Tagged: 1940s

Brad Pitt’s Brown Suede Jacket in Allied

Brad Pitt as Wing Commander Max Vatan in Allied (2016)

Brad Pitt as Wing Commander Max Vatan in Allied (2016)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Max Vatan, Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence officer

London, April 1944

Film: Allied
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

Background

Following their adventures in Morocco, glamorous spy couple Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard) “settle down” for their shared life in World War II-era London, spending their time picking mushrooms when not in service to their respective governments.

For these [not so] innocent outings, Max shows off his stylish approach to “smart casual” civilian attire anchored by a brown suede vintage-inspired jacket custom made for Brad Pitt by costume designer Joanna Johnston’s team. Continue reading

Arsenic and Old Lace’s “Teddy Roosevelt”

John Alexander as "Teddy Roosevelt" Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace (1941)

John Alexander as “Teddy Roosevelt” Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace (1941)

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John Alexander as “Teddy Roosevelt” Brewster

Brooklyn, Halloween 1941

Film: Arsenic and Old Lace
Release Date: September 23, 1944
Director: Frank Capra

Background

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, was born this day 159 years ago on October 27, 1858. A son of New York City, the timid Theodore overcame his childhood asthma with his robust physical pursuits matched only by his professional ambition as a career soldier, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New York, and finally the youngest President of the United States when he assumed office at the age of 42 after the assassination of William McKinley.

The proximity of T.R.’s birthday to Halloween always makes me think of Arsenic and Old Lace, the Frank Capra-directed dark comedy set one Halloween in Brooklyn involving Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant), his two dangerous but darling elderly aunts, and – like all of the best movies of the 1940s – Peter Lorre being Peter Lorre.

Originally a play (and doubtlessly one that your high school has performed), actor John Alexander reprised his role from the stage as “Teddy” Brewster, Mortimer’s delusional but harmless brother who believes that he is Teddy Roosevelt.

“So what?” says a friendly local cop who visits the Brewsters on his beat. “There’s a lot worse guys he could think he was.” Continue reading

Brad Pitt’s Pale Blue Pinhead Suit in Allied

Brad Pitt as Wing Commander Max Vatan in Allied (2016)Brad Pitt as Wing Commander Max Vatan in Allied (2016)

Brad Pitt as Wing Commander Max Vatan in Allied (2016)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Max Vatan, Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence officer

Casablanca, Morocco, Fall 1942

Film: Allied
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

Background

On a pleasant Sunday in Casablanca, Parisian couple Maurice and Christine Berne walk arm-in-arm into the town square for an afternoon coffee. Of course, it’s smack in the middle of World War II so not everything is as it appears. “Maurice and Christine” are actually spies Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard) and, to further complicate things, Max has been recognized by a German officer who swiftly marches to the nearest phone booth. Max covertly follows the officer, armed only with a chunk of bread…

Some sartorial sticklers will tell you it’s inappropriate to wear white after Labor Day. Given that today is Labor Day and we’ve still got some hot weather ahead of us, you’d be well-served to keep a “not-quite-white” suit – like Max’s pale blue three-piece suit – in your closet for your natty warm-weather needs this time of year. Continue reading

Brad Pitt’s Blue Linen Safari Jacket in Allied

Brad Pitt as Wing Commander Max Vatan in Allied (2016)

Brad Pitt as Wing Commander Max Vatan in Allied (2016)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Max Vatan, Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence officer

Casablanca, Morocco, Fall 1942

Film: Allied
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

Background

As a fan of World War II spy stories, particularly those of the Special Operations Executive, I had been intrigued by Allied since production began last year. The film weathered (or, some say say, benefited from) the pre-release gossip that a romance between co-stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard had driven a nail in the coffin of the venerable Brangelina pairing, but off-screen whisperings shouldn’t diminish the impact of the finished product: a captivating period romance-thriller with all the beauty and intrigue of Casablanca in a glossy, well-executed package. (Though my hometown newspaper disagrees…) Continue reading

Bugsy Siegel’s Glen Plaid Double-Breasted Suit

Warren Beatty as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in Bugsy (1991). Photo sourced from Getty Images.

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Warren Beatty as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, “celebrity” gangster and casino builder

New York, Summer 1945, and
Beverly Hills, December 1946

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Film: Bugsy
Release Date: December 13, 1991
Director: Barry Levinson
Costume Designer: Albert Wolsky

Background

Bugsy is an entertaining and stylish drama penned by James Toback, transforming the violent mobster in a suave and romantic visionary much as the real life gangster himself tried to reinvent his persona after moving out to the West Coast, choosing to rub elbows with the likes of George Raft, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant rather than his old associates like Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano, and Joe Adonis. Continue reading

Inglourious Basterds: Aldo Raine’s Ivory Dinner Jacket

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds (2009)

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Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, U.S. Army OSS officer and redneck leader of the “Inglourious Basterds”

Paris, June 1944

Film: Inglourious Basterds
Release Date: August 21, 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Anna B. Sheppard
Brad Pitt’s Evening Attire: Giorgio Armani

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Inglourious Basterds kicks off a two-film spree in Tarantino’s filmography focused on rewriting history with violent vengeance. In this revisionist take on World War II, a band of Jewish-American military guerillas – think The Dirty Dozen meets The A-Team – is assigned the sole task of secretly but brutally fighting their way through occupied German territory, murdering any Nazi encountered in their wake. The two-year spree of these “inglourious basterds” who give the film its title ends up in a Paris movie theater on the eve of the D-Day invasion with an opportunity to take down the German high command, including Hitler himself, to end the war. Continue reading

Cary Grant’s Collarless Jacket in The Philadelphia Story

Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn as C.K. Dexter Haven and Tracy Samantha Lord, respectively, in The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn as C.K. Dexter Haven and Tracy Samantha Lord, respectively, in The Philadelphia Story (1940)

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Cary Grant as C.K. Dexter Haven, cheeky socialite yacht designer

Philadelphia, summer 1940

Film: The Philadelphia Story
Release Date: December 26, 1940
Director: George Cukor

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Many weddings are elaborate events planned out months, if not years, in advance. In The Philadelphia Story, C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) and Tracy Samantha Lord (Katharine Hepburn) have only a few minutes before taking their place [back] at the altar for a memorable wedding that results in an appropriately informal “casual Friday” post to conclude BAMF Style’s Week of Weddings. Continue reading