Tagged: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

BAMF Style: My 5 Formative Movie Suits

For my birthday today (July 21, same as Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams), I hope you’ll excuse an indulgent post as I explore the suits that grabbed my attention from a young age and stirred my early interest in men’s style. Though, given the dapper white jacket that Sean Connery wore on the cover of GQ the month I was born, I should have known what direction my life would eventually take!

While not necessarily the greatest suits to every appear in the movies, these five each contributed to my interest in menswear that led to the eventual creation of BAMF Style a decade later. Interestingly, all of the featured outfits are from period films, highlighting fashion of an earlier era (the 1930s, in more cases than not) and accentuated by a musical soundtrack designed to emphasize the character and the moment.

Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Jack Nicholson in Chinatown (1974), Nicholas Clay in Evil Under the Sun (1982), Ray Liotta in Goodfellas (1990), and Robert Redford in The Sting (1973)

Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Jack Nicholson in Chinatown (1974), Nicholas Clay in Evil Under the Sun (1982), Ray Liotta in Goodfellas (1990), and Robert Redford in The Sting (1973)

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Gene Hackman’s Tweed Suit as Buck Barrow

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

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

Vitals

Gene Hackman as “Buck” Barrow, bank robber, ex-convict, and family man

Texas, May 1933

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

Background

Happy birthday to Gene Hackman, who turns 86 years old today!

Bonnie and Clyde marked the first major role for Hackman, who had spent much of the ’60s as a struggling actor who shared rooms with fellow struggling actors Dustin Hoffman and Robert Duvall. 1967 turned out to be a banner year for the friends and roommates, earning Hackman and Hoffman their first Academy Award nominations.

Hackman brings an easygoing charm to the role of the more famous Clyde’s older brother Buck, and the film gets many of the “on paper” details right about Buck. As Clyde’s older brother, he had more experience tangling with the law and spent the first few months of Clyde’s criminal career in the Texas state prison. He had escaped once, but – as Hackman tells Warren Beatty’s Clyde – it was his new wife Blanche that talked him into returning to prison to serve out the rest of his sentence, and he would be pardoned 15 months later. Buck and Blanche journeyed to visit Bonnie and Clyde, ostensibly for a reunion and possibly for Buck to try and talk Clyde into following his good example. Of course, the murder of two Joplin policemen during this reunion meant Buck would be wanted again as well, and the brothers led the motley “Barrow Gang” in a string of small-town stickups and kidnappings over the next three months. Continue reading

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).

Vitals

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

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).

Vitals

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

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) – Meeting Clyde Barrow

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

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

Vitals

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, Depression-era ex-con and armed robber

West Texas, Spring 1932

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

Background

Bonnie and Clyde nicely compacts two years of heartbreak and jailbreak into a five minute sequence as abundantly charming Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) chats up the oozing-with-Southern-sex Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and quickly smooth-talks her into a life of fast-paced larceny across the country. Continue reading

Clyde Barrow’s Death Car and Attire

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde.

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

Vitals

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, slightly incompetent bank robber

Rural Louisiana, May 1934

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

Background

The sun was shining brightly on a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on Wednesday, May 23, 1934. An old Ford Model A truck idled by the side of the road. Hidden in the bushes by the side of the road, six lawmen sat in wait, armed with heavy duty Colt Monitors and Remington hunting rifles. They’d been there all night, sacrificing their skin for the many hungry insects in the woods. By dawn, they’d waited long enough. Tired, hungry, and dirty, the men planned to head back to their motel rooms after another half hour. Almost at that same time, the unmistakable sound of a Ford V8 engine was heard up the road. Continue reading

Clyde Barrow’s Dapper Dark Pinstripe Suit

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as the title characters in Bonnie and Clyde.

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as the title characters in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Today marks the 79th anniversary of the death of Bonnie and Clyde on a rural road in Louisiana. While I wouldn’t want to honor a killer like Barrow, it’s certainly the right day to commemorate with a suit from 1967’s iconic Bonnie and Clyde.

Vitals

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, romantic but flawed Depression-era bandit

Texas, early 1930s

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

Background

With his violently quick temper and poor skill for actually robbing banks, there is little reason for Clyde Barrow to have the fame he does today. However, Clyde chose to bring along young Texas waitress Bonnie Parker for his adventures and a legend was born. Continue reading