Tagged: 1980s

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)

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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.

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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

Red Heat: Arnie’s Teal “Gumby” Suit

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi in Red Heat (1988)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi in Red Heat (1988)

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Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ivan Danko, disciplined Moscow police captain

Chicago, Summer 1987

Film: Red Heat
Release Date: June 17, 1988
Director: Walter Hill
Costume Designer: Dan Moore
Tailor: Tommy Velasco

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Thanks to a recommendation from Pete Brooker of the excellent From Tailors with Love podcast, I beat the summer heat by revisiting Red Heat, the buddy cop actioner that paired Arnold Schwarzenegger as a tough Russian police captain with Jim Belushi as the stereotypical cigarettes-and-coffee American detective, working together to capture the dangerous Georgian gangster Viktor “Rosta” Rostavili (Ed O’Ross).

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For Your Eyes Only: Bond’s Green Jacket and Melina’s Citroën

Roger Moore as James Bond, flanked by Lizzie Warville, Alison Worth, Viva, Vanya, Kim Mills, and Laila Dean, in For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Roger Moore as James Bond, flanked by Lizzie Warville, Alison Worth, Viva, Vanya, Kim Mills, and Laila Dean, in For Your Eyes Only (1981).
Photo sourced from Thunderballs.org.

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Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent

Spain, Spring 1981

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

Background

During the 40th anniversary year of For Your Eyes Only, the 00-7th of July feels like the appropriate time to examine the clothes and cars of Mr. Bond himself, after previously exploring the fits of one of his allies and one of his enemies. (This may be a little late for #CarWeek, but isn’t it always a good day for a drive in the country?)

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Cocktail: Tom Cruise’s Spattered Pink Tropical Shirt

Tom Cruise as Brian Flanagan in Cocktail (1988)

Tom Cruise as Brian Flanagan in Cocktail (1988)

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Tom Cruise as Brian Flanagan, ambitious tropical bartender

Ocho RIos, Jamaica, Spring 1988

Film: Cocktail
Release Date: July 29, 1988
Director: Roger Donaldson
Costume Designer: Ellen Mirojnick

Background

I will admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Cocktail, but I’ve been in a tropical mood lately so this colorful, super-’80s yarn of bartending and bonking felt like a perfect summertime post in advance of Tom Cruise’s birthday tomorrow.

By all accounts, this winner of two Razzies should have been better, and author Heywood Gould has voiced considerable disappointment that his more serious source novel underwent such commercialization that the end product was primarily a vapid celebration of Tom Cruise using the daiquiri recipe he learned at TGI Friday’s to try to get laid as much as he could.

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Sinatra’s Cannonball Run II Cameo

To kick off this year’s summer #CarWeek series (and on #SinatraSaturday, no less), today’s post explores the Chairman and his car as he joins a star-studded cast for a cross-country race in one of the most famous “car movie” series this side of Fast and the Furious.

Frank Sinatra, joined by Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Shirley MacLaine on the set of Cannonball Run II (1984)

Frank Sinatra, joined by Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Shirley MacLaine on the set of Cannonball Run II (1984)

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Frank Sinatra as himself, entertainment legend

Las Vegas, Summer 1983

Film: Cannonball Run II
Release Date: June 29, 1984
Director: Hal Needham
Costume Design: Kathy O’Rear, Norman Salling, and Don Vargas

Background

Look, we’re all aware that Cannonball Run II isn’t Frank Sinatra’s best movie. (And, let’s face it, even if it was his only movie, it still wouldn’t be his best!) But, after observing the fun that his Rat Pack pallies Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., had in the first installment, FS arranged for a short cameo that would yield him second billing in the cast and a $30,000 payday, which he donated to charity.

According to Hal Needham, three versions of the script were written to accommodate the Chairman of the Board: one that would require one week of work, a second that would require two days, and a third version where Frank would only be needed on the set for one day. Perhaps aware that this wasn’t exactly The Manchurian Candidate, Frank wisely chose the latter option, showing up for his day on screen behind the wheel of his own red Dodge Daytona Turbo Z.

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Sir Timothy Havelock in For Your Eyes Only

Carole Bouquet and Jack Hedley in For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Carole Bouquet and Jack Hedley, as Melina Havelock and Sir Timothy Havelock, in For Your Eyes Only (1981)

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Jack Hedley as Sir Timothy Havelock, marine archaeologist contracted by the British Secret Service

Ionian Sea off the Albanian coast, 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

For Your Eyes Only, my favorite James Bond movie of the Roger Moore era, was released 40 years ago today! To celebrate, I wanted to shift focus from 007 to the stylish and significant—but only briefly seen—character of Sir Timothy Havelock.

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Waylon Jennings on The Dukes of Hazzard

Tom Wopat, Waylon Jennings, and John Schneider

Waylon Jennings, flanked by series regulars Tom Wopat and John Schneider on The Dukes of Hazzard, Episode 7.02: “Welcome, Waylon Jennings”

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Waylon Jennings, outlaw country star

Hazzard County, Georgia, Fall 1984

Series: The Dukes of Hazzard
Episode: “Welcome, Waylon Jennings” (Episode 7.02)
Air Date: September 28, 1984
Director: Bob Sweeney
Creator: Gy Waldron
Costume Supervisor: Bob Christenson

Background

After six seasons as Hazzard County’s official off-screen “balladeer”, country legend Waylon Jennings finally showed more than just his hands on the long-running series about those two celebrated good ol’ boys.

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Miami Blues: Pink Blazer and Pastel Plaid Pants

Alec Baldwin in Miami Blues (1990)

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Alec Baldwin as Frederick J. Frenger Jr., sociopathic ex-con

Miami, Fall 1989

Film: Miami Blues
Release Date: April 20, 1990
Director: George Armitage
Costume Designer: Eugenie Bafaloukos

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I wanted to write about some pastels leading up to Easter and stumbled upon this chaotic look from Miami Blues, an adaptation of Charles Willeford’s 1984 novel that was the first in his Hoke Moseley series. “Nobody writes a better crime novel,” Elmore Leonard had once said of Willeford, who died in March 1988, two years before the novel made it to the screen. Miami Blues was only the second cinematic adaptation of a Willeford novel, following the 1974 release of Cockfighter starring Warren Oates.

Fred Ward—who also served as executive producer—starred as Moseley while Alec Baldwin (who celebrates his 63rd birthday today) played the sociopathic Frederick J. Frenger Jr., wreaking havoc through the Magic City with a badge stolen from Moseley. Continue reading

James Caan in Thief: Frank’s ’80s Gray Leather Blousons

James Caan as Frank in Thief (1981)

James Caan as Frank in Thief (1981)

Vitals

James Caan as Frank, professional jewel thief

Chicago, Spring 1980

Film: Thief
Release Date: March 27, 1981
Director: Michael Mann
Costume Supervisor: Jodie Lynn Tillen

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Considered by many to be one of the director’s best movies, Michal Mann’s debut Thief was released in theaters 40 years ago today. Thief established many of what would become Mann trademarks, from its “principled” yet ruthless professional character who expertly handles a .45 to the setting city elevated to a secondary character itself, particularly its less glamorous underbelly as photographed at night. (Originally titled Violent Streets, even the one-word title would become a Mann signature as evidenced by his future features AliBlackhat, Collateral, Heat, and Manhunter.)

Mann adapted the 1975 novel The Home Invaders: Confessions of a Cat Burglar by real-life thief John Seybold (writing as “Frank Hohimer”) for his screen debut, retaining the first name of Seybold’s nom de plume for the taciturn thief that would be memorably played by James Caan, who celebrated his 81st birthday yesterday.

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