Tagged: Costume design by Anna Hill Johnstone

East of Eden: James Dean’s 1917 Sport Jacket

James Dean and Julie Harris in East of Eden

James Dean and Julie Harris in East of Eden (1955)

Vitals

James Dean as Caleb “Cal” Trask, angsty and entrepreneurial farmer’s son

Salinas, California, Fall 1917

Film: East of Eden
Release Date: March 9, 1955
Director: Elia Kazan
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

James Dean’s first of only three major credited screen roles also resulted in his first of two posthumous Academy Award nominations, starring as the moody Cal Trask in Elia Kazan’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden, itself a loose retelling of the story of Cain and Abel set in California’s Salinas Valley around the time of America’s entry into World War I.

Cal and his brother Aron (Richard Davalos) vie for the affections of their father Adam (Raymond Massey), a prominent farmer and draft board chairman, whom Cal hopes to impress by growing beans to raise funds that would support the family and supplant some of Adam’s own financial losses. As Cal’s success in the bean-fields grows, his competition with his brother extends to Aron’s girlfriend Abra (Julie Harris), growing closer to her after they meet up at a county fair. Continue reading

The Godfather: Michael Corleone’s Sartorial Journey from War Hero to Wiseguy

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone on the set of The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, Marine hero-turned-mob boss

New York City and Sicily, Summer 1945 to Summer 1955

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 14, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The Godfather premiered 50 years ago tonight at Loew’s State Theatre in New York City, forever changing the cultural landscape. Adapted from Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, the saga to bring the mob-centric epic to the screen could have been a plot within the story itself, but eventually the massive reception to The Godfather cemented its enduring significance, reviving Marlon Brando’s career and making stars of its cast of relative newcomers—including Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton, and Robert Duvall—as well as its determined director, Francis Ford Coppola.

Spanning the decade following the end of World War II, The Godfather follows the rise of Michael Corleone, a reserved war hero, as he follows the inevitable path of his father’s footsteps to Mafia leadership. Continue reading

The Godfather: Fredo’s Yellow Blazer in Las Vegas

John Cazale as Fredo Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

John Cazale as Fredo Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

John Cazale as Fredo Corleone, insecure Mafia casino manager

Las Vegas, Summer 1954

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 14, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

“New year, new you” is a theme constantly touted by clickbait articles and lifestyle magazines through early January so, in the spirit of #MafiaMonday and the start of the 50th anniversary year of The Godfather, let’s take a look at one of the more startling reinventions in the world of mob movies: Fredo Corleone’s attempted transformation from forgotten brother to flamboyant swinger.

Sure, Fredo may still need the occasional “straightening out”—after all, banging cocktail waitresses two at a time is hardly good for business—but Las Vegas presents him with the opportunity to shed his middle child syndrome and explore a more independent side of himself… for better or worse. Continue reading

Walter Matthau in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

Walter Matthau as Zachary Garber in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Walter Matthau as Zachary Garber in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Vitals

Walter Matthau as Zachary Garber, New York City Transit Authority police lieutenant

New York City, December 1973

Film: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
Release Date: October 2, 1974
Director: Joseph Sargent
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today would have been the 100th birthday of Walter Matthau, perhaps best known to today’s audiences for his roles opposite Jack Lemmon such as The Odd Couple and the Grumpy Old Men movies, though the New York-born actor’s rich filmography expands a range of genres from westerns and war movies to comedies and crime capers. One of my favorites falls into the latter category, the action thriller The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Corduroy Jacket in The Godfather

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, war hero and Mafia son

New York City, December 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

As we get closer to the holidays, today’s #MafiaMonday look from The Godfather is a fall-friendly approach to dressing for cooler weather and grayer days.

And the days are indeed gray for the Corleone family, particularly the recently returned Michael (Al Pacino). Continue reading

Sonny Corleone: Dressed Down for a Beat-Down

Sonny Corleone (James Caan) pummels Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo) in The Godfather (1972)

Sonny Corleone (James Caan) pummels Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo) in The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, hot-headed mob chief

New York City, Summer 1948

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

For this midsummer #MafiaMonday, BAMF Style is taking a look at this much-requested outfit from Sonny Corleone’s street takedown of his abusive brother-in-law Carlo Rossi (Gianni Russo).

It’s a hot June day in New York City. Carlo and his cronies are all out on the street, loafing around, listening to the radio, and not expecting much from their day… until a black sedan squeals to a stop, and out charges Sonny Corleone, charging after Carlo with designs on at least ruining the latter’s orange two-tone leisure suit. Continue reading

Willi Cicci in The Godfather

Joe Spinell as Willi Cicci in The Godfather (1972)

Joe Spinell as Willi Cicci in The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

Joe Spinell as Willi Cicci, slick Corleone mob family “button man”

New York City, August 1955

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

When the boss says push the button on a guy, I push the button, see, Senator?

Today’s #MafiaMonday post focuses on one of the more celebrated minor characters of The Godfather, Corleone family enforcer Willi Cicci, who stands out with his slick sense of style and laidback demeanor. Imagine if Dean Martin had grown a mustache and joined the mob… that’s Willi Cicci for ya.

Cicci best gets the opportunity to explain his short yet memorable role in The Godfather when testifying in front of a Senate committee in the film’s sequel. When we first meet him in The Godfather, Cicci is getting a shave in a hotel barbershop with an unflappable, can’t-be-bothered attitude that may trick first-time viewers into thinking he is one of the many targets that Michael Corleone has marked for death on this transformative day for the New York Mafia.

Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s “Nice Ivy League” Charcoal Suit

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, Mafia son and World War II hero

New York City, January 1946

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Happy birthday to Al Pacino, born this day in 1940. It was The Godfather that arguably catapulted Pacino into public consciousness as one of the greatest actors of his generation, an impressive feat for an actor with only two preceding film credits. Although Paramount production chief Robert Evans had more box office-oriented names in mind for its central role ranging from Jack Nicholson to Robert Redford, Francis Ford Coppola insisted on Pacino who delivered in spades and received both an Academy Award nomination as well as a massive salary increase (from $35,000 to $600,000) to return as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II only two years later.

Although all of The Godfather is an acting tour de force for Pacino, there is one monumental scene often cited as the moment that truly established him as one of the most talented stars in the industry. An outsider to his family’s illegitimate business, Michael Corleone surprised everyone by offering to retaliate for the attempt on his father’s life by personally gunning down both the drug-peddling gangster and the corrupt police captain. Armed with the family’s blessing, an escape route, and a .38 taped behind an old toilet, Michael finds himself sitting across from these two criminals for – ostensibly – a peace meeting. Continue reading

Capt. Michael Corleone, USMC

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, USMC Captain, WWII hero, and Mafia son

Long Island, NY, September 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

On the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, BAMF Style is looking at one of cinema’s most notorious fictional war heroes from the Pacific Theater of World War II: Michael Corleone.

(Just so we’re clear, BAMF Style believes that the true heroes of World War II are those that did not go on to become mob bosses.)

What’d He Wear?

Michael’s USMC Uniform

Michael arrives at his sister’s wedding wearing his traditional Marine “greens”, the winter service uniform worn from September through April. Although appearing brown on screen, the uniform – now known as the Service A (or “Alpha”) – is forest green wool in a color specific to the Marine Corps, dating back to its introduction in 1912. At the time, the winter service uniform was standard in garrison and on leave and liberty. Since the iconic dress blues were temporarily ceased for most of WWII, a Marine not wearing his utility uniform would almost always be seen in his winter service greens. Continue reading

Sonny Corleone’s Groomsman Tuxedo

BAMF Style looks forward to Valentine’s Day this weekend with an abbreviated Week of Weddings.

James Caan as Santino "Sonny" Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone in The Godfather (1972). This is a production photo; in the film itself, he pins a white carnation onto his left lapel.

Vitals

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, hotheaded Mafia underboss

Long Island, NY, August 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Sonny is a natural choice as a groomsman for his sister’s wedding. Not only did he introduce her to her new husband, but he’s the underboss of New York’s powerful Corleone crime family and not the sort of guy who would appreciate being left out.

Sonny is a busy guy on the wedding day. He has to be all over the place, from the parking lot to his father’s office while keeping tabs on his war hero brother, his wife, and his mistress. Of course, when the Don summons him, he’s never far away. Continue reading