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You Only Live Twice: Bond’s Blue Suit in Japan

Sean Connery as James Bond in You Only Live Twice (1967)

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Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated British MI6 agent

Miyazaki, Japan, Summer 1966

Film: You Only Live Twice
Release Date: June 13, 1967
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Master: Eileen Sullivan
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

Background

Sean Connery’s wardrobe as James Bond is remembered for its timeless elegance, developed for his first appearance as the character in Dr. No. The elements of Connery’s Bond style generally differed from Ian Fleming’s literary vision, with Connery often sporting gray suits rather than blue, long-sleeve shirts rather than short-sleeved, and derby shoes rather than non-laced casuals.

However, there are a few occasions where Connery’s 007 sartorially overlapped with Fleming’s vision. His dark blue suit when visiting Osato’s Tokyo office in You Only Live Twice thus serves as an appropriate post for the 00-7th of May, Ian Fleming’s birth month. Continue reading

Bogart’s Trench Coat and Suit in Casablanca

Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in Casablanca (1942).

Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in Casablanca (1942), surrounded by friends and foe.

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Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, cynical “gin joint” manager

Casablanca, Morocco, December 1941

Film: Casablanca
Release Date: November 26, 1942
Director: Michael Curtiz

Background

Before Casablanca was released in 1942, Humphrey Bogart had spent the majority of his career in secondary roles as sniveling bastards. His first major role in The Petrified Forest saw him as a Dillinger-esque armed robber far more interested in his six-shooter than romance. He was the foil to Jimmy Cagney’s criminal “hero” in Warner Brothers gangster flicks like Angels With Dirty Faces and The Roaring Twenties, and it wasn’t until 1941 when he finally received star billing in both High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The latter film is often considered his breakout role as the cynical P.I. Sam Spade, but it wasn’t until a year later with Casablanca that he would finally be a romantic lead.

The role of Rick Blaine was perfect for Bogie, finally allowing him to develop a romantic depth to his character’s cynicism. Casablanca was never intended to be anything out of the ordinary, despite the cavalcade of stars and writers involved in its production. Many, including those at Warner Brothers, considered it to be a mere copy of the now-forgotten 1938 film Algiers. The film exceeded all expectations and is considered to be one of the few true masterpieces in cinema. It took home the three major production Oscars in 1943 for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay (Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard E. Koch, and an uncredited Casey Robinson), and shines a contemporary look at World War II. Continue reading

The Death of John Dillinger – 2009 Style

Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009).

Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009).

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Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, doomed Depression-era bank robber

Chicago, July 1934

Film: Public Enemies
Release Date: July 1, 2009
Director: Michael Mann
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Background

While 1973’s Dillinger took a “just the facts” approach to retelling the life of bank robber John Dillinger (albeit with very exaggerated facts), Michael Mann’s Public Enemies painted the farmboy-turned-criminal as a more mythical figure. This seems to be the trend in recent years.

Forty-some years ago, the cinematic John Dillinger and Clyde Barrow were depicted as Robin Hood-type folk heroes who were cornered by relentless authorities and shot without warning. Continue reading

Dillinger’s Brown Suit in “Public Enemies”

Johnny Depp behind the scenes as John Dillinger in Public Enemies.

Johnny Depp behind the scenes as John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009).

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Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, Depression-era bank robber

Tucson, January 1934

Film: Public Enemies
Release Date: July 1, 2009
Director: Michael Mann
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Background

Seventy nine years ago today, on January 25, 1934, noted Midwest bank robber John Dillinger was arrested by a group of small-town cops in Tucson, Arizona. The arrest was notable as the Chicago police had been leading police efforts against the bandit for several months, to the point of assigning an elite team of detectives – dubbed the “Dillinger Squad” – the single task of finding Dillinger.

Public Enemies used photos of Dillinger during his arrest and subsequent interviews to recreate the dark three-piece suit he wore throughout the ordeal. Unfortunately, he ditches his coat and tie early on in the scenes, leaving only a few glimpses in the film and behind-the-scenes photos to get an idea of the full picture of the suit. Continue reading

Jimmy Darmody’s Dark Pinstripe Suit

On January 17, 1920, the eighteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, making Prohibition the law of the land. Nobody benefited more from this stupid, moronic, totally brainless decision than organized crime.

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Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody on the second season of Boardwalk Empire.

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Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody, rising figure in the Atlantic City underworld

Atlantic City and New York City, Spring/Summer 1921

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn

Background

After rising from the “half a gangster” of the pilot episode, Jimmy Darmody finally attains his goal of taking control of Atlantic City in June 1921. He’s come a long way from the tweed Norfolk suit, ratty cardigan, and newsboy cap. Never seen without a three-piece suit, the attire of choice for Jimmy’s celebratory party at Babbette’s Supper Club is a classy dark blue pinstripe suit. Continue reading

Jimmy Darmody’s Blue Suit

Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody in the seventh episode of Boardwalk Empire,

Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody in the seventh episode of Boardwalk Empire, “Home”.

Today in 1933, Prohibition officially ended in the United States with the ratification of the 21st amendment. To celebrate this momentous and wonderful occasion, we look again at Boardwalk Empire.

Vitals

Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody, rising bootlegger looking to be more than “half a gangster”

Chicago and Atlantic City, February through November 1920

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn

Background

Jimmy Darmody, a young protagonist of Boardwalk Empire, is presented as an early protege and eventual foil of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, the Atlantic City treasurer. Although Thompson is clearly based on Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, the real life boss of Atlantic City during the Prohibition era, Darmody was invented for the show and, due to an excellent performance by Michael Pitt and brilliant storytelling from the show’s writers, helps to bring an interesting era in American history to life through the eyes of a relatable, yet troubled, character. Continue reading