Tagged: Cold Climate

The Thing: Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady

Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady in The Thing

Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady in The Thing (1982)

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Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady, helicopter pilot

Antarctica, Winter 1982

Film: The Thing
Release Date: June 25, 1982
Director: John Carpenter
Costume Supervisors: Ronald I. Caplan, Trish Keating, and Gilbert Loe

Background

We’re not gettin’ out of here alive… but neither is that thing.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the release of The Thing, which premiered June 25, 1982 and remains the personal favorite of director John Carpenter. Four days ago on June 21, British Antarctic research stations would have observed their Midwinter Day celebration that typically includes watching horror movies about being trapped in the snow such as The Thing and The Shining.

Indeed, the action begins during “first goddamn week of winter” grumbles R.J. MacReady, a grizzled helicopter pilot embedded with an American scientific research crew stationed in Antarctica. The U.S. Outpost 31 crew is baffled by the sudden appearance of a Norwegian gunman shooting at what appears to be a relatively benign wolfdog (Jed). “Maybe we’re at war with Norway,” quips Nauls (T.K. Carter), the cook, who more helpfully offers that “five minutes is enough to put a man over down here” as the team mulls over the gunman’s possible motives.

That night, it’s not the Norwegian who the crew needs to be alarmed about, but instead the curious creature locked up with the dogs. As their canine handler Clark (Richard Masur) warns Mac:

It’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is…

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Downhill Racer: Redford’s Ski Jacket and Olympic Team Sweater

Robert Redford as David Chappellet in Downhill Racer

Robert Redford as David Chappellet in Downhill Racer (1969)

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Robert Redford as Dave Chappellet, U.S. Olympic ski team star

Switzerland, Winter 1968

Film: Downhill Racer
Release Date: November 6, 1969
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Designer: Edith Head (uncredited!)
Wardrobe Credit: Cynthia May

Background

In the spirit of the 2022 Winter Olympics that opened last night in Beijing, I wanted to revisit one of my favorite movies around the winter games, Downhill Racer.

Released just a month after his breakthrough performance in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Robert Redford stars as the cocky skier Dave Chappellet, whose well-honed talent on the slopes lands him on the U.S. Olympic team. His only internal competition had been the promising talent Johnny Creech (Jim McMullan), whose own hopes for the gold were dashed after he was badly injured just weeks before the games. The resentful team and their passionate coach, Eugene Claire (Gene Hackman), find themselves looking to Chappellet as their best hope fo securing a gold medal. Continue reading

Jeffrey Wright in Hold the Dark

Jeffrey Wright and Riley Keough in Hold the Dark

Jeffrey Wright and Riley Keough in Hold the Dark (2018)

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Jeffrey Wright as Russell Core, thoughtful and grizzled wolf expert

Alaska, December 2004

Film: Hold the Dark
Release Date: September 28, 2018
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Costume Designer: Antoinette Messam

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

With another snowstorm predicted for this weekend, I tend to find strange comfort in dark, brooding winter-set tales. A recent search to replenish my cinematic catalog led me to the moody Hold the Dark, an under-promoted Netflix release starring Jeffrey Wright as a wolf expert summoned to a remote Alaskan town by a quietly distressed mother, Medora Slone (Riley Keough), who hopes he can use his skills to hunt the wolf she believes responsible for the disappearance of three local children, including her own six-year-old son.

Despite his doubts that the activity can be attributed to wolf behavior, Core investigates and finds himself enveloped in a bleak and brutal mystery appropriately dark for a grim place that gets less than six hours of sunlight each day. Continue reading

Love Story: Ryan O’Neal’s Sheepskin Flight Jacket

Ryan O'Neal as Oliver Barrett IV in Love Story (1970)

Ryan O’Neal as Oliver Barrett IV in Love Story (1970)

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Ryan O’Neal as Oliver Barrett IV, newlywed Harvard graduate

Boston, Fall to Winter 1968

Film: Love Story
Release Date: December 16, 1970
Director: Arthur Hiller
Costume Design: Alice Manougian Martin & Pearl Somner

Background

If all goes to plan, I’ll be getting married exactly one year from today so it felt appropriate to revisit some of the fall-friendly fashions from one of the most famous—or infamous, if you’re so inclined—romance movies of all time, Love Story.

Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw star as the Ivy League lovers Oliver and Jenny who, once she overcomes her distaste for his upper-class roots (drink every time she calls him “preppy”), defy his blue-blood father’s wishes and get married, beginning their humble lives together in a Boston apartment following his graduation.

Oliver remains defiantly bitter following his father’s rejection of Jenny, cutting off all contact. After receiving an invitation to his estranged father’s 60th birthday party, Oliver refuses to even respond with their regrets, resulting in his and Jenny’s first major argument. She runs from the apartment, sending Oliver on an increasingly desperate search from local shops to music classes, until he returns home that night to find her waiting on their stoop.

Regretting his behavior, Oliver offers his apologies, to which Jenny responds by hitting him with one of the most criticized lines in movie history:

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

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Gorky Park: Lee Marvin’s Sheepskin Flight Jacket

Lee Marvin as Jack Osborne in Gorky Park (1983)

Lee Marvin as Jack Osborne in Gorky Park (1983)

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Lee Marvin as Jack Osborne, American fur importer

Stockholm, April 1983

Film: Gorky Park
Release Date: December 15, 1983
Director: Michael Apted
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

As winter rages on, you’d think I would be looking for escape via light movies set in tropical locations… but instead, I recently rewatched Gorky Park, adapted from Martin Cruz Smith’s 1981 novel that begins with three disfigured corpses found in the snow outside a Moscow ice rink. (And I wonder why I get depressed!)

Our ostensible hero is Militsiya officer Arkady Renko (William Hurt), whose investigation of the grisly murders leads him to the sophisticated yet sinister sable importer Jack Osborne (Lee Marvin). Continue reading

Love Story: Ryan O’Neal’s Sheepskin Shearling Coat

Ryan O'Neal as Oliver Barrett IV in Love Story (1970)

Ryan O’Neal as Oliver Barrett IV in Love Story (1970)

Vitals

Ryan O’Neal as Oliver Barrett IV, preppy Harvard student

New England, Winter 1966, and New York City, Winter 1970

Film: Love Story
Release Date: December 16, 1970
Director: Arthur Hiller
Costume Design: Alice Manougian Martin & Pearl Somner

Background

Happy Valentine’s Day! In the spirit of the season of romance, it felt appropriate to explore the preppy style in one of the most famous cinematic love stories of all time… the perhaps uncleverly titled Love Story.

I went into my inaugural Love Story viewing this year familiar only with Larry Siegel and Mort Drucker’s Mad magazine parody and the movie’s reviled thesis that “love means never having to say you’re sorry,” so I was a little surprised to find myself non-ironically enjoying it more than I expected. Sure, my friend @berkeley_breathes had primed me to expect some standout Ivy-inspired style worn by Ryan O’Neal as our romantic hero Oliver, but I guess the half-century since Love Story has yielded considerably cornier products with the odd effect that this aged… relatively well? Or maybe I’m just speaking from behind the blinders of my enduring crush on early ’70s Ali MacGraw. Continue reading

Telly Savalas as Blofeld: Trachten Clothes at Christmas

Telly Savalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Telly Savalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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Telly Savalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, aka Comte Balthazar de Bleuchamp, megalomaniac terrorist

Piz Gloria, Switzerland, December 1969

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius

Background

‘Twas Christmastime at Piz Gloria, when all through the clinic
Not a creature was stirring, not even the agent from MI6.

The Angels of Death were snuggled in bed with care
in hopes that Sir Hilary’s bezants soon would be there.

As of 2020, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service remains the only James Bond movie prominently set during yuletide, as 007 (George Lazenby) disguises himself as genealogist Sir Hilary Bray in order to get close to SPECTRE chief Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas), under the pretense of investigating Blofeld’s claim to the title of Count Balthazar de Bleuchamp.

On the 00-7th of December, let’s see how one of Bond’s most iconic nemeses dresses for the holidays.
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Blow: George’s Navy Pea Coat

Johnny Depp as George Jung in Blow (2001)

Johnny Depp as George Jung in Blow (2001)

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Johnny Depp as George Jung, ambitious pot dealer

Chicago, Winter 1972

Film: Blow
Release Date: April 6, 2001
Director: Ted Demme
Costume Designer: Mark Bridges

Background

In the centuries since pea jackets were first established by military mariners battling the cold, these short and warm coats have emerged as a winter staple for men and women around the world. While many maintain the original template, such as the 1940s Schott in 32-ounce melton wool that was handed down to me from my grandfather, the pea coat’s ubiquity has also inspired more fashion-forward variations like the leather-trimmed, peak-lapel Billy Reid coat that Daniel Craig wore in his third 007 outing Skyfall or this Disco-era jacket briefly worn by Johnny Depp in Blow.

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Rock Hudson’s Parka in Ice Station Zebra

Rock Hudson as CDR Jim Ferraday in Ice Station Zebra (1968)

Rock Hudson as CDR Jim Ferraday in Ice Station Zebra (1968)

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Rock Hudson as James “Jim” Ferraday, U.S. Navy Commander and nuclear submarine captain

The North Pole, Spring 1968

Film: Ice Station Zebra
Release Date: October 23, 1968
Director: John Sturges

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Despite its lukewarm critical reception at its release, Ice Station Zebra was not only among star Rock Hudson’s favorites of his own films, but it also includes among its fans director John Carpenter (who admits it’s somewhat of a guilty pleasure) and Howard Hughes. During the reclusive tycoon’s years hidden away in his penthouse at the Desert Inn hotel, Hughes would supposedly demand that the local Las Vegas TV station that he owned play the movie on loop, eventually owning a private print that he reportedly watched around 150 times on a continuous loop. “We all knew when Hughes was in town,” wrote Paul Anka in his autobiography My Way. “You’d get back to your room, turn on the TV at 2 a.m., and the movie Ice Station Zebra would be playing. At 5 a.m., it would start all over again. It was on almost every night. Hughes loved that movie.”

The object of Hughes’ obsession was based on a 1963 novel by Alistair MacLean, the Scottish author also behind classic military adventures like The Guns of Navarone and Where Eagles Dare that were also adapted into movies during the ’60s. Inspired by a few real-life Cold War incidents, the novel was adapted into a screenplay by MacLean as well as Douglas Heyes, Harry Julian Fink, and W.R. Burnett, with a few diversions from and additions to MacLean’s source novel, including the renaming of the leading character from Commander Swanson to Commander Ferraday.

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Clint Eastwood’s Climbing Outfit in The Eiger Sanction

Clint Eastwood as Dr. Jonathan Hemlock in The Eiger Sanction (1975)

Clint Eastwood as Dr. Jonathan Hemlock in The Eiger Sanction (1975) (Source: MovieStillsDB.com)

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Clint Eastwood as Dr. Jonathan Hemlock, college art professor and former assassin

Swiss Alps, Summer 1974

Film: The Eiger Sanction
Release Date: May 21, 1975
Director: Clint Eastwood
Costume Supervisor: Glenn Wright

Background

December 11 is International Mountain Day, an observance established by the United Nations in 2003 to encourage sustainable development of mountains and recognize the importance of protecting the resources they provide and the populations that depend on them.

One of the most famous movies about mountain climbing is The Eiger Sanction, directed by Clint Eastwood who also stars as former assassin and expert climber Jonathan Hemlock. Continue reading