Tagged: 1920s

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

Nucky Thompson’s Charcoal Striped Credits Suit

Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson in the first episode of Boardwalk Empire.

Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson in the first episode of Boardwalk Empire.

Vitals

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

Atlantic City, January 1920

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episodes:
– “Boardwalk Empire” (Episode 1.01, dir. Martin Scorsese, aired September 19, 2010)
– “The Ivory Tower” (Episode 1.02, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired September 26, 2010)
– “Broadway Limited” (Episode 1.03, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired October 3, 2010)
– “Hold Me in Paradise” (Episode 1.08, dir. Brian Kirk, aired November 7, 2010)
– “A Return to Normalcy” (Episode 1.12, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired December 5, 2010)
– “What Does the Bee Do?” (Episode 2.04, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired October 16, 2011)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
Tailor: Martin Greenfield

Background

This week, I’m taking a look at outfits worn by BAMFs in the first episodes of some of my favorite TV shows. #MafiaMonday is a great excuse to start with Boardwalk Empire, particularly the suit worn by Steve Buscemi as Atlantic County treasurer Enoch “Nucky” Thompson in the opening credits of the series’ five-season run… as well as a few early episodes. Continue reading

Chalky White’s Tuxedo on Boardwalk Empire

Michael K. Williams as Albert "Chalky" White on <em>Boardwalk Empire</em> (Episode 4.08: "The Old Ship of Zion")

Michael K. Williams as Albert “Chalky” White on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 4.08: “The Old Ship of Zion”)

Vitals

Michael Kenneth Williams as Albert “Chalky” White, nightclub owner and bootlegger

Atlantic City, Spring 1924

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episodes:
* “New York Sour” (Episode 4.01, aired September 8, 2013, dir. Tim Van Patten)
* “Resignation” (Episode 4.02, aired September 15, 2013, dir. Alik Sakharov)
* “Acres of Diamonds” (Episode 4.03, aired September 22, 2013, dir. Allen Coulter)
* “All In” (Episode 4.04, aired September 29, 2013, dir. Ed Bianchi)
* “The North Star” (Episode 4.06, aired October 13, 2013, dir. Allen Coulter)
* “William Wilson” (Episode 4.07, aired October 20, 2013, dir. Jeremy Podeswa)
* “The Old Ship of Zion” (Episode 4.08, aired October 27, 2013, dir. Tim Van Patten)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn Continue reading

Nucky Thompson’s Morning Dress

Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 3.03: “Bone for Tuna”)

Vitals

Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, political boss and bootlegger

Atlantic City, January 1923

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episode: “Bone for Tuna” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: September 30, 2012
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I’m taking the blogger’s imperative and dedicating this whole week to Boardwalk Empire and its celebrated throwback style.

During its five-season run, Boardwalk Empire highlighted the spectrum of Prohibition-era men’s fashion from Jimmy Darmody’s street tweeds (link) and Mickey Doyle’s comic bowler-topped sack suits to Chalky White’s natty plaid suits accented by bold bow ties and Nucky Thompson’s distinctive take on white tie (link).

As a decidedly unconservative dresser, it thus becomes very meaningful when the typically bold-suited Nucky Thompson dons traditional morning dress for a morning in church. Continue reading