Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally (1989)
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!
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 →
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
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 →
Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession (Episode 1.01: “Celebration”)
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)
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 →
Sam Shepard with Brig Gen Chuck Yeager during production of The Right Stuff (1983)
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
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.
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 Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, in X-Men (2000)
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
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 →
Left: Tyrone Power as Stan Carlisle in Nightmare Alley (1947) Right: Bradley Cooper as Stan Carlisle in Nightmare Alley (2021)
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!
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 →
Al Martino as Johnny Fontane in The Godfather (1972)
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
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 →
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!
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 →
This month marks the 30th anniversary since the wide release of Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino’s influential debut that introduced many of the director’s own cinematic trademarks and has been described as one of the greatest independent films of all time.
As we’ve come to expect from QT, Reservoir Dogs pays homage to classic noir and crime films, including Kansas City Confidential (1952), The Big Combo (1955), and—most specifically—The Killing (1956), with a plot centered around a gang of tough guys hired for a what should be a straightforward diamond heist… only to be stymied when it becomes evident that a member of their crew is an informant. Continue reading →
Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum on Magnum, P.I., Episode 1.10: “Lest We Forget”
Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, private investigator and former Navy SEAL
Hawaii, early 1980s
Series:Magnum, P.I. Episodes:
– “China Doll” (Episode 1.03, dir. Donald P. Bellisario, aired 12/18/1980)
– “Lest We Forget” (Episode 1.10, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 2/12/1981)
– “From Moscow to Maui” (Episode 2.04, dir. Michael Vejar, aired 10/29/1981)
– “Did You See the Sunrise?, Part 2” (Episode 3.02, dir. Ray Austin, aired 9/30/1982)
– “The Arrow That Is Not Aimed” (Episode 3.14, dir. James Frawley, aired 1/27/1983)
– “Paradise Blues” (Episode 4.15, dir. Bernard L. Kowalski, aired 2/9/1984)
– “On Face Value” (Episode 4.19, dir. Harry S. Laidman, aired 3/15/1984) Creator: Donald P. Bellisario & Glen Larson Costume Designer: Charles Waldo (credited with first season only) Costume Supervisor: James Gilmore
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
So the fall weather’s getting cooler but you still want to find ways to dress like Thomas Magnum? You’re in luck, you esoterically inclined person, you!
In addition to his famed aloha shirts, Hawaii’s most in-demand—and dashingly mustached—private investigator of the ’80s included a variety of short- and long-sleeved rugby shirts in his wardrobe, including one prominently featured at the end of the pivotal two-part “Did You See the Sunrise?” that kicked off Magnum, P.I.‘s third season when it aired 40 years ago tonight. Continue reading →