Tagged: 1930s

Chinatown – J.J. Gittes’ Light Gray Suit

Jack Nicholson on set as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Jack Nicholson on set as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Vitals

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes, private investigator and ex-policeman

Los Angeles, September 1937

Film: Chinatown
Release Date: June 20, 1974
Director: Roman Polanski
Costume Designer: Anthea Sylbert

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Now that summer is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s high time to make sure that you’ve got some duds in your closet that are as appropriate for a day at the office as they are for the sunniest season.

A self-employed gumshoe like J.J. Gittes calls his own shots. As Chinatown is set in 1937, suits were de rigeur for men, but Gittes is hardly the type to rely on the gray flannel suit trope, especially in the sunny southern California locales. Continue reading

Lucky Luciano’s 1931 Navy Suit on Boardwalk Empire

Vincent Piazza as Charlie “Lucky” Luciano on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 5.02: “The Good Listener”)

Vitals

Vincent Piazza as Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Sicilian-American mobster

New York City, April 1931

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episodes:
* “Golden Days for Boys and Girls” (Episode 5.01, aired September 7, 2014, dir. Tim Van Patten)
* “The Good Listener” (Episode 5.02, aired September 14, 2014, dir. Allen Coulter)
* “Eldorado” (Episode 5.08, aired October 26, 2014, dir. Tim Van Patten)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

86 years ago tomorrow “Lucky” Luciano brought an end to the Castellammarese War – as mob historians refer to the bloody gangland conflict that divided New York City – by engineering the death of Sicilian-American mob chieftain Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria.

Masseria’s demise is one of the many colorful episodes that has, for better or worse, iconicized the history of the American Mafia… and it makes for a compelling and dramatic re-introduction to Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza) for the final season of Boardwalk Empire. Continue reading

And Then There Were None: Lombard’s Tuxedo

Aidan Turner as Philip Lombard in And Then There Were None (2015)

Aidan Turner as Philip Lombard in And Then There Were None (2015)

Vitals

Aidan Turner as Philip Lombard, adventurer and ex-mercenary

Devon, England, August 1939

Series Title: And Then There Were None
Air Date: December 26-28, 2015
Director: Craig Viveiros
Costume Designer: Lindsay Pugh

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

As we get closer to St. Patrick’s Day, BAMF Style is focusing on another Irishman, Aidan Turner, the Dublin-born actor who many are suggesting as a possibility for taking over the James Bond mantle as the prospects of Daniel Craig’s return seem dwindling.

Of course, an important aspect of the 007 role is how well an actor sports a dinner suit, so we’re checking out the period black tie ensemble that Turner wore as Philip Lombard in the BBC’s 2015 miniseries And Then There Were None. Continue reading

Sean Connery’s Brown Corduroy Jacket in The Untouchables

Sean Connery as Jim Malone in The Untouchables (1987)

Sean Connery as Jim Malone in The Untouchables (1987)

Vitals

Sean Connery as Jim Malone, tough and honest Chicago beat cop

Chicago, September 1930

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

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The Untouchables is a highly entertaining – yet highly fictionalized – saga of the successful legal campaign to bring down Al Capone’s criminal enterprise that terrorized Chicago through the 1920s with an all-star cast including Robert De Niro as Capone himself.

Eliot Ness had made a name for himself in the final years of Chicago’s beer wars as a relentless Prohibition agent, and he would use his fame decades later to pen The Untouchables, a memoir in which he credits himself with practically single-handedly sending Capone to prison. In real life, Ness’ raids were indeed disruptive, but it was the work of modest investigators U.S. Attorney George E.Q. Johnson and IRS agent Frank Wilson that eventually led to the charges that successfully convicted Capone. Continue reading

Chinatown – J.J. Gittes’ Gray Striped Suit

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Vitals

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes, private investigator and ex-policeman

Los Angeles, September 1937

Film: Chinatown
Release Date: June 20, 1974
Director: Roman Polanski
Costume Designer: Anthea Sylbert

Background

J.J. Gittes begins his final day investigating the Mulwray case in Chinatown with his usual cheekiness, even when surprised by walking into a murder scene. He trades barbs with increasingly suspicious detectives, including the pugnacious Detective Loach (Richard Bakalyan) who inquires about Gittes’ sliced-up nose; Edward Norton’s character in Rounders would pay homage to Gittes’ response of “Your wife got excited. She crossed her legs a little too quick.”

But Gittes’ good humor wears off by the end, following a series of misadventures – mostly at gunpoint – involving sisters, daughters, and a shot-out eyeball. As his assistant Walsh (Joe Mantell) sagely – and now famously – advises him:

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

Continue reading

De Niro as Noodles – Charcoal Red-Striped Flannel Suit

Robert De Niro as "Noodles" Aaronson in Once Upon a Time in America (1984).

Robert De Niro as “Noodles” Aaronson in Once Upon a Time in America (1984).

Vitals

Robert De Niro as David “Noodles” Aaronson, mob bootlegger and violent ex-convict

New York City, December 1933

Film: Once Upon a Time in America
Release Date: May 23, 1984
Director: Sergio Leone
Costume Designer: Gabriella Pescucci

Background

83 years ago today, the 21st amendment was ratified to officially repeal Prohibition, delighting a thirsty American public but leaving many criminals who had made their fortunes from bootlegging effectively “unemployed”. This Mafia Monday post checks in with Robert De Niro as a mobster coming to terms with what that means for his career and personal life in 1984’s Once Upon a Time in America. Continue reading

Murder on the Orient Express: Connery’s Houndstooth Suit

Sean Connery and Vanessa Redgrave as Colonel Arbuthnot and Mary Debenham in Murder on the Orient Express (1974).

Sean Connery and Vanessa Redgrave on set as Colonel Arbuthnot and Mary Debenham in Murder on the Orient Express (1974).

Vitals

Sean Connery as Colonel John Arbuthnot, British Indian Army commanding officer

The Orient Express, December 1935

Film: Murder on the Orient Express
Release Date: November 24, 1974
Director: Sidney Lumet
Costume Designer: Tony Walton

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is my grandma’s 95th birthday, which she will be celebrating by going to her 9-to-5 job (where she never misses a day!) and then joining our family for a dinner out on the town. One of my favorite memories with Grandma includes Saturday mornings in her kitchen, watching old mystery movies together. This tradition instilled in me a love for the genre as well as an appreciation for classic movies and stars.

Murder on the Orient Express was one of our favorite movies to watch together. Although helmed by the excellent Albert Finney as a charismatic and near-cartoonish Hercule Poirot, the film is also rightly a celebration of some of the most talented women from the silver screen including Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress from her work in this movie. Continue reading