Tagged: 1920s

The Quiet Man: John Wayne’s Tweed Jacket

John Wayne as Sean Thornton in The Quiet Man (1952)

John Wayne as Sean Thornton in The Quiet Man (1952)

Vitals

John Wayne as Sean Thornton, Irish-American former prizefighter

Inisfree, Ireland, spring during the 1920s

Film: The Quiet Man
Release Date: July 21, 1952
Director: John Ford
Costume Designer: Adele Palmer

Background

John Ford’s cinematic love letter to his ancestral home remains a perennial St. Patrick’s Day favorite, even if it is a somewhat overly sanitized depiction of Irish life in the 1920s. As Duke’s outfit from The Quiet Man has been requested by at least three different BAMF Style readers over the last few years, I couldn’t imagine a better time to feature it than on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Based on a 1933 short story by Maurice Walsh, The Quiet Man stars Ford’s favorite actor John Wayne as Sean Thornton, a former boxer from Pittsburgh who is returning home to reclaim his family’s land in Ireland. Continue reading

Leo’s Charcoal Jacket and Gray Flannels in Miller’s Crossing

Albert Finney as Leo O'Bannon in Miller's Crossing (1990)

Albert Finney as Leo O’Bannon in Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Vitals

Albert Finney as Liam “Leo” O’Bannon, Irish Mob-connected political boss

Upstate New York, Fall 1929

Film: Miller’s Crossing
Release Date: September 21, 1990
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Following an assassination attempt that he foiled with his Thompson artistry, small-town political boss Leo O’Bannon summons his troops to his office. One of said troops, Hammett-esque anti-hero Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne) uses the opportunity to earn the ire of his boss by revealing his affair with Leo’s main squeeze, Verna (Marcia Gay Harden).

Continue reading

Nucky Thompson’s Charcoal Brown Windowpane Suit

Steve Buscemi and Kelly Macdonald on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 1.09: "Belle Femme")

Steve Buscemi and Kelly Macdonald on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 1.09: “Belle Femme”)

Vitals

Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, corrupt Atlantic City politician and bootlegger

Atlantic City, January 1920

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Seasons: 1 – 2
Air Dates: September 19, 2010 – December 11, 2011
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
Tailor: Martin Greenfield

Background

In less than two hours, liquor will be declared illegal by decree of the distinguished gentlemen of our nation’s congress… to those beautiful ignorant bastards!

In the first episode of Boardwalk Empire, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson raises a glass to toast the ratification of the Volstead Act, a constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States, effective at midnight on January 16, 1920, exactly 98 years ago today. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Gray Shawl-Collar Cardigan

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

Long Island, 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

Following his trial in absentia for plotting against the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution, British agent Sidney Reilly (Sam Neill) has been living in exile in New York, feverishly plotting an anti-Bolshevik invasion of Russia to be led by his comrade Boris Savinkov. Continue reading

Scarface (1932) – Tony’s Fancy Basketweave Suit

Paul Muni as Tony Camonte in Scarface (1932)

Paul Muni as Tony Camonte in Scarface (1932)

Vitals

Paul Muni as Tony Camonte, ruthless Italian-born bootlegger and mob enforcer

Chicago, Summer 1927

Film: Scarface
Release Date: April 9, 1932
Director: Howard Hawks

Background

I’m wrapping up what turned out to be a week focused on classic gangster style with a look at one of my favorite mob movies, the original Scarface released in 1932. Both the film and its source novel of the same name by Armitage Trail (Maurice R. Coons) were undoubtedly inspired by the rise and fall of Chicago kingpin Al Capone, who reportedly grew to love the film so much that the owned his own print of it.

Tony Camonte’s rise through the underworld is depicted by a Thompson submachine gun blowing through the pages of a calendar, stopping somewhere around Friday, August 26, for the action to begin. (August 26 fell on a Friday in 1927 and 1932; as the events that inspired the film occurred throughout the 1920s and production wrapped in mid-1931, it’s safe to assume that this scene picks up the action around the late summer of 1927. Anyway…)

Spectacularly attired in a bold new suit, Tony runs into Poppy (Karen Morley), his boss’s platinum blonde moll, who is getting a little warmer to Tony’s form after his repeated attempts at seduction. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Blue Argyle Sweater

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 11: "The Last Journey")

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 11: “The Last Journey”)

Vitals

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

London, Fall 1925

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “The Last Journey” (Episode 11)
Air Date: November 9, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Sidney Reilly is just settling into life with his latest – and final – wife, the glamorous actress Nelly “Pepita” Bobadilla (Laura Davenport), when he is visited by Georgi and Maria Schulz, the Soviet double agents who have come to ensure him of his safe passage through Russia to meet with The Trust. Continue reading

The Untouchables: Ness’ Leather Jacket

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987)

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987)

Vitals

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, honest and intrepid federal agent

Canadian border, September 1930

Film: The Untouchables
Release Date: June 3, 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance
Wardrobe: Giorgio Armani

Background

Eliot Ness joins the other “untouchables” on an action-packed mission to the Canadian border following a tip that Al Capone would be importing a shipment of booze. With the help of the Mounties who aren’t yet versed in “the Chicago way”, Ness and his band of three are able to successfully halt the shipment and get their hands on a nervous informant who’s willing to talk… once he stops “muckin’ with the G here,” of course.

The mission comes at the expense of Ness having to take a life in the line of duty. Following some counseling from his cop buddy Jim Malone (“He’s as dead as Julius Caesar… would you rather it was you?”), Ness is able to absolve himself of his guilt and returns home to discover that his wife has given birth to their son. Continue reading