Tagged: French Cuff Shirt

Sweet Smell of Success – J.J.’s Flannel Suit

Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker in a colorized photo from 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

One of my favorite movies is Sweet Smell of Success, the atmospheric film noir starring Burt Lancaster as a Walter Winchell-like columnist and Tony Curtis as the opportunistic young PR flack desperate to get in good with him.

Ernest Lehman, who contributed to the screenplay based on his own novelette, declined to direct the film due to his fear of Lancaster, but the actor’s aggressive and volatile temperament paid off to create the needed aura of his intimidating character, the sort of man who could and would destroy an enemy’s career on a whim. Continue reading

Lucky Luciano’s 1931 Navy Suit on Boardwalk Empire

Vincent Piazza as Charlie “Lucky” Luciano on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 5.02: “The Good Listener”)

Vitals

Vincent Piazza as Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Sicilian-American mobster

New York City, April 1931

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episodes:
* “Golden Days for Boys and Girls” (Episode 5.01, aired September 7, 2014, dir. Tim Van Patten)
* “The Good Listener” (Episode 5.02, aired September 14, 2014, dir. Allen Coulter)
* “Eldorado” (Episode 5.08, aired October 26, 2014, dir. Tim Van Patten)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

86 years ago tomorrow “Lucky” Luciano brought an end to the Castellammarese War – as mob historians refer to the bloody gangland conflict that divided New York City – by engineering the death of Sicilian-American mob chieftain Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria.

Masseria’s demise is one of the many colorful episodes that has, for better or worse, iconicized the history of the American Mafia… and it makes for a compelling and dramatic re-introduction to Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza) for the final season of Boardwalk Empire. Continue reading

Chalky White’s Tuxedo on Boardwalk Empire

Michael K. Williams as Albert "Chalky" White on <em>Boardwalk Empire</em> (Episode 4.08: "The Old Ship of Zion")

Michael K. Williams as Albert “Chalky” White on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 4.08: “The Old Ship of Zion”)

Vitals

Michael Kenneth Williams as Albert “Chalky” White, nightclub owner and bootlegger

Atlantic City, Spring 1924

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episodes:
* “New York Sour” (Episode 4.01, aired September 8, 2013, dir. Tim Van Patten)
* “Resignation” (Episode 4.02, aired September 15, 2013, dir. Alik Sakharov)
* “Acres of Diamonds” (Episode 4.03, aired September 22, 2013, dir. Allen Coulter)
* “All In” (Episode 4.04, aired September 29, 2013, dir. Ed Bianchi)
* “The North Star” (Episode 4.06, aired October 13, 2013, dir. Allen Coulter)
* “William Wilson” (Episode 4.07, aired October 20, 2013, dir. Jeremy Podeswa)
* “The Old Ship of Zion” (Episode 4.08, aired October 27, 2013, dir. Tim Van Patten)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn Continue reading

Nucky Thompson’s Morning Dress

Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 3.03: “Bone for Tuna”)

Vitals

Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, political boss and bootlegger

Atlantic City, January 1923

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episode: “Bone for Tuna” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: September 30, 2012
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I’m taking the blogger’s imperative and dedicating this whole week to Boardwalk Empire and its celebrated throwback style.

During its five-season run, Boardwalk Empire highlighted the spectrum of Prohibition-era men’s fashion from Jimmy Darmody’s street tweeds (link) and Mickey Doyle’s comic bowler-topped sack suits to Chalky White’s natty plaid suits accented by bold bow ties and Nucky Thompson’s distinctive take on white tie (link).

As a decidedly unconservative dresser, it thus becomes very meaningful when the typically bold-suited Nucky Thompson dons traditional morning dress for a morning in church. Continue reading

Quantum of Solace – Bond’s Brown Suit

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Quantum of Solace (2008)

Vitals

Daniel Craig as James Bond, rogue British government agent

La Paz, Bolivia, August 2008

Film: Quantum of Solace
Release Date: October 31, 2008
Director: Marc Forster
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley

Background

The last post found us sailing down to Bolivia with the Sundance Kid, so let’s hang around and see what kind of trouble James Bond gets into in the same country for the 00-7th of April.

Exactly 100 years after Butch and Sundance met their fate in San Vicente, Daniel Craig’s rogue James Bond arrived in the country with his former MI6 handler Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini), where they are immediately interrupted by the efficient Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton, who recently expressed that she wouldn’t take the role if offered it today). Continue reading

From Russia With Love – Red Grant’s Gray Check Suit

Robert Shaw as Donald “Red” Grant in From Russia With Love (1963)

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Robert Shaw as Donald “Red” Grant, lethal SPECTRE assassin

Istanbul, Spring 1963

Film: From Russia With Love
Release Date: October 10, 1963
Director: Terence Young
Costume Designer: Jocelyn Rickards

Background

Robert Shaw set the Bond franchise standard as the dangerous Donald “Red” Grant in From Russia With Love, one of the most memorable antagonists in the series.

Grant is arguably the archetype for subsequent villains that followed his laconic, icy blond example like Vargas in Thunderball, Necros in The Living Daylights, and Stamper in Tomorrow Never Dies, though none could ever match Robert Shaw’s truly menacing presence on screen. Continue reading

Michael Caine’s Navy RAF Blazer as Alfie

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins in Alfie (1966)

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins in Alfie (1966)

Vitals

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins, charming part-time car service driver and full-time cad

London, Summer 1965

Film: Alfie
Release Date: March 24, 1966
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Supervisor: Jean Fairlie
Tailor: Douglas Hayward

Background

Make a married woman laugh and you’re halfway there with her.

Right off the bat, we learn that the titular Alfie Elkins is no gentleman.

Although he had already featured in several major British films through the ’60s, it was his Academy Award-nominated breakthrough role in Alfie that led Michael Caine to global stardom. Continue reading