Tagged: 1950s

Pal Joey: Sinatra’s Red Fleck Mess Jacket

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans, womanizing nightclub singer

San Francisco, Spring 1957

Film: Pal Joey
Release Date: October 25, 1957
Director: George Sidney
Costume Designer: Jean Louis

Background

Joey Evans’s first night with the band finds him already complicating his romantic life, balancing his attraction to the demure singer Linda English (Kim Novak) with the vivacious ex-stripper Vera Prentice-Simpson (Rita Hayworth) when the band is hired to play a gig at Vera’s place as a fundraise for the local children’s hospital.

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Cary Grant’s Tuxedo in Indiscreet

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Indiscreet (1958)

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Indiscreet (1958)

Vitals

Cary Grant as Philip Adams, sophisticated playboy economist

London, Fall 1957 to Spring 1958

Film: Indiscreet
Release Date: June 26, 1958
Director: Stanley Donen
Tailor: Quintino

Background

Happy birthday to the great Cary Grant, born 115 years ago today on January 18, 1904, in Bristol, England. Born Archibald Leach before he assumed his catchier stage name, Grant’s signature screen presence blended his self-deprecating sense of humor with peerless suavity in both attitude and style. Grant’s popularity during the mid-20th century and the height of the dinner suit’s ubiquity meant the debonair actor would don a tuxedo almost as frequently as James Bond… and it’s not surprising to hear that Grant was an early contender for the role of 007, at least in the mind of the character’s creator Ian Fleming.

Between 1955 and 1962, Grant starred in seven contemporary-set films that didn’t require him to be in military uniform; of these, he sported a tuxedo in all but one (the lone exception, North by Northwest, featured the actor wearing arguably the most famous suit in movie history so there was little need for black tie.) In the middle of this impressive and stylish run of movies is Indiscreet, a Stanley Donen-directed romantic comedy that earned Grant his first of five Golden Globe nominations. Continue reading

King Creole: Elvis Presley’s Baracuta Jacket

Elvis Presley as Danny Fisher in King Creole (1958)

Elvis Presley as Danny Fisher in King Creole (1958)

Vitals

Elvis Presley as Danny Fisher, swaggering nightclub singer and high school dropout

New Orleans, Summer 1958

Film: King Creole
Release Date: July 2, 1958
Director: Michael Curtiz
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Happy birthday to Elvis Presley, born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi.

The King of Rock & Roll considered Danny Fisher in 1958’s King Creole to be his favorite role in the dozens of movies he made over the course of his 13-year film career. Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Black New Year’s Eve Suit

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974)

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, cold and calculating Mafia boss

Havana, New Year’s Eve 1958

Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

Happy New Year’s Eve!

On this transitional #MafiaMonday, we transport back 60 years to New Year’s Eve 1958, a tumultuous night in world history as armed rebels connected to the vanguard 26th of July Movement overthrew Cuba’s incumbent president Fulgencio Batista, ending the five-year Cuban Revolution and establishing a communist government under the movement’s leader Fidel Castro.

“Gentlemen, to a night in Havana! Happy New Year… Feliz Año Nuevo!” toasts a gregarious Fredo Corleone (John Cazale) as he holds court in the Cuban capital with a bevy of politicians and his brother, taciturn and thoughtful mob boss Michael (Al Pacino). Continue reading

Sammy Davis Jr.’s Gray Jacket in Ocean’s 11

Sammy Davis Jr. and his Ocean's Eleven (1960) cast mates Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.

Sammy Davis Jr. and his Ocean’s Eleven (1960) cast mates Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. (Photo by Sid Avery)

Vitals

Sammy Davis Jr. as Josh Howard, sanitation worker and World War II veteran

Beverly Hills, December 1959

Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: August 10, 1960
Director: Lewis Milestone
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup
Tailor: Sy Devore

Background

The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are an ideal week for reunions. In the Rat Pack’s arguably most famous film, Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) organizes a reunion of eleven men from his 82nd Airborne unit for a heist to ring in the new year.

After deciding not to attempt the life of “a one-eyed third baseman in Mobile,” former paratrooper Josh Howard (Sammy Davis Jr.) took a job in sanitation. “Trash is where you find it,” Josh explains. “You gotta follow the fleet!” Continue reading

White Christmas: Bing’s Gray Plaid Suit

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace in White Christmas (1954)

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace in White Christmas (1954)

Vitals

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace, Broadway crooner and World War II veteran

Pine Tree, Vermont, December 1954

Film: White Christmas
Release Date: October 14, 1954
Director: Michael Curtiz
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Happy holidays, BAMF Style readers! I hope all who celebrate are having a very merry Christmas whether you’re spending it with loved ones or beloved movies.

One of the most esteemed entries in the ever-expanding world of holiday cinema is White Christmas (1954), the story of two World War II veterans who go into show business together. Continue reading

All That Heaven Allows: Rock Hudson’s Red Holiday Plaid

Rock Hudson as Ron Kirby in All That Heaven Allows (1955)

Rock Hudson as Ron Kirby in All That Heaven Allows (1955)

Vitals

Rock Hudson as Ron Kirby, ambitious and independent-minded landscaper

New England, Fall to Winter 1955

Film: All That Heaven Allows
Release Date: August 25, 1955
Director: Douglas Sirk

Background

Among the many classic movies commonly associated with Christmas – It’s a Wonderful LifeMiracle on 34th Street, and White Christmas to name a few – there are countless additional fine films from that same nostalgic postwar era that relied on the warmth of the holidays to set the scene.

Though it was released in London four months earlier, the Douglas Sirk-directed melodrama All That Heaven Allows made its United States debut on Christmas Day 1955. Continue reading