Tagged: Bank Robber

The Sundance Kid’s Brown Corded Jacket

Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

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Robert Redford as Harry Longbaugh, aka “The Sundance Kid”, laconic and sharp-shooting American outlaw

Colorado, Fall 1898

Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Last year, we celebrated Robert Redford’s 78th birthday (and Throwback Tuesday, which I’ve decided can be a thing) by breaking down the Sundance Kid’s traveling suit when he and Butch Cassidy pack up and head to Bolivia. This year, for Bob’s 79th, we’ll look at his main outfit leading up to that – a badass assortment of Western wear that epitomize American outlaw style at the turn of the century.

What’d He Wear?

Although the film’s audience would be hard-pressed to call either Butch or Sundance a true villain despite their criminal vocations, Sundance is certainly the darker-demeanored of the two, reflected by his attire. In Bolivia, he wears a black suit and black hat. While still conducting his banditry in the U.S., he wears all black save for a brown corduroy jacket. By default, he becomes the film’s personification of the “black-hatted outlaw” trope although his easy charm differentiates him from more villianous contemporaries like Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The one major non-black part of his American banditry outfit is the brown wide-waled corduroy jacket. The jacket looks as well-traveled as Sundance himself, providing him comfortable and surprisingly fashionable outerwear that allows a wide range of motion for a man whose job includes jumping on and off of moving trains. Continue reading

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Buck Barrow’s Leather Flight Jacket

Gene Hackman as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Gene Hackman as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

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Gene Hackman as “Buck” Barrow, Depression-era ex-convict looking to go straight

Joplin, Missouri, Spring 1933

Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

BAMF Style’s been focusing a lot on law-abiding BAMFs lately, and – while their behavior may be admirable – it’s always welcome to shift back to characters with murkier legal histories. 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde is stylish in many regards, including the rugged outlaw style sported by Clyde’s older brother Buck, played charmingly by Gene Hackman in his first major on-screen role. Continue reading

William Holden in The Wild Bunch

William Holden as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1969).

William Holden as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1969).

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William Holden as Pike Bishop, grizzled bandit gang leader

Coahuila, Mexico, Spring 1913

Film: The Wild Bunch
Release Date: June 18, 1969
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Costume Designer: James R. Silke

Background

We’ve got to start thinking beyond our guns. Those days are closing fast.

…is what Pike Bishop wisely tells his men, an aging group of outlaws still anachronistically robbing banks and trains on horseback with a six-shooter on their hips. Pike knows the times are changing, and it doesn’t take a water-cooled machine gun or a Mexican general’s Packard to drive the point home to them.

Today would have been the 97th birthday of William Holden, who starred in classics like Sunset BoulevardStalag 17SabrinaThe Bridge on the River Kwai before taking on the role of the anachronistically self-aware Pike Bishop. Holden was one of many actors considered by Sam Peckinpah for the role; Lee Marvin had actually been cast but then turned it down to accept the higher-paying lead in Paint Your Wagon. It turned out well for Holden, who developed the character into one of the greatest movie badasses of all time… as even that sterling news source MTV agreed. Continue reading

Clyde Barrow’s Charcoal Chalkstripe Suit (2013 Miniseries)

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (2013).

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (2013).

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Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow, amateur bank robber with “second sight”

Texas, Spring 1932

Series Title: Bonnie and Clyde
Air Date: December 8, 2013
Director: Bruce Beresford
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

Background

Today would have been Clyde Barrow’s birthday. Whether it was 1909 (according to birth records) or 1910 (according to the Barrow family bible) is up for debate, but there’s no doubt that the jug-eared killer was only in his early 20s by the time he had led a group of misfits on a deadly crime spree across the Midwest and South. Continue reading

“Pretty Boy” Floyd’s Birthday

Steve Kanaly as Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd in Dillinger (1973).

Steve Kanaly as Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd in Dillinger (1973).

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Steve Kanaly as Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, Depression-era bank robber

Midwest U.S., Spring 1934

Film: Dillinger
Release Date: July 20, 1973
Director: John Milius
Costume Designer: James M. George

Background

Today marks what would have been the 111th birthday of Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, one of the best-known of the original “Public Enemies” that terrorized American banks during the Great Depression. The early 1930s were a prime era for American crime. Unlike the murderous gangsters whose machine gun battles littered newspaper headlines during the “roaring twenties”, many of the Depression-era desperadoes painted themselves as contemporary Robin Hoods, stealing from the banks to give to the poor. While some were genuinely psychopaths like “Baby Face” Nelson and Clyde Barrow, others like Floyd and John Dillinger were more akin to simple farm boys led astray. Continue reading

Clyde Barrow’s Brown Herringbone Bank Robbery Suit

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

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Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, Depression-era bank robber and gang leader

Pilot Point, TX, Summer 1933

Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

It was around this time in late November 1932 that an awkward and maladjusted Texas hoodlum decided he wanted to make the jump from armed robber and spree killer to big-time bank-robbing gang leader. Now 23 years old, Clyde Barrow already had numerous arrests dating back to an aborted attempt to steal a rental car and impress a girlfriend (not Bonnie, in case you’re curious.) He’d spent two years in prison, having endured sexual and physical abuse for most of it, and now graced headlines of small Texas newspapers with the notoriety of a gutless killer with the blood of two shopkeepers and a deputy sheriff attributed to him (not to mention that of the most abusive inmate from his prison stretch).

With the support of his vulnerable girlfriend, Bonnie Parker, and two Texas nobodies who shared his dreams of taking a major bank score, Clyde set out for the Farmers and Miners Bank in Oronago, Missouri on November 30, 1932. Bonnie had already visited the bank the previous day to case it, but the inexperienced girl drew only suspicious stares from its employees rather than a master plan for robbery. Undeterred by her lack of success, Clyde loaded his Browning Automatic Rifle – stolen from a Texas National Guard armory three months earlier – and charged into the bank around 11:30 a.m. with accomplice Frank Hardy. Things didn’t quite go according to plan. Continue reading

“Pretty Boy” Floyd’s Death in Public Enemies

80 years ago today, Depression-era outlaw Charles Arthur Floyd was shot down by federal agents and local police in a farm outside East Liverpool, Ohio.

Channing Tatum as Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd in Public Enemies (2009).

Channing Tatum as Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd in Public Enemies (2009).

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Channing Tatum as Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, charismatic but violent Depression-era outlaw

Clarkson, Ohio, October 1934

Film: Public Enemies
Release Date: July 1, 2009
Director: Michael Mann
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Background

After dedicating the majority of my life to researching the Depression-era crime wave that saw guys like John Dillinger, “Pretty Boy” Floyd, and Alvin Karpis roaming the American countryside with the support of the public and the rage of the government, I was elated when I learned that Bryan Burrough’s masterful docu-novel Public Enemies was finally being turned into a film. I wondered how a two-hour movie could capture the intricacies of each colorful individual in each of the various gangs over a two-year period, and I assumed that – like Burrough – director Michael Mann would focus primarily on Karpis, the lone survivor of the original batch of Public Enemies. Continue reading

Steve McQueen’s Brown 3-Piece Suit as Thomas Crown

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).

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Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, millionaire busienssman and criminal mastermind

Boston, Summer 1968

Film: The Thomas Crown Affair
Release Date: June 19, 1968
Director: Norman Jewison
Costume Designer: Alan Levine
Tailor: Douglas Hayward

Background

The Thomas Crown Affair is one film where I would feel comfortable ruling that the style outweighs the substance. In some ways, the plot reads like a harlequin novel – a dashing millionaire is investigated by an impossibly stunning insurance investigator and the two play a cat-and-mouse game, culminating in some symbolism-driven sex and his eventual escape. It is a simple plot in a film best remembered for its lavish touches across the board from cinematography to costuming.

In fact, Crown himself is far more sophisticated than the plot. Watching for plot can be more than mildly frustrating as the film really electrifies when McQueen and Dunaway are onscreen and – not the fault of the other actors – stumbles when neither are there to save it. The film is still a fun and very ’60s caper, but it’s important to keep in mind that the focus is totally on style. Continue reading

The Sundance Kid’s Gray Wool Traveling Suit

Paul Newman, Katharine Ross, and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Paul Newman, Katharine Ross, and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Vitals

Robert Redford as Harry Longbaugh, aka “The Sundance Kid”, American outlaw and sharpshooter

Colorado to Bolivia (via New York City), Spring 1901

Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

For Throwback Tuesday (that’s a thing, right?), BAMF Style is focusing on another BAMF hero – Robert Redford, who celebrated his 78th birthday yesterday – in the role that arguably shot his career into megastardom.

As Harry Longbaugh, alias “The Sundance Kid”, Redford played a level-headed – if pessimisitc – ying to the optimistic dreamer Butch Cassidy played by Paul Newman. Butch and the Kid were outlaws, killers, and thieves, but William Goldman’s script, George Roy Hill’s direction, and Newman and Redford’s bickering chemistry reinvented the two bandits’ image. Continue reading

The Death of John Dillinger – 2009 Style

Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009).

Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009).

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Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, doomed Depression-era bank robber

Chicago, July 1934

Film: Public Enemies
Release Date: July 1, 2009
Director: Michael Mann
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Background

While 1973’s Dillinger took a “just the facts” approach to retelling the life of bank robber John Dillinger (albeit with very exaggerated facts), Michael Mann’s Public Enemies painted the farmboy-turned-criminal as a more mythical figure. This seems to be the trend in recent years.

Forty-some years ago, the cinematic John Dillinger and Clyde Barrow were depicted as Robin Hood-type folk heroes who were cornered by relentless authorities and shot without warning. Continue reading