Tagged: Gun

Brendan Fraser in The Mummy

Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell in The Mummy (1999)

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Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell, American adventurer and former Legionnaire

Egypt, Summer 1926

Film: The Mummy
Release Date: May 7, 1999
Director: Stephen Sommers
Costume Designer: John Bloomfield

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

A quarter-century after its release, The Mummy is finding renewed love among audiences, no doubt due to star Brendan Fraser who has been enjoying a own career renaissance following his Oscar-nominated turn in The Whale that has already won the actor more than two dozen awards.

Directed and written by Stephen Sommers, The Mummy updated Karl Freund’s 1932 thriller of the same name, released among a wave of Universal’s now-iconic horror films including Dracula and Frankenstein. Sommers’ adaptation retained the supernatural elements while playing down the horror in favor of a more lighthearted adventure story inspired by Errol Flynn’s screen swashbucklers and the classic serials that influenced the character of Indiana Jones, to whom Fraser’s roguish Rick O’Connell has been likened. Continue reading

Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under

Tom Selleck as Matthew Quigley in Quigley Down Under (1990)

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Tom Selleck as Matthew Quigley, taciturn sharpshooter from Wyoming

Western Australia, early 1870s

Film: Quigley Down Under
Release Date: October 17, 1990
Director: Simon Wincer
Costume Designer: Wayne A. Finkelman

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I only recently learned that January 26 is observed as Australia Day, a national holiday that commemorates the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and is celebrated today by presentations of the Australian of the Year Awards and announcement of the Australia Day Honours. Since at least 1938, which was the 150th anniversary of the landing, there has been a movement led by Indigenous Australians to redefine the observance as Invasion Day or Survival Day, a Day of Mourning for the British arrival that resulted in often violent colonization.

Given the movie’s setting and themes of a protagonist who refuses to engage in violence against Aborigines, the unique 1990 Western Quigley Down Under felt like an appropriate choice to write about today.

As suggested by the latter two-thirds of its title, Quigley Down Under follows the tradition of predecessors like The Sundowners (1960) and Ned Kelly (1970) as an Australian-set Western, or “meat pie Western”. The eponymous Quigley is Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck), a cowboy with a penchant for riflery. Continue reading

The Bourne Supremacy: Karl Urban as Kirill

Karl Urban as Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

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Karl Urban as Kirill, determined FSB assassin

Moscow, Winter 2004

Film: The Bourne Supremacy
Release Date: July 23, 2004
Director: Paul Greengrass
Costume Designer: Dinah Collin

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

After Wednesday’s post about Ford v Ferrari, today features another Matt Damon movie… but instead focused on one of his co-stars. In the spirit of Friday the 13th, let’s check out the style of one of the unlucky assassins assigned with exterminating the elusive Jason Bourne. Continue reading

Alan Ladd in This Gun for Hire

Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake in This Gun for Hire (1942)

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Alan Ladd as Philip Raven, cold-blooded, cat-loving contract killer

San Francisco to Los Angeles, Spring 1942

Film: This Gun for Hire
Release Date: April 24, 1942
Director: Frank Tuttle
Costume Designer: Edith Head

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I had already been planning to write about This Gun for Hire this month when I realized that today would have been the 100th birthday of Veronica Lake, who was born in Brooklyn on November 14, 1922 with the decidedly less glamorous name of Constance Ockelman. Lake was still in her teens when cast in her first starring role in Sullivan’s Travels (1941), the success of which convinced Paramount to cast her in their upcoming thriller, which would also be a vehicle to launch their next up-and-comer, Alan Ladd. Continue reading

Roddy Piper in They Live

Roddy Piper in They Live (1988)

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Roddy Piper as “Nada”, tough drifter and anti-alien vigilante

Los Angeles, Spring 1988

Film: They Live
Release Date: November 4, 1988
Director: John Carpenter
Costume Supervisor: Robin Michel Bush

Background

Released on this day in 1988, They Live followed the example of most of John Carpenter’s work by finding a cult following considerably after it came out, though it debuted at the top of the North American box office.

Adapted from Ray Nelson’s 1963 short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning”, They Live stars Canadian-born wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as an unnamed drifter who arrives in Los Angeles looking for work… and finds a box of sunglasses that literally open his eyes to the fact that an alien ruling class has been subliminally manipulating the public to conform, consume, and reproduce. Continue reading

Dr. No: Bond’s Gray Mohair Suit and Walther in Jamaica

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No (1962)

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Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated and resourceful British government agent

Morgan’s Harbour, Jamaica, Spring 1962

Film: Dr. No
Release Date: October 5, 1962
Director: Terence Young
Wardrobe Master: John Brady
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

With the release of Dr. No sixty years ago today, October 5 has since been immortalized as Global James Bond Day in commemoration of when Sean Connery first uttered that now-iconic character introduction:

Bond. James Bond.

Dr. No had actually been Ian Fleming’s sixth novel featuring the worldly secret agent, set primarily in Jamaica as he penned the novel from his Jamaican estate Goldeneye. The author had tired of the character and left Bond’s fate somewhat ambiguous at the end of his previous novel From Russia With Love, though ultimately choosing that the agent would live to die another day and beginning Dr. No with 007’s recovery from the poison inflicted by the sharp-shoed Rosa Klebb.

Back to relatively full health, Bond finds his punishment in the form of a simple assignment meant to ease him back into duty (and possibly penalize him for letting his guard down), investigating the disappearance of a station chief and his secretary in Jamaica. There, Bond learns that the late chief had been investigating an eccentric recluse with the equally eccentric name of Doctor Julius No (Joseph Wiseman). With the help of his CIA buddy Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) and local contact Quarrel (John Kitzmiller), Bond ultimately determines that he and his newly issued Walther owe the good bad doctor a long-overdue visit. Continue reading

Reservoir Dogs — Mr. Orange

Tim Roth in Reservoir Dogs

Tim Roth as “Mr. Orange” in Reservoir Dogs (1992)

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Tim Roth as Freddie Newandyke, aka “Mr. Orange”, member of an armed robbery crew with a deep secret

Los Angeles, Summer 1992

Film: Reservoir Dogs
Release Date: October 9, 1992
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This month marks the 30th anniversary since the wide release of Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino’s influential debut that introduced many of the director’s own cinematic trademarks and has been described as one of the greatest independent films of all time.

As we’ve come to expect from QT, Reservoir Dogs pays homage to classic noir and crime films, including Kansas City Confidential (1952), The Big Combo (1955), and—most specifically—The Killing (1956), with a plot centered around a gang of tough guys hired for a what should be a straightforward diamond heist… only to be stymied when it becomes evident that a member of their crew is an informant. Continue reading

The Nice Guys: Russell Crowe’s Blue ’70s Leather Jacket

Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy in The Nice Guys (2016)

Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy in The Nice Guys (2016)

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Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy, unlicensed private detective

Los Angeles, Fall 1977

Film: The Nice Guys
Release Date: May 20, 2016
Director: Shane Black
Costume Designer: Kym Barrett

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I was pleased to again join my friends Pete Brooker and Ken Stauffer on another episode of Pete’s podcast From Tailors With Love, this time discussing the fun ’70s style of Shane Black’s action comedy The Nice Guys.

For those unfamiliar, the “nice guys” in question are Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, bringing back Black’s signature buddy comedy style in a big way as competing private eyes Jackson Healy and Holland March, respectively.

The older and worldlier yet paunchier Jack is more an enforcer than investigator, balancing his limb-breaking toughness with at least some remaining scruples, particularly when compared to the younger and less experienced Holly, who’s not above taking a case agreeing to help an aging woman track down her “missing” husband… whose ashes rest in an urn just a few feet away from them.

Like Crowe’s star-making turn almost twenty years earlierThe Nice Guys’ conspiratorial heartbeat is driven by Kim Basinger’s role at the intersection of corruption and porn in the City of Angels forty years prior, but the villains’ overcomplicated scheme are certainly secondary to the comedic chemistry between Crowe and Gosling, whom I—and Crowe himself—would love to see re-team for a follow-up… and with a built-in sequel title like The Nicer Guys, what’s stopping them? Continue reading

Cary Grant in Father Goose

Cary Grant as Walter Eckland in Father Goose (1964)

Cary Grant as Walter Eckland in Father Goose (1964)

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Cary Grant as Walter Eckland, crude and reluctant wartime coast-watcher

Pacific Islands, Spring 1942

Film: Father Goose
Release Date: December 10, 1964
Director: Ralph Nelson
Costume Designer: Ray Aghayan (uncredited)

Background

Last month, I reflected on the elegant white suit that Cary Grant wore at the start of his stylish career in the pre-Code drama Hot Saturday. More than 30 years later, Grant was firmly established as one of the most charming—and enduringly best-dressed—stars of the era, subverting his screen reputation for his penultimate movie, the World War II-set comedy Father Goose opposite Leslie Caron. Continue reading

Thunderball: Quist’s Cabana Style

Bill Cummings as Quist in Thunderball (1965)

Bill Cummings as Quist in Thunderball (1965)

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Bill Cummings as Quist, silent yet easily subdued SPECTRE henchman

Nassau, Summer 1965

Film: Thunderball
Release Date: December 29, 1965
Director: Terence Young
Wardrobe Designer: Anthony Mendleson

Background

As summer winds to an unofficial end, I want to continue celebrating some of my favorite warm-weather fashions. During a recent rewatch of Thunderball, I was again struck by how contemporary the men’s summer style remains almost sixty years later, with tropical prints and terry cloth still best-sellers for many modern-day outfitters.

Naturally, Sean Connery’s wardrobe as 007 remains a highlight, but I also delighted in the aloha shirts worn by his allies Q (Desmond Llewelyn) and Felix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter) as well as the beach-wear sported by a character so minor that he’s routinely dismissed not just by the characters, but even the movie itself as Bill Cummings’ performance goes uncredited in the official end credits cast roll. Continue reading