Category: Western Wear

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

Advertisements

Gene Hackman’s Ranch Suit in Prime Cut

Gene Hackman as Mary Ann in Prime Cut (1972)

Gene Hackman as Mary Ann in Prime Cut (1972)

Vitals

Gene Hackman as Mary Ann, brutal “meat mobster”

Kansas City, summer 1972

Film: Prime Cut
Release Date: June 28, 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris

Background

Today, March 10, is officially National Ranch Dressing Day. What could possibly be the relevance to menswear, you ask? Well, I managed to find a connection for National Potato Day so let’s use today’s observance to explore and celebrate that oft-tragic American phenomenon, the ranch suit.

Continue reading

Casino – L.Q. Jones in Snakeskin and Corduroy

Today is the first day of my annual weeklong sojourn at the beach. I’m honored to present the first-ever contributor post at BAMF Style. Please enjoy the following submission by BAMF Style reader “W.T. Hatch”.

L.Q. Jones as County Commissioner Pat Webb in Casino (1995)

Vitals

L.Q. Jones as Pat Webb, cowboy Clark County commissioner

Las Vegas, Spring 1977

Film: Casino
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn

Background

I appreciate you taking the time to see a poor old civil servant.

In a rare moment of uncontrolled anger, Tangiers casino boss Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro) fires his slot machine manager Don Ward, accusing him of outright incompetence or collusion with a gaming scam. Don hails from an influential Las Vegas family and is the brother-in-law of powerful county commissioner Pat Webb (played by Hollywood character actor L.Q. Jones). 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 irritable 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

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

The Sundance Kid’s Brown Corded Jacket

Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Vitals

Robert Redford as Harry Longbaugh, aka “The Sundance Kid”, laconic and sharp-shooting American outlaw

Colorado, Fall 1898

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

Background

Last year, we celebrated Robert Redford’s 78th birthday (and Throwback Tuesday, which I’ve decided can be a thing) by breaking down the Sundance Kid’s traveling suit when he and Butch Cassidy pack up and head to Bolivia. This year, for Bob’s 79th, we’ll look at his main outfit leading up to that – a badass assortment of Western wear that epitomize American outlaw style at the turn of the century.

What’d He Wear?

Although the film’s audience would be hard-pressed to call either Butch or Sundance a true villain despite their criminal vocations, Sundance is certainly the darker-demeanored of the two, reflected by his attire. In Bolivia, he wears a black suit and black hat. While still conducting his banditry in the U.S., he wears all black save for a brown corduroy jacket. By default, he becomes the film’s personification of the “black-hatted outlaw” trope although his easy charm differentiates him from more villianous contemporaries like Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The one major non-black part of his American banditry outfit is the brown wide-waled corduroy jacket. The jacket looks as well-traveled as Sundance himself, providing him comfortable and surprisingly fashionable outerwear that allows a wide range of motion for a man whose job includes jumping on and off of moving trains. 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

The Sundance Kid’s Gray Wool Traveling Suit

Paul Newman, Katharine Ross, and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Paul Newman, Katharine Ross, and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Vitals

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

Colorado to Bolivia (via New York City), Spring 1901

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

Background

For Throwback Tuesday (that’s a thing, right?), BAMF Style is focusing on another BAMF hero – Robert Redford, who celebrated his 78th birthday yesterday – in the role that arguably shot his career into megastardom.

As Harry Longbaugh, alias “The Sundance Kid”, Redford played a level-headed – if pessimisitc – ying to the optimistic dreamer Butch Cassidy played by Paul Newman. Butch and the Kid were outlaws, killers, and thieves, but William Goldman’s script, George Roy Hill’s direction, and Newman and Redford’s bickering chemistry reinvented the two bandits’ image. Continue reading

Butch Cassidy in Bolivia

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Vitals

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, exiled American outlaw in Bolivia

Bolivia, November 1908

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

Background

105 years ago today, a group of scared and confused law officers surrounded a small boarding house in San Vincente, Bolivia. Inside the house were two tired American men, believed responsible for a score of robberies throughout South America over the past three years. Outside the house stood the police chief, the mayor, city officials, and three soldiers – one of whom was dead.

At 2:00 a.m., the officials heard a man screaming from inside the house. A single shot ended the screaming, soon followed by one final gunshot. These were the last shots fired in a daylong gun battle that had raged for nearly 12 hours. Under the light of the morning, the officials cautiously entered the house and found the two men dead, one of a bullet wound in the forehead and the other with a bullet wound in his temple.

There remains some doubt as to who the two men really were, but they were believed to be the thieves of a mining payroll stolen five days earlier. These thieves were better known to history, and film, as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Continue reading