A Warm December: Sidney Poitier’s Camel Blazer
Sidney Poitier as Matt Younger, widowed father and clinic physician
London, Summer 1972
Film: A Warm December
Release Date: May 23, 1973
Director: Sidney Poitier
Wardrobe Supervisor: John Wilson-Apperson
To remember the late screen legend Sidney Poitier KBE—born 96 years ago today on February 20, 1927—today’s post returns to the Oscar-winning actor’s second directorial effort, A Warm December.
In addition to directing, Poitier also stars as the recently widowed Dr. Matt Younger, who arrives in London with his daughter Stefanie (Yvette Curtis). Looking for nothing more than a mindless vacation with his daughter and riding his motorbike, Matt’s trip becomes considerably more complicated after an interesting encounter outside his Pall Mall hotel with the mysterious Catherine Oswandu (Ester Anderson). Continue reading
Black Sunday: Robert Shaw in Brown Silk at the Super Bowl
Robert Shaw as David Kabakov, experienced Mossad agent and Major
Miami, January 1976
Film: Black Sunday
Release Date: April 1, 1977
Director: John Frankenheimer
Costume Designer: Ray Summers
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
It’s Super Bowl Sunday! To many of us, the Big Game (as the NFL would prefer us unlicensed folks call it) is an opportunity to spend a Sunday with friends, beer, and buffalo chicken dip while halfheartedly rooting for a team that we may not care about and catching a glimpse of some over-produced multimillion-dollar ad buys. For director John Frankenheimer, it’s an opportunity to yet again present the thrills and cynicism of ruthless criminals exploiting geopolitical dilemmas for their own gain with considerable human lives at stake. In short: Black Sunday.
The Poseidon Adventure: Ernest Borgnine’s Burgundy Dinner Jacket on New Year’s Eve
Ernest Borgnine as Mike Rogo, a tough New York detective
Aboard the S.S. Poseidon en route Athens, New Year’s Eve 1972
Film: The Poseidon Adventure
Release Date: December 12, 1972
Director: Ronald Neame
Costume Designer: Paul Zastupnevich
Happy New Year’s Eve! Fifty years ago, the holiday was celebrated in spectacular fashion aboard the S.S. Poseidon, the fictitious ship at the center of “Master of Disaster” Irwin Allen’s Academy Award-winning 1972 blockbuster The Poseidon Adventure, based on Paul Gallico’s novel on the same name inspired by a journey on the RMS Queen Mary, the now-defunct ship where parts of the movie were filmed. Following the example set by the subgenre-establishing Airport two years earlier, The Poseidon Adventure gathered a group of a stars in a perilous situation that picked them off one by one, allowing its substantial advertising campaign to ask audiences “who will survive?” Continue reading
The Silent Partner: Elliott Gould’s Gray Christmas Party Suit
Elliott Gould as Miles Cullen, mild-mannered bank teller
Toronto, Christmas 1977
Film: The Silent Partner
Release Date: September 7, 1978
Director: Daryl Duke
Wardrobe Credit: Debi Weldon
Among all the Christmas and Christmas-adjacent cinematic classics, I feel like The Silent Partner has yet to receive its due. Written on spec by Curtis Hanson—who later directed and co-wrote L.A. Confidential, among many others—this Canadian-made thriller blends touches of comedy with genuine thrills and a unique plot. Elliott Gould stars as Miles Cullen, a bored bank teller who foils a robbery plot attempted by the psychotic Harry Reikle (Christopher Plummer), whose wardrobe frequently alternates between a mall Santa costume and drag.
Through one of Harry’s abandoned hold-up notes, Miles caught wind of the robbery plan in advance and decided to let the crook’s larcenous plans benefit him as well by squirreling away a small fortune in anticipation of the heist. When Harry finally carried out the robbery, Miles was ready and handed over only a fraction of the money to the gun-toting Santa.
Miles’ coolness under pressure makes him popular among his colleagues, particularly the attractive Julie Carver (Susannah York), who shifts her attention from their married manager Charles Packard (Michael Kirby) to Miles, who accompanies her to a Christmas party at the Packard home on the following Sunday. Unfortunately, his quick thinking during the holdup has also attracted the attention of a bitter Harry Reikle, who realizes what Miles has done and begins threatening the scheming teller for the remaining money he feels he rightfully owed. Continue reading
The Candidate: Robert Redford’s Tweed Sport Jacket
Robert Redford as Bill McKay, charismatic lawyer-turned-senatorial candidate
California, Spring through Fall 1972
Film: The Candidate
Release Date: June 29, 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris
Costume Supervisor: Bernie Pollack
In case my fellow Americans’ phones haven’t been buzzing with incessant reminders about it… this Tuesday is Election Day!
Fifty years ago, American electoral politics were lampooned in The Candidate, starring Robert Redford as Bill McKay, an idealistic California lawyer tapped to run for a supposedly unwinnable seat in the U.S. Senate.
Inspired by screenwriter Jeremy Larner’s own experiences working on Senator Eugene McCarthy’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency in ’68, The Candidate chronicles the unpredictable insanity of American politics ranging from the mundane to the dramatic. Continue reading
Dracula A.D. 1972: Peter Cushing’s Vampire-Killing Suede
Peter Cushing as Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing, occult researcher and descendant of the famous vampire hunter
London, Fall 1972… A.D. 1972, that is
Film: Dracula A.D. 1972
Release Date: September 28, 1972
Director: Alan Gibson
Wardrobe Supervisor: Rosemary Burrows
Happy Halloween! Today’s post takes us back fifty years to 1972—A.D. 1972, to be exact—when Hammer Film Productions reunited Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as the debonair vampire Count Dracula and his nemesis Van Helsing, respectively, for the first time since Dracula (1958), a.k.a. Horror of Dracula.
I was first made aware of Dracula A.D. 1972 by BAMF Style reader Alan, who had suggested Cushing’s wardrobe that remained timelessly tasteful despite the film’s setting at the dawn of the disco era. Continue reading
The Electric Horseman: Robert Redford’s Denim Western Style
Robert Redford as Norman “Sonny” Steele, championship rodeo rider-turned-cowboy cereal spokesman
Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, Fall 1978
Film: The Electric Horseman
Release Date: December 21, 1979
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack
I’ve been feeling romantic leading up to my wedding this weekend, so today’s fall-inspired fashions come by way of The Electric Horseman, Robert Redford’s fifth collaboration with director Sydney Pollack.
Redford plays Sonny Steele, the eponymous equestrian and former rodeo champion turned cynical after selling out to hock cereal touted as “a champ’s way to start a better day!” Continue reading
The Nice Guys: Russell Crowe’s Blue ’70s Leather Jacket
Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy, unlicensed private detective
Los Angeles, Fall 1977
Film: The Nice Guys
Release Date: May 20, 2016
Director: Shane Black
Costume Designer: Kym Barrett
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
I was pleased to again join my friends Pete Brooker and Ken Stauffer on another episode of Pete’s podcast From Tailors With Love, this time discussing the fun ’70s style of Shane Black’s action comedy The Nice Guys.
For those unfamiliar, the “nice guys” in question are Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, bringing back Black’s signature buddy comedy style in a big way as competing private eyes Jackson Healy and Holland March, respectively.
The older and worldlier yet paunchier Jack is more an enforcer than investigator, balancing his limb-breaking toughness with at least some remaining scruples, particularly when compared to the younger and less experienced Holly, who’s not above taking a case agreeing to help an aging woman track down her “missing” husband… whose ashes rest in an urn just a few feet away from them.
Like Crowe’s star-making turn almost twenty years earlier, The Nice Guys’ conspiratorial heartbeat is driven by Kim Basinger’s role at the intersection of corruption and porn in the City of Angels forty years prior, but the villains’ overcomplicated scheme are certainly secondary to the comedic chemistry between Crowe and Gosling, whom I—and Crowe himself—would love to see re-team for a follow-up… and with a built-in sequel title like The Nicer Guys, what’s stopping them? Continue reading
The Deep: Robert Shaw’s Striped Shirt and Cargo Pants
Robert Shaw as Romer Treece, adventurous treasure hunter and lighthouse-keeper
Off the Bermuda coast, Summer 1976
Film: The Deep
Release Date: June 17, 1977
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Ron Talsky
Following the record-setting blockbuster success of Jaws, adapted from Peter Benchley’s debut novel of the same name, Columbia Pictures quickly purchased the rights to Benchley’s next novel before it was even published. The Deep proved to be another box-office hit, if not as critically acclaimed as its predecessor, with much of its success attributed to an effective marketing campaign centered around Jacqueline Bisset’s white T-shirt.
Another casting decision that worked in The Deep‘s favor was Robert Shaw, born 95 years ago today on August 9, 1927. Continue reading
Johnny Depp’s Red Leisure Suit in Blow
Johnny Depp as George Jung, successful cocaine smuggler
Massachusetts, Fall 1979
Release Date: April 6, 2001
Director: Ted Demme
Costume Designer: Mark Bridges
One of the more formative movies in developing my appreciation for more outlandish period style is Blow, Ted Demme’s Scorsese-inspired chronicle of the rise and fall of real-life drug smuggler George Jung, who was born 80 years ago today in Weymouth, Massachusetts. The DVD (does anyone remember its white case?) was in almost constant rotation when friends would come over in high school, and Mark Bridges’ costume design resonated to such a degree that, thanks to eBay, I may have been one of the few high-schoolers in the early 2000s to own a vintage polyester leisure suit. Continue reading