Bull Durham: Kevin Costner’s Green Bomber Jacket

Kevin Costner as Crash Davis in Bull Durham

Kevin Costner as Crash Davis in Bull Durham (1988)

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Kevin Costner as Lawrence “Crash” Davis, minor league baseball catcher

North Carolina, Spring and Summer 1987

Film: Bull Durham
Release Date: June 15, 1988
Director: Ron Shelton
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley

Background

Tonight is game 1 of the World Series! One of my favorite baseball movies, Bull Durham, shines a light on Minor League Baseball, based on writer and director Ron Shelton’s own experiences as a Minor League infielder.

When not following the national pastime and registry discussions out on the baseball diamond, the extremely quotable Bull Durham follows a romantic triangle with “Church of Baseball” groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) balancing her seductions between the Durham Bulls’ rookie pitcher Ebby “Nuke” LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) and catcher Crash Davis (Kevin Costner), a veteran with 12 years in the minor leagues who’s been recruited onto the team to help temper LaLoosh’s wild pitching. (Crash’s name was inspired by real-life second baseman Lawrence “Crash” Davis, who played for the Durham Bulls in the late 1940s and befriended Shelton after the production.) Continue reading

Christopher Lee as Dracula

Christopher Lee as Dracula in Horror of Dracula (1958)

Christopher Lee as Dracula in Horror of Dracula (1958)

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Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, debonair and deadly vampire

Transylvania, Spring 1885

Film: Dracula, aka Horror of Dracula
Release Date: May 7, 1958
Director: Terence Fisher
Wardrobe Credit: Molly Arbuthnot

Background

With less than a week until Halloween, I was inspired by a request from BAMF Style reader Jonathan last month to bite into the Hammer horror films, specifically Christopher Lee’s iconic debut as Count Dracula in the 1958 adaptation of Dracula, also released as Horror of Dracula in the United States to avoid confusion with the 1931 movie starring Bela Lugosi.

Lee makes the most of his scant seven minutes of screen-time, speaking only sixteen lines for the entirety but re-establishing Bram Stoker’s famous vampire as a tragic romantic anti-hero, albeit still the embodiment of evil that Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen) and Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) seek to destroy. Continue reading

When Harry Met Sally: Harry’s Tweed Sports Coat

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally (1989)

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Billy Crystal as Harry Burns, sarcastic political consultant and recent divorcée

New York City, Fall 1987

Film: When Harry Met Sally…
Release Date: July 14, 1989
Director: Rob Reiner
Costume Designer: Gloria Gresham

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today being my wedding day (congratulations to me!) feels like an appropriate time to revisit the style of one of my favorite romantic comedies, When Harry Met Sally. In addition to being a famously great fall movie, Rob Reiner’s chronicle of enemies-becoming-friends-becoming-lovers also demonstrates a surprising parade of great autumnal menswear, from Billy Crystal’s cozy sweaters to military surplus jackets. Continue reading

The Electric Horseman: Robert Redford’s Denim Western Style

Robert Redford in The Electric Horseman (1979)

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Robert Redford as Norman “Sonny” Steele, championship rodeo rider-turned-cowboy cereal spokesman

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, Fall 1978

Film: The Electric Horseman
Release Date: December 21, 1979
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack

Background

I’ve been feeling romantic leading up to my wedding this weekend, so today’s fall-inspired fashions come by way of The Electric Horseman, Robert Redford’s fifth collaboration with director Sydney Pollack.

Redford plays Sonny Steele, the eponymous equestrian and former rodeo champion turned cynical after selling out to hock cereal touted as “a champ’s way to start a better day!” Continue reading

Succession: Logan Roy’s Birthday Party Style

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession (Episode 1.01: “Celebration”)

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Brian Cox as Logan Roy, media mogul and domineering patriarch

New York, Fall 2018

Series: Succession
Episode: “Celebration” (Episode 1.01)
Air Date: June 3, 2018
Director: Adam McKay
Creator: Jesse Armstrong
Costume Designer: Catherine George (Pilot episode only)

Background

The third season of Succession premiered a year ago today, and many—including yours truly—still eagerly await the return of this deliciously profane HBO series that satirizes the culture of unscrupulous wealth in corporate America via the fictional Roy family, a dysfunctional dynasty fighting for control of the global entertainment conglomerate started by the aging patriarch, Logan. Brian Cox has received much deserved acclaim for his performance as the manipulative, tyrannical Logan Roy, said to be partially inspired by real-life media magnates like Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.

Succession begins on Logan’s 80th birthday, and while the brusque business mogul is hardly the type to celebrate with balloons and cake, he’s still having a party in his honor, hosted by his third wife Marcia (Hiam Abbass). The party gives us an opportunity to meet the offspring constantly vying for either control of the company, their toxic father’s affection, or the supremely unfeasible combination of both. Continue reading

The Right Stuff: Sam Shepard’s Flight Jacket as Chuck Yeager

Sam Shepard with Brig Gen Chuck Yeager during production of The Right Stuff (1983)

Sam Shepard with Brig Gen Chuck Yeager during production of The Right Stuff (1983)

Vitals

Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager, record-setting U.S. Air Force test pilot

Murac Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), Kern County, California, from fall 1947 to summer 1961

Film: The Right Stuff
Release Date: October 21, 1983
Director: Philip Kaufman
Costume Supervisor: James W. Tyson

Background

Today marks the 75th anniversary of when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, piloting a rocket-propelled Bell X-1 aircraft—named Glamorous Glennis, after his wife—over the Mojave Desert at a speed greater than Mach 1. The event is depicted at the start of The Right Stuff, Philip Kaufman’s 1983 flight epic based on Tom Wolfe’s nonfiction book of the same name, chronicling the pivotal early years of American aeronautics between Yeager’s supersonic achievement and the conclusion of the successful Project Mercury manned space missions.

Continue reading

Hugh Jackman’s Leather Jacket as Wolverine in X-Men

I’m again pleased to present a guest post contributed by my friend Ken Stauffer, who has written several pieces for BAMF Style previously and chronicles the style of the Ocean’s film series on his excellent Instagram account, @oceansographer.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men (2000)

Hugh Jackman as Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, in X-Men (2000)

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Hugh Jackman as Logan a.k.a Wolverine, itinerant and amnesiac cage-fighter and part-time superhero

Northern Alberta, Canada and Westchester, New York, in the not too distant future

Film: X-Men
Release Date: July 15, 2000
Director: Bryan Singer
Costume Designer: Louise Mingenbach

Background

Happy Birthday to Hugh Jackman! The charismatic Australian song-and-dance man turns 54 today.

Earlier this month, Ryan Reynolds broke the Internet with his announcement that Hugh would be strapping on the claws to play Wolverine once more in Deadpool III. Despite his repeated declarations that James Mangold’s Logan in 2017 would be his last dance with the character, it seems he just couldn’t say no to the prospect of reprising the role that made him famous. Continue reading

Nightmare Alley: Comparing Carlisle’s Cardigans in 1947 vs. 2021

Left: Tyrone Power as Stan Carlisle in Nightmare Alley (1947)
Right: Bradley Cooper as Stan Carlisle in Nightmare Alley (2021)

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Tyrone Power (1947) and Bradley Cooper (2021) as Stanton “Stan” Carlisle, opportunistic drifter-turned-carny

Rural Kentucky, Summer into fall 1939

Film: Nightmare Alley
Release Date: October 9, 1947
Director: Edmund Goulding
Costume Designer: Bonnie Cashin

Film: Nightmare Alley
Release Date: December 17, 2021
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Costume Designer: Luis Sequeira

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Almost immediately after William Lindsay Gresham published his 1946 novel Nightmare Alley chronicling the grifters, geeks, and gals populating a second-rate sideshow, Tyrone Power asked 20th Century Fox studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck to purchase the film rights.

Power had built his swashbuckling screen image in movies like The Mask of Zorro (1940), Blood and Sand (1941), and The Black Swan (1942), but—as so many had—returned from his World War II service as a changed man. The decorated Lieutenant Power was released from Marine Corps active duty in January 1946 and, after flying dangerous transport missions during the war, sought roles that would expand his image beyond the romantic hero he had established.

Director Edmund Goulding helmed the production that brought Gresham’s creepy carnival world to life via a working carnival constructed on ten acres of the Fox back lot, even employing actual carnies and more than 100 sideshow attractions to add verisimilitude. The talented cast also included Joan Blondell, appropriately appearing about fifteen years beyond her Warner Brothers heyday as she deliciously dives into the role of the washed-up tarot reader “Mademoiselle Zeena” whom the unscrupulous Stanton Carlisle manipulates into revealing the trick to her successful mentalist act. The married Zeena allows herself to fall for Carlisle’s romantic advances despite being married to her alcoholic stage partner Pete (Ian Keith) and Carlisle’s own obvious interest in the ingenue Molly (Coleen Gray).

Nightmare Alley premiered 75 years ago today on October 9, 1947, with Power’s performance lauded by critics like James Agee, who noted for Time that he “steps into a new class as an actor,” playing against type as Carlisle.

The Nightmare Alley story was recently revived for Guillermo del Toro’s re-adaptation of the novel, reinstating some of the darker components to blend Gothic horror with the noir-ish elements that were also present in Goulding’s film. Released in December 2021, del Toro’s Oscar-nominated Nightmare Alley featured a star-studded cast led by Bradley Cooper as Carlisle, Toni Collette as Zeena, Rooney Mara as Molly, David Strathairn as Pete, and Cate Blanchett as Dr. Lilith Ritter, the mysterious femme fatale who Carlisle meets after escaping the carnival world and re-establishing himself as the debonair mentalist “The Great Stanton”. Continue reading

The Godfather: Johnny Fontane’s Cream Silk Suit

Al Martino as Johnny Fontane in The Godfather (1972)

Al Martino as Johnny Fontane in The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

Al Martino as Johnny Fontane, down-on-his-luck crooner

Long Island, New York, Summer 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 14, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Today in 1927, Al Martino was born in Philadelphia to two Italian immigrants from Abruzzo, the same southern Italian region from which much of my family hails. Following his U.S. Navy service during World War II, the singer began earnestly following his career in entertainment. Twenty years after his first single, “Here in My Heart”, reached #1 in the U.S. Billboard and UK Singles charts, Martino joined the cast of The Godfather as Johnny Fontane, an Italian-American crooner whose early career parallels that of Martino’s contemporary Frank Sinatra. Continue reading

Dr. No: Bond’s Gray Mohair Suit and Walther in Jamaica

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No (1962)

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Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated and resourceful British government agent

Morgan’s Harbour, Jamaica, Spring 1962

Film: Dr. No
Release Date: October 5, 1962
Director: Terence Young
Wardrobe Master: John Brady
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

With the release of Dr. No sixty years ago today, October 5 has since been immortalized as Global James Bond Day in commemoration of when Sean Connery first uttered that now-iconic character introduction:

Bond. James Bond.

Dr. No had actually been Ian Fleming’s sixth novel featuring the worldly secret agent, set primarily in Jamaica as he penned the novel from his Jamaican estate Goldeneye. The author had tired of the character and left Bond’s fate somewhat ambiguous at the end of his previous novel From Russia With Love, though ultimately choosing that the agent would live to die another day and beginning Dr. No with 007’s recovery from the poison inflicted by the sharp-shoed Rosa Klebb.

Back to relatively full health, Bond finds his punishment in the form of a simple assignment meant to ease him back into duty (and possibly penalize him for letting his guard down), investigating the disappearance of a station chief and his secretary in Jamaica. There, Bond learns that the late chief had been investigating an eccentric recluse with the equally eccentric name of Doctor Julius No (Joseph Wiseman). With the help of his CIA buddy Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) and local contact Quarrel (John Kitzmiller), Bond ultimately determines that he and his newly issued Walther owe the good bad doctor a long-overdue visit. Continue reading