Tagged: 1990s

Samuel L. Jackson in The Long Kiss Goodnight

Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Henessey in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996).

Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Henessey in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996).

Vitals

Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Henessey, wisecracking private detective and ex-con

New Jersey, Christmas 1996

Film: The Long Kiss Goodnight
Release Date: October 11, 1996
Director: Renny Harlin
Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

Background

As Christmas is only two weeks away, BAMF Style is taking a look at the Die Hard-meets-The Bourne Identity holiday action flick, The Long Kiss Goodnight.

The Long Kiss Goodnight has received a generally positive reception in the 20 years since it’s release, but there’s one review that stands out of particular importance for this blog. In 2001, an IMDB reviewer gave the movie the top rating of 10 stars with the added note:

Saw this film on TV just now for the first time in ages and realised what makes it so good… SAMUEL L. JACKSON’S WARDROBE.

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Michael Douglas’s Taupe Cerruti Suit in Basic Instinct

Michael Douglas as Nick Curran in Basic Instinct (1992).

Michael Douglas as Nick Curran in Basic Instinct (1992).

Vitals

Michael Douglas as Nick Curran, homicide detective with a troubled past

San Francisco, April 1991

Film: Basic Instinct
Release Date: March 20, 1992
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Costume Designer: Ellen Mirojnick

Background

There have been a few persistent requests to analyze Michael Douglas’ tailored Cerruti suits and sport jackets in the controversial thriller Basic Instinct, best known for what Sharon Stone wasn’t wearing on screen as opposed to what Michael Douglas was wearing.

Described in his book The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood as an exercise to create the lowest common denominator screenplay possible, writer Joe Eszterhas completed his script within two weeks all while reportedly listening to The Rolling Stones non-stop. Eszterhas sold the script three days later for the astronomical sum of $3 million, cynically reattaining his mantle as the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood.

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Vincent Vega’s Western-Inspired Casualwear

John Travolta as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994).

John Travolta as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994).

Vitals

John Travolta as Vincent Vega, laidback mob hitman and self-described “Elvis man”

Los Angeles, Summer 1992

Film: Pulp Fiction
Release Date: October 14, 1994
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann

Background

With Halloween around the corner, I’m revisiting one of my favorite Halloween costumes: Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. It’s a great chance for a couple’s costume, whether your significant other is a Mia or a Jules.

Pulp Fiction‘s colorful, sprawling cast of characters and famously non-linear timeline makes Vincent an even more interesting character when you realize that he is the only one to appear in each segment of the film. The role marked a rejuvenation for John Travolta, whose career had gone stagnant during the ’80s with the only real commercial success coming from Look Who’s Talking. Established and rising actors including Alec Baldwin, Daniel Day-Lewis, James Gandolfini, Andy Garcia, Michael Keaton (aw!), Gary Oldman, Jason Patric, Sean Penn, Tim Roth, and Denzel Washington had all been either interested in or considered for the role, and even Michael Madsen would go on to regret not reprising his Vega brother role when offered.

Vincent Vega was the laidback yin to Jules Winnfield’s fired-up yang. While Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) would intimidate a target with his fire-and-brimstone brand of furious anger, Vincent would merely slump against a wall, puffing one of his hand-rolled cigarettes and debating whether or not to voice a situational complaint of his own. It might have been his easy temperament that led Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) to tap Vincent as the henchman-of-choice to entertain his wife Mia (Uma Thurman) when Marsellus was called out of town. Continue reading

The Tailor of Panama: Andy Osnard’s Check Sportcoat

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Vitals

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard, sleazy and shrewd MI6 agent

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

Pierce Brosnan had a reputation for playing smooth, dapper characters like Remington Steele, Thomas Crown, and – of course – James Bond, making it all the more entertaining when he traded in that image to play unapologetic cad Andy Osnard in John Boorman’s 2001 adaptation of John le Carré’s spy novel The Tailor of Panama.

Viewers at the time may have thought “Pierce Brosnan playing a British spy in an exotic setting? Won’t that just be James Bond?” John le Carré readers who were familiar with the book knew the answer was a resounding “Hell, no!” Continue reading

Harrison Ford’s Tweed Jacket in The Fugitive

Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive (1993).

Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive (1993).

Vitals

Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, fugitive and former doctor trying to clear his name

Chicago, Spring 1993

Film: The Fugitive
Release Date: August 6, 1993
Director: Andrew Davis
Costume Designer: Aggie Guerard Rodgers

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In addition to being one of the best modern thrillers, The Fugitive is also one of the best TV-to-movie adaptations, seamlessly updating the characters and story to transform four seasons of a 1960s TV show into a compelling and suspenseful 1990s action flick. Continue reading

Steve Martin’s Red Silk Suit in My Blue Heaven

Steve Martin with Rick Moranis in My Blue Heaven (1990). Sadly, this is just a promotional photo and Steve's rad Ray-Ban sunglasses didn't make it into this scene.

Steve Martin with Rick Moranis in My Blue Heaven (1990). Sadly, this is just a promotional photo and Steve’s rad Ray-Ban sunglasses didn’t make it into this scene.

Vitals

Steve Martin as Vinnie Antonelli (aka Tod Wilkinson), ex-Mafia informant

New York City, Early Winter 1990

Film: My Blue Heaven
Release Date: August 17, 1990
Director: Herbert Ross
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi

Background

This week’s focus on dupioni silk continues with the loud red suit worn by Steve Martin in My Blue Heaven, posted today to celebrate my sister’s birthday as this flick is a family favorite that she and I are constantly quoting to each other.

Although Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill provides himself the living epigraph of living the rest of his life “like a schnook” at the end of Goodfellas, the story really didn’t end there. Loosely based on Hill’s post-mob life in the witness protection program, My Blue Heaven was written by Nora Ephron, who had been inspired by her husband Nicholas Pileggi’s interviews with Hill. Through the interview process, it was discovered that a career criminal like Hill didn’t reform himself immediately (if at all) and was often getting into trouble with authorities – returning to his old criminal ways, maintaining a high profile, and even entering a bigamist marriage under his “new” name – all depicted in My Blue Heaven. Continue reading

The Tailor of Panama: Harry Pendel’s Cream Suit

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Vitals

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel, tailor to Panama’s finest and ex-con

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

I tend to get grumpy about sartorial “rules”, including the snobbish American insistence that white can only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day. While I wouldn’t see much of a need to wear white (or that of its ilk) on a chilly winter day in Pittsburgh, it’s still frustrating to be informed what I can and can’t wear. For all of his faults, Boss Hogg deserves some credit for refusing to yield to arbitrary rules of dress and proudly wearing his white busting-at-the-seams three-piece suit all year round.

Luckily for Harry Pendel, this rule doesn’t apply in the tropical locale of Panama where the British expat (and ex-con) has set up his tailor shop. Harry is one of the few characters from his novels that John le Carré felt he could relate to, stating that “I was exploring the relationship between myself and my own fabricator. Anybody in the creative business, as you might call it, has some sense of guilt about fooling around with fact, that you’re committing larceny, that all of life is material for your fabulations.”

Director John Boorman said he always imagined Geoffrey Rush for the role. “You never lose sympathy for Geoffrey on screen, even when he does dreadful things,” explained Boorman. “There’s something worn yet innocent about him.” Continue reading