Tagged: Fall

The Way We Were: Robert Redford’s Navy CPO Shirt

Robert Redford as Hubbell Gardiner in The Way We Were (1973)

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Robert Redford as Hubbell Gardiner, Hollywood screenwriter and Navy veteran

Malibu, California, Fall 1947 through Spring 1948

Film: The Way We Were
Release Date: October 19, 1973
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Design: Dorothy Jeakins & Moss Mabry

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This week marks the 50th anniversary of The Way We Were, released October 19, 1973. Adapted by Arthur Laurents from his own novel of the same name, the story follows the privileged and carefree Hubbell Gardiner (Robert Redford) and politically driven Katie Morosky (Barbra Streisand) through a decade of their on-and-off romance.

After a contentious and unrequited flirtation while at the same college in the late 1930s, Hubbell and Katie reunite by chance during the latter years of World War II, when Hubbell is serving in the U.S. Navy. Despite some early tumultuousness, the two gently compromise their differing personalities and enter a relationship that continues after the war and through the Red Scare of the late ’40s. The growing paranoia of McCarthyism—and Katie’s reignited activism in response—threatens their livelihood as Hubbell is working as a Hollywood screenwriter. Continue reading

Harvey Keitel’s Navy Chalkstripe Suit in Mean Streets

Harvey Keitel in Mean Streets (1973)

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Harvey Keitel as Charlie Cappa, conflicted Mafia associate

New York, Fall 1972

Film: Mean Streets
Release Date: October 14, 1973
Director: Martin Scorsese
Wardrobe Credit: Norman Salling

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

You don’t make up for your sins in the church. You do it in the streets. The rest is bullshit and you know it.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Mean Streets, Martin Scorsese’s breakthrough film that premiered today in 1972 during the New York Film Festival, twelve days before it was widely released.

Though arguably the first of his movies to include many of his now-familiar themes and techniques, Mean Streets was actually Scorsese’s third film, following his debut Who’s That Knocking On My Door? (1967) and Boxcar Bertha (1972), the latter one of the low-budget Depression-era crime flicks produced by Roger Corman’s American International Pictures in the wake of the successful Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Following John Cassavetes’ encouragement to “write what you know” and incorporate more of his own experiences onto the screen, Scorsese reintroduced himself to the world with the remarkable Mean Streets—essentially his own retelling of I Vitelloni (1953) set among the mobbed-up mooks in Little Italy—viewed through the same unapologetically gritty lens that Scorsese would return to three years later in Taxi Driver (1976).

Unlike the then-recent hit The Godfather (1972), Mean Streets focused not on the dons leading these crime families but rather the street-level hoods whose lives are defined by small-time scores, gambling debts, and long nights. Reuniting with Scorsese after appearing in his directorial debut, Harvey Keitel stars as Mean Streets‘ ostensible protagonist Charlie Cappa. Continue reading

The Big Chill: William Hurt’s Tan Corduroy Jacket

William Hurt in The Big Chill (1983)

Vitals

William Hurt as Nick Carlton, former radio psychologist and war veteran

Beaufort, South Carolina, Fall 1983

Film: The Big Chill
Release Date: September 28, 1983
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Costume Designer: April Ferry

Background

Today is the 40th anniversary of the release of The Big Chill, Lawrence Kasdan’s 1983 comedy-drama centered around seven friends from college (played by Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, and JoBeth Williams) who reunite after more than a decade for the funeral of a fellow UMich alum who committed suicide.

Scored by the rock and R&B hits from their late ’60s college heyday, the movie focuses on the ennui of adulthood as this handful of baby boomers are forced to reconcile their current realities with the idealistic visions they had for their future when they were young, energetic, and relatively free of responsibility.

It was easy back then, no one ever had a cushier berth than we did… it’s only out here in the world that it gets tough.

Continue reading

A Bronx Tale: Sonny’s Gray Silk Jacket

Chazz Palminteri in A Bronx Tale (1993)

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Chazz Palminteri as Sonny LoSpecchio, local mob capo

The Bronx, New York, Fall 1960

Film: A Bronx Tale
Release Date: September 29, 1993
Director: Robert De Niro
Costume Designer: Rita Ryack

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Thirty years ago this week, A Bronx Tale was released in theaters across the United States, two weeks after it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. This mobbed-up coming-of-age story was adapted from Chazz Palminteri’s autobiographical one-man show of the same name, recalling Palminteri’s own childhood experiences growing up in the Bronx during the 1960s. Continue reading

Asteroid City: Jason Schwartzman’s Safari Jacket

Jason Schwartzman as Augie Steenbeck in Asteroid City (2023)

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Jason Schwartzman as Augie Steenbeck, widowed war photojournalist (portrayed in-universe by Jones Hall)

The Mojave Desert, Fall 1955

Film: Asteroid City
Release Date: June 16, 2023
Director: Wes Anderson
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

“Each year, we celebrate Asteroid Day, commemorating September 23, 3007 B.C., when the Arid Plains Meteorite made Earth impact,” General Grif Gibson (Jeffrey Wright) explains to the gathered crowd of Junior Stargazers and Space Cadets and their parents in Asteroid City, the latest from Wes Anderson—a colorful reflection of grief and loneliness in a delightfully surreal “cosmic wilderness”.

Vividly photographed in Anderson’s signature style, Asteroid City centers around a fictional play staged for live television in the 1950s, scored by a great early ’50s guitar soundtrack featuring contemporary hits by Les Paul & Mary Ford and cowboy singers like Slim Whitman and Tennessee Ernie Ford as well as Alexandre Desplat’s evocative original score. The play is set in a fictional town of 87, located approximately “halfway between Parched Gulf and Arid Plains” near a nuclear testing site in the California/Arizona/Nevada region, according to the opening lines of playwright Conrad Earp (Edward Norton).

The ostensible protagonist among our ensemble cast is the Augie Steenbeck (Jason Schwartzman), a jaded war photojournalist and—initially unbeknownst to his “brainiac” son Woodrow (Jake Ryan) and three younger daughters that he’s traveling with—a recent widow. “Let’s say she’s in Heaven… which doesn’t exist for me, of course, but you’re Episcopalian,” Augie reassures his children while grasping their mother’s ashes in a teal Tupperware bowl. Continue reading

Hawaii Five-O, Episode 1: Jack Lord’s Slate Suit

Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O (Episode 1.01: “Cocoon”)

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Jack Lord and Steve McGarrett, Hawaii state police “Five-O” task force commander

Honolulu, Fall 1967

Series: Hawaii Five-O
Episode: “Cocoon” (Episode 1.01)
Air Date: September 20, 1968
Director: Paul Wendkos
Creator: Leonard Freeman
Costume Designer: Richard Egan

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Book ’em, Danno! Today is the 55th anniversary of when the original Hawaii Five-O series premiered with the TV movie “Cocoon” on Friday, September 20, 1968. Conceptualized by creator Leonard Freeman, Hawaii Five-O set new records for TV longevity by lasting twelve seasons, all of which were almost entirely set and filmed in the Hawaiian islands.

The series centers around the Five-O Task Force, a fictional state police agency commanded by Detective Captain Steve McGarrett, who reports directly to the governor. Despite the pivotal role, McGarrett wasn’t cast until less than a week before filming began when Freeman called on Jack Lord. Continue reading

Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma

Russell Crowe as Ben Wade in 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

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Russell Crowe as Ben Wade, cunning bandit leader

Arizona Territory, Fall 1884

Film: 3:10 to Yuma
Release Date: September 7, 2007
Director: James Mangold
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The remake of the classic 1957 Western 3:10 to Yuma, based on Elmore Leonard’s short story of the same name, was released 15 years ago this week during a renaissance year for Western-themed movies, including the respective masterpieces No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I have fond memories of seeing each one in theaters with my dad including this one, which we saw one weekend early in my first semester of college and particularly resonated with its themes of fatherhood.

Russell Crowe was James Mangold’s first choice for the role of Ben Wade, the introspective and thoughtful yet still ultimately ruthless outlaw leader who had been originated on screen by Glenn Ford fifty years earlier. With a fear-and-awe-inspiring reputation akin to the real-life Jesse James (who was born today in 1847, 160 years to the day before this version of 3:10 to Yuma was released), Wade defies bandit stereotypes by seemingly preferring quietly sketching to shootouts… but that doesn’t mean he’ll hesitate to shoot fast, straight, and with wicked accuracy when he feels compelled. “I wouldn’t last five minutes leadin’ an outfit like that if I wasn’t as rotten a hell,” Wade reassures us. Continue reading

The Rocky IV Hugo Boss Sweatshirt

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV (1985)

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Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, two-time heavyweight world champion boxer

Las Vegas, Fall 1985

Film: Rocky IV
Release Date: November 27, 1985
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Costume Designer: Tom Bronson

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

If he dies, he dies.

Cold-hearted Russian boxing champion and Soviet Army captain Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) has little remorse for the brutal clobbering he delivers to Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) during their exhibition fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. As Apollo indeed dies in the arms of his respected rival-turned-friend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), Rocky takes it upon himself to avenge his fallen friend… and essentially defend the very concept of American freedom and all things red, white, and blue.

After the groundbreaking global success of Rocky (1976) propelled Stallone to stardom, the actor-and-writer added directing to his plate, making his debut with the 1940s-set Paradise Alley (1978) which—like Rocky—he also wrote and starred in. He continued feeding the franchise that made him, writing, directing, and starring in three Rocky sequels throughout the 1980s. (Stallone would not direct the 1990 sequel, Rocky V, though he did direct the 2006 continuation Rocky Balboa.)

The third highest-grossing movie of 1985, Rocky IV has remained a pop culture touchstone of the decade’s patriotic excess, as illustrated during the Creed vs. Drago match, where the flag-bedecked Apollo made his entrance surrounded by showgirls and James Brown singing “Living in America” while his three trainers—Rocky, Duke (Tony Burton), and Paulie (Burt Young) observe in their red, white, and blue Hugo Boss sweatshirts.

Continue reading

Top Gun: Maverick — CWU Flight Jacket and Jeans

Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly in Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Vitals

Tom Cruise as CAPT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, experienced U.S. Navy test pilot-turned-instructor

NAS North Island near San Diego, Fall 2019

Film: Top Gun: Maverick
Release Date: May 27, 2022
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Costume Designer: Marlene Stewart

Background

It’s been a minute, huh Mav?

To commemorate August 19 being National Aviation Day, today’s post celebrates one of the most famous fictional naval aviators in movie history.

Thirty-six years to the month after its predecessor flew into theaters, Top Gun: Maverick returned Tom Cruise to the flight deck as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a virtuoso Naval Aviator who still lives up to his nickname more than three decades since he was a swaggering but skilled lieutenant in the U.S. Navy’s prestigious “Top Gun” training program.

“Captain? Still?” he’s asked, prompting Maverick to clarify that he’s “a highly decorated Captain.” His insubordination repeatedly preventing promotion to flag officer like his pal and one-time rival Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), CAPT Pete Mitchell is still “the fastest man alive”, now a Navy test pilot living in a hangar in the Mojave Desert, fighting the good fight for practical flight vs. the unmanned preferences of bureaucrats like RADM Chester Cain (Ed Harris), aka “The Drone Ranger”.

Despite Maverick falling out of favor among Navy brass, Iceman still looks out for his pal and—when Maverick is in danger of being grounded—has the distinguished aviator recalled to Top Gun at NAS North Island, where the stern, by-the-book commander VADM Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm) briefs him on a dangerous mission, tasked to destroy an unsanctioned underground uranium enrichment plant… clarifying “we don’t want you to fly it, we want you to teach it.”

While at “Fightertown U.S.A.”, Maverick reconnects with former fling Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly), who now runs The Hard Deck, a local bar frequented by fliers like the recent graduates that Maverick will be training for the mission. Among these aviators—played by a cast of rising stars like Monica Barbaro, Manny Jacinto, and Glen Powell—is Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), son of Maverick’s late friend and RIO Goose, who resents Mav for having blocked his Naval Academy application. Over the course of the accelerated training, a mutual respect grows between the confident young lieutenants and the experienced veteran. Continue reading

Minx: Jake Johnson’s Pink Leisure Suit

Jake Johnson as Doug Renetti on Minx (Episode 1.10: “You happened to me”)

Vitals

Jake Johnson as Doug Renetti, easygoing porn publisher

San Fernando Valley, California, Summer and Fall 1972

Series: Minx
Episodes:
– “Mary had a little hysterectomy” (Episode 1.06, dir. Carrie Brownstein, aired 3/31/2022)
– “You happened to me” (Episode 1.10, dir. Stella Meghie, aired 4/14/2022)
Creator:
Ellen Rapoport
Costume Designer: Beth Morgan

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

After the show’s fate seemed uncertain at the end of last year, Minx returns this Friday, July 21 on Starz. The streaming platform had rescued the series after it was unceremoniously canceled by HBO Max in December 2022 and removed from its service, alongside other original series like Westworld and The Nevers. Though its future was in doubt, Minx completed filming the second season within a week and, exactly a month after HBO Max canceled it, Starz announced on January 12, 2023 that Minx would be adopted onto its service.

Also set in the San Fernando Valley during the so-called “golden age of porn”, Minx could be described as a lighter-hearted companion piece to Boogie Nights, to the extent that Jake Johnson told Brooke Marine for W Magazine that he “used to play it in my trailer [during Minx] to remember the certain energy and bounce to that movie. When it would be early in the morning and I’m putting on tight pants, it would instantly make me happy to be at work.” Continue reading