Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski, Polish resistance leader
Belarus, August 1941 through April 1942
Release Date: December 31, 2008
Director: Edward Zwick
Costume Designer: Jenny Beavan
Daniel Craig’s fifth and final movie as James Bond, No Time to Die, was originally scheduled for release in the U.K. today. Last month, MGM and Eon Productions announced that they were pushing the release to November in response to concerns related to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak. While the postponement may have defied the wishes of Bond fans (see where I’m going with this?), there’s still plenty of Craig’s filmography out there to stream, including the 2008 war film Defiance.
Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, Jersey mob acting capo
New Jersey, Fall 2002
Series: The Sopranos
– “No Show” (Episode 4.02, dir. John Patterson, aired 9/22/2002)
– “Whoever Did This” (Episode 4.09, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired 11/10/2002)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa
Happy birthday, Michael Imperioli! Born 54 years ago today in Mount Vernon, New York, the actor won an Emmy Award for his role of hotheaded Christopher Moltisanti on HBO’s The Sopranos.
With Paulie Walnuts out of commission while he serves a jail sentence in Youngstown (in fact, actor Tony Sirico was out for the first half of the fourth season due to back surgery), Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt) breaks the news to the Soprano family—somewhat begrudgingly—that Christopher has been chosen to temporarily take over as capo of Paulie’s crew.
Telly Savalas as Zeno, Greek resistance leader
“Somewhere in the Greek islands”, Fall 1944
Film: Escape to Athena
Release Date: June 6, 1979
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Costume Designer: Yvonne Blake
Escape to Athena assembles an incredible cast for a World War II adventure comedy in the spirit of The Dirty Dozen… or am I just saying the latter because it co-stars Telly Savalas?
Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, washed-up TV actor
Los Angeles, February 1969
Film: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Now that Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood has been released on video and streaming services, I wanted to get cracking on the much-requested to cover Arianne Phillips’ fantastic costume design that brought the end of the swinging ’60s to life. Phillips’ costume design is one of ten categories for which Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a contender at the Academy Awards this Sunday, in addition to nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, and Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt.
As Pitt’s yellow Aloha shirt and jeans was already the subject of a BAMF Style “preview” post last summer (with a more robust post to come, I assure you!), I wanted to turn my attention to Rick Dalton, the fading star of TV westerns who’s forced to admit at the start of the movie:
It’s official, old buddy. I’m a has-been.
Jason Statham as Nick Wild, bodyguard-for-hire
Las Vegas, Christmas 2013
Film: Wild Card
Release Date: January 14, 2015
Director: Simon West
Costume Designer: Lizz Wolf
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Following a request I received via my Instagram account last November, today’s post explores the Jason Statham action thriller Wild Card, coincidentally released five years ago today. The movie was a remake of the 1986 movie Heat starring Burt Reynolds and adapted by William Goldman from his own novel, not to be confused with Michael Mann’s heist epic released nine years later.
Despite Wild Card‘s less than stellar reviews and box office returns, it was an interesting experience, watching a familiar and eclectic cast through a movie that took a surprisingly understated approach for an era where action movies tend to rely on excessive CGI and explosive value, weaving through various genres and plot directions with our taciturn protagonist. Continue reading
William Holden as LT Harry Brubaker, bitter U.S. Navy Reserve aviator
Off the Korean coast, November 1952
Film: The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Release Date: December 1954
Director: Mark Robson
Costume Designer: Edith Head
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Mid-century flight must be my subconscious theme heading into the new year given my last few posts about Frank Sinatra’s jet-setting style and then Sean Connery’s charcoal traveling suit in Goldfinger. Let’s at least move forward from the fuselage to the cockpit where William Holden sits at the controls of his Grumman F9F-2 Panther in The Bridges at Toko-Ri as military aviator LT Harry Brubaker, flying for the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
Robert De Niro as Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran, tough truck driver-turned-Mafia enforcer
Philadelphia, winter 1956 through spring 1961
Film: The Irishman
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson
Martin Scorsese’s latest crime epic, The Irishman, has been the subject of several requests since it was released on Netflix at the beginning of November. With one of my favorite directors helming some of my favorite actors in a subject and setting that held personal interest for me, The Irishman had been eagerly anticipated by me since the project was first announced… though I admit that I did have some hesitations about the running time and the advanced ages of all involved. As it turns out, the very factors I was most concerned about are what arguably contributed to the film being a modern masterpiece.
Timothy Dalton as James Bond, British government agent
Bratislava to Vienna, Winter 1986
Film: The Living Daylights
Release Date: June 27, 1987
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Emma Porteous
Costume Supervisor: Tiny Nicholls
For a wintry #CarWeek post on the 00-7th of December, let’s look back to Timothy Dalton’s first—and best, in my opinion—adventure as James Bond in The Living Daylights, adapted and greatly expanded from Ian Fleming’s short story of the same name, though the primary plot of Fleming’s story is used up during the pre-credits defection sequence.
After noticing that reportedly a KGB sniper was a beautiful blonde cellist during the opening defection, Bond returned to Bratislava to meet the woman, Kara Milovy (Maryam D’Abo), in person. He persuades her to accompany him to Vienna, evading and eventually out-driving their KGB pursuers in 007’s tricked-out Aston Martin, which had been “winterized” and loaded with gadgets by Q (Desmond Llewelyn), MI6’s esteemed and exhausted quartermaster.
Marlon Brando as Johnny Strabler, outlaw motorcycle club leader
Central California, Summer 1953
Film: The Wild One
Release Date: December 30, 1953
Director: László Benedek
“Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?”
This famous exchange originated among the actual biker gangs that producer Stanley Kramer had brought on set to play themselves. When Kramer asked what it was they were “rebelling” against, a member cracked back to him, “Well, whaddaya got?” The line so encapsulated the culture and attitude of bikers during the era that it was incorporated into The Wild One, though the question is posed by Mildred, the platinum blonde beauty salon operator that one of Johnny’s boys picked up in a bar.
Inspired by actual events over a rambunctious fourth of July weekend in Hollister, California, in 1947, The Wild One was based on Frank Rooney’s short story “The Cyclists’ Raid” that appeared in Harper’s magazine in January 1951. It was swiftly adapted for the screen, though the locations involved were changed to the fictional California burgs of Carbondale and Wrightsville, the latter being the “screwball town”—according to Dextro (Jerry Paris)—where most of the action takes place.
The credits are a bit misleading, introducing Marlon Brando to us as The Wild One, though his character Johnny Strabler turns out to be the most restrained of his hell-raising confederates, particularly when compared to the obnoxious pipsqueak Mouse (Gil Stratton), the larcenous, simple-minded Pigeon (Alvy Moore), or rival gang leader Chino (Lee Marvin). Continue reading
Charles Bronson as Arthur Bishop, disciplined but depressed contract killer
Los Angeles to Naples, Italy, Fall 1972
Film: The Mechanic
Release Date: November 17, 1972
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Lambert Marks
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
After serving in supporting roles for many great Westerns and war movies of the ’60s—including The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen, and Once Upon a Time in the West—Hollywood was ready for Charles Bronson to take on leading roles that would establish him as one of the greatest silver screen “tough guys” of all time.
The Mechanic starred Bronson as Arthur Bishop, a skilled assassin whose quiet, luxurious lifestyle is disrupted when he takes on a protégé, Steve McKenna (Jan-Michael Vincent), the hotheaded, sociopathic son of his former boss “Big Harry” (Keenan Wynn) who he was assigned to kill. Arthur begins mentoring Steve after Big Harry’s death, taking the narcissistic young man flying, giving him shooting lessons, and eventually bringing him along for several hits.