Tagged: Caribbean

Dr. No: Bond’s Gray Mohair Suit and Walther in Jamaica

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No (1962)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated and resourceful British government agent

Morgan’s Harbour, Jamaica, Spring 1962

Film: Dr. No
Release Date: October 5, 1962
Director: Terence Young
Wardrobe Master: John Brady
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

With the release of Dr. No sixty years ago today, October 5 has since been immortalized as Global James Bond Day in commemoration of when Sean Connery first uttered that now-iconic character introduction:

Bond. James Bond.

Dr. No had actually been Ian Fleming’s sixth novel featuring the worldly secret agent, set primarily in Jamaica as he penned the novel from his Jamaican estate Goldeneye. The author had tired of the character and left Bond’s fate somewhat ambiguous at the end of his previous novel From Russia With Love, though ultimately choosing that the agent would live to die another day and beginning Dr. No with 007’s recovery from the poison inflicted by the sharp-shoed Rosa Klebb.

Back to relatively full health, Bond finds his punishment in the form of a simple assignment meant to ease him back into duty (and possibly penalize him for letting his guard down), investigating the disappearance of a station chief and his secretary in Jamaica. There, Bond learns that the late chief had been investigating an eccentric recluse with the equally eccentric name of Doctor Julius No (Joseph Wiseman). With the help of his CIA buddy Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) and local contact Quarrel (John Kitzmiller), Bond ultimately determines that he and his newly issued Walther owe the good bad doctor a long-overdue visit. Continue reading

The Deep: Robert Shaw’s Striped Shirt and Cargo Pants

Robert Shaw as Romer Treece in The Deep

Robert Shaw as Romer Treece in The Deep (1977)

Vitals

Robert Shaw as Romer Treece, adventurous treasure hunter and lighthouse-keeper

Off the Bermuda coast, Summer 1976

Film: The Deep
Release Date: June 17, 1977
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Ron Talsky

Background

Following the record-setting blockbuster success of Jaws, adapted from Peter Benchley’s debut novel of the same name, Columbia Pictures quickly purchased the rights to Benchley’s next novel before it was even published. The Deep proved to be another box-office hit, if not as critically acclaimed as its predecessor, with much of its success attributed to an effective marketing campaign centered around Jacqueline Bisset’s white T-shirt.

Another casting decision that worked in The Deep‘s favor was Robert Shaw, born 95 years ago today on August 9, 1927. Continue reading

Felix Leiter in No Time to Die

Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter in No Time to Die

Promotional poster for No Time to Die (2021) featuring Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter

Vitals

Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, cynical CIA agent

Jamaica, Spring 2020

Film: No Time to Die
Release Date: September 30, 2021
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

On the 00-7th of August, let’s celebrate the return of Jeffrey Wright’s Felix Leiter to the 007 franchise in No Time to Die. Years after the events of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, Felix and his politically appointed State Department crony Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen) track down the now-retired James Bond (Daniel Craig) to his secluded life in Jamaica, hoping to recruit him into assisting them in locating a missing MI6 scientist.

“It’ll be like old times,” Leiter pitches to Bond over beers, adding that “I wanna get back to my family, tell ’em I saved the world again!” Continue reading

Licence to Kill: Bond’s Tropical Navy Casual Jacket

Timothy Dalton as James Bond in Licence to Kill

Timothy Dalton as James Bond in Licence to Kill (1989). Photo sourced from thunderballs007.org archive.

Vitals

Timothy Dalton as James Bond, rogue British government agent

From Key West, Florida to Bimini, Bahamas, Summer 1989

Film: Licence to Kill
Release Date: July 14, 1989
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Jodie Lynn Tillen

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Timothy Dalton’s second James Bond movie, Licence to Kill, was released today in 1989, exactly a week before I was born. Dalton was still comfortably settling into the role, establishing a more serious characterization that echoed Ian Fleming’s literary creation more than Roger Moore’s witty romantic, but a series of legal disputes and cultural shifts resulted in Licence to Kill unexpectedly becoming Dalton’s swan song as 007. Continue reading

No Time to Die: Retired Bond’s Caribbean Casual Style

Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time to Die

Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time to Die (2021)

Vitals

Daniel Craig as James Bond, retired British secret agent

Jamaica to Cuba, Spring 2020

Film: No Time to Die
Release Date: September 30, 2021
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy 00-7th of June! The weather continues warming up as we approach summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and I’m sure I won’t be alone in turning to James Bond for inspiration as I begin rotating summer style staples back to the front of my closet.

To dissect the phrasing of his literary creator, you could say James Bond had lived enough for two lifetimes by the time we find the globetrotting secret agent now retired toward the start of No Time to Die. Continue reading

James Mason’s White Colonial Casual-wear in Island in the Sun

James Mason as Maxwell Fleury in Island in the Sun

James Mason as Maxwell Fleury in Island in the Sun (1957)

Vitals

James Mason as Maxwell Fleury, short-tempered plantation owner

On the fictional Caribbean island of Santa Marta, Spring 1955

Film: Island in the Sun
Release Date: June 12, 1957
Director: Robert Rossen
Costume Design: Phyllis Dalton & David Ffolkes

Background

Today’s post celebrates the great James Mason, who was born 113 years ago today on May 15, 1909. Whether playing a hero or villain or navigating a moral gray area in between, the velvet-voiced Mason brought a dignified presence to his performances.

Opposing the shining talents of Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, Mason stars in this vividly photographed but dark-hearted drama as Maxwell Fleury, a privileged aristocrat dwelling on one of his family’s estates on the eponymous island.

Upon returning home in his sleek new Jaguar roadster one afternoon, he finds Egyptian cigarettes in his ashtray that fuel his baseless paranoia regarding his wife’s marital fidelity, a suspicion that dangerously spirals as the summery Santa Marta heat intensifies. Continue reading

Bond’s Nehru Jacket in Dr. No

Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in Dr. No

Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in Dr. No (1962)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated and resourceful British government agent

Crab Key, Jamaica, Spring 1962

Film: Dr. No
Release Date: October 5, 1962
Director: Terence Young
Wardrobe Master: John Brady
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the cinematic James Bond, as screen-going audiences who may have missed the 1954 Climax! episode starring Barry Nelson as the American agent “Jimmy” Bond were properly introduced in 1962 to the debonair yet dangerous 007 embodied by Sean Connery.

It was sixty years ago today—March 30, 1962—when principal photography was completed on Dr. No, whose modest million-dollar budget belied its significance as of the first installment of what would become one of the longest-running franchises in movie history.

While a few ingredients were yet to be finessed, it was Dr. No that established many of the hallmarks of the series, from Monty Norman’s iconic theme song as arranged by John Barry to our hero’s “shaken, not stirred” vodka martinis and his signature introduction:

Bond. James Bond.

Continue reading

Island in the Sun: Harry Belafonte’s Brown Suit

Harry Belafonte as David Boyeur in Island in the Sun

Harry Belafonte as David Boyeur in Island in the Sun (1957)

Vitals

Harry Belafonte as David Boyeur, popular local politician

On the fictional Caribbean island of Santa Marta, Spring 1955

Film: Island in the Sun
Release Date: June 12, 1957
Director: Robert Rossen
Costume Design: Phyllis Dalton & David Ffolkes

Background

Tomorrow will be the 95th birthday of Harry Belafonte, the singer, actor, and activist born March 1, 1927. Belafonte has tireless worked in show business and to advance social causes since beginning his recording career in the late 1940s. Though he’s narrated documentaries and appeared sporadically in features in the decades since, his screen acting career were primarily throughout the ’50s in features ranging from the musicals that made obvious use of his singing talent to drama, sci-fi, and noir.

Belafonte co-starred with Dorothy Dandridge in his first three films, their collaborations concluding in the colorfully lush drama Island in the Sun, based on Alec Waugh’s novel of the same name. The eponymous island was said to be the fictitious “Santa Marta” in the Caribbean, though actually filmed on location in Barbaos and Grenada through the fall of 1956. Continue reading

The Deep: Nick Nolte’s Chambray Shirt at Sea

Nick Nolte as David Sanders in The Deep (1977)

Nick Nolte as David Sanders in The Deep (1977)

Vitals

Nick Nolte as David Sanders, vacationing scuba diver

Off the Bermuda coast, Summer 1976

Film: The Deep
Release Date: June 17, 1977
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Ron Talsky

Background

Okay, yes, I acknowledge that one of the few reasons anyone might still be talking about The Deep more than 40 years later is… well, the same reason anyone talked about it when it was released.

The Deep‘s enduring cultural significance indeed resulted from a costuming decision, though not related to anything Nick Nolte wore but rather Jacqueline Bisset’s simple but oh-so-memorable white tee during the underwater opening sequence.

Jacqueline Bisset in The Deep (1977)

Costume designer Ron Talsky’s on-screen credit appeared next to arguably his most famous wardrobe choice.

Once I registered what all the fuss was about, I also observed that Nolte—playing Bisset’s partner, David Sanders—begins the movie wearing an aquatic-adjacent outfit appropriate for gents developing their spring-to-summer transitional wardrobe or dressing for any seagoing getaways over Memorial Day weekend. Continue reading

The Rum Diary: Kemp’s Off-White Corduroy Trucker Jacket

Johnny Depp in costume as Paul Kemp on the set of The Rum Diary (2009)

Johnny Depp in costume as Paul Kemp on the set of The Rum Diary (2009)

Vitals

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, expatriate American journalist

San Juan, Puerto Rico, Summer 1960

Film: The Rum Diary
Release Date: October 28, 2011
Director: Bruce Robinson
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Background

The end of this week means the start of summer, arguably the strangest summer I’ll have experienced in my thirty years. The global coronavirus pandemic has seen the cancellation of sunny getaways, a halt in peanut or crackerjack sales at old ballgames, and consumers foregoing bathing suit deals in favor of fashionable face masks (like these Magnum, P.I.-inspired masks made by my friends at Aloha Funwear!)

In the spirit of what promises to be a surreal summer, I’m exploring a functional look extracted from the chaos of The Rum Diary, adapted from Hunter S. Thompson’s semi-roman à clef inspired by his brief career with the Puerto Rican sporting magazine El Sportivo. More than a decade after he portrayed HST surrogate Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Johnny Depp returned to star in this somewhat less successful adaptation of a chapter from his late friend’s life.

Continue reading