Tagged: Chukka Boots

The Sun Also Rises: Gray Summer Sport Suit in Europe

Tyrone Power as Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises (1957)

Tyrone Power as Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises (1957)

Vitals

Tyrone Power as Jake Barnes, expatriate journalist and wounded World War I ambulance driver

Pamplona, Spain, July 1922

Film: The Sun Also Rises
Release Date: August 23, 1957
Director: Henry King
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup

Background

Today is my shared birthday with Ernest Hemingway, so I’m celebrating with a look at a cinematic adaptation of my favorite of Papa’s novels, The Sun Also Rises, which he had started writing on his 26th birthday, July 21, 1925.

Continue reading

Steve McQueen’s Carmel Cardigan, 1964

Steve McQueen at Carmel, California, photographed by William Claxton (1964).

Steve McQueen at Carmel, California, photographed by William Claxton (1964).

Vitals

Steve McQueen, iconic American actor

Fall 1964, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Photographs by William Claxton

Background

Happy birthday to Steve McQueen, born March 24, 1930, in Beach Grove, Indiana, then a small town of barely more than 3,500 people. By the age of eight, he had already received his first bike (well, a tricycle) and his first watch (a gold pocket watch from his uncle), two items that would become very important to his life and legacy. By the time McQueen died of cardiac arrest in November 1980, the “King of Cool” had cemented a place among the greatest American icons of screen and style through his performances in films like The Great EscapeBullitt, and The Thomas Crown Affair, and his lifelong passion for racing and rebellion.

Continue reading

John Wayne’s Field Jacket in Donovan’s Reef

John Wayne as Michael "Guns" Donovan in Donovan's Reef (1963)

John Wayne as Michael “Guns” Donovan in Donovan’s Reef (1963)

Vitals

John Wayne as Michael “Guns” Donovan, island saloon owner and U.S. Navy veteran

French Polynesia, December 1963

Film: Donovan’s Reef
Release Date: June 12, 1963
Director: John Ford
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

A decade after John Wayne traveled to Hawaii to play the titular anti-communist agent in Big Jim McLain, the actor returned for the production of Donovan’s Reef, a more lighthearted and less politically motivated film and the final of Duke’s many cinematic collaborations with prolific director John Ford.

Donovan’s Reef is set during the holidays in French Polynesia where ex-Navy gunner’s mate Michael “Guns” Donovan operates a saloon on the fictional island of Haleakaloha. Continue reading

John Wayne’s White Camp Shirt in Donovan’s Reef

John Wayne as Michael "Guns" Donovan in Donovan's Reef (1963)

John Wayne as Michael “Guns” Donovan in Donovan’s Reef (1963)

Vitals

John Wayne as Michael “Guns” Donovan, island saloon owner and U.S. Navy veteran

French Polynesia, December 1963

Film: Donovan’s Reef
Release Date: June 12, 1963
Director: John Ford
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Who better than John Wayne to feature on the day before that most American of holidays, the Fourth of July?

Donovan’s Reef takes John Wayne from his familiar settings of the wild west or a world war and places him in French Polynesia (though actually filmed in Hawaii) as the grizzled manager of the titular island tavern.

John Wayne is hardly a name that comes to mind when thinking of classic beachgoers, but photographs like this from Duke’s Acapulco resort in the 1940s taken by Phil Stern prove that Wayne (and fellow macho pal Gary Cooper) could be quite natty when the time came to relaxing under the sun. Continue reading

The Rum Diary: Gabardine Windbreaker and Chinos

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011)

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011)

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

“In summary, this airman, although talented, will not be guided by policy,” heralded Hunter S. Thompson’s honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force in November 1957, a considerable understatement given the iconic writer’s eventual symbolic anti-authoritarian status.

Following his discharge, Thompson tried a few journalistic stints in New York but was fired by Time (for insubordination) and the Middletown Daily Record (for damaging a candy machine) and moved to Puerto Rico in 1960.

Having failed to procure a position with the San Juan Star, Thompson wrote for the El Sportivo sporting magazine… though it folded quickly after his arrival. His experiences in San Juan formed the basis of The Rum Diary, a novel that he penned shortly after his return to the U.S. the following year, although it wasn’t published for more than three decades.

While it would be inaccurate to describe The Rum Diary as a strict roman à clef, its morose, restless narrator Paul Kemp is clearly modeled on Thompson himself, and Thompson’s friend Johnny Depp was naturally tapped to play the role in the film adaptation. Continue reading

Lucky Luciano’s 1931 Navy Suit on Boardwalk Empire

Vincent Piazza as Charlie “Lucky” Luciano on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 5.02: “The Good Listener”)

Vitals

Vincent Piazza as Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Sicilian-American mobster

New York City, April 1931

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episodes:
* “Golden Days for Boys and Girls” (Episode 5.01, aired September 7, 2014, dir. Tim Van Patten)
* “The Good Listener” (Episode 5.02, aired September 14, 2014, dir. Allen Coulter)
* “Eldorado” (Episode 5.08, aired October 26, 2014, dir. Tim Van Patten)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

86 years ago tomorrow “Lucky” Luciano brought an end to the Castellammarese War – as mob historians refer to the bloody gangland conflict that divided New York City – by engineering the death of Sicilian-American mob chieftain Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria.

Masseria’s demise is one of the many colorful episodes that has, for better or worse, iconicized the history of the American Mafia… and it makes for a compelling and dramatic re-introduction to Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza) for the final season of Boardwalk Empire. Continue reading

The Rum Diary – Kemp’s Striped Linen Shirt and Jeans

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011), with co-star Amber Heard.

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011), with co-star Amber Heard.

Vitals

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, expatriate American journalist and borderline alcoholic

St. Thomas, Summer 1960

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

Background

All the balls that Paul Kemp was juggling at this point have begun to fall. His grasp on his job, his shady dealings with PR whiz Sanderson, and his flirtation with Sanderson’s girlfriend. The bottom falls out when Kemp and photographer pal head to Carnival at Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands after visiting island property for Sanderson’s budding real estate scam.

Bruce Robinson’s script perfectly nails the feeling of the scene as Chenault leads Kemp by the hand to Sanderson’s yacht:

Like walking the plank in reverse, they invade a small drinks party.

Other than the glamorous Chenault, none of the new visitors fit in with Sanderson’s cosmopolitan set. Continue reading