Tagged: Criminal

Gene Hackman’s Ranch Suit in Prime Cut

Gene Hackman as Mary Ann in Prime Cut (1972)

Gene Hackman as Mary Ann in Prime Cut (1972)

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Gene Hackman as Mary Ann, brutal “meat mobster”

Kansas City, summer 1972

Film: Prime Cut
Release Date: June 28, 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris

Background

Today, March 10, is officially National Ranch Dressing Day. What could possibly be the relevance to menswear, you ask? Well, I managed to find a connection for National Potato Day so let’s use today’s observance to explore and celebrate that oft-tragic American phenomenon, the ranch suit.

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Lee Marvin’s Navy Suit in The Killers

Lee Marvin as Charlie Strom in The Killers (1964)

Lee Marvin as Charlie Strom in The Killers (1964)

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Lee Marvin as Charlie Strom, professional mob hitman

Los Angeles, Fall 1963

Film: The Killers
Release Date: July 7, 1964
Director: Don Siegel
Costume Designer: Helen Colvig

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy first day of March! The observance of St. Patrick’s Day this month means plenty of focus on the “luck o’ the Irish”, so today’s post explores a suit sporting the “clover lapel”, a soft type of notch lapel named for its semblance to two leaves of a clover plant.

One character who took advantage of this unique but subtle type of lapel was Charlie Strom, the paid assassin who subverts “movie hitman” tropes by letting his curiosity get the better of him… why did Johnny North give up so easily? Bothered by this incongruity, Charlie and his partner Lee (Clu Gulager) set out to find the truth. Continue reading

The Sopranos: Tony’s Black Jacket and Khakis

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos episode "Meadowlands" (Episode 1.04)

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos episode “Meadowlands” (Episode 1.04)

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James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, Jersey mob boss and conflicted family man

New Jersey, Fall 1998

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “Meadowlands” (Episode 1.04), dir. John Patterson, aired 1/31/1999
– “The Knight in White Satin Armor” (Episode 2.12), dir. Allen Coulter, aired 4/2/2000
– “Employee of the Month” (Episode 3.04), dir. John Patterson, aired 3/18/2001
– “All Due Respect” (Episode 5.13), dir. John Patterson, aired 6/6/2004
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa Continue reading

Leo’s Charcoal Jacket and Gray Flannels in Miller’s Crossing

Albert Finney as Leo O'Bannon in Miller's Crossing (1990)

Albert Finney as Leo O’Bannon in Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Vitals

Albert Finney as Liam “Leo” O’Bannon, Irish Mob-connected political boss

Upstate New York, Fall 1929

Film: Miller’s Crossing
Release Date: September 21, 1990
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Following an assassination attempt that he foiled with his Thompson artistry, small-town political boss Leo O’Bannon summons his troops to his office. One of said troops, Hammett-esque anti-hero Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne) uses the opportunity to earn the ire of his boss by revealing his affair with Leo’s main squeeze, Verna (Marcia Gay Harden).

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Get Shorty: Chili’s Black Striped Suit and Rust Polo

John Travolta as Chili Palmer in Get Shorty (1995)

John Travolta as Chili Palmer in Get Shorty (1995)

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John Travolta as Chili Palmer, Miami loan shark and aspiring filmmaker

Los Angeles, Winter 1995

Film: Get Shorty
Release Date: October 20, 1995
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann

Background

December is here, and while you may not be in the mood yet for that “bold” Christmas sweater with working lights (these exist!), a nice warm long-sleeve polo in a reddish, rustic shade is the perfect layer for transitioning from the fall harvest season into the chilly first weekend of the holiday month.

Of course, in the L.A. of Get Shorty, the sun is brightly shining on Chili Palmer and his new acquaintances in the film industry as he takes a meeting with the eccentric pint-sized superstar Martin Weir (Danny DeVito), supposedly based on Dustin Hoffman after Elmore Leonard’s experiences working with him in the ’80s. Continue reading

Scarface (1932) – Tony’s Fancy Basketweave Suit

Paul Muni as Tony Camonte in Scarface (1932)

Paul Muni as Tony Camonte in Scarface (1932)

Vitals

Paul Muni as Tony Camonte, ruthless Italian-born bootlegger and mob enforcer

Chicago, Summer 1927

Film: Scarface
Release Date: April 9, 1932
Director: Howard Hawks

Background

I’m wrapping up what turned out to be a week focused on classic gangster style with a look at one of my favorite mob movies, the original Scarface released in 1932. Both the film and its source novel of the same name by Armitage Trail (Maurice R. Coons) were undoubtedly inspired by the rise and fall of Chicago kingpin Al Capone, who reportedly grew to love the film so much that the owned his own print of it.

Tony Camonte’s rise through the underworld is depicted by a Thompson submachine gun blowing through the pages of a calendar, stopping somewhere around Friday, August 26, for the action to begin. (August 26 fell on a Friday in 1927 and 1932; as the events that inspired the film occurred throughout the 1920s and production wrapped in mid-1931, it’s safe to assume that this scene picks up the action around the late summer of 1927. Anyway…)

Spectacularly attired in a bold new suit, Tony runs into Poppy (Karen Morley), his boss’s platinum blonde moll, who is getting a little warmer to Tony’s form after his repeated attempts at seduction. Continue reading

Warren Oates’ Brown Striped Suit as Dillinger

Warren Oates as John Dillinger in Dillinger (1973)

Warren Oates as John Dillinger in Dillinger (1973)

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Warren Oates as John Dillinger, Depression-era bank robber

Indiana, Fall 1933

Film: Dillinger
Release Date: July 20, 1973
Director: John Milius
Costume Designer: James M. George

Background

Eighty four years ago tonight – November 15, 1933. Four police cars converge on a small office building on Irving Park Boulevard in the Chicago Loop. In an upstairs doctor’s office, one of the most wanted men in the tri-state area is being treated for either a ringworm infection or “barber’s itch,” an inflammation of hair follicles, depending on which account you read. On the floor below, a cagey informant named Art McGinnis is signaling desperately to police that their quarry is upstairs. Fate, however, is on the side of the outlaw, a thirty-year-old bank robber named John Dillinger. Continue reading

Tony Soprano’s Brown Tattersall Sportcoat

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.11: "Cold Stones")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.11: “Cold Stones”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

New Jersey, Fall 2007

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “Moe n’ Joe” (Episode 6.10, dir. Steve Shill, aired May 14, 2006)
– “Cold Stones” (Episode 6.11, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired May 21, 2006)
– “Walk Like a Man” (Episode 6.17, dir. Terence Winter, aired May 6, 2007)
– “The Second Coming” (Episode 6.19, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired May 20, 2007)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers (and a rather graphic screenshot) ahead! Continue reading

Clyde Barrow’s Brown Peak-Lapel Suit (2013 Version)

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (2013)

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (2013)

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Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow, amateur armed robber

Texas, Spring 1932

Series Title: Bonnie and Clyde
Air Date: December 8, 2013
Director: Bruce Beresford
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

Background

Earlier this week, I posted about the (possibly brown) single-breasted, peak-lapel suit worn by Derrick De Marney in Hitchcock’s 1930s thriller Young and Innocent. Today’s post expands on that theme, exploring a similar suit worn by another desperate young man on the run during the 1930s.

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Dillinger’s Navy Striped Suit in Public Enemies

Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009)

Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009)

Vitals

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

Chicago, Spring 1934

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

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

It’s been quite some time since I’ve visited Public Enemies, the Michael Mann-directed action thriller depicting the life and crimes of Depression-era desperado John Dillinger. The film received mixed to positive reviews upon its release with much of the praise going to Michael Mann’s usual attention to detail as well as Johnny Depp’s performance as the Indiana-born outlaw.

Colleen Atwood’s period costumes are also worthy of attention and praise. High fashion was the signifier of success for Depression-era gangsters, and Dillinger rarely led his gun-toting cronies into a bank without being dressed to the nines.

Even when on the run, such as this scene set not long after Dillinger’s narrow escape from an FBI ambush at the Little Bohemia lodge in Wisconsin, John Dillinger made a consistent effort to dress well. (The film plays with historical accuracy to present its own narrative, pushing Billie Frechette’s arrest to after the Little Bohemia raid; in real life, Billie was arrested on April 9, 1934, two weeks before Melvin Purvis’ federal agents attempted to trap the Dillinger gang at Little Bohemia.) Continue reading