Tagged: Fall

The Awful Truth: Cary Grant’s White Tie and Tails

Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth (1937)

Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth (1937)

Vitals

Cary Grant as Jerry Warriner, witty divorcee

New York, Fall 1937

Film: The Awful Truth
Release Date: October 21, 1937
Director: Leo McCarey
Costume Designer: Robert Kalloch

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Archibald Leach was born 117 years ago today on January 18, 1904. Though he’d established his now-iconic stage name just before his film debut in This is the Night (1932), I consider Leo McCarey’s 1937 screwball comedy The Awful Truth to be the symbolic start of Cary Grant’s screen persona as a stylish yet self-deprecating gentleman with a remarkable penchant for physical comedy as well as wit. Continue reading

Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock

Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Vitals

Spencer Tracy as John J. Macreedy, one-armed war veteran

Black Rock, California, Fall 1945

Film: Bad Day at Black Rock
Release Date: January 7, 1955
Director: John Sturges

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Bad Day at Black Rock may have been one of the most requested movies I’ve been asked to write about, so when I saw that the Criterion Channel had added it to their streaming collection in December, I wasted no time in finally watching this swift and spectacular thriller that had been recommended by so many of you.

Based on Howard Breslin’s short story “Bad Time at Honda”, the account begins in the sprawling desert of eastern California, specifically the isolated berg of Black Rock, where no train has stopped in four years—the duration of American participation in World War II—until this particular day in late 1945, when the one-armed John J. Macreedy (Spencer Tracy) requests a stop.

Conductor: Man, they look woebegone and far away.
Macreedy: Oh, I’ll only be here 24 hours.
Conductor: In a place like this, it could be a lifetime.

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Marriage on the Rocks: Sinatra’s Double-Breasted Olive Cardigan

Frank Sinatra in Marriage on the Rocks (1965)

Frank Sinatra in Marriage on the Rocks (1965)

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Dan Edwards, workaholic advertising executive

Los Angeles, Fall 1965

Film: Marriage on the Rocks
Release Date: September 24, 1965
Director: Jack Donohue
Costume Designer: Walter Plunkett

Background

Kick back on this chilly #SinatraSaturday with the mid-century comedy that reunited Rat Pack pallies Frank and Dean, the duo’s final on-screen collaboration until Cannonball Run II, twenty years later.

Marriage on the Rocks stars FS as Dan Edwards, a buttoned-up businessman who—thanks to madcap circumstances—ends up swapping lifestyles with his swingin’ pal Ernie… played by who else but Dean Martin? Continue reading

Nicolas Cage in Snake Eyes

Nicolas Cage as Rick Santoro in Snake Eyes (1998)

Nicolas Cage as Rick Santoro in Snake Eyes (1998)

Vitals

Nicolas Cage as Rick Santoro, flashy homicide detective and compulsive gambler

Atlantic City, September 1998

Film: Snake Eyes
Release Date: August 7, 1998
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Odette Gadoury

Background

Folks, today is Nicolas Cage’s birthday so we’re going to celebrate in style by taking a look at the film that won Cage the esteemed Blockbuster Entertainment Award in the category of Favorite Actor (Suspense).

Has anyone been asking to read about the threads Nic Cage wore in the 1998 box office bomb Snake Eyes? No. Is that going to stop me after the absolutely insane year that we’ve just had? Also no.

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Tony Soprano’s Black Bullethole Shirt in “The Weight”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 4.04: "The Weight")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 4.04: “The Weight”)

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James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

New Jersey, Fall 2001

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “The Weight” (Episode 4.04)
Air Date: October 6, 2002
Director: Jack Bender
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

I know it’s only been a week since my last post about the style of The Sopranos, but I have a great reason for returning to my favorite show as today happens to be the birthday of my friend Gabe, the hardworking curator of @tonysopranostyle on Instagram. Having attained more than 30,000 followers in less than a year on the platform, @tonysopranostyle remains an authoritative and entertaining source of information for everything James Gandolfini wore during his iconic tenure portraying the boss of the New Jersey Mafia, from his boldly printed shirts and velvet tracksuits to his gold jewelry and cigars.

Not just an expert, Gabe also puts his money where his mouth is, tracking down and purchasing many shirts in the original designs from the manufacturers who were sourced by costume designer Juliet Polcsa for the series. Gabe started his collection in late 2016 when, having read Christopher Hooton’s interview with Polcsa for The Independent, he used the brands cited by Polcsa to find a black Alan Stuart shirt with the same scattered abstract pattern that Gandolfini wore for a few scenes in the fourth season episode “The Weight”. Continue reading

Chris Evans’ Famous Fisherman’s Sweater in Knives Out

Chris Evans as Hugh "Ransom" Drysdale in Knives Out (2019)

Chris Evans as Hugh “Ransom” Drysdale in Knives Out (2019)

Vitals

Chris Evans as Hugh “Ransom” Drysdale, arrogant “trust fund prick”

Massachusetts, November 2018

Film: Knives Out
Release Date: November 27, 2019
Director: Rian Johnson
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagan

Background

Released a year ago this week, Knives Out offered a fresh spin on the classic “whodunit” genre, complete with an idiosyncratic detective—in this case, Daniel Craig as the observant Benoit Blanc—and a dysfunctional family plunged into a murder mystery at their palatial country estate. It’s that dysfunctional family element that inspired me to write about Knives Out today, on the eve of a Thanksgiving that’s sure to look different than usual for most households.

The last member of the Thrombey household to be introduced on screen is Ransom Drysdale—or Hugh to “the help”—the spoiled grandson of the late mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Even before Knives Out reached theaters, the internet was ablaze with preview images of Chris Evans lounging in Ransom’s moth-eaten fisherman’s sweater, reintroducing the classic Aran knitting technique to a new generation.

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Mad Men: Burgundy Knitwear for Don Draper’s Lonely Thanksgiving

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 4.01: "Public Relations")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 4.01: “Public Relations”)

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, lonely ad man

Greenwich Village, New York, Thanksgiving 1964

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Public Relations” (Episode 4.01)
Air Date: July 25, 2010
Director: Phil Abraham
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In contrast to the swaggering image he presents as an advertising hot shot, Don Draper has been reduced to a very lonely man at the start of Mad Men‘s fourth season.

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The Sopranos: Paulie’s Black Velvet Tracksuit

Tony Sirico as "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in "The Strong, Silent Type", the tenth episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos.

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri in “The Strong, Silent Type”, the tenth episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos.

Vitals

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, mob captain and Army veteran

New Jersey, Spring 2002 and Fall 2006

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “The Strong, Silent Type” (Episode 4.10, dir. Alan Taylor, aired 11/17/2002)
– “Moe n’ Joe” (Episode 6.10, dir. Steve Shill, aired 5/14/2006)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

November 21 was proclaimed World Television Day by the United Nations in 1996, so this Saturday evening feels like a fine opportunity to pop down in your favorite plastic-covered chair to read about one of the greatest TV shows of all time. And, as I discovered far too late in life, there are few outfits more comfortable for such indulgence than a velvet tracksuit.

I feel that I’ve demonstrated several times my appreciation for the once-in-a-lifetime character of Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos, a perfect character for the world of the acclaimed series as well as a role that could have only been played by Tony Sirico, the Brooklyn-born actor and one-time “half a wiseguy” who lent his quirks, mannerisms, style, and even biographical details to the character.

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Budget Fall Flannel for 2020

Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 (1990), John Saxon in Moonshine County Express (1977), Dennis Haysbert in Far From Heaven (2002), and Rock Hudson in All That Heaven Allows (1955)After I shared some of my favorite budget-friendly movie and TV-inspired summer shirts this year, I also received some interest in a similar post for the autumn so my thoughts immediately went to rounding up some fall-friendly flannel shirts, jackets, and shackets based on my favorite types of movies to watch around this time of year.

My taste in fall movies runs from the rough to the refined. Having grown up watching The Dukes of Hazzard, I always had a soft spot for the low-budget “hick flicks” (and I use the term endearingly) often rolled out during the ’70s by groups like American International Pictures or New World Pictures. The latter distributed Moonshine County Express, one of many movies I saw for the first time while under quarantine this year, and a clear bridge between Burt Reynolds’ early fare like White Lightning and the more formulaic world of the Duke boys in Hazzard County.

Of course, it also wouldn’t be fall without the melodramatic sophistication of Douglas Sirk or his romantic heroes with a taste for flannel as modeled by Rock Hudson in All That Heaven Allows or by his spiritual successor Dennis Haysbert in the autumnal drama Far From Heaven, Todd Haynes’ 2002 ode to Sirk.

Finally, the holidays means we’re in Die Hard season with both the 1988 original film and its 1990 sequel each set during an action-packed Christmas Eve. Bruce Willis’ cynical hero may be tragically underdressed for his adventure in Nakatomi Tower, but he makes up for it two years later by keeping his shirt and shoes while battling baddies in the snow.

Please feel free to add your own observations or flannel favorites in the comments! Continue reading

Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past

Robert Mitchum as Jeff Markham in Out of the Past (1947)

Robert Mitchum as Jeff Markham in Out of the Past (1947)

Vitals

Robert Mitchum as Jeff Markham, aka Jeff Bailey, laconic gas station owner and former private detective

Bridgeport, California, to San Francisco via Lake Tahoe, Fall 1946

Film: Out of the Past
Release Date: November 25, 1947
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Costume Credit: Edward Stevenson

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Regarded among the best of classic film noir, Out of the Past showcases the genre’s quintessential elements: shadowy cinematography (thanks to Nicholas Musuraca), a story of double-cross and intrigue told in flashback, a charismatic antagonist, an alluring and ultimately deadly femme fatale, and—of course—a tough-talking, chain-smoking private eye light on words and sentiment:

Baby, I don’t care.

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