Tagged: 1980s

Wall Street: Meeting Gordon Gekko in Shirt Sleeves and Suspenders

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987)

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987)

Vitals

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, smug and successful corporate raider

New York City, Spring 1985

Film: Wall Street
Release Date: December 11, 1987
Director: Oliver Stone
Costume Designer: Ellen Mirojnick
Tailor: Alan Flusser

Background

Happy birthday to Michael Douglas, the actor, producer, and activist born September 25, 1944, who may be most famous for his iconic Academy Award-winning performance as ruthless financier Gordon Gekko in Wall Street.

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Miami Vice: Tubbs in Double-Breasted Dove Gray for the Pilot Episode

Philip Michael Thomas and Sonny Crockett filming "Brother's Keeper", the pilot episode of Miami Vice

Philip Michael Thomas and Sonny Crockett filming “Brother’s Keeper”, the pilot episode of Miami Vice

Vitals

Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo Tubbs, vengeful undercover detective

Miami, Spring 1984

Series: Miami Vice
Episode: “Brother’s Keeper” (Episode 1.01)
Air Date: September 16, 1984
Director: Thomas Carter
Creator: Anthony Yerkovich
Costume Designer: Jodie Lynn Tillen

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This week in 1984, Miami Vice debuted on NBC, introducing us to the cooler-than-ice cops Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas). Per the detectives’ duties for the Metro-Dade Police Department’s vice division, the episodes frequently included thrilling gunfights and car chases against drug-peddling foes amidst a stylish backdrop of sleek cars, sleeker clothes, pop music, and a parade of guest stars ranging from Liam Neeson, Willie Nelson, and a young Julia Roberts to… G. Gordon Liddy.

The title of the Emmy-winning pilot episode, “Brother’s Keeper”, refers most specifically to Tubbs, a New York transplant who arrived in Miami seeking vengeance on the wily drug kingpin Calderone, who killed his brother Rafael. Despite their head-butting personalities, Tubbs joins forces with Crockett, hoping to soften the tension between them by bringing coffee and donuts onto his boat as well as the results of his own surveillance on Calderone, but Crockett informs him that “down here, you’re just another amateur.” Continue reading

For Your Eyes Only: Topol’s Black Leather Jacket

Chaim Topol as Milos Colombo in For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Chaim Topol as Milos Colombo in For Your Eyes Only (1981)

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Chaim Topol as Milos Colombo, gregarious smuggler and pistachio addict

St. Cyril’s, Greece, Spring 1981

Film: For Your Eyes Only
Release Date: June 24, 1981
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller
Wardrobe Master: Tiny Nicholls

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Continuing my commemoration of my favorite of Roger Moore’s James Bond adventures, For Your Eyes Only, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, today also marks the 86th birthday of Chaim Topol. Born September 9, 1935, the Israeli actor may be best known for his memorable performance as Tevye the Dairyman in the stage and screen versions of Fiddler on the Roof, though he also has a significance for Bond fans as 007’s charismatic ally Milos Colombo in For Your Eyes Only.

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Batman: Michael Keaton Gets Nuts in Layered Taupe

Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne in Batman (1989)

Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne in Batman (1989)

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Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, enigmatic millionaire and defender of Gotham

Gotham City, Fall 1989

Film: Batman
Release Date: June 23, 1989
Director: Tim Burton
Costume Designer: Bob Ringwood
Clothes By: Giorgio Armani

Background

Happy 70th birthday, Michael Keaton! Born September 5, 1951 just outside of Pittsburgh, Keaton rose to fame throughout the ’80s in comedies like Night ShiftMr. Mom, and Beetlejuice before he was tapped for the titular role in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Bob Kane’s famous comics. The casting decision initially soured fans, who mailed thousands of letters to Warner Bros. in protest, but his unassuming performance quickly won over audiences and Batman became one of the top-grossing movies of 1989.

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Body Heat: William Hurt’s Lawyerly Seersucker

William Hurt as Ned Racine in Body Heat (1981)

William Hurt as Ned Racine in Body Heat (1981)

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William Hurt as Ned Racine, unscrupulous attorney

Palm Beach, Florida, Summer 1981

Film: Body Heat
Release Date: August 28, 1981
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Costume Designer: Renié

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I couldn’t let the hottest summer of my lifetime end without talking about Body Heat, especially as Lawrence Kasdan’s sweaty directorial debut will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its release in two days.

The term “neo-noir” has often been used—and, indeed, overused—to describe stylish, shadowy, and sexy crime dramas with elements recalling film noir’s golden era in the ’40s and ’50s, though Body Heat struck me as one of the prized handful of movies most deserving of the description, perfectly balancing the spirit of classic noir with contemporary cinematic expectations without falling too far in either direction. Continue reading

Risky Business: Tom Cruise in Donegal Tweed

Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business (1983).

Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business (1983). Photo by Steve Schapiro.

Vitals

Tom Cruise as Joel Goodson, ambitious high school student-turned-pimp

Chicago, Fall 1983

Film: Risky Business
Release Date: August 5, 1983
Director: Paul Brickman
Costume Designer: Robert De Mora

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

As we enter “Back to School” season, I want to look at one of the most famous cinematic intersections of style and scholastics, a dark coming-of-age comedy starring a young Tom Cruise as a high school student whose desire to compete in the modern materialistic marketplace leads to his engaging in some perilous pursuits… or Risky Business, if you will.

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Magnum, P.I.: The Purple Calla Lily Aloha Shirt

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in a promotional shot for Magnum, P.I.

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in a promotional shot for Magnum, P.I.

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Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, private investigator and former Navy SEAL

Hawaii, early 1980s

Series: Magnum, P.I., seasons 2 through 6
Creator: Donald P. Bellisario & Glen Larson
Costume Supervisor: James Gilmore

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy Aloha Friday! While the tradition of ending the workweek with a Hawaiian shirt dates back to the ’60s, today is a particularly significant Aloha Friday as the third Friday in August is observed as Statehood Day in Hawaii, commemorating Hawaii’s admission to the United States in August 1959.

Servicemen returning from the Pacific after World War II had an early role in introducing the colorful and tropical style of the Hawaiian islands to the continental U.S., aided over the following decades by movies like the Oscar-winning From Here to Eternity and the Elvis vehicle Blue Hawaii, but I would argue that few productions have been as impactful as bringing Aloha style mainstream as Magnum, P.I. Continue reading

After Hours: Paul’s Day-to-Night Beige Suit

Griffin Dunne as Paul Hackett in After Hours (1985)

Griffin Dunne as Paul Hackett in After Hours (1985)

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Griffin Dunne as Paul Hackett, mild-mannered data processor

New York City, Spring 1985

Film: After Hours
Release Date: September 13, 1985
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Rita Ryack

Background

Friday the 13th is traditionally a day for bad luck, so it’s appropriate that Martin Scorsese’s After Hours, centered around one New Yorker’s evening of arguably bad luck, was released on Friday the 13th in September 1985.

A surreal black comedy with elements of neo-noir, After Hours begins just before 5:00 for Paul Hackett, a data processor ostensibly living the yuppie dream with his secure job and Manhattan apartment… but the job sucks, his apartment’s cramped despite no one to share it with, and he has no social life outside of training new employees. In search of any human connectivity into his life, Paul takes his dog-eared copy of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer to an all-night diner. Continue reading

Tequila Sunrise: Mel Gibson’s Post-Swim Herradura

Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer in Tequila Sunrise (1988)

Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer in Tequila Sunrise (1988)

Vitals

Mel Gibson as Dale “Mac” McKussic, retired drug dealer

Los Angeles, Summer 1988

Film: Tequila Sunrise
Release Date: December 2, 1988
Director: Robert Towne
Costume Designer: Julie Weiss

Background

Following his success as a screenwriter—credited and uncredited—on some of the most memorable movies of the ’70s, Robert Towne intended for his sophomore directorial film, Tequila Sunrise, to be something of a spiritual follow-up to Chinatown, which… it isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I did get some enjoyment out of Tequila Sunrise and there’s no denying that it’s refreshingly original—almost to a questionable degree—but I would argue it’s not even close to the same league as Chinatown, let alone Bonnie & ClydeThe GodfatherThe Last DetailMarathon Man, or the other excellent films that benefited from Towne’s contributions.

Several had recommended Tequila Sunrise to me for its style, and I’ll admit the name intrigued me, so I mentally scheduled to watch it and write about it in time for #NationalTequilaDay, celebrated annually on July 24… so happy National Tequila Day!

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My day as an extra in Adventureland

Adventureland (2009)

My blurry appearance as an extra in Adventureland.

Vitals

Me, evidently a fan of amusement parks

Pittsburgh, Summer 1987

Film: Adventureland
Release Date: April 3, 2009
Director: Greg Mottola
Costume Designer: Melissa Toth

Background

As today is my 32nd birthday (a day I share with Ernest Hemingway, Robin Williams, and Cat Stevens, to name a few) I’m going to exercise my blogger’s right to shift direction a bit and focus on… me!

In case my blog about style in the movies didn’t give it away, I’ve always been a fan of movies. While I never harbored dreams of stardom, there had always been a part of me that got a kick out of seeing myself on screen—which my fiancée attributes to my Leo ascendant—and I spent many a weekend in high school cajoling my patient friends into starring in some amateur production of mine, typically a half-baked story driven by gangsters, guns, and Goodwill-purchased suits.

It wasn’t until I entered college that I considered actually being part of an actual production, tossing my proverbial hat into the ring by registering as an extra with a local casting agency that has worked on several major productions filmed in Pittsburgh including The Dark Knight RisesJack Reacher, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Just two months into my freshman year at Pitt, the agency announced that extras of all ages would be needed for a day spent filming at Kennywood, the amusement park that had been the setting of many fond memories since early childhood. The park was being transformed back in time two decades for the 1980s-set comedy Adventureland, which would star Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as college students spending their summer working at an amusement park. Continue reading