Tagged: Journalist

Sinatra’s Pink Shirt and Puppytooth Check in High Society

Frank Sinatra as Mike Connor in High Society (1956)

Frank Sinatra as Mike Connor in High Society (1956)

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Macauley “Mike” Connor, swaggering tabloid reporter

Newport, Rhode Island, Summer 1956

Film: High Society
Release Date: July 17, 1956
Director: Charles Walters
Costume Designer: Helen Rose

Background

BAMF Style is fulfilling a timely request from Ryan to explore the puppytooth jacket, pink shirt, and tie worn by Frank Sinatra for his early scenes in High Society, the 1956 remake of The Philadelphia Story that found Sinatra acting with his idol, Bing Crosby. The film lives up to its title with an abundance of luxury cars, opulent homes, and plenty of champagne.

Though set in summer, Sinatra’s ensemble is a nice bold springtime look as the April showers turn to May flowers. Continue reading

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

All the President’s Men: Woodward’s Beige Cotton Sportcoat

Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in All the President's Men (1976)

Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in All the President’s Men (1976)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Bob Woodward, investigative journalist for The Washington Post

Washington, D.C., late summer 1972

Film: All the President’s Men
Release Date: April 9, 1976
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Costume Supervisor: Bernie Pollack

Background

Bob Woodward had only been at The Washington Post for nine months when he received an assignment in June 1972 to look into the arrests of five men who had been caught breaking into the DNC office at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. As the story continued to build over the following months, Woodward and Carl Bernstein relentlessly investigated for a series of Post articles that would expose an unprecedented level of government corruption that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Continue reading

Frank Sinatra Turns 100: High Society Black Tie

Frank Sinatra as Mac Connor in High Society (1956).

Frank Sinatra as Mike Connor in High Society (1956).

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Macauley “Mike” Connor, swaggering tabloid reporter

Newport, Rhode Island, Summer 1956

Film: High Society
Release Date: July 17, 1956
Director: Charles Walters
Costume Designer: Helen Rose

Background

100 years ago today, on December 12, 1915, two Italian immigrants welcomed the birth of their son, Francis Albert Sinatra, in a Hoboken tenement. A century later, their legendary blue-eyed son has left an indelible legacy on our culture that can never be replicated. Sinatra’s style, stubbornness, and swagger complemented his natural skill and hard work to make him a living icon and one of the greatest singers of the 20th century.

After enjoying a decade of early success singing with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey orchestras before his personal appeal allowed him to sign with Columbia as a solo artist, Sinatra’s popularity began to decline. The death of his publicist George Evans, his tumultuous public affair with Ava Gardner, and his own throat issues nearly meant the end of Sinatra’s career by the early 1950s.

Sinatra persevered. His records weren’t selling, and he was singing to county fairs in Hawaii, but he wasn’t going to give up that easily. His Oscar-winning role in From Here to Eternity (shades of The Godfather!) signified the start of a unprecedentedly booming career revival. 1953 also saw Sinatra signing his seven-year contract with Capitol Records that would produce his groundbreaking “concept albums” and – in my opinion – some of the greatest music ever recorded. Despite his perfectionist tendencies, even Sinatra couldn’t help but to agree. After hearing he and arranger Nelson Riddle’s first cut of “I’ve Got the World on a String”, Sinatra couldn’t help but to exclaim:

I’m back, baby, I’m back!

Continue reading

Will McAvoy’s Tan Cotton Sportcoat

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy on The Newsroom (2012).

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy on The Newsroom (2012).

Vitals

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, crusading TV news anchor and managing editor

New York City, Summer 2011

Series: The Newsroom
Episodes:
*
 “The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn” (Episode 1.08, aired August 12, 2012, dir. Lesli Linka Glatter)
* “The Blackout Part II: Mock Debate” (Episode 1.09, aired August 19, 2012, dir. Alan Poul)
* “The Greater Fool” (Episode 1.10, aired August 26, 2012, dir. Greg Mottola)
Costume Designer: Hope Hanafin

Background

The final three episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom find Will McAvoy in the midst of a rough summer. McAvoy is a brillianter-than-thou TV news journalist who had enjoyed popularity for years before he was reinvigorated to “do the news” right. This personal mission of his is equally inspired, bolstered, and hindered by his idealistic and talented executive producer Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer)… whom he also used to date before a messy breakup marred by some Paul Schneider-induced infidelity. Continue reading

The Rum Diary – Kemp’s Striped Linen Shirt and Jeans

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011).

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011).

Vitals

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, expatriate American journalist and borderline alcoholic

St. Thomas, Summer 1960

Film: The Rum Diary
Release Date: October 28, 2011
Director: Bruce Robinson
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Background

All the balls that Paul Kemp was juggling at this point have begun to fall. His grasp on his job, his shady dealings with PR whiz Sanderson, and his flirtation with Sanderson’s girlfriend. The bottom falls out when Kemp and photographer pal head to Carnival at Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands after visiting island property for Sanderson’s budding real estate scam.

Bruce Robinson’s script perfectly nails the feeling of the scene as Chenault leads Kemp by the hand to Sanderson’s yacht:

Like walking the plank in reverse, they invade a small drinks party.

Other than the glamorous Chenault, none of the new visitors fit in with Sanderson’s cosmopolitan set. Continue reading

Borat

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat (2006).

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat (2006).

Vitals

Sacha Baron Cohen as Борат Сагдиев (Borat Sagdiyev), oblivious, bigoted, and hapless “Kazakh” TV journalist

New York City to Hollywood, Spring 2005

Film: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Release Date: August 4, 2006
Director: Larry Charles
Costume Designer: Jason Alper

Background

Fewer people are more willing to look foolish in public than Sacha Baron Cohen, so it’s a very fitting tribute that he should follow Will Ferrell for BAMF Style’s annual April Fool’s Day post.

Baron Cohen had long been popular in England and among HBO viewers for his characters of wannabe gangsta Ali G, flamboyant and judgmental Austrian fashionista Brüno, and the pleasantly racist Kazakh TV journalist Borat Sagdiyev. Almost ten years after first introducing a version of Borat on England’s F2FBorat (or Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan to be more accurate) hit American theaters by storm.

Below the obvious gross-out humor (ugh… hotel fight…), Borat presented an ugly side of America in a strongly satirical light. It’s easy to laugh at the oblivious reporter for blatantly stupid racist opinions, but it becomes harder to laugh when Americans willingly share his ignorance. While some people were antagonized for the sake of comedy, many – a car dealer, a gun shop owner, and a trailer full of frat guys come to mind – showcased their own prejudices. Although it led to a litany of legal issues against the movie, these scenes are important because they force the viewer to realize that only one of the racists on screen is an actor. Continue reading