Category: Throwback

Sidney Reilly’s 1920s Black Lounge

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 10: "The Trust")

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 10: “The Trust”)

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly, shrewd anti-Bolshevik and former British agent

New York City and London, Fall 1924

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “The Trust” (Episode 10)
Air Date: November 2, 1983
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Throwback Thursday is always a great opportunity for BAMF Style to revisit Reilly: Ace of Spies, the fictionalized miniseries that depicts the life of Sidney Reilly, an early 20th century master of deception. This post will examine Reilly’s frequent wearing of black lounge, a semi-formal day dress known in the U.S. as a “stroller”. Black lounge makes quite a few appearances in the latter episodes, first seen for Reilly’s day in London court in “After Moscow” (Episode 9) and, finally, during his third and final wedding in “The Last Journey” (Episode 11).

The tenth episode, “The Trust”, finds erstwhile government agent Reilly in New York City, desperately trying to finance his friend Boris Savinkov’s anti-Boleshevik movement. Part of Reilly’s fundraising includes selling off his vast collection of antiques, art, and priceless Napoleona… all while being courted by a secretive Russian organization known as The Trust. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Corduroy Suit in Manchuria

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 2: "Prelude to War")

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 2: “Prelude to War”)

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly, shrewd Russian-born British government triple agent

Port Arthur, China (then Manchuria), February 1904

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “Prelude to War” (Episode 2)
Air Date: September 7, 1983
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Today’s Throwback Tuesday installment throws us all the way back to February 1904 on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War. According to Reilly: Ace of Spies, the newly minted Sidney Reilly is stationed in Port Arthur, Manchuria, ostensibly under the cover of a shipping agent but secretly working with the Japanese military developing their plans for a sneak attack to take the port away from the Russians. Reilly is shown to be a cold pragmatist, working with Japan against his better judgement and dispassionate regarding his poor wife, Margaret (Jeananne Crowley), whom he had married three years earlier after the mysterious* death of her clergic husband.

* Reverend Hugh Thomas’s death was even more mysterious in real life, with many suspecting that Reilly posed as a doctor in order to poison the clergyman.

Continue reading

Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday – Gray Western Suit

Kirk Douglas as John "Doc" Holliday in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957).

Kirk Douglas as John “Doc” Holliday in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957).

Vitals

Kirk Douglas as John “Doc” Holliday, hot-tempered gambler, gunslinger, and ex-dentist

Tombstone, AZ, October 1881

Film: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Release Date: May 30, 1957
Director: John Sturges
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Today would have been the 165th birthday of Doc Holliday, the erstwhile dentist who shot to Old West superstardom after his involvement with the Earp brothers during the infamous 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, immortalized on film in the appropriately-named Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and Tombstone (1993). Continue reading

Peaky Blinders – Tommy’s Gray Striped Flannel Suit

Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby on the third episode of Peaky Blinders.

Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby on the third episode of Peaky Blinders.

Vitals

Cillian Murphy as Thomas “Tommy” Shelby, cunning Peaky Blinders gang leader and jaded WWI veteran

Gloucestershire, England, Fall 1919

Series: Peaky Blinders
Episodes: Episodes 1.03 – 1.05
Air Dates: September 26, 2013 – October 10, 2013
Directors: Otto Bathurst (Episode 1.03) & Tom Harper (Episode 1.04 & 1.05)
Creator: Steven Knight
Costume Designer: Stephanie Collie
Tailor: Keith Watson

Background

While many will be celebrating their Irish heritage this week (whether it exists or not), fans of Peaky Blinders may be interested to know that tomorrow marks the beginning of the Cheltenham Festival, the prestigious annual four-day meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar that finds many of the best British and Irish-trained horses racing against the backdrop of the excited crowd’s “Cheltenham roar”. Continue reading

John Shelby’s Glen Plaid Suit for Peaky Blinders’ Gypsy Wedding

Joe Cole as John Shelby on Peaky Blinders (Ep. 1.04, 2013).

Joe Cole as John Shelby on Peaky Blinders (Ep. 1.04, 2013).

Vitals

Joe Cole as John Shelby, impulsive Peaky Blinder gang member

Birmingham, England, September 1919

Series: Peaky Blinders
Episode: Episodes 1.04
Air Date: October 3, 2013
Director: Tom Harper
Creator: Steven Knight
Costume Designer: Stephanie Collie

Background

Week of Weddings continues with a look from BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders. In the fourth episode, the Shelby brothers gather the Peaky Blinders for what ostensibly seems like an attack on the rival gypsy Lee family. John, the hotheaded younger brother of gang leaders Tommy and Arthur, has recently come to his family requesting their blessing to marry the neighborhood’s most prolific prostitute. The Lees, on the other side of town, have a girl that’s “gone a bit wild”. Tommy sees the opportunity here to end things without blood. (Not including the blood symbolically drawn from each new spouse’s hand.)

On the morning of the big showdown, John shows up especially itching for a fight… until Tommy pins a boutonniere on John’s left lapel and directs him to his new wife Esme. Continue reading

Joe Kidd’s Tweed Suit

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd in Joe Kidd (1972).

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd in Joe Kidd (1972).

Vitals

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd, laconic hunter and former bounty hunter

New Mexico, Spring 1902

Film: Joe Kidd
Release Date: July 14, 1972
Director: John Sturges

Background

Penned by Elmore Leonard, Joe Kidd is a unique revisionist Western starring Clint Eastwood as the titular ex-bounty hunter who finds himself reluctantly hired to join a posse tracking down a group of Mexican revolutionaries fighting for land reform.

Although the Joe Kidd character could be interchanged with any of Eastwood’s usual taciturn and iron-willed Western heroes (not that he’s any less entertaining for it!), the movie benefits from its interesting and oft-ignored setting and context as well as the usual Elmore Leonard touch of an array of unique characters populating the film’s world.

At the outset, Joe is locked up in the small town of Sinola, New Mexico as he awaits his trial for poaching. When he is asked if he knew it was illegal to hunt on reservation land, Joe responds:

Well the deer didn’t know where he was, and I wasn’t sure either.

What’d He Wear?

Audiences had become well-acquainted with the sight of Clint Eastwood’s familiar “Man With No Name” guise in Westerns, so it must have caught many audiences off-guard when Joe Kidd is first introduced in a suit – albeit, a raggedly worn one after his night in the slammer. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Hunting Jacket

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in "Dreadnaughts and Crosses", Episode 5 of Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983).

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in “Dreadnaughts and Crosses”, Episode 5 of Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983).

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly, Russian-born adventurer and British secret agent

Russia, Spring 1910

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “Dreadnoughts and Crosses” (Episode 5)
Air Date: September 28, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

St. Petersburg is a hotbed of intrigue in the years leading up to World War I and the Russian Revolution. The English and the Germans are among those vying for inevitably valuable warship contracts from the Russian Ministry of Marine.

Ever the shrewd opportunist, Sidney Reilly finds himself in the right place at the right time and decides to forego the usual channels of submitting battleship plans. Instead, he slyly gambles against a brutish shipping executive who finds himself indebted to Reilly, thus handing a controlling stake in his firm to our hero. At the same time, Reilly has busied himself in a romance with the Minister of Marine’s lovely wife Nadia (Celia Gregory).

The events of the spring culminate in a pig hunting trip where Reilly joins the Minister, Nadia, and his cheeky pal Sasha Gramaticoff for an afternoon of angry swine and loaded revolvers. Continue reading