Tagged: Colt Detective Special

Popeye Doyle’s Peacoat and Pontiac

Gene Hackman as

Gene Hackman as “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection (1971).

Vitals

Gene Hackman as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, rough but dedicated NYPD narcotics detective

Brooklyn, December 1970

Film: The French Connection
Release Date: October 9, 1971
Director: William Friedkin
Costume Designer: Joseph Fretwell III

Background

Car chases have been engrained in American cinema since the early days of the Keystone Kops. As the interest in cars grew, auto manufacturers began highlighting their most innovative products through on-screen action. The James Bond franchise innovated the use of car chases with Goldfinger‘s gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5 and a conveniently placed Ford Mustang convertible. The Mustang poked its head out again for the seminal chase in Bullitt as Steve McQueen faced off against a black ’68 Dodge Charger in his Mustang GT-390. After Bullitt, filmmakers began exploring the possibilities of cars on film. New, exciting cars were showcased like the new Dodge Challenger in Vanishing Point to the new Mustang Mach 1 in Diamonds are Forever.

For The French Connection, William Friedkin’s 1971 film based on Robin Moore’s book about intrepid NYPD cops Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, the car chase formula was injected with something new. Rather than the super-cool hero coolly chasing a villain in his super-cool car, the film places its ragged protagonist off-duty cop in an ordinary sedan commandeered from a civilian. Not only that, but this villain isn’t in a car; rather, he has hijacked an elevated train as Popeye is forced to race the train to each stop. Continue reading

Andy Garcia in The Untouchables

Andy Garcia as George Stone in The Untouchables (1987).

Andy Garcia as George Stone in The Untouchables (1987).

Vitals

Andy Garcia as Giuseppe Petri, aka “George Stone”, honest Chicago police recruit and expert marksman

Chicago, September 1930

Film: The Untouchables
Release Date: June 3, 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

Background

A contemporary interview from People magazine at the time of The Untouchables‘ release was very flattering to Garcia:

Andy Garcia really doesn’t have much of a part in The Untouchables. His big moments come at the beginning, when he angrily jams a gun barrel into Sean Connery’s neck, and at the end, when he coolly kills one of Al Capone’s henchmen from a prone position. Of quiet demeanor, Garcia’s minor character has no love scenes and little to say. Yet Garcia’s rich portrayal of Treasury agent George Stone, the Italian-American T-man with a chip of ice on his shoulder, adds up to much more than the sum of his minutes onscreen. He’s The Untouchables‘ quicksilver gunslinger, the deadly rookie who’s a natural pistolero.

Garcia’s character, particularly his background, are a nod to the political correctness of the original 1950s TV series’ inclusion of Nick Georgiade as Agent Rico Rossi, who served primarily to show the audience that not all Italian-Americans are mafioso. Continue reading

The Untouchables: Ness’ Gray 3-Piece Suit

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987).

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987).

Vitals

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, honest and intrepid federal agent

Chicago, September 1930

Film: The Untouchables
Release Date: June 3, 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

Background

This blog has been focusing on a lot of bad guys lately, so let’s take a look at a good guy… at least according to the film about him.

Despite what Robert Stack and Kevin Costner’s portrayals may have you believe, Eliot Ness didn’t single-handedly stop Al Capone’s reign of terror over the city of Chicago. Even Ness’ own account paints himself as a crime-fighting pariah who overcame the odds with a tight-knit group of rogue lawmen and brought down a monster. Continue reading

Bugsy Siegel’s Gray Chalkstripe Suit

Warren Beatty as

Warren Beatty as “Bugsy” Siegel in Bugsy (1991).

Vitals

Warren Beatty as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, violent and visionary “celebrity” gangster

Los Angeles, January 1945

Film: Bugsy
Release Date: December 13, 1991
Director: Barry Levinson
Costume Designer: Albert Wolsky

Background

Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel is one of the most fascinating mobsters. He was certainly innovative, developing the idea of Las Vegas as a money-grabbing desert mecca. However, he had an insanely volatile personality, which made him both good and hated as a gangster.

By the film’s chronology, Bugsy is sent out to the west coast by his New York pals Luciano and Lansky in January 1945. In real life, he had made the trek out about ten years earlier, but who’s counting? On the first day, he butts heads with local boss Jack Dragna and manipulates control of Dragna’s wire system immediately. Not only that, he buys a mansion from a famous opera singer, buys a beautiful Cadillac convertible, and meets the fiery woman for whom he would throw his life away. Continue reading