Tagged: 1930s

Steve McQueen’s Corduroy Sport Jacket as The Cincinnati Kid

Steve McQueen and Tuesday Weld in The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Steve McQueen and Tuesday Weld in The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

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Steve McQueen as Eric “the Kid” Stoner, hotshot poker player

Louisiana, Fall 1936

Film: The Cincinnati Kid
Release Date: October 15, 1965
Director: Norman Jewison
Costume Designer: Donfeld (Donald Lee Feld)

Background

The Cincinnati Kid was released today in 1965 with Steve McQueen in the title role as the actor was paving his way to stardom through the decade with a string of iconic movie including The Great Escape (1963), The Sand Pebbles (1966), and finally Bullitt and The Thomas Crown Affair in his banner year of 1968.

McQueen’s timeless sense of cool adds an era-defying quality to his performance as poker prodigy Eric “the Kid” Stoner. The Kid’s simple, functional wardrobe was hip enough to be contemporary to the 1960s while also reflective of the film’s 1930s setting. Continue reading

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Indiana Jones’ Tweed Jacket for Dinner

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

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Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, adventurer and archaeology professor

India, Summer 1935

Film: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Release Date: May 23, 1984
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Anthony Powell

Background

A memorable scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom finds the titular archaeologist and his two newly introduced companions, Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan), invited to a banquet at Pankot Palace hosted by the young Majarajah Zalim Singh (Raj Singh). The trio doesn’t take warmly to the feast, which includes such delicacies as “snake surprise” and chilled monkey brains.

One of my favorite aspects of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the alternative costumes that Indy sports when not in his signature leather jacket and fedora. In addition to a Casablanca-inspired (but ’80s-executed) white dinner jacket at the film’s outset, Indy uses this dinner as an opportunity to dress up his usual bush shirt and “pinks” trousers by donning a tweed sport jacket and bow tie.

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The Natural – Roy Hobbs’ Leather Jacket

Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs in The Natural (1984)

Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs in The Natural (1984)

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Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, baseball prodigy and “middle-aged rookie”

New York, June 1939

Film: The Natural
Release Date: May 11, 1984
Director: Barry Levinson
Costume Design: Gloria Gresham & Bernie Pollack

Background

Baseball season is back and in full swing (forgive the pun), and I’m feeling much better about it this year after my hometown Pirates won their home opener against the Twins yesterday, making us 4-0 for the season… after last year, I’ll take all the hope I can get! In the spirit of America’s pastime, today’s post explores one of the great baseball movies ever made.

Based on Bernard Malamud’s 1952 debut novel – and considered by many to be an improvement on it – The Natural stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, an earnest, homespun, and sincere baseball player whose sole ambition is glory on the diamond. As he himself wonders, “What else is there?”

Of course, when we first meet Roy Hobbs in media res, you’d never know it to look at him that he was about to embark on his last shot at big-league stardom.

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Clyde Barrow’s Brown Striped Easter Suit

Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde (2013)

Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde (2013)

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Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow, amateur armed robber

Texas, Easter 1934

Series Title: Bonnie and Clyde
Air Date: December 8, 2013
Director: Bruce Beresford
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

Background

The turning point in Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker’s criminal career came on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934. The couple was sitting inside their Ford V8 on a dusty road outside Grapevine, Texas, with their latest recruit, a shifty young son of Louisiana named Henry Methvin. Two months earlier, Clyde was in command of the closest thing he’d ever had to a “gang”, though the few criminal members with any experience quickly disassociated from the trigger-happy amateur, leaving only Clyde, Henry, and Bonnie making up the ranks of “The Barrow Gang”.

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The Last Tycoon: Monroe Stahr’s White Tie for Oscar Night

Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr on The Last Tycoon (Episode 9: "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar")

Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr on The Last Tycoon (Episode 9: “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar”)

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Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr, charming studio wunderkind

Hollywood, fall 1936 and March 1937

Series: The Last Tycoon
Episodes:
– “Pilot” (Episode 1, dir. Billy Ray)
– “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar” (Episode 9, dir. Billy Ray)
Streaming Date: July 28, 2017
Developed By: Billy Ray
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

It’s Oscars night!

The Last Tycoon, Amazon Video’s gone-too-soon stylish ode to Hollywood’s Golden Age, ended its singular season during the 1937 Academy Awards. Interestingly, the 9th Academy Award ceremony was held on March 4, 1937, exactly 81 years ago tonight!

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After the Thin Man: White Tie for New Year’s Eve

William Powell and Myrna Loy in After the Thin Man (1936)... with Skippy as Asta

William Powell and Myrna Loy in After the Thin Man (1936)… with Skippy as Asta

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William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective

San Francisco, New Year’s Eve 1936

Film: After the Thin Man
Release Date: December 25, 1936
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Wardrobe Credit: Dolly Tree

Background

After the Thin Man was released on Christmas 1936 as a continuation of The Thin Man, as its title implies. The all-original story was drafted by Dashiell Hammett himself immediately after the success of the first film, although Hammett had first envisioned circumstances that would send his witty detective duo back to New York City. Eventually, the decision was made to have the Charles couple solving a crime in their hometown of San Francisco. Continue reading

The Thin Man: Nick’s Christmas Loungewear

William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934)... with Skippy as Asta!

William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934)… with Skippy as Asta!

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William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective

New York City, Christmas 1933

Film: The Thin Man
Release Date: May 25, 1934
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Wardrobe Credit: Dolly Tree

Background

Suffice it to say that Nick and Nora Charles had quite a Christmas. Following a drunken holiday party, the sleepy couple was interrupted by the gat-wielding Joe Morelli (Edward Brophy), a fast-talking “get me, see?”-type of gangster whose quick trigger finger is no match for Nick Charles’ quick wit.

A few hours later, Nick spends Christmas morning recovering and in a perpetual daze possibly due to his recent flesh wound, the magic of the holidays, or – most likely – a large quantity of Scotch in his system. Continue reading

The Last Tycoon: Monroe Stahr’s Navy Christmas Suit

Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr on The Last Tycoon (Episode 6: "A Brady-American Christmas")

Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr on The Last Tycoon (Episode 6: “A Brady-American Christmas”)

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Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr, charming studio wunderkind

Hollywood, Christmas Eve 1936

Series: The Last Tycoon
Episode: “A Brady-American Christmas” (Episode 6)
Streaming Date: July 28, 2017
Director: Stacie Passon
Developed By: Billy Ray
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

Background

The sixth episode of Amazon Video’s first and only season of The Last Tycoon, adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel The Love of the Last Tycoon, kicks off the holiday season at Brady-American Studios where studio chief Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer) and his one-time protégé, ambitious visionary producer Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer), hoping for a Christmas miracle on their upcoming film, Angels on the Avenue. 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)

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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

Warren Oates’ Brown Striped Suit as Dillinger

Warren Oates as John Dillinger in Dillinger (1973)

Warren Oates as John Dillinger in Dillinger (1973)

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Warren Oates as John Dillinger, Depression-era bank robber

Indiana, Fall 1933

Film: Dillinger
Release Date: July 20, 1973
Director: John Milius
Costume Designer: James M. George

Background

Eighty four years ago tonight – November 15, 1933. Four police cars converge on a small office building on Irving Park Boulevard in the Chicago Loop. In an upstairs doctor’s office, one of the most wanted men in the tri-state area is being treated for either a ringworm infection or “barber’s itch,” an inflammation of hair follicles, depending on which account you read. On the floor below, a cagey informant named Art McGinnis is signaling desperately to police that their quarry is upstairs. Fate, however, is on the side of the outlaw, a thirty-year-old bank robber named John Dillinger. Continue reading