Tagged: 1970s

The Yakuza: Robert Mitchum’s Tan Parka and Turtleneck

Robert Mitchum as Harry Kilmer in The Yakuza (1974)

Robert Mitchum as Harry Kilmer in The Yakuza (1974)

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Robert Mitchum as Harry Kilmer, tough former detective

Tokyo, Spring 1974

Film: The Yakuza
Release Date: December 28, 1974
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Dorothy Jeakins

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The unique neo-noir Japanese gangster movie The Yakuza was conceptualized by brothers Paul and Leonard Schrader based on Leonard’s letters to Paul while living in Japan, particularly about the yakuza and the screen presence of Ken Takakura. While Takakura was almost always guaranteed to play a role, the crucial positions of the director and the lead actor—who would portray an aging former detective sent to Japan in service to an old friend—were still in transition.

Early in the pre-production stages, it looked like Robert Aldrich would direct with Lee Marvin in the lead role, until Marvin’s clash with Warner Brothers led to Robert Mitchum taking the role. Continue reading

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Donnie Brasco’s Brown Leather Blazer

Johnny Depp as Joe Pistone, aka Donnie Brasco, in Donnie Brasco (1997)

Johnny Depp as Joe Pistone, aka Donnie Brasco, in Donnie Brasco (1997)

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Johnny Depp as Joe Pistone, aka “Donnie Brasco”, undercover FBI agent infiltrating the Mafia

New York City, Fall 1979

Film: Donnie Brasco
Release Date: February 28, 1997
Director: Mike Newell
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard & David C. Robinson

Background

#MafiaMonday has become something of an occasional tradition for BAMF Style, but there’s no reason why every celebration of mob style needs to feature an actual gangster. Take the case of Joe Pistone, a real-life FBI agent and undercover pioneer whose six years infiltrating the Bonanno family of the New York Mafia was so effective that NYPD investigations and even some FBI files had mistakenly marked the agent as a mob associate named Don Brasco. Pistone was ordered to end his operation in the summer of 1981, despite the agent hoping to at least be “made” and inducted into the ranks of the mob.

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Lee Marvin’s Plaid Suit in Prime Cut

Lee Marvin as Nick Devlin in Prime Cut (1972)

Lee Marvin as Nick Devlin in Prime Cut (1972)

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Lee Marvin as Nick Devlin, mob enforcer

Kansas City, summer 1972

Film: Prime Cut
Release Date: June 28, 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Lee Marvin’s submachine gun-packing mob enforcer Nick Devlin gets plenty of opportunities for badass action in Michael Ritchie’s sophomore film, Prime Cut, but the smooth gangster also takes the chance to show a more genteel side, such as when escorting Poppy (Sissy Spacek) to a fancy dinner in a hotel restaurant.

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The Yakuza: Ken Takakura in Gray Herringbone

Ken Takakura as Ken Tanaka in The Yakuza (1974)

Ken Takakura as Ken Tanaka in The Yakuza (1974)

Vitals

Ken Takakura as Ken Tanaka, disciplined ex-Yakuza

Tokyo, Spring 1974

Film: The Yakuza
Release Date: December 28, 1974
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Dorothy Jeakins

Background

The Yakuza was the first screenplay credited to either Paul Schrader or Leonard Schrader, whose experiences in Japan inspired his brother to write the story. Leonard returned to the United States, where he spend the holiday season in Venice co-writing the screenplay’s first draft with Paul, who would later famously collaborate with Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver and Raging Bull among others. While the brothers watched many yakuza films for inspiration, what impressed them the most was the stoic screen presence of Ken Takakura, the Nakama-born actor who’d made his screen debut two decades earlier.

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All the President’s Men: Woodward’s Corduroy Suit

Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in All the President's Men (1976)

Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in All the President’s Men (1976)

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Robert Redford as Bob Woodward, investigative journalist for The Washington Post

Washington, D.C., Summer 1972

Film: All the President’s Men
Release Date: April 9, 1976
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Costume Supervisor: Bernie Pollack

Background

In the spirit of the U.S. midterm elections tomorrow, I’m exploring one of my favorite political-themed movies, the 1976 thriller All the President’s Men based on the real-life investigative reporting of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward during the Watergate scandal that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation as U.S. President.

June 18, 1972: Woodward had only been at The Washington Post for nine months when he was assigned to cover the arrest of five burglars who had been caught breaking into the DNC office at the Watergate hotel complex the previous evening. As Woodward continued to investigate with fellow Post reporter Carl Bernstein, the once-minor story connects the break-in to campaign contributions for Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (aptly nicknamed “CREEP”), revealing then-unprecedented levels of political corruption. Continue reading

The Shining – Jack Nicholson’s Corduroy Jacket

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980)

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980)

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Vitals

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, stir-crazy writer

Silver Creek, Colorado, Winter 1990

Film: The Shining
Release Date: May 23, 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy Halloween, BAMF Style readers! What better way to observe the most haunted holiday than with a look at one of the scariest and most suspenseful psychological horror movies, The Shining.

Three years after Stephen King’s novel was published, Stanley Kubrick brought his own adaptation of the story to the big screen with a screenplay co-written by novelist Diane Johnson, significantly altering the characters and motivations of the source novel.

Perhaps most significantly – and certainly cited as one of King’s greatest dissatisfactions with the movie – was Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the central character, Jack Torrance, the new caretaker who brings his family to the Overlook Hotel for the winter and hopes the seclusion will help him with his writing… and to continue overcoming his battle with alcoholism. “Instead of playing a normal man who becomes insane, Nicholson portrays a crazy man attempting to remain sane,” wrote Cinefantastique editor Frederick S. Clarke in 1996. Continue reading

Mad Men, 1970 Style – On the Road with Don Draper

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.13: "The Milk and Honey Route")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.13: “The Milk and Honey Route”)

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Jon Hamm as Don Draper, former ad man in search of himself

Oklahoma to California, Fall 1970

Series: Mad Men
Episodes:
– “The Milk and Honey Route” (Episode 7.13), dir. Matthew Weiner, aired 5/10/2015
– “Person to Person” (Episode 7.14), dir. Matthew Weiner, aired 5/17/2015
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

To honor the anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, published today in 1957, I’m taking a look at “The Milk and Honey Route,” the penultimate episode of Mad Men in which Don Draper’s journey to find himself drives him through the heart-land of darkness.

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Robert Redford’s Plaid Shirt in Brubaker

Robert Redford as Henry Brubaker in Brubaker (1980)

Robert Redford as Henry Brubaker in Brubaker (1980)

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Robert Redford as Henry Brubaker, idealistic warden of Wakefield state prison farm

Arkansas, Spring 1969

Film: Brubaker
Release Date: June 20, 1980
Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Costumer: Bernie Pollack

Background

Happy birthday, Robert Redford! The legendary actor, who turns 82 today, recently announced that his upcoming film, The Old Man & The Gun, will likely be his last.

In addition to being one of the most popular and prolific actors of the last half-century, Redford was also a talented director, winning an Academy Award for his directorial debut Ordinary People in 1980. That same year, Redford also starred in Brubaker, a rough prison drama about an idealistic warden who goes undercover in a corrupt Arkansas prison.

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Mad Men, 1970 Style – Don Draper’s Last Suit

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.12: "Lost Horizon")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.12: “Lost Horizon”)

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, ad man at the pinnacle of professional success… and personal disillusionment

New York City, Summer 1970

Series: Mad Men
Episodes:
– “The Forecast” (Episode 7.10), dir. Jennifer Getzinger, aired 4/19/2015
– “Time & Life” (Episode 7.11), dir. Jared Harris, aired 4/26/2015
– “Lost Horizon” (Episode 7.12), dir. Phil Abraham, aired 5/3/2015
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Considering its significance, the final business suit that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) wears on-screen in Mad Men makes a rather ignominious debut, though it does get a shining moment of glory as Don—the erstwhile Dick Whitman—gets a glimpse of what he really wants his life to be.

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Mitchum as Marlowe: Striped Summer Suit in The Big Sleep

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Vitals

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, American private investigator

London, September 1977

Film: The Big Sleep
Release Date: March 13, 1978
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Ron Beck

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Raymond Chandler’s birthday was 130 years ago today (July 23, 1888), so I’m celebrating the hard-boiled author’s big day with a look at a cinematic portrayal of one of his most enduring creations, cynical private eye Philip Marlowe, as played by Robert Mitchum in this 1978 update of The Big Sleep.

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