Tagged: 1940s

Cagney’s Leather Jacket in White Heat

James Cagney as Cody Jarrett in White Heat (1949)

James Cagney as Cody Jarrett in White Heat (1949)

Vitals

James Cagney as Arthur “Cody” Jarrett, ruthless gang leader and devoted son

Los Angeles, Spring 1950

Film: White Heat
Release Date: September 2, 1949
Director: Raoul Walsh
Wardrobe Credit: Leah Rhodes

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today would have been the 120th birthday of James Cagney, the intense actor who brought realism and energy to his performances that ranged from deadpan comedy to complex tough guys. It was for the latter that Cagney, who Orson Welles described as “maybe the greatest actor who ever appeared in front of the camera,” is most remembered, particularly for his mature performance as the complex gangster Cody Jarrett in White Heat.

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Allied Uniforms of The Great Escape

Richard Attenborough, Steve McQueen, Nigel Stock, and Gordon Jackson in The Great Escape (1963)

Richard Attenborough, Steve McQueen, Nigel Stock, and Gordon Jackson in The Great Escape (1963)

Today marks the 75th anniversary of “the great escape”, the mass breakout of allied airmen from the Luftwaffe-operated Stalag Luft III in Sagan-Silesia—now Zagan—in Poland on March 24, 1944. Of the 76 men who escaped, only three made it to freedom and 50 of the group were murdered by the Nazis in retaliation.

Film: The Great Escape
Release Date: July 4, 1963
Director: John Sturges
Wardrobe Credit: Bert Henrikson

Paul Brickhill, one of the Allied officers who had worked on the various tunnels used for the escape, wrote the definitive account of prison camp life, the famous March 1944 breakout, and the subsequent fallout in The Great Escape, published in 1950.

Thirteen years later, a star-studded cast reenacted the incident in The Great Escape, a now-classic war movie that dramatized this real-life story of heroism, humor, and tragedy.

Today’s post—coinciding both with the 75th anniversary of the escape and the 89th birthday of the film’s star Steve McQueen—examines the uniforms of the Allied airmen, sorted by each major character’s surname. Continue reading

Hendley in The Great Escape

James Garner as Flight Lieutenant Hendley in The Great Escape (1963)

James Garner as Flight Lieutenant Hendley in The Great Escape (1963)

Vitals

James Garner as Robert Hendley, American-born RAF Flight Lieutenant and “scrounger”

Sagan-Silesia (Zagan, Poland), Spring 1944

Film: The Great Escape
Release Date: July 4, 1963
Director: John Sturges
Wardrobe Credit: Bert Henrikson

Background

Steve McQueen’s daring Captain Hilts may get all the glory of The Great Escape‘s legacy, but James Garner’s affable and resourceful “scrounger” Hendley remains one of my favorite characters from any war movie.

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Christmas in Connecticut: Chief Quartermaster Jones

Dennis Morgan and Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Dennis Morgan and Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Vitals

Dennis Morgan as Jefferson Jones, U.S. Navy Chief Quartermaster and war hero

Connecticut, Christmas 1944

Film: Christmas in Connecticut
Release Date: August 11, 1945
Director: Peter Godfrey

Background

Something about a naval uniform always reminds me of the holidays. Maybe it’s the happy homecoming of the heroic Commander Harry Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, or maybe it’s the charming naval hero in Christmas in Connecticut who finds himself instantly falling for Barbara Stanwyck (relatable enough) after he arrives on her doorstep to spend a memorable holiday in New England. Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Corduroy Jacket in The Godfather

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, war hero and Mafia son

New York City, December 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

As we get closer to the holidays, today’s #MafiaMonday look from The Godfather is a fall-friendly approach to dressing for cooler weather and grayer days.

And the days are indeed gray for the Corleone family, particularly the recently returned Michael (Al Pacino). Continue reading

Notorious – Cary Grant in Gun Club Check

Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin in Notorious (1946)

Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin in Notorious (1946)

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Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin, American government agent

Rio de Janeiro, Spring 1946

Film: Notorious
Release Date: September 6, 1946
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Background

With a tight screenplay from Ben Hecht, a dream cast including Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains, and a finely developed cinematic maturity as the by-product of a quarter-century of directing, Notorious is considered a career high in the filmography of Alfred Hitchcock.

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James Stewart in Rope

James Stewart as Rupert Cadell in Rope (1948)

James Stewart as Rupert Cadell in Rope (1948)

Vitals

James Stewart as Rupert Cadell, cerebral publisher and former prep school headmaster

New York City, Spring 1948

Film: Rope
Release Date: September 25, 1948
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Labor Day often signifies the changing of the seasons from the hot summer months into the cooler autumn, a time when the linen suits are shifted toward the back of the closet as flannels and tweeds return to the forefront. As we look ahead to the warmer clothes of the approaching season, I take inspiration from a real-life BAMF who had plenty of style both on and off the big screen, Jimmy Stewart.

Just over 70 years ago on August 26, 1948, Rope premiered in New York City, nearly a month before it was released to screens around the country. Continue reading

The Lady Eve: Henry Fonda’s White Dinner Jacket

Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941)

Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941)

Vitals

Henry Fonda as Charles “Hopsie” Pike, brewery heir and ophidiologist

SS Southern Queen, sailing north from South America,
August 1940

Film: The Lady Eve
Release Date: February 25, 1941
Director: Preston Sturges
Costume Designer: Edith Head
Men’s Wardrobe: Richard Bachler

Background

To celebrate the birthday today of my wonderful, patient, and charming girlfriend, I’d like to highlight the elegant evening wear worn by Henry Fonda in The Lady Eve, a classic screwball comedy that I first discovered with her family. Continue reading

Drunken Angel: Matsunaga’s Striped Jacket

Toshirô Mifune as Matsunaga in Drunken Angel (1948)

Toshirô Mifune as Matsunaga in Drunken Angel (1948)

Vitals

Toshirô Mifune as Matsunaga, tubercular Japanese gangster

Japan, Summer 1947

Film: Drunken Angel
(
Japanese title: 醉いどれ天使 Yoidore Tenshi)
Release Date: April 27, 1948
Director: Akira Kurosawa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Based on the intensity of his performance, it’s hard to believe that Drunken Angel was one of Toshirô Mifune’s first movies. His portrayal of the cocky, conflicted, and ultimately doomed yakuza gangster Matsunaga remains a highlight of crime cinema 70 years after the film was released. Continue reading

Sonny Corleone: Dressed Down for a Beat-Down

Sonny Corleone (James Caan) pummels Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo) in The Godfather (1972)

Sonny Corleone (James Caan) pummels Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo) in The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, hot-headed mob chief

New York City, Summer 1948

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

For this midsummer #MafiaMonday, BAMF Style is taking a look at this much-requested outfit from Sonny Corleone’s street takedown of his abusive brother-in-law Carlo Rossi (Gianni Russo).

It’s a hot June day in New York City. Carlo and his cronies are all out on the street, loafing around, listening to the radio, and not expecting much from their day… until a black sedan squeals to a stop, and out charges Sonny Corleone, charging after Carlo with designs on at least ruining the latter’s orange two-tone leisure suit. Continue reading