Tagged: Government Agent

Sidney Reilly’s 1920s Black Lounge

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 10: "The Trust")

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 10: “The Trust”)

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Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly, shrewd anti-Bolshevik and former British agent

New York City and London, Fall 1924

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “The Trust” (Episode 10)
Air Date: November 2, 1983
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Throwback Thursday is always a great opportunity for BAMF Style to revisit Reilly: Ace of Spies, the fictionalized miniseries that depicts the life of Sidney Reilly, an early 20th century master of deception. This post will examine Reilly’s frequent wearing of black lounge, a semi-formal day dress known in the U.S. as a “stroller”. Black lounge makes quite a few appearances in the latter episodes, first seen for Reilly’s day in London court in “After Moscow” (Episode 9) and, finally, during his third and final wedding in “The Last Journey” (Episode 11).

The tenth episode, “The Trust”, finds erstwhile government agent Reilly in New York City, desperately trying to finance his friend Boris Savinkov’s anti-Boleshevik movement. Part of Reilly’s fundraising includes selling off his vast collection of antiques, art, and priceless Napoleona… all while being courted by a secretive Russian organization known as The Trust. Continue reading

Notorious – Cary Grant’s Dark Pinstripe Suit

Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin in Notorious (1946)

Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin in Notorious (1946)

Vitals

Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin, American government agent

Miami and Rio de Janeiro, Spring 1946

Film: Notorious
Release Date: September 6, 1946
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Background

It’s impossible to over-celebrate the elegant yet understated sartorialism of Cary Grant, born this day in 1904. One of my favorite of Grant’s movies is Notorious, the 1946 espionage adventure that paired him with Ingrid Bergman as a pair of American spies tasked with exposing Alexander Sebastian, a former Nazi played with charmingly evil affability by Claude Rains.

Notorious was the second collaboration between Grant and director Alfred Hitchcock, and it marked the start of a string of wildly successful and ultimately timeless movies that Hitch would direct over the next two decades. Continue reading

Bond’s Peacoat in Casino Royale

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006)

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006)

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Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government agent

Prague, Winter 2006

Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming

Background

For the first 00-7th of the new year, I want to recall the first on screen appearance of Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Continue reading

Cary Grant’s Charcoal Flannel Suit in Charade

Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963)

Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963)

Vitals

Cary Grant as Brian Cruikshank (aka Peter Joshua, Alexander Dyle, or Adam Canfield), U.S. Treasury agent

Paris, April 1963

Film: Charade
Release Date: December 5, 1963
Director: Stanley Donen

Background

Heading back to business for the first day in the new year, nothing is more appropriate for a winter’s day in the office than a charcoal flannel suit similar to the one that Cary Grant’s multi-named hero wore to the office for the finale of Charade. Continue reading

Redford’s Spy Game Tuxedo

Robert Redford as Nathan Muir in Spy Game (2001)

Robert Redford as Nathan Muir in Spy Game (2001)

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Robert Redford as Nathan Muir, experienced CIA case officer

Berlin, Winter 1977

Film: Spy Game
Release Date: November 21, 2001
Director: Tony Scott
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Redford’s Costumer: David Page

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

When Nathan Muir is being questioned by the CIA about his history with Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt), one particular incident that receives attention is Operation Rodeo, best remembered by Muir as “the Cathcart affair” for the involvement of embassy mole Anne Cathcart (Charlotte Rampling).

Vivaldi’s “Spring” concerto from The Four Seasons, performed by Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra, cuts in as the film flashes back again to Berlin in 1977. Muir is in black tie with a glass of single malt in his hand, accompanying his “cousin” (Andrea Osvárt) to a party where the two encounter the enigmatic Ms. Cathcart. Continue reading

007’s Brown Tweed Suit as Sir Hilary Bray

George Lazenby and Diana Rigg as James Bond and Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

George Lazenby and Diana Rigg as James Bond and Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).

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George Lazenby as James Bond, British secret agent posing as heraldry expert Sir Hilary Bray

Swiss Alps, Christmas Eve 1969

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Tailor: Dimi Major
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius

Background

For the 00-7th of December, I’m reflecting on James Bond’s first Christmas season on-screen, which he spends in the Swiss Alps under the guise of Sir Hilary Bray (a different Hilary than the Hillary that has been so frequently in the news… although one could technically call his outfit here a “pantsuit” as well.)

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service sends James Bond in search of his long-time rival, megalomaniac Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas). In his inaugural and ultimately lone outing as 007, George Lazenby’s Bond spends a major portion of the film disguised as Sir Hilary Bray, a brilliant but banal “sable basilisk” from the College of Arms in London. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Corduroy Suit in Manchuria

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 2: "Prelude to War")

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 2: “Prelude to War”)

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly, shrewd Russian-born British government triple agent

Port Arthur, China (then Manchuria), February 1904

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “Prelude to War” (Episode 2)
Air Date: September 7, 1983
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Today’s Throwback Tuesday installment throws us all the way back to February 1904 on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War. According to Reilly: Ace of Spies, the newly minted Sidney Reilly is stationed in Port Arthur, Manchuria, ostensibly under the cover of a shipping agent but secretly working with the Japanese military developing their plans for a sneak attack to take the port away from the Russians. Reilly is shown to be a cold pragmatist, working with Japan against his better judgement and dispassionate regarding his poor wife, Margaret (Jeananne Crowley), whom he had married three years earlier after the mysterious* death of her clergic husband.

* Reverend Hugh Thomas’s death was even more mysterious in real life, with many suspecting that Reilly posed as a doctor in order to poison the clergyman.

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