Tagged: Assassin

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

John Wick’s Brown Leather Jacket and Ford Mustang

Keanu Reeves as John Wick, standing inside the door of his 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in John Wick (2014).

Keanu Reeves as John Wick, standing inside the door of his 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in John Wick (2014).

Vitals

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

Background

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

Lee Marvin’s Gray Silk Suit in The Killers

Lee Marvin as Charlie Strom in The Killers (1964).

Lee Marvin as Charlie Strom in The Killers (1964).

Vitals

Lee Marvin as Charlie Strom, professional mob hitman

Miami, Fall 1963

Film: The Killers
Release Date: July 7, 1964
Director: Don Siegel
Costume Designer: Helen Colvig

Background

Tomorrow would have been the birthday of Lee Marvin, who was born in New York on February 19, 1924. After his WWII service with the Marine Corps, Marvin spent a few decades acting before lighting up the screen as introspective assassin Charlie Strom in Don Siegel’s adaptation of The Killers. In addition to his first top-billed film role, The Killers also led to Marvin winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actor (in addition to his role in Cat Ballou). Continue reading

Clive Owen as “The Professor” in The Bourne Identity

Clive Owen as "The Professor" in The Bourne Identity (2002).

Clive Owen as “The Professor” in The Bourne Identity (2002).

Vitals

Clive Owen as “The Professor”, English sleeper assassin for the CIA

Paris, Winter 2002

Film: The Bourne Identity
Release Date: June 14, 2002
Director: Doug Liman
Costume Designer: Pierre-Yves Gayraud

Background

A hallmark of the Bourne series is the dogged adversary, usually a fellow government assassin who always manages to stay one step ahead of our protagonist, even when the agency itself can’t quite manage to do the same. The first major example of this adversary is “The Professor”, the otherwise unnamed hitman played by Clive Owen in The Bourne Identity. Continue reading

The American: Jack’s Winter Attire in Sweden

George Clooney as Jack in The American (2010).

George Clooney as Jack in The American (2010).

Vitals

George Clooney as Jack (aka “Edward”), American hitman-in-hiding

Dalarna, Sweden, April 2010

Film: The American
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Director: Anton Corbijn
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb

Background

The opening of The American finds our titular protagonist hiding out in Dalarna in central Sweden with the lovely Ingrid. Although his Syriana days are long behind him, Clooney sports a salt-and-pepper beard to let us know right away that he has been out of action for sometime. For anyone familiar with the film due to its marketing campaign or regular ol’ smarts, this “action” is contract killing.

Continue reading

The American: Jack’s E. Zegna Field Jacket

George Clooney as Jack (or

George Clooney as Jack (or “Edward”), the hitman in The American (2010).

Vitals

George Clooney as Jack (aka “Edward”), weary hitman and gunsmith

Castel del Monte, Abruzzo, Italy, April 2010

Film: The American
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Director: Anton Corbijn
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb Continue reading

Clooney’s Train Station “Double Coat” in The American

George Clooney as Jack in The American (2010), showing us what men should look like when traveling.

George Clooney as Jack in The American (2010)

Vitals

George Clooney as Jack (aka “Edward”), weary paid assassin/hitman and gunsmith

Rome, April 2010

Film: The American
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Director: Anton Corbijn
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb

Background

George Clooney is the titular hitman in The American, a 2010 film directed by Anton Corbijn based on Martin Booth’s novel A Very Private Gentleman. Though he’d played gun-wielding badasses before, The American was the first role placing Clooney in the now mythic film profession of paid assassin. Continue reading

Hitman: Agent 47

Timothy Olyphant as the titular Agent 47 in Hitman (2007).

Timothy Olyphant as the titular Agent 47 in Hitman (2007).

Vitals

Timothy Olyphant as Agent 47, freelance hitman

Turkey, Fall 2007

Film: Hitman
Release Date: November 21, 2007
Director: Xavier Gens
Costume Designer: Olivier Bériot
Timothy Olyphant’s Personal Dresser: Anna Gelinova

Background

A black suit is typically acceptable for funerals and special occasions. These occasions may include a wedding, a semi-formal evening event, or being a badass. 47 would fit into the latter category here. However, being as it’s nearly Christmas, 47’s black suit and red tie would be the perfect attire for a holiday gathering. It would be even more perfect if you have to cut the holiday gathering short to go assassinate a few bad guys, but that might dampen your senile aunt’s holiday spirit.

Many would agree that, especially in the age of Hawaiian-shirted heroes in the Grand Theft Auto series, Hitman‘s Agent 47 has always remained one of the best-dressed video game characters. Continue reading

Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly.

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly (2012)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, freelance mob hitman

Boston*, November 2008

* The movie – like the source novel – was indeed set in the Boston area but was filmed in New Orleans.

Background

Although it met with mixed reviews, fans of George V. Higgins appreciate the recent film version of his 1974 book Cogan’s Trade, released as Killing Them Softly based on a line from the novel’s titular protagonist, Jackie Cogan:

They cry. They plead. They beg. They piss themselves. They call for their mothers. It gets embarrassing. I like to kill ’em softly, from a distance. Not close enough for feelings. Don’t like feelings. Don’t want to think about them.

Continue reading

Jason Bourne, 1988 Style

Richard Chamberlain as Jason Bourne in 1988's mini-series The Bourne Identity.

Richard Chamberlain as Jason Bourne in 1988’s mini-series The Bourne Identity.

Vitals

Richard Chamberlain as Jason Bourne, amnesiac ex-CIA agent

Zurich, Spring 1988

Film: The Bourne Identity
Release Date: May 8, 1988
Director: Roger Young
Costume Designer: Barbara Lane

Background

“HEY, THIS ISN’T MATT DAMON!”

That’s right. In 1988, Robert Ludlum’s wildly popular spy novel The Bourne Identity (I hope that you at least knew it was a book first) was adapted into a two-part mini-series that was much more faithful to the book’s plot.

While the 2002 version with Mr. Damon is often considered to be superior, the 1988 adaptation certainly held its own in terms of acting, action, and suspense. Continue reading