Robert Redford as Jack Weil, smooth, cynical gambler and U.S. Navy veteran
Havana, December 1958
Release Date: December 14, 1990
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack
The new year is a time of resolutions, but instead of dropping a few hundred quid on a gym membership that will be used three times until it’s finally dropped in March, invest those dollars in a perfectly tailored dinner jacket… then resolve to find the occasion in 2017 to wear it. Whether it’s to class up a night out or just to feel confident at the grocery store, you’ll be glad you made the investment!
To illustrate the impression a great dinner jacket can make, BAMF Style is delivering a double dose of Robert Redford’s formalwear leading up to the new year. (Thursday’s post analyzed his black tie ensemble in Spy Game.) In this sequence from Havana, Jack Weil (Redford) dresses to the nines for an evening meeting with Meyer Lansky (Mark Rydell) and Joe Volpi (Alan Arkin) at one of Lansky’s casinos. Continue reading
Robert Redford as Nathan Muir, experienced CIA case officer
Berlin, Winter 1977
Film: Spy Game
Release Date: November 21, 2001
Director: Tony Scott
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Redford’s Costumer: David Page
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
When Nathan Muir is being questioned by the CIA about his history with Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt), one particular incident that receives attention is Operation Rodeo, best remembered by Muir as “the Cathcart affair” for the involvement of embassy mole Anne Cathcart (Charlotte Rampling).
Vivaldi’s “Spring” concerto from The Four Seasons, performed by Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra, cuts in as the film flashes back again to Berlin in 1977. Muir is in black tie with a glass of single malt in his hand, accompanying his “cousin” (Andrea Osvárt) to a party where the two encounter the enigmatic Ms. Cathcart. Continue reading
Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, shallow investment banker and possible serial killer
New York City, Spring 1988
Film: American Psycho
Release Date: April 14, 2000
Director: Mary Harron
Costume Designer: Isis Mussenden
Halloween approaching is a fine time to address a monster in human form like Patrick Bateman who may have been a sharp dresser (for the ’80s) but was undoubtedly a terrible human being (in any era!)
You can tell Bateman is trying his best to be seen as a classy host; he plays Phil Collins, after all! Of course, Bateman is hindered by the fact that no classy evening should ever include the words “don’t just stare at it, eat it!” Continue reading
Robert Redford as Johnny Hooker, Depression-era con artist
Chicago, September 1936
Film: The Sting
Release Date: December 25, 1973
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
To celebrate Robert Redford’s 80th birthday next week, I’m revisiting one of my favorite Redford flicks. After the incredible success of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the chemistry of Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the starring roles, both actors re-teamed four years later to play washed-up con artist Henry Gondorff (Newman) and his de facto protégé, Johnny Hooker (Redford). Continue reading
Ray Milland as Stanford White, debonair playboy architect
New York City, June 1906
Film: The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing
Release Date: October 1, 1955
Director: Richard Fleischer
Wardrobe Director: Charles Le Maire
Tomorrow is the 110th anniversary of the famous Madison Square Garden shooting of architect Stanford White by the deranged Harry Kendall Thaw, one of the first of many incidents dubbed as “The Trial of the Century” by contemporary reporters due to the juicy scandal embellished by manipulative millionaires and illicit sex.
On June 25, 1906, the psychotic Thaw was escorting his wife, actress and artists’ model Evelyn Nesbit, to the premiere performance of Mam’zelle Champagne at Madison Square Garden’s rooftop theater. Nesbit, renowned for her beauty as the archetypical “Gibson Girl”, had married Thaw the previous year despite his violent and manipulative desire to control her. One of Thaw’s most tenacious provocations was the subject of Stanford White, Nesbit’s former lover and the man who had – in Thaw’s eyes – robbed her of her virtue. Continue reading
Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolf, problem solver
Los Angeles, Summer 1992
Film: Pulp Fiction
Release Date: October 14, 1994
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann
I’m Winston Wolf. I solve problems.
Last Friday, Harvey Keitel turned 77 years old, a birthday that was almost certainly celebrated by Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino has stated that “Harvey had been my favorite actor since I was 16 years old,” so he penned the character of criminal fixer Winston Wolf – and according to the screenplay, it is Wolf and not Wolfe – specifically for Keitel. Two years earlier, the actor’s involvement in Reservoir Dogs as the pragmatic career criminal “Mr. White” helped shoot Q.T. onto the map of filmmakers to watch. The Wolf may have also been a nod to Keitel’s role as Victor, the ruthlessly efficient “cleaner” in 1993’s Point of No Return. Continue reading
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Isaac “Ike” Evans, tough and shrewd hotel owner
Miami Beach, January 1959
Series: Magic City
Episodes: “The Year of the Fin” (Episode 1.01), “Castles Made of Sand” (Episode 1.03), & “Crossroads” (Episode 2.04)
Air Dates: March 30, 2012 (Episode 1.01), April 20, 2012 (Episode 1.03), & July 12, 2013 (Episode 2.04)
Directors: Carl Franklin (Episode 1.01) & Ed Bianchi (Episode 1.03 & 2.04)
Creator: Mitch Glazer
Costume Designer: Carol Ramsey
For two seasons, Magic City presented the abundantly stylish saga of the Evans family and the Miramar Playa, telling a compelling story beneath the elegant late ’50s aesthetic of long-finned cars, sharp-suited men and tightly-dressed bombshells, and ubiquitous cocktails and cigarettes. Continue reading
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, mysterious and award-winning Madison Avenue ad man
Ossining, New York, Spring 1960
Series: Mad Men
Episode: “5G” (Episode 1.05)
Air Date: August 16, 2007
Director: Lesli Linka Glatter
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
Happy birthday to Jon Hamm, born today in 1971!
While Jon is celebrating his birthday, Don Draper also had a reason to celebrate in “5G” after winning the Newkie(?) award. Although Don is dubious about his own achievements, Betty (January Jones) is very proud of him. Don had reason for concern, though, as his photo in Advertising Age gets him some unwanted attention. Continue reading
Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas, heroin kingpin
Harlem, Summer 1971
Film: American Gangster
Release Date: November 2, 2007
Director: Ridley Scott
Costume Designer: Janty Yates
Tailor: Leonard Logsdail
For BAMF Style, the week leading up to Valentine’s Day always means a Week of Weddings, focusing on how some of the greatest on-screen tough guys dress up for their big day.
American Gangster depicts the rise and fall of heroin trafficker Frank Lucas and his disputed claims of smuggling dope home in the caskets of American servicemen who had died during the Vietnam War. He meets the Puerto Rican beauty queen Eva (her real name was Julianna) at his nightclub, and the two are soon married. Continue reading
Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, cynical “gin joint” manager and former arms dealer
Casablanca, Morocco, December 1941
Release Date: November 26, 1942
Director: Michael Curtiz
Although remembered today as one of the greatest romances to grace the screen, the Los Angeles Times‘s Bob Strauss was most accurate when he declared Casablanca a “near-perfect entertainment balance” of comedy, romance, and suspense. In fact, the movie has become so engrained as a romance classic that few recall just how badass it actually is.
Take the leading male: Rick Blaine. Played by Humphrey Bogart (which already lends plenty of BAMF credibility), Rick is more cynical than any of the private eyes that Bogie ever played on screen. He owns a bar with an illegal gambling den and maintained a successful side racket of running guns to Ethiopia, in addition to packing his own pistol on most occasions.
When Ilsa, the love of his life, walks back into his bar after nearly two years, he takes to the bottle… and he does so with gusto. The bitter Rick refuses to help Ilsa’s crusading resistance leader husband, to which she responds by drawing her own gun. After sorting out conflicted feelings, old flames, and a bullet or two in the gut of a Nazi, Rick finally manages to find closure with his old love while paving the way for further shady business ventures. The end.
With just over a week left until Valentine’s Day, Rick Blaine provides a classic, dapper look sure to make your special lady swoon on this most hated of holidays. Good luck, fellas. Continue reading