Tagged: Government Agent

Reilly, Ace of Spies: A Notch-Lapel Dinner Jacket

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 6: "Dreadnoughts and Doublecrosses")

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 6: “Dreadnoughts and Doublecrosses”)

Vitals

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

St. Petersburg, Russia, October 1910, and
London, November 1918

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episodes:
– “Dreadnoughts and Doublecrosses” (Episode 6), dir. Jim Goddard, aired 10/5/1983
– “After Moscow”(Episode 9), dir. Martin Campbell, aired 10/26/1983
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Reilly: Ace of Spies fictionalizes the exploits of Russian-born spy Sidney Reilly, often cited as a real-life basis for Ian Fleming’s James Bond. While the showrunners must have been cognizant of the need to place their suave British secret agent in a tuxedo, the series’ narrative also coincided with the rise of the dinner jacket over the first quarter of the 20th century.

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Live and Let Die: Roger Moore Arrives in NYC

Roger Moore as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973)

Roger Moore as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973)

Vitals

Roger Moore as James Bond, debonair British secret agent

New York City, Spring 1973

Film: Live and Let Die
Release Date: June 27, 1973
Director: Guy Hamilton
Costume Designer: Julie Harris
Tailor: Cyril Castle

Background

Happy 00-7th of May! This month’s focus is on Sir Roger Moore’s debut as James Bond in Live and Let Die.

After a brief sequence that finds Bond briefed at his flat by M and Miss Moneypenny, we are treated to the standard “airport arrival” sequence established in Dr. No and From Russia with Love, creating a sense of continuity with the character if intentionally breaking from the prior characterization.

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Spy Game: Tom Bishop, Beirut War Correspondent

Brad Pitt as Tom Bishop in Spy Game (2001)

Brad Pitt as Tom Bishop in Spy Game (2001)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Tom Bishop, experienced CIA operative and U.S. Marine

Beirut, Summer 1985

Film: Spy Game
Release Date: November 21, 2001
Director: Tony Scott
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley

Background

Halfway through Tony Scott’s espionage thriller Spy Game, we get to the operation that led to the expository situation of rogue CIA agent Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) landing himself in Chinese captivity in the midst of secret trade negotiations.

As his one-time mentor Nathan Muir (Robert Redford) explains to agency top brass, Bishop arrived in Beirut in 1985 under the cover of a photojournalist (“he was good, he was talented, he had a good eye… probably had a photography merit badge stuffed in the drawer at home”) to try to get close to the family doctor of their target, Sheik Salameh. Along the way, Bishop breaks the rules and falls for one of his assets, a mysterious Brit named Elizabeth Hadley (Catherine McCormack), and is eventually forced to choose between his assignment and his amour. Continue reading

Daniel Craig as 007: Navy Striped Suit, Part 1

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006)

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006)

Vitals

Daniel Craig as James Bond, British secret agent

Lake Como, Italy, August 2006

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

Background

The name is Bond… James Bond.

After more than two hours of anticipation, Daniel Craig finally delivered the words that 007 fans were waiting to hear. 007 had embarked on an adventure with more ups and downs – both emotional and physical – than we’re used to seeing with our sophisticated hero, and Casino Royale reintroduced audiences to a character with an impact similar to the initial book’s release 65 years ago this month. I know that the moment I left the theater that Thanksgiving weekend in 2006, I had to resist the impulse to buy another ticket and head back in for a second viewing.

For the 00-7th of April, let’s celebrate not only a stylish and classic springtime business look but also the 65th anniversary of the publication of Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first novel and the spark that so ferociously lit the James Bond franchise when it shelves on April 13, 1953. Continue reading

Kingsman: The Secret Service – Michael Caine’s Gray Windowpane Suit

Michael Caine as "Arthur" in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Michael Caine as “Arthur” in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Vitals

Michael Caine as Chester King, aka “Arthur”, secret agency chief

London, Spring 2014

Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: January 29, 2015
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Martin Nicholls

WARNING! Possible spoilers ahead!

Background

This week’s second consecutive post featuring style from Kingsman: The Secret Service celebrates the 85th birthday of Sir Michael Caine, CBE, the iconic star who established himself in fashionable ’60s fare like AlfieThe Italian Job, and The Ipcress File. In the latter film, a grounded response to the spectacle-laden James Bond franchise, Caine’s bespectacled spy Harry Palmer would provide a template for the distinctive look to be adopted by the agents of Kingsman five decades hence. Continue reading

Kingsman: The Secret Service – Jack Davenport as Lancelot

Jack Davenport as "Lancelot", in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Jack Davenport as “Lancelot” in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Vitals

Jack Davenport as James Spencer, aka “Lancelot”, smooth British agent

Argentina, Winter 2014

Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: January 29, 2015
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Martin Nicholls

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

James Spencer, aka “Lancelot” (Jack Davenport), is introduced to audiences in the manner one would expect of a story’s hero. He transitions between dry wit and superhuman agility as he deftly takes out a room full of assassins in his attempt to rescue Professor James Arnold (Mark Hamill) from his kidnappers.

The vignette concludes with a Lancelot in the traditional pose of an action hero, gun up and smirking while on bended knee… Continue reading

Tomorrow Never Dies: 007’s Navy Suit and Cashmere Coat

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Vitals

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, British government agent

London to Hamburg, April 1997

Film: Tomorrow Never Dies
Release Date: December 6, 1997
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming

Background

Who else but the Irish actor Pierce Brosnan would be best to feature on the 00-7th o’ March?

Following a thrilling pre-credits sequence, James Bond gets in some much needed R&R in the arms of a beautiful Danish language tutor when duty calls… in the form of Miss Moneypenny. Bond begrudgingly departs his cunning linguistics session (yes, I know) when MI6 summons him for an urgent briefing and sends him off to a springtime mission in Germany.

The scene is quintessential Bond: an elegant suit, a snazzy new car, a useful gadget… and enough product placement to guarantee the future of the series. Continue reading