Tagged: Al Pacino

Michael Corleone’s “Nice Ivy League” Charcoal Suit

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, Mafia son and World War II hero

New York City, January 1946

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Happy birthday to Al Pacino, born this day in 1940. It was The Godfather that arguably catapulted Pacino into public consciousness as one of the greatest actors of his generation, an impressive feat for an actor with only two preceding film credits. Although Paramount production chief Robert Evans had more box office-oriented names in mind for its central role ranging from Jack Nicholson to Robert Redford, Francis Ford Coppola insisted on Pacino who delivered in spades and received both an Academy Award nomination as well as a massive salary increase (from $35,000 to $600,000) to return as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II only two years later.

Although all of The Godfather is an acting tour de force for Pacino, there is one monumental scene often cited as the moment that truly established him as one of the most talented stars in the industry. An outsider to his family’s illegitimate business, Michael Corleone surprised everyone by offering to retaliate for the attempt on his father’s life by personally gunning down both the drug-peddling gangster and the corrupt police captain. Armed with the family’s blessing, an escape route, and a .38 taped behind an old toilet, Michael finds himself sitting across from these two criminals for – ostensibly – a peace meeting. Continue reading

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Carlito Brigante’s Dressed-Up Black Leather Coat

Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way (1993).

Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante in Carlito’s Way (1993).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Carlito “Charlie” Brigante, paroled nightclub owner and former heroin dealer

New York City, September 1975

Film: Carlito’s Way
Release Date: November 3, 1993
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Ten years after the wild success of Scarface, Al Pacino strapped on a gat and stepped in front of Brian De Palma’s camera as Carlito Brigante, the character developed in Judge Edwin Torres’ 1970s crime novels Carlito’s Way and After Hours. Despite its title, Carlito’s Way is primarily based on the latter novel, depicting Carlito’s desperate attempts to “go straight” after yet another release from prison. Continue reading

Tony Montana’s Chalkstripe Showdown Suit in Scarface

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface (1983).

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface (1983).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Tony Montana, impulsive and hotheaded cocaine kingpin

New York City to Miami, Fall 1983

Film: Scarface
Release Date: December 9, 1983
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris
Tailor: Tommy Velasco

Background

Even if you’re one of the 0.5% of the population who hasn’t seen Scarface, you’ve seen this suit and you know this scene. You’ve seen it on t-shirts, dorm room posters, memes, and anywhere that pop culture will allow it. The scene has become legendary over the last three decades as one of the greatest movie gunfights in history for many reasons: an unhinged Al Pacino who may or may not have been pretending to be high, an endless mob of cartel gunmen each meeting their fate at the end of his AR-15, and – of course:

Say hello to my little friend!

Continue reading

Capt. Michael Corleone, USMC

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, USMC Captain, WWII hero, and Mafia son

Long Island, NY, September 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

On the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, BAMF Style is looking at one of cinema’s most notorious fictional war heroes from the Pacific Theater of World War II: Michael Corleone.

(Just so we’re clear, BAMF Style believes that the true heroes of World War II are those that did not go on to become mob bosses.)

What’d He Wear?

Michael’s USMC Uniform

Michael arrives at his sister’s wedding wearing his traditional Marine “greens”, the winter service uniform worn from September through April. Although appearing brown on screen, the uniform – now known as the Service A (or “Alpha”) – is forest green wool in a color specific to the Marine Corps, dating back to its introduction in 1912. At the time, the winter service uniform was standard in garrison and on leave and liberty. Since the iconic dress blues were temporarily ceased for most of WWII, a Marine not wearing his utility uniform would almost always be seen in his winter service greens. Continue reading

Scarface: Tony’s Tan Suit and Cadillac

Al Pacino stands next to a bright '63 Caddy convertible as Tony Montana in Scarface (1983).

Al Pacino stands next to a bright ’63 Caddy convertible as Tony Montana in Scarface (1983).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Tony Montana, hotheaded Cuban-American cocaine dealer

Miami, August 1981

Film: Scarface
Release Date: December 9, 1983
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris

Background

BAMF Style is continuing Car Week with the second grand American convertible from the automotive golden era – the 1963 Cadillac Series 62 owned by Tony Montana in 1983’s Scarface. Ironically, we first see this Caddy while Tony is actually shopping for a different luxury car, the silver 1979 Porsche 928 4.5L that he adds to his growing collection.

The ’63 Caddy convertible is clearly Tony’s favorite, though, driving it to show off his status even though Elvira pointedly tells him:

It looks like somebody’s nightmare.

Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Shopping Attire in The Godfather

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, war hero and Mafia son

New York City, Christmas 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Christmas shopping is an activity not traditionally associated with BAMF activity, but the tradition of exchanging gifts with family is fun. After all, Don Corleone says:

…a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.

So, in the spirit of Monday’s holiday list post, follow Michael Corleone as he and Kay Adams go on a midtown shopping date at Christmas. Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Gray Striped Suit in The Godfather

Al Pacino on set as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino on set as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, cold and calculating New York Mafia boss

Long Island, NY, August 1955

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Last weekend, I attended a baptism. While other family members were snapping photos through tearful eyes, I kept picturing fat Clemenza blowing a guy away with a shotgun and Moe Greene getting the Bugsy Siegel treatment.

Whether or not you’re the type of person moved to sentiment by a baptism, anyone who has seen The Godfather can hardly forget the brilliance of Coppola’s juxtaposition between Michael admitting his son into the church while simultaneously sending his enemies to hell.

After returning to the United States and taking his slain brother‘s former mantle as boss of the Corleone Crime Family, Michael Corleone leaves behind the earth tones he sported earlier in the film. Gray is now his color of choice, reflected throughout his wardrobe. Continue reading

Scarface: Tony’s White Pinstripe Suit

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface (1983).

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface (1983)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Tony Montana, ambitious Cuban-American cocaine dealer

Miami (and Colombia), Summer 1981

Film: Scarface
Release Date: December 9, 1983
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris
Tailor: Tommy Velasco

Background

One of the few sartorial rules actually practiced in the United States is adherence to the “no white after Labor Day” rule. While it’s technically outdated, having been decided after the Civil War by snobbish housewives who wanted to establish their place in society, it makes sense that light-colored attire would find its place in the summer. Further enhancing the arbitrary rule, the snobbish housewives’ society determined that Memorial Day would mark the first day for white clothing to be appropriate in polite society.

While he may not be the prime example of “polite society” in the eyes of postbellum America, Tony Montana redefined drug dealer chic in 1983’s Scarface with his numerous sharp suits and incomparable swagger while wearing them. Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Gray Dupioni Silk Suit

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, powerful Mafia boss

Lake Tahoe, Fall 1958

Background

The Godfather is an American cultural phenomenon that needs no explanation. (For all the people secretly bummed out that I won’t give an explanation, here: It’s an epic three film journey following the rise of a Mafia family in the United States from 1901 to 1979).

There are differing opinions as to whether the first or the second part was the best. (No one ever says it’s the third one.)

In the first two films especially, costumes were a large indicator of the story. Much credit for this should be given to costume designer Theadora Van Runkle. When Michael is a proud Marine, he wears his uniform. When he is a college man looking for work, he wears a simple odd jacket, tie, and trousers. As he grows into the Don we have come to know, he wears expensive suits. Interestingly, Michael never wears a hat (aside from his USMC officer’s cap) until he becomes involved in the family.

This post will focus on the first act of The Godfather, Part II, where Michael Corleone is holding court on the day of his son’s Communion. Continue reading