Tagged: Gray Suits

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

Chinatown – J.J. Gittes’ Gray Striped Suit

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Vitals

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes, private investigator and ex-policeman

Los Angeles, September 1937

Film: Chinatown
Release Date: June 20, 1974
Director: Roman Polanski
Costume Designer: Anthea Sylbert

Background

J.J. Gittes begins his final day investigating the Mulwray case in Chinatown with his usual cheekiness, even when surprised by walking into a murder scene. He trades barbs with increasingly suspicious detectives, including the pugnacious Detective Loach (Richard Bakalyan) who inquires about Gittes’ sliced-up nose; Edward Norton’s character in Rounders would pay homage to Gittes’ response of “Your wife got excited. She crossed her legs a little too quick.”

But Gittes’ good humor wears off by the end, following a series of misadventures – mostly at gunpoint – involving sisters, daughters, and a shot-out eyeball. As his assistant Walsh (Joe Mantell) sagely – and now famously – advises him:

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

Continue reading

Vandamm’s Gray Tweed Suit in North by Northwest

James Mason as Phillip Vandamm in a promotional photo for North by Northwest (1959).

James Mason as Phillip Vandamm in a promotional photo for North by Northwest (1959).

Vitals

James Mason as Phillip Vandamm, urbane spy and secret-trader

Mount Rushmore, Fall 1958

Film: North by Northwest
Release Date: July 28, 1959
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Wardrobe Department: Harry Kress

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

North by Northwest arguably set the tone for spy films in the following decade with its suave and well-suited hero, colorful settings, and elements of dangerous romance. James Mason’s urbane Phillip Vandamm is, in many ways, the archetypal James Bond villain: sinister and deadly but with the ability to be just as charming and debonair as the story’s protagonist.

Vandamm proves to be more sensitive and romantic than one would expect, and James Mason perfectly conveys just how badly Vandamm is stung by Eve’s betrayal. He zips through the Kübler-Ross model in record time, expressing denial (laughing off Leonard’s concerns), anger (punching Leonard), and acceptance (vindictively deciding Eve’s fate “from a great height…over water”) all within seconds of the same scene. Continue reading

Brad Pitt’s Gray Split-Lapel Suit in Ocean’s Eleven

Brad Pitt as Robert "Rusty" Ryan in Ocean's Eleven (2001).

Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan in Ocean’s Eleven (2001).

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, hustler and casino heister

Las Vegas, Spring 2001

Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: December 7, 2001
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Jeffrey Kurland

Background

Danny Ocean’s crew had a tough night out before their big heist. In a possible management decision snafu, Danny (George Clooney) left the over-eager Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) behind with the Malloy twins (Scott Caan and Casey Affleck) while he, Basher (Don Cheadle), and The Amazing Yen (Shaobo Qin) conduct a break-in. Feeling left out and annoyed by the Malloys, Linus takes the initiative and breaks into the facility on his own… just seconds before the other guys come back out. Continue reading

From Russia With Love – Bond’s Istanbul Suits, Pt. 5: Gray Pick

Sean Connery as James Bond in From Russia With Love (1963).

Sean Connery as James Bond in From Russia With Love (1963).

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent and legendary super spy

The Orient Express, Spring 1963

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

Background

For the 00-7th of October, I want to focus on a nice fall suit while also marking a milestone for this blog; this post marks the first 007 film where each of James Bond’s on screen outfits has been exhaustively analyzed by BAMF Style! Very appropriate too, given that From Russia With Love is my favorite Bond flick and – perhaps coincidence, perhaps not – also features some of my favorite movie suits. (I’m in good company; Sean Connery has also stated that From Russia With Love is his personal favorite 007 adventure.) Continue reading

George Clooney’s Gray Suit in Ocean’s Eleven

George Clooney as Danny Ocean in Ocean's Eleven (2001).

George Clooney as Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven (2001).

Vitals

George Clooney as Danny Ocean, recently paroled casino heister and con man

Las Vegas, Summer 2001

Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: December 7, 2001
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Jeffrey Kurland

Background

The first stop that Danny Ocean and his criminal compadre “Rusty” Ryan make when planning their unprecedented multi-casino heist is to see Reuben Tishkoff, their old-time Vegas money man. They show up at his desert spread each sporting a snazzy gray summer suit, open-neck shirt, and sunglasses, reflecting the image of old-school Vegas cool while talking to the tacky reality of old school Vegas in the form of a gold-bedazzled and brazenly-robed Elliott Gould. Continue reading

Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday – Gray Western Suit

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

Tombstone, AZ, October 1881

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

Background

Today would have been the 165th birthday of Doc Holliday, the erstwhile dentist who shot to Old West superstardom after his involvement with the Earp brothers during the infamous 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, immortalized on film in the appropriately-named Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and Tombstone (1993). Continue reading