James Cagney as Tom Powers, petty criminal
Chicago, Fall 1915
Film: The Public Enemy
Release Date: April 23, 1931
Director: William A. Wellman
Costume Designer: Edward Stevenson
Wardrobe Credit: Earl Luick
In the waning years of Prohibition, Warner Brothers met the public demand for bringing the violent daily headlines to the screen with a succession of films that firmly established the genre of American gangster cinema. One of the most enduring of these pre-Code hits is The Public Enemy, the 1931 movie that made an instant star out of James Cagney.
John Wayne as Sean Thornton, Irish-American former prizefighter
Inisfree, Ireland, spring during the 1920s
Film: The Quiet Man
Release Date: July 21, 1952
Director: John Ford
Costume Designer: Adele Palmer
John Ford’s cinematic love letter to his ancestral home remains a perennial St. Patrick’s Day favorite, even if it is a somewhat overly sanitized depiction of Irish life in the 1920s. As Duke’s outfit from The Quiet Man has been requested by at least three different BAMF Style readers over the last few years, I couldn’t imagine a better time to feature it than on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Based on a 1933 short story by Maurice Walsh, The Quiet Man stars Ford’s favorite actor John Wayne as Sean Thornton, a former boxer from Pittsburgh who is returning home to reclaim his family’s land in Ireland. Continue reading
Robert De Niro as Sam, professional mercenary thief and ex-CIA operative
Nice to Paris, France, December 1997
Release Date: September 25, 1998
Director: John Frankenheimer
Costume Designer: May Routh
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Several BAMF Style readers have requested to see Robert De Niro’s style from Ronin, the sensational and fast-paced thriller that follows a team of mercenaries carrying out a high-profile robbery in France. The film has been particularly singled out for its realistic car chases, filmed across stunning French settings by cinematographer Robert Fraisse as De Niro et al pursue their prey in European luxury sedans from more modern Audis and BMWs to a classic Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 performance sedan.
Shortly before Christmas, the mercenaries carry out their heist, ambushing a well-armed convoy in La Turbie and absconding with the film’s MacGuffin. A running gun battle and car chase ensues as the mercenaries pursue the surviving convoy to the port of Nice. The convoy is exterminated, but mercenaries Sam (De Niro) and Vincent (Jean Reno) then realize that they’ve been double-crossed by a deceptive confederate. Continue reading
Sean Connery as Colonel John Arbuthnot, British Indian Army commanding officer
Istanbul, December 1935
Film: Murder on the Orient Express
Release Date: November 24, 1974
Director: Sidney Lumet
Costume Designer: Tony Walton
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Happy birthday, Sean Connery, born August 25, 1930!
After playing James Bond in six films over the course of a decade, Connery was more than tired of the demanding role that had made him a star, and he began seeking work in different projects. One of his first films after putting 007 behind him (for the second time) was as part of the ensemble cast of Murder on the Orient Express, a 1974 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic 1934 mystery novel. Continue reading
Sean Connery as Jim Malone, tough and honest Chicago beat cop
Chicago, September 1930
Film: The Untouchables
Release Date: June 3, 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
The Untouchables is a highly entertaining – yet highly fictionalized – saga of the successful legal campaign to bring down Al Capone’s criminal enterprise that terrorized Chicago through the 1920s with an all-star cast including Robert De Niro as Capone himself.
Eliot Ness had made a name for himself in the final years of Chicago’s beer wars as a relentless Prohibition agent, and he would use his fame decades later to pen The Untouchables, a memoir in which he credits himself with practically single-handedly sending Capone to prison. In real life, Ness’ raids were indeed disruptive, but it was the work of modest investigators U.S. Attorney George E.Q. Johnson and IRS agent Frank Wilson that eventually led to the charges that successfully convicted Capone. Continue reading
Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Henessey, wisecracking private detective and ex-con
New Jersey, Christmas 1996
Film: The Long Kiss Goodnight
Release Date: October 11, 1996
Director: Renny Harlin
Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston
As Christmas is only two weeks away, BAMF Style is taking a look at the Die Hard-meets-The Bourne Identity holiday action flick, The Long Kiss Goodnight.
The Long Kiss Goodnight has received a generally positive reception in the 20 years since it’s release, but there’s one review that stands out of particular importance for this blog. In 2001, an IMDB reviewer gave the movie the top rating of 10 stars with the added note:
Saw this film on TV just now for the first time in ages and realised what makes it so good… SAMUEL L. JACKSON’S WARDROBE.
Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin, proud, strong, and serious KGB operative
Berlin and Rome, Late Spring 1963
Film: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Release Date: August 2, 2015
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston
Plans to reboot The Man from U.N.C.L.E. had been in the works for more than two decades by the time Guy Ritchie’s adaptation hit the big screen in the summer of 2015. The original series was created by Ian Fleming, Norman Felton, and Sam Rolfe, debuting in September 1964 as the American response to the wildly successful James Bond franchise… also the brainchild of Ian Fleming.
Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, crooked city politician and influential mob bootlegger
Atlantic City, Memorial Day 1921
Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episode: “Gimcrack & Bunkum” (Episode 2.05)
Air Date: October 23, 2011
Director: Tim Van Patten
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
As summer starts winding to a close, make sure you schedule some time this weekend to hit the links with your pals.
In Boardwalk Empire‘s second season, Nucky and political pals Harry Daugherty and Jess Smith blow off some steam after a Memorial Day ceremony by getting out onto the green. Things are tense for Nucky as his old protégé Jimmy Darmody is vying for power in the city, his Attorney General ally is more concerned with his weight than Nucky’s legal situation, and the unreliable Jess Smith is trying to use Nucky for a shady partnership. And that’s all just before they leave the clubhouse.
Nucky Thompson: Do you actually enjoy golfing?
Harry Daugherty: I enjoy being a man with the time to play it.
Maybe golf isn’t so relaxing after all. Continue reading
Johnny Depp as Joe Pistone, aka “Donnie Brasco”, undercover FBI agent infiltrating the Mafia
New York City, November 1978
Film: Donnie Brasco
Release Date: February 28, 1997
Director: Mike Newell
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard & David C. Robinson
I try to respond to all requests, though unfortunately not in as timely a fashion as I would prefer. However, last December, BAMF Style had a request from Max to cover the leather from Donnie Brasco. Anyone who has seen the film knows that this is a wise suggestion as Donnie Brasco, and Depp’s titular character in particular, showcases a great array of ’70s leather in the great era before everyone was wearing ugly neon windbreakers, as I assume everyone in the ’80s did.
Depp wears three leather jackets during the film, the first being this everyday brown car coat. He follows it with another brown leather jacket, styled like a sports coat. By the end of the film, and in time for his transformation over to the “dark side”, he is wearing an all-black leather jacket.
What’d He Wear?
Through the beginning of the film, as Donnie quickly rises with Lefty and Sonny Black’s crew, the main staple of his wardrobe is a very ‘70s and very cool brown textured leather car coat. The color is a reddish brown, closer to saddle brown than russet. Continue reading
James Mason as Odell Gardner, Broadway theatrical producer
A remote Mediterranean island, Summer 1937
Film: Evil Under the Sun
Release Date: March 5, 1982
Director: Guy Hamilton
Costume Designer: Anthony Powell
72 years old when the film was made, James Mason was just as effortlessly sophisticated as ever in the 1982 mystery Evil Under the Sun, based on the novel by the same name by Agatha Christie. Mason steals the show as Odell Gardner, a Broadway producer with a sling of recent flops and wit sharp enough to match anyone but his wife, played by Sylvia Miles. Continue reading