James Stewart as Frank Towns, experienced cargo pilot and war veteran
Libyan desert, Spring 1965
Film: The Flight of the Phoenix
Release Date: December 15, 1965
Director: Robert Aldrich
Costume Designer: Norma Koch
James Maitland Stewart had to fly. His earliest memories of flight involved colorful covers of Literary Digest depicting the Great War, then in progress, and the incredible use of air power by both sides. Jim tacked up each magazine cover on the wall in his bedroom. “Airplanes were the last thing I thought of every night and the first thing I thought of every morning,” he would say as an adult.
— Robert Matzen, Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe, Chapter 1
Born 115 years ago today on May 20, 1908, Jimmy Stewart had a lifelong passion for flight that followed him through his career, from the model airplane he lovingly constructed with Henry Fonda during their salad days on Broadway through his celebrated service flying dangerous combat missions as a U.S. Army Air Forces officer during World War II. Reticent to discuss his service after the war, Stewart flew B-24 Liberators on 20 combat missions over Europe and, by war’s end, was one of only a handful of Americans to rise from the rank of private to colonel in only four years.
Aviation continued to be a theme of Stewart’s life during his postwar film career, often starring in flight-themed dramas like No Highway in the Sky (1951), The Glenn Miller Story (1954), Strategic Air Command (1955), and The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), playing famed aviator Charles Lindbergh.
One of the last—and perhaps best—of Stewart’s aviation-centered films is The Flight of the Phoenix, Robert Aldrich’s 1965 survival drama based on Elleston Trevor’s novel of the same name. Stewart plays civilian cargo pilot Frank Towns, described by his navigator Lew Moran (Richard Attenborough) as “one of the few really great pilots left in this push-button world of yours.” Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond, swaggering and brash British government agent
Madagascar, July 2006
Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
To celebrate Daniel Craig’s 49th birthday today, BAMF Style is looking back to his “birth” in the Bond franchise in Casino Royale, exploring the scrappy summer attire during the dangerous first mission that Craig’s Bond took as a 00 agent.
After the globe-trotting double kills that led to James Bond’s eligibility for 00 status, Bond finds himself in Madagascar, working with bright-eyed and bushy-tailed MI6 agent named Carter (Joseph Millson) as they conduct surveillance on a bombmaker named Mollaka. The eager Carter’s inability to fit in compromises their identities, and Bond is forced to chase after Mollaka while Carter languishes in a mongoose pit.
Unfortunately for 007, Mollaka is played by French freerunner Sébastien Foucan, a parkour pioneer who sees the various cranes, walls, and heights as no obstruction to his getaway. Unfortunately for Mollaka, this Bond doesn’t rely on an arched eyebrow or a well-timed witticism to get the job done…this Bond runs through walls, dammit! Continue reading