Frank Sinatra as Dan Edwards, workaholic advertising executive
Los Angeles, Fall 1965
Film: Marriage on the Rocks
Release Date: September 24, 1965
Director: Jack Donohue
Costume Designer: Walter Plunkett
Kick back on this chilly #SinatraSaturday with the mid-century comedy that reunited Rat Pack pallies Frank and Dean, the duo’s final on-screen collaboration until Cannonball Run II, twenty years later.
Marriage on the Rocks stars FS as Dan Edwards, a buttoned-up businessman who—thanks to madcap circumstances—ends up swapping lifestyles with his swingin’ pal Ernie… played by who else but Dean Martin? Continue reading
Jerry Stiller as Frank Costanza, neurotic (but inventive) retiree
Queens, New York, Tuesday, December 23, 1997
Episode: “The Strike” (Episode 9.10)
Air Date: December 18, 1997
Director: Andy Ackerman
Created by: Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
Costume Designer: Charmaine Nash Simmons
Fed up with the materialism around the holidays? Do you wish the holidays were less about forgiveness and cheer and more about directly telling people what they’ve done to upset you over the past year? Happy Festivus!
Al Pacino as Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero, washed-up Mafia soldier
New York City, Christmas 1978
Film: Donnie Brasco
Release Date: February 28, 1997
Director: Mike Newell
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard & David C. Robinson
Like The Godfather and Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco follows the tradition of great Mafia movies by featuring some Cosa Nostra Christmas celebrations. The frequency with which the holidays appear in mob cinema is no coincidence, as Catholic traditions are very important to we Italian-Americans.
Donnie Brasco features a casual Christmas on Mulberry Street, perhaps more reflective than the Phil Spector-scored Goodfellas party of how many yuletide observances will look in 2020. Continue reading
Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, private investigator and former Navy SEAL
Hawaii, Christmas 1980 to Summer 1981
Series: Magnum, P.I.
– “Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too” (Episode 1.04, dir. Bruce Seth Green, aired 12/25/1980)
– “Lest We Forget” (Episode 1.10, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 2/12/1981)
– “Beauty Knows No Pain” (Episode 1.18, dir. Ray Austin, aired 4/16/1981)
– “Dead Man’s Channel” (Episode 2.02, dir. Ray Austin, aired 10/15/1981)
Creator: Donald P. Bellisario & Glen Larson
Costume Designer: Charles Waldo (credited with first season only)
Costume Supervisor: James Gilmore
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
In perhaps an early Christmas gift to the TV-watching world, Magnum, P.I. debuted on CBS forty years ago tonight on December 11, 1980, when the two-parter “Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii” introduced us to a charming, bewhiskered private investigator living the dream life on a Hawaiian estate with a sleek red Ferrari and a full closet of Aloha shirts at his disposal.
Four episodes in, Magnum, P.I. aired its first holiday-set episode when “Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too” aired on Christmas night, 1980. The series would revisit the holidays once more during the fourth season’s more festively titled “Operation: Silent Night”, though Magnum spends most of the episode clad in his drab tank top and bush shirt rather than the more colorful, creative outfit he wears while spending the holidays foiled by schoolteacher Linda Booton (Katherine Cannon) and her larcenous young wards.
With just two weeks to go to Christmas on this #AlohaFriday, I wanted to wish BAMF Style readers a happy holiday season by delving into a yuletide-themed episode from one of my favorite series!
Andy Garcia as Vincent Mancini, hotheaded mob enforcer
New York City, Spring 1979
Film: The Godfather Part III
Release Date: December 25, 1990
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Speed 2: Cruise Control.
Jaws 4: The Revenge.
The Godfather, Part III.
Francis Ford Coppola’s conclusion to the saga of the Corleone family may not be as bad as its fellow reviled franchise continuations, but it was certainly among the more disappointing given the quality and prestige of The Godfather‘s first two installments. Coppola sought to rectify its reputation with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, a recut and restructured version released this month to coincide with the 30th anniversary of The Godfather, Part III‘s original theatrical release. The limited theatrical run of Coda began on Friday, December 4, and will be scheduled to release to streaming services and home video on Tuesday, December 8.
“In musical term, a coda is sort of like an epilogue, a summing up, and that’s what we intended the movie to be,” explained Coppola. “You’ll see a film which has a different beginning and ending, many scenes throughout have been repositioned, and the picture has been given, I think, a new life.” Continue reading
Steven Keats as Jackie Brown, swaggering street-level arms dealer
Boston, Fall 1972
Film: The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Release Date: June 26, 1973
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Eric Seelig
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
A year after The Godfather introduced the cinematic world to the prestigious “honor among thieves” world of the Corleone crime family, The Friends of Eddie Coyle shined a gritty spotlight on the other side of the criminal spectrum: the unscrupulous robbers, rats, and gun-runners who would just as soon double-cross an erstwhile partner-in-crime if it meant an extra twenty bucks in their pocket.
There are no wood-paneled mansions, dramatic monologues, or swanky long-wheelbase limousines in Eddie Coyle’s world, a polluted Boston where our profane crooks conduct their business in dive bars and out of the trunks of the latest Detroit gas guzzler. At the surprising epicenter of these enterprises sits Eddie “Fingers” Coyle (Robert Mitchum), a long-in-the-tooth three-time loser far more at home warming his favorite saloon stool than helming an ambitious heist.
Enter Jackie Brown, an opportunistic twentysomething arms dealer motoring through the Beantown suburbs in a Plymouth Road Runner, dropping platitudes of “wisdom” about how hard life is to any of the scumbag suppliers or customers who will buy his guns. He prides himself on his caution but doesn’t recognize the irony of touting his illegal wares from his hardly unobtrusive electric green muscle car while boasting about his success to crooks all just one pinch away from spilling the proverbial beans to Boston’s finest.
Alain Delon as Eddie Pedak, reformed thief
San Francisco, Spring 1965
Film: Once a Thief
Release Date: September 8, 1965
Director: Ralph Nelson
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
On the last day of #Noirvember (and Alain Delon’s birthday month) and the first day of this winter’s #CarWeek series, it felt like the perfect time to explore Once a Thief, Ralph Nelson’s moody black-and-white crime drama starring Delon as a reformed criminal-turned-family man.
The jazzy opening credits depict a night at Big Al’s, a smoky den laden with drug pushers and beatniks, including author Zekial Marko, whose novel Scratch a Thief provided the movie’s source material. We follow a young man swaddled in sheepskin as he leaves the club and takes the wheel of a vintage “Model A Ford” roadster, which then becomes his getaway car after a swift but deadly closing-time stickup at a liquor store in Chinatown.
We then learn that the car and coat are a trademark of Eddie Pedak, a reformed armed robber making an honest living as a truck driver with his wife Kristine (Ann-Margret) and their daughter. The arrival of Eddie’s criminal brother Walter (Jack Palance), a syndicate hotshot, brings complications in the form of a proposition for one night’s criminal work—the proverbial “one last job”—which Eddie initially refuses, despite the $50,000 payout.
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss
New Jersey, Fall 2001
Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “The Weight” (Episode 4.04)
Air Date: October 6, 2002
Director: Jack Bender
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa
I know it’s only been a week since my last post about the style of The Sopranos, but I have a great reason for returning to my favorite show as today happens to be the birthday of my friend Gabe, the hardworking curator of @tonysopranostyle on Instagram. Having attained more than 30,000 followers in less than a year on the platform, @tonysopranostyle remains an authoritative and entertaining source of information for everything James Gandolfini wore during his iconic tenure portraying the boss of the New Jersey Mafia, from his boldly printed shirts and velvet tracksuits to his gold jewelry and cigars.
Not just an expert, Gabe also puts his money where his mouth is, tracking down and purchasing many shirts in the original designs from the manufacturers who were sourced by costume designer Juliet Polcsa for the series. Gabe started his collection in late 2016 when, having read Christopher Hooton’s interview with Polcsa for The Independent, he used the brands cited by Polcsa to find a black Alan Stuart shirt with the same scattered abstract pattern that Gandolfini wore for a few scenes in the fourth season episode “The Weight”. Continue reading
Chris Evans as Hugh “Ransom” Drysdale, arrogant “trust fund prick”
Massachusetts, November 2018
Film: Knives Out
Release Date: November 27, 2019
Director: Rian Johnson
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagan
Released a year ago this week, Knives Out offered a fresh spin on the classic “whodunit” genre, complete with an idiosyncratic detective—in this case, Daniel Craig as the observant Benoit Blanc—and a dysfunctional family plunged into a murder mystery at their palatial country estate. It’s that dysfunctional family element that inspired me to write about Knives Out today, on the eve of a Thanksgiving that’s sure to look different than usual for most households.
The last member of the Thrombey household to be introduced on screen is Ransom Drysdale—or Hugh to “the help”—the spoiled grandson of the late mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Even before Knives Out reached theaters, the internet was ablaze with preview images of Chris Evans lounging in Ransom’s moth-eaten fisherman’s sweater, reintroducing the classic Aran knitting technique to a new generation.
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, lonely ad man
Greenwich Village, New York, Thanksgiving 1964
Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Public Relations” (Episode 4.01)
Air Date: July 25, 2010
Director: Phil Abraham
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
In contrast to the swaggering image he presents as an advertising hot shot, Don Draper has been reduced to a very lonely man at the start of Mad Men‘s fourth season.