Category: Old West City Suit

John Wayne in The Shootist – J.B. Books’ Lounge Suit

To commemorate the 39th anniversary of the legendary John Wayne’s passing on June 11, 1979, please enjoy this submission from the estimable pen of BAMF Style reader and contributor “W.T. Hatch.”

John Wayne as J.B. Books in The Shootist (1976)

John Wayne as J.B. Books in The Shootist (1976)

Vitals

John Wayne as John Bernard Books, aging gunfighter

Carson City, Nevada, January 1901

Film: The Shootist
Release Date: August 20, 1976
Director: Don Siegel
Wardrobe Credit: Luster Bayless

Background

I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.

The Shootist was John Wayne’s final movie role and no actor, before or since, had a more fitting last appearance on the silver screen. Wayne plays John Bernard “J.B.” Books, the most “celebrated shootist extant,” in turn-of-the-century Carson City, Nevada. The film opens with a montage from the Duke’s earlier pictures providing Books’ background as a gunman and occasional lawman in the Old West. Now the last of his kind, Books travels to Carson City seeking assistance from his physician in what may be his final battle against cancer. This deeply compelling story is revealed as Books confronts the consequences of both his life and his own pending mortality. Continue reading

The Sundance Kid’s Charcoal Dress Suit

Robert Redford as Harry “the Sundance Kid” Longbaugh in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Harry Longbaugh, aka “The Sundance Kid”, American outlaw

New York City to Bolivia, Spring 1901

Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

For Western Wednesday, BAMF Style is taking a look at one of the most classic and unique films in the genre, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

The film is loosely based on the true story of the turn-of-the-century outlaws who fled to South America after their gang, the Wild Bunch, was broken up by the long arm of the law. William Goldman’s witty, engaging screenplay became a hot commodity in Hollywood once studio execs warmed up to the idea of its Old West heroes fleeing. A veritable “who’s who” of the era’s most popular actors were considered for the titular leading roles before Paul Newman and Robert Redford were cast, cementing their place in film history as one of the most dynamic buddy duos to hit the screen. 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

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

Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday – Charcoal 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

Friday’s post focused on Raylan Givens, the dark-suited U.S. Marshal who would’ve been more at home in the Old West rather than the era of cell phones, electric cars, and Bieber. In fact, Raylan would have fit in perfectly 134 years ago today as Doc Holliday joined the Earps for their long walk toward the O.K. Corral and a showdown that would engrain them in western lore.

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, as it became known, became a pop culture phenomenon almost instantly. Dime books, paintings, and sketches romanticized the showdown for half a century until 1934’s Frontier Marshal incorporated the events into it largely fictional showdown between fearless lawman Michael Wyatt (George O’Brien) and local crime boss Doc Warren. Half a dozen films and more than two decades later, filmmakers finally came close to getting the names and events straight with the 1957 film Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, directed by John Sturges and starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, respectively. Continue reading

Col. Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More

An Italian poster for For a Few Dollars More (1965), featuring Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Douglas Mortimer.

An Italian poster for For a Few Dollars More (1965), featuring Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Douglas Mortimer.

Vitals

Lee Van Cleef as Douglas Mortimer, taciturn Old West bounty hunter and former U.S. Army Colonel

El Paso, Fall 1873

Film: For a Few Dollars More
Release Date: November 18, 1965
Director: Sergio Leone
Costume Designer: Carlo Simi

Background

Where life had no value, death, sometimes, had its price.

That is why the bounty hunters appeared.

…is how For a Few Dollars More introduces itself after blazing onto the screen, underlined by yet another iconic Ennio Morricone score. Clint Eastwood returns to the Sergio Leone spaghetti western scene as one of these bounty hunters, a laconic loner referred to only as “Manco”. While his dress and demeanor would imply that this was the same character he portrayed in A Fistful of Dollars the previous year, a lawsuit actually prevented Leone from using Eastwood’s “Joe” character from that film. Thus, the “Man with No Name” was born more out of legal necessity than artistic intention. Continue reading

William Holden in The Wild Bunch

William Holden as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1969).

William Holden as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1969).

Vitals

William Holden as Pike Bishop, grizzled bandit gang leader

Coahuila, Mexico, Spring 1913

Film: The Wild Bunch
Release Date: June 18, 1969
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Costume Designer: James R. Silke

Background

We’ve got to start thinking beyond our guns. Those days are closing fast.

…is what Pike Bishop wisely tells his men, an aging group of outlaws still anachronistically robbing banks and trains on horseback with a six-shooter on their hips. Pike knows the times are changing, and it doesn’t take a water-cooled machine gun or a Mexican general’s Packard to drive the point home to them.

Today would have been the 97th birthday of William Holden, who starred in classics like Sunset BoulevardStalag 17SabrinaThe Bridge on the River Kwai before taking on the role of the anachronistically self-aware Pike Bishop. Holden was one of many actors considered by Sam Peckinpah for the role; Lee Marvin had actually been cast but then turned it down to accept the higher-paying lead in Paint Your Wagon. It turned out well for Holden, who developed the character into one of the greatest movie badasses of all time… as even that sterling news source MTV agreed. Continue reading