impressive performances on episodes of The F.B.I. and Lancer, Schwarz books him four back-to-back gigs in Italy, where he also meets and marries the beautiful starlet Francesca Capucci (Lorenza Izzo) as his stardom climbs to new heights. Continue reading →
Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, enigmatic millionaire and defender of Gotham
Gotham City, Fall 1989
Film:Batman Release Date: June 23, 1989 Director: Tim Burton Costume Designer: Bob Ringwood Clothes By: Giorgio Armani
Happy 70th birthday, Michael Keaton! Born September 5, 1951 just outside of Pittsburgh, Keaton rose to fame throughout the ’80s in comedies like Night Shift, Mr. Mom, and Beetlejuice before he was tapped for the titular role in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Bob Kane’s famous comics. The casting decision initially soured fans, who mailed thousands of letters to Warner Bros. in protest, but his unassuming performance quickly won over audiences and Batman became one of the top-grossing movies of 1989.
Film:Point Break Release Date: July 12, 1991 Director: Kathryn Bigelow Costume Supervisors: Colby P. Bart & Louis Infante
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Happy birthday to Keanu Reeves, born September 2, 1964. Born in Beirut, Reeves spent his childhood moving between several countries around the world, including Australia, which would later be the setting for the finale of Point Break, one of the Reeves’ first major movies and a cult favorite 30 years after its release.