Tagged: Costume design by Theadora Van Runkle

Michael Corleone’s Black New Year’s Eve Suit

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974)

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, cold and calculating Mafia boss

Havana, New Year’s Eve 1958

Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

Happy New Year’s Eve!

On this transitional #MafiaMonday, we transport back 60 years to New Year’s Eve 1958, a tumultuous night in world history as armed rebels connected to the vanguard 26th of July Movement overthrew Cuba’s incumbent president Fulgencio Batista, ending the five-year Cuban Revolution and establishing a communist government under the movement’s leader Fidel Castro.

“Gentlemen, to a night in Havana! Happy New Year… Feliz Año Nuevo!” toasts a gregarious Fredo Corleone (John Cazale) as he holds court in the Cuban capital with a bevy of politicians and his brother, taciturn and thoughtful mob boss Michael (Al Pacino). Continue reading

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The Godfather, Part II: Vito’s Brown Suit for Revenge

Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Vitals

Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone, née Andolini, Sicilian-born gangster

Corleone, Sicily, Summer 1922

Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today’s #MafiaMonday post explores a much requested outfit – indeed, I’ve received at least three separate asks for it in the last 12 months alone – from The Godfather, Part II, often considered one of the greatest films of all time. In a mostly Italian-speaking performance that won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Robert De Niro reprised the role of Vito Corleone that had been originated by Marlon Brando in The Godfather two years earlier.

Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Black Three-Piece Suit

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974)

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, cold and calculating Mafia boss

Long Island, Las Vegas, and Lake Tahoe, Winter 1959

Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

For #MafiaMonday, I’m exploring Michael Corleone at his most iconic, coldly receiving his siblings and family while holding court at his mother’s funeral. Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Tan Check Suit and Day Cravat in Havana

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, cold and calculating Mafia boss

Havana, December 1958

Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

Get into a smooth, summer relaxation mood for this Mafia Monday post that takes a look at Michael Corleone’s style for Hyman Roth’s birthday party in Havana… an appropriately timed post as my dad just returned from a trip to Cuba. (Yes, he brought back some Cohibas!)

What’d He Wear?

For all of his power and prestige, Michael Corleone has a considerably limited wardrobe, designed by the legendary Theadora Van Runkle (Bonnie and ClydeBullitt, and The Thomas Crown Affair are all among her repertoire.)

Michael makes good use of his four unique suits in The Godfather Part II, sometimes wearing a three-piece suit without a vest or, as we see in this case, adopting a more luxuriously casual look by swapping out the shirt and tie for a soft polo and a day cravat.

Although it appears a flat tan at the outset, this fully cut two-piece suit consists of a fine tan and cream plain weave glen check with teal blue on the outer check to create a teal windowpane effect throughout. Continue reading

Gene Hackman’s Tweed Suit as Buck Barrow

Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons as Buck and Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons as Buck and Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Vitals

Gene Hackman as “Buck” Barrow, bank robber, ex-convict, and family man

Texas, May 1933

Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

Happy birthday to Gene Hackman, who turns 86 years old today!

Bonnie and Clyde marked the first major role for Hackman, who had spent much of the ’60s as a struggling actor who shared rooms with fellow struggling actors Dustin Hoffman and Robert Duvall. 1967 turned out to be a banner year for the friends and roommates, earning Hackman and Hoffman their first Academy Award nominations.

Hackman brings an easygoing charm to the role of the more famous Clyde’s older brother Buck, and the film gets many of the “on paper” details right about Buck. As Clyde’s older brother, he had more experience tangling with the law and spent the first few months of Clyde’s criminal career in the Texas state prison. He had escaped once, but – as Hackman tells Warren Beatty’s Clyde – it was his new wife Blanche that talked him into returning to prison to serve out the rest of his sentence, and he would be pardoned 15 months later. Buck and Blanche journeyed to visit Bonnie and Clyde, ostensibly for a reunion and possibly for Buck to try and talk Clyde into following his good example. Of course, the murder of two Joplin policemen during this reunion meant Buck would be wanted again as well, and the brothers led the motley “Barrow Gang” in a string of small-town stickups and kidnappings over the next three months. Continue reading

Buck Barrow’s Leather Flight Jacket

Gene Hackman as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Gene Hackman as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Vitals

Gene Hackman as “Buck” Barrow, Depression-era ex-convict looking to go straight

Joplin, Missouri, Spring 1933

Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

BAMF Style’s been focusing a lot on law-abiding BAMFs lately, and – while their behavior may be admirable – it’s always welcome to shift back to characters with murkier legal histories. 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde is stylish in many regards, including the rugged outlaw style sported by Clyde’s older brother Buck, played charmingly by Gene Hackman in his first major on-screen role. Continue reading

Clyde Barrow’s Brown Herringbone Bank Robbery Suit

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Vitals

Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, Depression-era bank robber and gang leader

Pilot Point, TX, Summer 1933

Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

It was around this time in late November 1932 that an awkward and maladjusted Texas hoodlum decided he wanted to make the jump from armed robber and spree killer to big-time bank-robbing gang leader. Now 23 years old, Clyde Barrow already had numerous arrests dating back to an aborted attempt to steal a rental car and impress a girlfriend (not Bonnie, in case you’re curious.) He’d spent two years in prison, having endured sexual and physical abuse for most of it, and now graced headlines of small Texas newspapers with the notoriety of a gutless killer with the blood of two shopkeepers and a deputy sheriff attributed to him (not to mention that of the most abusive inmate from his prison stretch).

With the support of his vulnerable girlfriend, Bonnie Parker, and two Texas nobodies who shared his dreams of taking a major bank score, Clyde set out for the Farmers and Miners Bank in Oronago, Missouri on November 30, 1932. Bonnie had already visited the bank the previous day to case it, but the inexperienced girl drew only suspicious stares from its employees rather than a master plan for robbery. Undeterred by her lack of success, Clyde loaded his Browning Automatic Rifle – stolen from a Texas National Guard armory three months earlier – and charged into the bank around 11:30 a.m. with accomplice Frank Hardy. Things didn’t quite go according to plan. Continue reading