Tagged: Fall

Warren Oates’ Brown Striped Suit as Dillinger

Warren Oates as John Dillinger in Dillinger (1973)

Warren Oates as John Dillinger in Dillinger (1973)

Vitals

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

Charles Bronson’s Blue Suit in The Valachi Papers

Charles Bronson as Joe Valachi attending the Apalachin meeting in The Valachi Papers (1972)

Charles Bronson as Joe Valachi attending the Apalachin meeting in The Valachi Papers (1972)

Vitals

Charles Bronson as Joe Valachi, Mafia soldier

Apalachin, New York, November 1957

Film: The Valachi Papers
Release Date: January 6, 1972
Director: Terence Young
Costume Design: Giorgio Desideri & Ann Roth

Background

“It was a glorious time, before Apalachin,” recalls Ray Liotta’s voice-over as Henry Hill in Goodfellas. For readers not mired in the history of organized crime, Henry was referring to a now-legendary meeting of the American Mafia at the Apalachin, New York home of mobster Joseph Barbara. The summit was organized by powerful New York mob boss Vito Genovese and found more than 100 mobsters from across the country gathering at Barbara’s home on November 14, 1957… sixty years ago tomorrow. 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

Steve McQueen in The Hunter

Steve McQueen as Ralph "Papa" Thorson in The Hunter (1980)

Steve McQueen as Ralph “Papa” Thorson in The Hunter (1980)

Vitals

Steve McQueen as Ralph “Papa” Thorson, real-life bounty hunter

Los Angeles (among other locales), Fall 1979

Film: The Hunter
Release Date: August 1, 1980
Director: Buzz Kulik
Costume Designer: Thomas Welsh

Background

On the anniversary of Steve McQueen’s passing, I’d like to explore his style in the final film he made before his untimely death at the age of 50 on November 7, 1980.

The Hunter starred McQueen as Ralph “Papa” Thorson, a colorful real-life bounty hunter who had reportedly logged more than 5,000 cases throughout his career including the capture of would-be presidential assassin and Manson family follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme.

The concept of a bounty hunter conjures the image of a deadly serious and dangerous enforcer. The real Ralph Thorson certainly looked the part at 310 pounds and 6’2″ though Christopher Keane’s 1976 biography counters this image by describing Thorson’s many roles and talents as “a church bishop, Master bridge champion, renowed astrology, criminology alumnus of the University of California Berkeley, child nutritionist, [and] aficionado of classical music.” Continue reading

Sweet Smell of Success – J.J.’s Dark Birdseye Suit

Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Vitals

Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker, powerful and domineering newspaper columnist

New York City, Fall 1956

Film: Sweet Smell of Success
Release Date: June 27, 1957
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Costume Designer: Mary Grant

Background

In commemoration of Burt Lancaster’s birthday today, I’m exploring my favorite of his films, the atmospheric 1957 noir Sweet Smell of Success that starred Lancaster as acerbic columnist J.J. Hunsecker to Tony Curtis’ unscrupulous PR flack Sidney Falco.

J.J. Hunsecker is a man whose legendary power and mercurial temper is meant to intimidate nearly all in his orbit. Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes’ Peacoat

Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Vitals

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, eccentric consulting detective

London, November 1890

Film: Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Jenny Beavan

Background

Looking for a historical Halloween costume in a pinch? In the spirit of #SherlockSunday, grab a peacoat, a peaked cap, and a pair of suspenders, and you’re good to go!

But isn’t Sherlock Holmes most associated with the classic Basil Hathbone ensemble of a deerstalker cap and Ulster cape? Not so in the 2009 film starring Robert Downey Jr. as the iconic detective, as director Guy Ritchie insisted that his incarnation would neither wear the deerstalker nor say “Elementary, my dear Watson,” choosing instead to present what Roger Ebert would call a “cheerfully revisionist” take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s character. Continue reading

Indiana Jones’s Tweed “Raiders” Suit

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Vitals

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, “professor of archeology, expert on the occult, and – how does one say it? – obtainer of rare antiquities”

New England, Fall 1936

Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Release Date: June 12, 1981
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Deborah Nadoolman

Background

Following the exciting opening scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the film transitions from a South American jungle to the genteel setting of the fictional Marshall College in Connecticut where Dr. Jones is introduced as a highly popular instructor of the college’s Archaeology 101 course. Continue reading