Max von Sydow as G. Joubert, French Alsatian contract assassin
Chevy Chase, Maryland, Christmas 1975
Film: Three Days of the Condor
Release Date: September 24, 1975
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Unlike BAMF Style holiday favorites Die Hard, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, or The Thin Man, Three Days of the Condor doesn’t directly address its Christmas setting, instead letting the otherwise cheery atmosphere, decor, and music be infiltrated by the increasing paranoia of its leading character, CIA researcher Joe Turner (Robert Redford), forced on the run after a massacre at his office.
Engineered by CIA Deputy Director Leonard Atwood (Addison Powell)’s secret intra-agency faction, the massacre was carried out under the supervision of Joubert, an enigmatic contract killer who takes it upon himself to finish the job after a timing snafu allows Turner, alias “Condor”, to escape. Continue reading
Edward Fox as “The Jackal”, mysterious professional assassin
Montemorro Forest, Italy, August 1963
Film: The Day of the Jackal
Release Date: May 16, 1973
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Costume Design: Joan Bridge, Rosine Delamare, and Elizabeth Haffenden
On le 14 juillet (or “Bastille Day,” as we Yanks call it), BAMF Style is exploring one of Edward Fox’s many simple but elegant casual outfits in The Day of the Jackal, where he plays an enigmatic British contract killer tasked with the assassination of French President Charles De Gaulle.
This installment of Car Week ends as it started, featuring a 1961 model year convertible. In this case, it’s the white Alfa Romeo that “The Jackal” – as our smooth assassin is codenamed – drives through Europe, including for this brief interlude as he tests his new customized sniper rifle in the Italian countryside. Continue reading
Robert Shaw as Donald “Red” Grant, lethal SPECTRE assassin
Istanbul, Spring 1963
Film: From Russia With Love
Release Date: October 10, 1963
Director: Terence Young
Costume Designer: Jocelyn Rickards
Robert Shaw set the Bond franchise standard as the dangerous Donald “Red” Grant in From Russia With Love, one of the most memorable antagonists in the series.
Grant is arguably the archetype for subsequent villains that followed his laconic, icy blond example like Vargas in Thunderball, Necros in The Living Daylights, and Stamper in Tomorrow Never Dies, though none could ever match Robert Shaw’s truly menacing presence on screen. Continue reading
Brad Pitt as John Smith, suburban assassin
New York City, Fall 2004
Film: Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Release Date: June 10, 2005
Director: Doug Liman
Costume Designer: Michael Kaplan
Pitt’s Costumer: Myron Baker
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
There have been quite a few requests from readers hoping to see some of Brad Pitt’s sharp attire from Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and I think enough time has passed since his notorious divorce from Angelina Jolie last fall that a post featuring the very movie that brought them together won’t look too opportunistic… although being posted a week after Valentine’s Day may look suspicious!
Mr. & Mrs. Smith stars Pitt and Jolie as the titular couple, a seemingly banal set of suburbanites shielding their secret side careers as professional contract killers from each other. Continue reading
George Clooney as Jack (aka “Edward”), weary hitman and gunsmith
Castel del Monte, Abruzzo, Italy, May 2010
Film: The American
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Director: Anton Corbijn
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Many eyes around the world are on America right now, so I’m responding to a recent request to see George Clooney’s sharp suit from the ending of The American, the quiet 2010 drama that featured Clooney as a semi-retired assassin and gunsmith in a small Italian town for the proverbial “one last job”. Continue reading
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
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
Keanu Reeves as John Wick, retired assassin and devoted puppy owner
New Jersey to New York City, Spring 2014
Film: John Wick
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Director: Chad Stehelski
Costume Designer: Luca Mosca
In honor of tomorrow’s über-American holiday of Flag Day (which also happens to be my mom’s birthday), this installment of Car Week will begin with an examination of John Wick’s casual leather jacketed outfit and – of course – his ’69 Ford Mustang Mach 1, which is mistaken for a Boss 429 during Wick’s fateful gas station fill-up. Continue reading