John Travolta as Chili Palmer, Miami loan shark and aspiring filmmaker
Los Angeles, Winter 1995
Film: Get Shorty
Release Date: October 20, 1995
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann
December is here, and while you may not be in the mood yet for that “bold” Christmas sweater with working lights (these exist!), a nice warm long-sleeve polo in a reddish, rustic shade is the perfect layer for transitioning from the fall harvest season into the chilly first weekend of the holiday month.
Of course, in the L.A. of Get Shorty, the sun is brightly shining on Chili Palmer and his new acquaintances in the film industry as he takes a meeting with the eccentric pint-sized superstar Martin Weir (Danny DeVito), supposedly based on Dustin Hoffman after Elmore Leonard’s experiences working with him in the ’80s. 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
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
After his parole, Carlito’s “street uniform” is typically a cool ’70s leather jacket in black or brown, but nights that find him hosting in his hot spot – El Paraíso – call for a slick black three-piece suit. Continue reading
Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas, heroin kingpin
Harlem, Summer 1971
Film: American Gangster
Release Date: November 2, 2007
Director: Ridley Scott
Costume Designer: Janty Yates
Tailor: Leonard Logsdail
For BAMF Style, the week leading up to Valentine’s Day always means a Week of Weddings, focusing on how some of the greatest on-screen tough guys dress up for their big day.
American Gangster depicts the rise and fall of heroin trafficker Frank Lucas and his disputed claims of smuggling dope home in the caskets of American servicemen who had died during the Vietnam War. He meets the Puerto Rican beauty queen Eva (her real name was Julianna) at his nightclub, and the two are soon married. Continue reading
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, old school Deputy U.S. Marshal
Harlan County, Kentucky, Spring 2010
– “Fixer” (Episode 1.03, Director: Fred Keller, Air Date: March 30, 2010)
– “The Hammer” (Episode 1.10, Director: John Dahl, Air Date: May 18, 2010)
– “The Moonshine War” (Episode 2.01, Director: Adam Arkin, Air Date: February 9, 2011)
– “Cottonmouth” (Episode 2.05, Director: Michael Watkins, Air Date: March 9, 2011)
– “The Spoil” (Episode 2.08, Director: Michael Watkins, Air Date: March 30, 2011)
– “Reckoning” (Episode 2.12, Director: Adam Arkin, Air Date: April 27, 2011)
Creator: Graham Yost
Costume Designers: Ane Crabtree (Season 1) & Patia Prouty (Season 2)
A laconic, black-suited lawman with a troubled personal life and deadly accuracy with a firearm. The first name that would come to mind for most people is Wyatt Earp. It’s no coincidence that Justified‘s showrunners also ensured that the description would fit Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to a T.
You are every inch the goddamn gunslinger I’ve heard.
…is Judge Mike Reardon’s praise for Raylan in “The Hammer”, and it is a very apt description given the lawman’s throwback tendencies to an era when gunslingers roamed the dusty streets of the old west. Continue reading
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
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 Boulevard, Stalag 17, Sabrina, The 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
Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, badass but troubled country rock musician
Los Angeles, January 1968
Film: Walk the Line
Release Date: November 18, 2005
Director: James Mangold
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Pam Lisenby
Columbia Exec: Your fans are church folk, Johnny. Christians. They don’t wanna hear you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, tryin’ to cheer ’em up.
Johnny Cash: Well, they’re not Christians, then.
The terrific 2005 biopic Walk the Line features a great scene of Cash rebooting his career as a prison performer (and reformer) when he confidently strides into Columbia Records and announces his plan to record an album live from Folsom Prison. He dudes himself up appropriately in all black and is the most self-assured as we’ve seen him throughout the film.
To honor Johnny Cash’s birthday (he would have been exactly 83 years old today), here’s a look at Joaquin Phoenix’s take on “the Man in Black”. Continue reading