Tagged: Knit Button-Up Shirt

One Night in Miami: Cassius Clay’s Light Brown Windowpane Suit

Eli Goree as Cassius Clay in One Night in Miami (2020)

Eli Goree as Cassius Clay in One Night in Miami (2020)

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Eli Goree as Cassius Clay, heavyweight boxing champion soon to be renamed Muhammad Ali

Miami, February 25, 1964

Film: One Night in Miami
Release Date: December 25, 2020
Director: Regina King
Costume Designer: Francine Jamison-Tanchuck

Background

Today would have been the 80th birthday of Muhammad Ali, the champion boxer born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. and nicknamed “The Greatest”. As we’re reentering movie award season, let’s revisit One Night in Miami,  the stylish drama that generated plenty of buzz last year and remains the most recent major screen portrayal of Ali.

The eponymous evening is February 25, 1964, when Clay’s surprise victory over Sonny Liston cemented him as the world heavyweight champion. Clay joins his fellow high-profile friends Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) in Malcolm’s hotel room, presumably for a celebration before it’s revealed that Malcolm had intended it to be a night of reflection and revelation, specifically of Clay’s intended conversion to the Nation of Islam. Continue reading

The Many Saints of Newark: Dickie Moltisanti’s Black Striped Knit Shirts

Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisanti in The Many Saints of Newark (2021)

Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisanti in The Many Saints of Newark (2021)

Vitals

Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisanti, slick gangster

Newark, New Jersey, Summer 1967 through Summer 1971

Film: The Many Saints of Newark
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Director: Alan Taylor
Costume Designer: Amy Westcott

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

“Pain comes from wanting things,” Sal Moltisanti (Ray Liotta) explains to his nephew Dickie, though it could have also been meta-messaging from David Chase, creator of The Sopranos and a frequent critic of the fans and pundits always demanding more from his magnum opus, be it answers (What happened to the Russian? Did Tony die at Holsten’s?) or more stories to be told.

Regarding the latter, Chase had expressed interest in prequel stories—if anything—to continue building the Soprano-verse. He returned to a setting that had intrigued him as far back as his days in film school: the race riots that swept through Newark in July 1967.

While much excitement was garnered when it was announced that the late James Gandolfini’s son Michael would be playing a younger version of the role his father had immortalized on the series, the central character of Chase’s prequel would be Dickie Moltisanti, the smooth mafiosi whose death prior to the events of the series left the hotheaded young gangster Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) desperately in search of a father figure.

After years of The Sopranos building up Dickie’s mythos, Alessandro Nivola delivers a charismatic and engaging performance that makes Dickie Moltisanti a particularly compelling character to finally meet, illustrating the magnetism that would have so entranced a young Tony as well as the internal demons that he would have transferred to Christopher.

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Matt Helm’s Light Blue Knitwear in Murderers’ Row

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers' Row (1966)

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row (1966)

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Dean Martin as Matt Helm, smooth secret agent

New Mexico, Summer 1966

Film: Murderers’ Row
Release Date: December 20, 1966
Director: Henry Levin
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy birthday, Dean Martin! The charismatic entertainer known for his laidback charm and boozy, breezy persona was born June 7, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio. Having established himself as a singer and actor, first in his partnership with Jerry Lewis and then among the swingers of the Rat Pack, Dino set out on his own direction in the mid-1960s, first with his variety series The Dean Martin Show on NBC and then his starring role as easygoing counter-agent Matt Helm in a multi-film franchise based on Donald Hamilton’s espionage novels. Unlike their more straightforward and serious source material, Martin’s Matt Helm movies followed the decade’s zeitgeist for spy parodies in the spirit of Carry On Spying and Our Man Flint. If you thought James Bond was a womanizer, lounge lizard Matt Helm proves that you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

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Goodfellas – Henry at Idlewild Airport, 1963

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990)

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990)

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Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, Lucchese family Mafia associate

New York City, Summer 1963

Film: Goodfellas
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno

Background

The popularity of Nicholas Pileggi’s mob expose Wiseguy in 1985 and the subsequent film version, Goodfellas, five years later changed the pop culture view of Mafioso. For thirty years, they were a crew of fedora-wearing guys in loud suits and pinkie rings who would shove a .38 under your chin and hope the coppers weren’t onto them, get me? In 1972, The Godfather paved the way for mob films about honor and family. Great movies but still hardly closer to depicting the truth about the mob.

Finally, in 1990, a realistic depiction of the American Mafia was released in theaters. Made with the help of “advisors” such as mob associates Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke and even starring ex-mob associates such as Tony Sirico (later to become famous as Paulie on The Sopranos), people were seeing the mob for what it was: a business made up of criminally-inclined lowlifes who saw themselves as much more important than they were.

Many terrific suits (and many awful ones) are worn throughout the film. Although it takes place from 1955 to 1980, some of the most stylish attire, as one would expect, is seen during the sequences set in the early ’60s. Continue reading