Tagged: Gambler

Brando’s “Night Sky” Navy Suit in Guys and Dolls

Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls

Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (1955)

Vitals

Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson, smooth gambler

Havana to New York, Spring 1955

Film: Guys and Dolls
Release Date: November 3, 1955
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff

Background

On the traditionally unlucky day of Friday the 13th, we could all use a dash of lady luck, the concept popularized in the standard “Luck Be a Lady” that Frank Loesser had composed for the musical Guys and Dolls. Five years after Robert Alda had originated the song on stage in 1950, Marlon Brando overcame his own insecurities about his singing voice resembling “the mating call of a yak” to perform the song in Mank’s cinematic adaptation… much to the likely chagrin of his co-star Frank Sinatra, who would record it twice for his own Reprise Records label in the ’60s.

But before Sky Masterson asked lady luck to show him just how nice a dame she can be, he sets his sights on another doll, specifically the prim and pretty Sergeant Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons) of the Save-a-Soul Mission, whose organizational goals could not be more antithetical to all Sky holds dear. To win a bet with fellow gambler Nathan Detroit (Sinatra), Sky invites her to dinner in Havana, where Sister Sarah’s uncharacteristic Thursday night results in plenty of Bacardi and barfighting. Continue reading

California Split: George Segal’s Aran Turtleneck

George Segal as Bill Denny in California Split

George Segal as Bill Denny in California Split (1974)

Vitals

George Segal as Bill Denny, magazine writer and casual gambler

Los Angeles, Winter 1973

Film: California Split
Release Date: August 7, 1974
Director: Robert Altman
Costumer: Hugh McFarland

Background

In honor of George Segal, who died a year ago today, today’s post introduces us to his character in California Split, directed by Robert Altman and described by Tim Grierson and Will Leitch for Vulture as the greatest movie about gambling ever made, “one of the high watermarks of ’70s hangout cinema.” Continue reading

The Gambler: James Caan’s Houndstooth Cardigan

James Caan as Axel Freed in The Gambler (1974)

James Caan as Axel Freed in The Gambler (1974)

Vitals

James Caan as Axel Freed, gambling-addicted English professor

New York City, Fall 1973

Film: The Gambler
Release Date: October 2, 1974
Director: Karel Reisz
Costume Designer: Albert Wolsky

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

A meditation on self-destruction, The Gambler was based on James Toback’s semi-autobiographical script that was the first to be produced from the soon-to-be-prolific screenwriter. Toback had incorporated his own gambling addiction that plagued him while he lectured at City College of New York. Robert De Niro was an early contender for the leading role of Axel Freed, but director Karel Reisz opted to cast another Corleone: James Caan, who explained the challenge of the role that would reportedly be one of his favorites from own his filmography: “It’s not easy to make people care about a guy who steals from his mother to pay gambling debts.” Continue reading

Brando’s Gray Gambler Suit in Guys and Dolls

Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (1955)

Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (1955)

Vitals

Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson, smooth gambler

New York, Spring 1955

Film: Guys and Dolls
Release Date: November 3, 1955
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff

Background

I always found it interesting to watch a method—ahem, that’s Method—actor like Marlon Brando navigating the artificially staged Broadway of Guys and Dolls, the gangland-adjacent musical by Frank Loesser, which had been based on a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows… which had itself been based on several stories by Damon Runyon.

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Nicolas Cage in Snake Eyes

Nicolas Cage as Rick Santoro in Snake Eyes (1998)

Nicolas Cage as Rick Santoro in Snake Eyes (1998)

Vitals

Nicolas Cage as Rick Santoro, flashy homicide detective and compulsive gambler

Atlantic City, September 1998

Film: Snake Eyes
Release Date: August 7, 1998
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Odette Gadoury

Background

Folks, today is Nicolas Cage’s birthday so we’re going to celebrate in style by taking a look at the film that won Cage the esteemed Blockbuster Entertainment Award in the category of Favorite Actor (Suspense).

Has anyone been asking to read about the threads Nic Cage wore in the 1998 box office bomb Snake Eyes? No. Is that going to stop me after the absolutely insane year that we’ve just had? Also no.

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Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday – Corduroy Riding Jacket

Kirk Douglas as John "Doc" Holliday in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

Kirk Douglas as John “Doc” Holliday in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

Vitals

Kirk Douglas as John “Doc” Holliday, hot-tempered gambler, gunslinger, and ex-dentist

Dodge City, Kansas, October 1881

Film: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Release Date: May 30, 1957
Director: John Sturges
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Let’s call today #WesternWednesday as we transport back to the 1880s, following the taciturn lawman Wyatt Earp (Burt Lancaster) and his infamous pal, tubercular dentist “Doc” Holliday (Kirk Douglas), as they travel from the “beautiful, biblious Babylon of the west” Dodge City—as the rowdy cow town was famously coined by a Chicago newspaper editor—back to Arizona Territory. The two arrive in Tombstone in time for the fateful shootout with the Clanton-McLaury cowboy faction that would be immortalized in countless books and movies, including the 1957 movie Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

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Havana – Robert Redford’s Blue Camp Shirt and Cadillac

Robert Redford as Jack Weil driving a 1955 Cadillac in Havana (1990)

Robert Redford as Jack Weil driving a 1955 Cadillac in Havana (1990)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Jack Weil, smooth gambler and U.S. Navy veteran

Santa Clara, Cuba, December 1958

Film: Havana
Release Date: December 14, 1990
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack

Background

Extending #CarWeek to get to casual Friday gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to Robert Redford’s classic casual warm-weather attire behind the wheel of a grand Cadillac convertible from the fabulous ’50s. The film in question is, of course, Havana, Sydney Pollack’s 1990 paean to Casablanca that starred Redford as Jack Weil, a cynical American gambler who finds love in the form of Cuban revolutionary Roberta “Bobby” Duran (Lena Olin) on the eve of that country’s revolution.

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Casino – De Niro’s Pink Robe

Robert De Niro as Sam "Ace" Rothstein in Casino (1995)

Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino (1995)

Vitals

Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate

Las Vegas, Spring 1978

Film: Casino
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn

Background

More than a year has passed since I last explored the expansive and flashy wardrobe worn by Robert De Niro as “Ace” Rothstein in Casino, so what better occasion than the real Ace’s birthday to take another look at the casino executive’s colorful attire.

Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal was born 90 years ago today—June 12, 1929—in Chicago, where he spent his formative years and early career until moving to Miami in the early ’60s. Within the decade, Lefty grew tired of the attention from local police and federal authorities and moved out to Las Vegas, where he swiftly and secretly established himself as the operator of the now-demolished Stardust Resort and Casino.

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Steve McQueen’s Corduroy Sport Jacket as The Cincinnati Kid

Steve McQueen and Tuesday Weld in The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Steve McQueen and Tuesday Weld in The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Vitals

Steve McQueen as Eric “the Kid” Stoner, hotshot poker player

Louisiana, Fall 1936

Film: The Cincinnati Kid
Release Date: October 15, 1965
Director: Norman Jewison
Costume Designer: Donfeld (Donald Lee Feld)

Background

The Cincinnati Kid was released today in 1965 with Steve McQueen in the title role as the actor was paving his way to stardom through the decade with a string of iconic movie including The Great Escape (1963), The Sand Pebbles (1966), and finally Bullitt and The Thomas Crown Affair in his banner year of 1968.

McQueen’s timeless sense of cool adds an era-defying quality to his performance as poker prodigy Eric “the Kid” Stoner. The Kid’s simple, functional wardrobe was hip enough to be contemporary to the 1960s while also reflective of the film’s 1930s setting. Continue reading

Havana – Robert Redford’s Cream Linen Jacket

Robert Redford as Jack Weil in Havana (1990)

Robert Redford as Jack Weil in Havana (1990)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Jack Weil, smooth gambler and U.S. Navy veteran

Havana, December 1958

Film: Havana
Release Date: December 14, 1990
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack

Background

As Memorial Day is often considered the start of the American summer fashion season, today’s post explores an example of timeless warm-weather apparel sported by Robert Redford in Havana.

Havana, Sydney Pollack’s 1990 ode to Casablanca, stars Redford as a cynical American gambler who finds romance in the Cuban capital on the eve of the country’s revolution. The object of his affection is Roberta “Bobby” Duran (Lena Olin), a revolutionary sympathizer who is forced to determine if her heart remains with her husband and the revolution or the chance of a life in America with Redford’s Jack Weil. Continue reading