Tagged: Larry “Doc” Sportello

Inherent Vice: Doc’s Jungle Jacket

Joaquin Phoenix as Doc Sportello in Inherent Vice (2014)

Joaquin Phoenix as Doc Sportello in Inherent Vice (2014)


Joaquin Phoenix as Larry “Doc” Sportello, hippie private investigator

Los Angeles County, Fall 1970

Film: Inherent Vice
Release Date: December 12, 2014
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Costume Designer: Mark Bridges


One of my favorite “new watches” over the last year was Inherent Vice, adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. Inherent Vice follows “Doc” Sportello, a stoner private eye dwelling in the fictional hippie enclave of Gordita Beach in southern California at the end of the ’60s. Like the best of P.I. pulp fiction, Doc’s case begins with a late visit from a young woman, in this case his ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) seeking his help investigating land developer Mickey Wolfmann. When another client’s request also intersects with Wolfmann, Doc’s “paranoia alert” is triggered as he’s set on a path that intersects him with an aggressive detective, a plum-suited dentist, and a drug counselor who “[tries] to talk kids into sensible drug use.”

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