James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss
Newark, New Jersey, Spring 2006
Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Members Only” (Episode 6.01)
Air Date: March 12, 2006
Director: Tim Van Patten
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Fans of The Sopranos are eagerly awaiting the release of David Chase’s prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, directed by Alan Taylor and set during the late 1960s. The movie was originally scheduled for release at the end of this week, but the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the release until March 2021. While it’s too soon for me to take a full look at the style of The Many Saints of Newark, @tonysopranostyle on Instagram has been comprehensively covering many of the outfits seen on set, including those worn by Jon Bernthal as Tony Soprano’s father “Johnny Boy” Soprano and by Michael Gandolfini as a teenage version of his father’s iconic TV character.
In recognition of what would have been James Gandolfini’s 59th birthday last Friday, today’s #MafiaMonday post explores a pivotal scene from the acclaimed series’ sixth season premiere. Continue reading
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, old-fashioned Deputy U.S. Marshal
Harlan County, Kentucky, Fall 2011
Episode: “Harlan Roulette” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: January 31, 2012
Director: Jon Avnet
Creator: Graham Yost
Costume Designer: Patia Prouty
More than two years have passed since I last waxed poetic about Justified, Graham Yost’s continuation of Elmore Leonard’s stories and novels centered around Raylan Givens, a modern-day Deputy U.S. Marshal who brings old west sensibilities and style to his duties. After being criticized by his superiors for his all-too-quick—if justified—trigger finger, Raylan is reassigned to the Eastern District of Kentucky, which includes the coal-mining Harlan County where was raised and acquainted with arch-criminal Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) as well as many other colorful characters who shoot in and out of the series over its six seasons.
As we get closer to the weekend, I wanted to revisit one of my favorite moments from the series as well as Raylan’s characteristically dressed-down off-duty duds.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, eccentric and ambitious aviation and movie mogul
Los Angeles, September 1935
Film: The Aviator
Release Date: December 25, 2004
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Sandy Powell
85 years ago today on September 13, 1935, a sleek silver aircraft rocketed through the air over Santa Ana, California, at a record-breaking speed over 350 miles per hour, making four passes over Martin Field before a crash-landing that deposited its owner—one of the wealthiest and most ambitious men in America at the time—into a beet field, alive and hardly discouraged. As Howard Hughes’ colleagues ran over to extract the 29-year-old entrepreneur and aviator from the wreckage of the H-1 Racer, he hardly had his own safety in mind, issuing the command: “We can fix her, she’ll go faster!”
Pierce Brosnan as Julian Noble, tired hedonistic hitman and “magnificent cold moron”
Mexico City, Spring 2004
Film: The Matador
Release Date: December 30, 2005
Director: Richard Shepard
Costume Designer: Catherine Marie Thomas
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
After this week’s 00-7th of the month post featured the reigning James Bond wearing a light brown suede zip-up jacket, I wanted to address a different way of approaching that look from Daniel Craig’s predecessor. The Matador starred Pierce Brosnan in one of his first post-Bond roles, inverting his own suave screen image by portraying a chain-smoking, nail-painting assassin “soiling” his way through life. (And thank you to BAMF Style readers Ryan and R.M. for long ago suggesting this film for a post!)
Indeed, the porn-stached and ill-mannered killer Julian Noble shares little in common with 007 aside from his dangerous profession and a penchant for drinking. There seemed to be an ongoing campaign after Brosnan found success as Bond where filmmakers asked themselves “how debauched and despicable can we make Pierce Brosnan’s character while still making it impossible to root against him?” leading to his welcome turns in movies like The Tailor of Panama (2001), After the Sunset (2004), and The Matador (2005), playing crude, cheeky criminals drinking, smoking, and womanizing their way through the tropics.
Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government agent
Tangier, Morocco, November 2015
Release Date: October 25, 2015
Director: Sam Mendes
Costume Designer: Jany Temime
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Bond fever is heating up for the 00-7th of September in anticipation for No Time to Die, an excitement heightened by the official release last week of a new trailer and new poster that gave us another look at Daniel Craig in Bond’s black tie and assured audiences that we’ll still be seeing a release in November as scheduled.
Especially considering that Craig’s swan song (Swann song?) will be a continuation of his previous adventure as James Bond, I recently revisited Spectre. While fan reception to the 24th official film in the Bond series may have been as chilly as Bond’s trek through the Alps, I for one appreciated the assortment of versatile outfits consistent with Daniel Craig’s accessible approach to casual clothing from the start of his tenure.
One such outfit that emerged as one of the most popular (and regarding which I owe BAMF Style reader and friend Ryan an apology for this long-overdue response to his request!) was Bond’s dressed down layers upon arriving in Tangier with Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). The sequence includes many of those elements that drew me into Craig’s portrayal back when Casino Royale premiered: the smaller “life of Bond” moments with a beautiful companion, an exotic location, a bit of humor, accessible style, and the booze and weaponry that underscore what keeps 007’s life dangerous.
Cary Grant as Geoff Carter, regional airline manager and pilot
South America, Spring 1939
Film: Only Angels Have Wings
Release Date: May 15, 1939
Director: Howard Hawks
Costume Designer: Robert Kalloch
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Calling Barranca, calling Barranca…
Set in the fictional “port of call for the South American banana boats”, Only Angels Have Wings begins with the arrival of Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur), a Brooklyn musician who soon catches the eye of two American aviators, Joe (Noah Beery Jr.) and Les (Allyn Joslyn). While the daredevil duo gambles for the opportunity to take Bonnie to dinner, Cary Grant makes his swaggering introduction as Geoff Carter, a fellow pilot and manager of a regional mail carrier flying regular routes over the treacherous Andes Mountains.
Sidney Poitier as Homer Smith, helpful handyman
Arizona, Summer 1963
Film: Lilies of the Field
Release Date: October 1, 1963
Director: Ralph Nelson
Wardrobe Credit: Wesley Sherrard
“That is your car?” Mother Maria asks Homer Smith, to which he proudly corrects: “That’s my home!” With that attitude, Homer would have been well-prepared for a road trip decades later in the 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic found Americans taking to the road for their summer getaways in increased numbers said to recall the age of the mid-century “great American road trip.”
In his Academy Award-winning role, Sidney Poitier plays handyman Homer Smith, traveling through the Arizona desert when his station wagon’s dire need for water brings him to the Catholic convent overseen by the solemn Maria (Lilia Skala), who requests that the newcomer stop to assist with a roofing repair. His initial reluctant assistance leads to staying for dinner and an enthusiastic English lesson (“phonograph… record!”) to the German sisters, parlayed into spending the night camped out in the back of his Plymouth, where Mother Maria corners him the next morning and asks—er, orders—him to stay and build the nuns a chapel. Continue reading
Elliott Gould as Capt. “Trapper John” McIntyre, irreverent U.S. Army chest surgeon
Korea, Summer 1951
Release Date: January 25, 1970
Director: Robert Altman
Before there was Magnum, there was M*A*S*H, in which Elliott Gould set the “Gould standard” for effectively pairing a prolific mustache with an Aloha shirt. Robert Altman’s film was based on the then-recently published MASH: A Novel of Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker, which would in turn be adapted into a long-running TV series that would last almost four times as long as the Korean War itself.
While maverick Army doctor “Hawkeye” Pierce was arguably the central figure (and increasingly the show’s moral fiber, under Alan Alda’s creative direction), I was also fond of his cinematic sidekick, Captain “Trapper John” McIntyre as portrayed by Elliott Gould, born 82 years ago today on August 29, 1938.
Richard Gere as Julian Kaye, high-price L.A. escort
Malibu, California, Spring 1980
Film: American Gigolo
Release Date: February 8, 1980
Director: Paul Schrader
Costumer: Bernadene C. Mann
Costume Coordinator: Alice Rush
Richard Gere’s Costumes: Giorgio Armani
American Gigolo, which provided Richard Gere with his breakout role as a leading man, numbers among the many movies that felt appropriate to this year’s surreal summer. Set against the backdrop of high fashions and low tides in sun-drenched southern California, the noir-influenced circumstances that follow our hustler protagonist Julian Kaye add an increasingly eerie mood to the proceedings. Of course, being framed for murder and living through a global pandemic are two different sets of circumstances, but both make it hard to enjoy the high life no matter how beautiful one’s surroundings or wardrobe may be.
Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, laidback stoner and bowler
Los Angeles, Fall 1991
Film: The Big Lebowski
Release Date: March 6, 1998
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today would have been the 100th birthday of Japanese baseball star Kaoru Betto who, despite his talents as one of the league’s earliest power hitters, may be most recognizable to many as his likeness graces the front of Jeff Bridges’ T-shirts in Cold Feet (1989), The Fisher King (1991), and most famously in The Big Lebowski (1998).
Born in Nishinomiya on August 23, 1920, Kaoru Betto made his Nippon Professional Baseball debut as an outfielder for the Ōsaka Tigers (now the Hanshin Tigers) in 1948. After two years with the Tigers, Betto moved to play for the Mainichi Orions (now the Chiba Lotte Marines) for the team’s inaugural season in 1950. Having attained a .335 batting average and 43 home runs during that first season with the Orions and leading them to victory in the first Japan Series, Betto was awarded the Pacific League’s first NPB Most Valuable Player. Betto finished playing after the 1957 season, focusing solely on managing. “The Gentleman of Baseball” died on April 16, 1999, a year after The Big Lebowski was released.