Tagged: Famous Dance Scenes

William Holden in Picnic

William Holden as Hal Carter in Picnic (1955)

William Holden as Hal Carter in Picnic (1955)

Vitals

William Holden as Hal Carter, aimless former college football star and Army veteran

Kansas, Labor Day 1955

Film: Picnic
Release Date: February 16, 1956
Director: Joshua Logan
Costume Designer: Jean Louis

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This Labor Day, we celebrate one of the lesser-recognized cinematic holidays with a look at the Academy Award-nominated Technicolor hit Picnic. Continue reading

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Viva Las Vegas: Elvis’ Beige Collarless Suit

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Vitals

Elvis Presley as “Lucky” Jackson, mechanic and aspiring race car driver

Las Vegas, Summer 1964

Film: Viva Las Vegas
Release Date: May 20, 1964
Director: George Sidney
Costume Designer: Donfeld (Donald Lee Feld)

Background

Regarded as one of the better movies of Elvis Presley’s acting career, Viva Las Vegas stars the singer opposite Ann-Margret, and it’s reported that the very real chemistry between the two was indicative of their off-screen friendship that briefly grew into romance.

On screen, however, Elvis played “Lucky” Jackson, a mechanic who wins – then literally loses – the money he had hoped to use to finance his own race car. To raise the money back, he takes a part-time gig in the Fabulous Flamingo casino in Las Vegas, where he meets sultry swimming instructor Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret, of course).

Continue reading

Saturday Night Fever: Travolta’s White Disco Suit

John Travolta and Karen Lynn Gorney in an iconic promotional image for Saturday Night Fever (1977).

John Travolta and Karen Lynn Gorney in an iconic promotional image for Saturday Night Fever (1977).
In the film itself, Gorney wore a white dress rather than the red of the poster. “We shot me in every color dress under the sun… Red sells. I think that’s why it was used for the poster,” she explained in a 2011 interview with Media Mikes.

Vitals

John Travolta as Tony Manero, aimless paint store clerk and disco god

Brooklyn, Spring 1977

Film: Saturday Night Fever
Release Date: December 14, 1977
Director: John Badham
Costume Designer: Patrizia Von Brandenstein

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the premiere of Saturday Night Fever, the definitive film of the disco era. Often remembered for its soundtrack and street style, a closer look reveals an uncompromising film that wasn’t afraid to explore the dark themes that lurked beneath the era’s glittery polyester veneer, all propelled by an equally uncompromising star turn from a 23-year-old John Travolta. Continue reading

Vincent Vega’s Western-Inspired Casualwear

John Travolta as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994).

John Travolta as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994).

Vitals

John Travolta as Vincent Vega, laidback mob hitman and self-described “Elvis man”

Los Angeles, Summer 1992

Film: Pulp Fiction
Release Date: October 14, 1994
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann

Background

With Halloween around the corner, I’m revisiting one of my favorite Halloween costumes: Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. It’s a great chance for a couple’s costume, whether your significant other is a Mia or a Jules.

Pulp Fiction‘s colorful, sprawling cast of characters and famously non-linear timeline makes Vincent an even more interesting character when you realize that he is the only one to appear in each segment of the film. The role marked a rejuvenation for John Travolta, whose career had gone stagnant during the ’80s with the only real commercial success coming from Look Who’s Talking. Established and rising actors including Alec Baldwin, Daniel Day-Lewis, James Gandolfini, Andy Garcia, Michael Keaton (aw!), Gary Oldman, Jason Patric, Sean Penn, Tim Roth, and Denzel Washington had all been either interested in or considered for the role, and even Michael Madsen would go on to regret not reprising his Vega brother role when offered.

Vincent Vega was the laidback yin to Jules Winnfield’s fired-up yang. While Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) would intimidate a target with his fire-and-brimstone brand of furious anger, Vincent would merely slump against a wall, puffing one of his hand-rolled cigarettes and debating whether or not to voice a situational complaint of his own. It might have been his easy temperament that led Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) to tap Vincent as the henchman-of-choice to entertain his wife Mia (Uma Thurman) when Marsellus was called out of town. Continue reading

Jimmy Stewart’s “Charleston” Suit

Donna Reed and James Stewart dance the Charleston as Mary Hatch and George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

Donna Reed and James Stewart dance the Charleston as Mary Hatch and George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

Vitals

James Stewart as George Bailey, bank officer and “nice guy”

Bedford Falls, NY, May 1928

Film: It’s a Wonderful Life
Release Date: December 20, 1946
Director: Frank Capra
Costume Designer: Edward Stevenson

Background

Today would’ve been the 108th birthday of James Stewart, and BAMF Style is honoring this screen legend by looking at Stewart’s own favorite character from his filmography: George Bailey.

Rated #9 on AFI’s 100 Heroes list and #8 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time, Stewart’s portrayal of the Capra-esque “every man” still resonates with audiences 70 years later, especially around Christmas time (due to an NTA clerical error in 1974). In fact, the local Regent Square Theater near my house in Pittsburgh hosts a free screening of It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmastime, which I’ve been sure to never miss in the last four years.

One of my favorite scenes – not only in It’s a Wonderful Life but from movie history – is the Charleston contest where George and Mary reconnect and then find themselves drenched when a jealous rival for her affections (played by The Little Rascals‘ Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer) opens the dance floor to send the two flap-happy dancers into the school swimming pool. In fact, this scene was filmed at the Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles which indeed had a gym floor that could be converted into a pool with the press of a button. Continue reading