Tagged: London

Arabesque – Gregory Peck’s Windowpane Sport Jacket

Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren in Arabesque (1966)

Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren in Arabesque (1966)

Vitals

Gregory Peck as David Pollock, American hieroglyphics professor

Oxford to London, Wednesday, June 16, 1965

Film: Arabesque
Release Date: May 5, 1966
Director: Stanley Donen
Tailor: H. Huntsman & Sons, London

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Three years after helming “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made,” director Stanley Donen again returned to the romantic world of lighthearted espionage with Arabesque, based on Alex Gordon’s 1961 novel The Cypher. Like Charade before it, Donen brought two glamorous and popular stars together for a lighthearted and stylish spy story against a European backdrop.

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Mitchum as Marlowe: Striped Summer Suit in The Big Sleep

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Vitals

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, American private investigator

London, September 1977

Film: The Big Sleep
Release Date: March 13, 1978
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Ron Beck

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Raymond Chandler’s birthday was 130 years ago today (July 23, 1888), so I’m celebrating the hard-boiled author’s big day with a look at a cinematic portrayal of one of his most enduring creations, cynical private eye Philip Marlowe, as played by Robert Mitchum in this 1978 update of The Big Sleep.

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Reilly, Ace of Spies: A Notch-Lapel Dinner Jacket

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 6: "Dreadnoughts and Doublecrosses")

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in Reilly: Ace of Spies (Episode 6: “Dreadnoughts and Doublecrosses”)

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly, shrewd British agent and anti-Bolshevik

St. Petersburg, Russia, October 1910, and
London, November 1918

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episodes:
– “Dreadnoughts and Doublecrosses” (Episode 6), dir. Jim Goddard, aired 10/5/1983
– “After Moscow”(Episode 9), dir. Martin Campbell, aired 10/26/1983
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Reilly: Ace of Spies fictionalizes the exploits of Russian-born spy Sidney Reilly, often cited as a real-life basis for Ian Fleming’s James Bond. While the showrunners must have been cognizant of the need to place their suave British secret agent in a tuxedo, the series’ narrative also coincided with the rise of the dinner jacket over the first quarter of the 20th century.

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Mitchum as Marlowe: Striped Jacket in The Big Sleep

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Vitals

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, American private investigator

London, September 1977

Film: The Big Sleep
Release Date: March 13, 1978
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Ron Beck

Background

Philip Marlowe is a bold dresser. We learn that from the opening paragraph of Raymond Chandler’s inaugural novel, The Big Sleep, with the description of the detective’s powder blue suit, dark blue underpinnings, and socks with clocks. The rest of the United States may have adopted a somber approach to dressing during the years of the Depression, but Marlowe is an L.A. private eye. He’s gotta turn heads.

Decades after the novel’s publication and Bogie and Bacall sizzled in its first cinematic adaptation, the story was once again slated for the silver screen. Continue reading

Kingsman: The Secret Service – Michael Caine’s Gray Windowpane Suit

Michael Caine as "Arthur" in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Michael Caine as “Arthur” in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Vitals

Michael Caine as Chester King, aka “Arthur”, secret agency chief

London, Spring 2014

Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: January 29, 2015
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Martin Nicholls

WARNING! Possible spoilers ahead!

Background

This week’s second consecutive post featuring style from Kingsman: The Secret Service celebrates the 85th birthday of Sir Michael Caine, CBE, the iconic star who established himself in fashionable ’60s fare like AlfieThe Italian Job, and The Ipcress File. In the latter film, a grounded response to the spectacle-laden James Bond franchise, Caine’s bespectacled spy Harry Palmer would provide a template for the distinctive look to be adopted by the agents of Kingsman five decades hence. Continue reading

Tomorrow Never Dies: 007’s Navy Suit and Cashmere Coat

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Vitals

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, British government agent

London to Hamburg, April 1997

Film: Tomorrow Never Dies
Release Date: December 6, 1997
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming

Background

Who else but the Irish actor Pierce Brosnan would be best to feature on the 00-7th o’ March?

Following a thrilling pre-credits sequence, James Bond gets in some much needed R&R in the arms of a beautiful Danish language tutor when duty calls… in the form of Miss Moneypenny. Bond begrudgingly departs his cunning linguistics session (yes, I know) when MI6 summons him for an urgent briefing and sends him off to a springtime mission in Germany.

The scene is quintessential Bond: an elegant suit, a snazzy new car, a useful gadget… and enough product placement to guarantee the future of the series. Continue reading

Mitchum as Marlowe: Gray Plaid Jacket in The Big Sleep

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Vitals

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, American private investigator

London, September 1977

Film: The Big Sleep
Release Date: March 13, 1978
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Ron Beck

Background

More than three decades after Bogart and Bacall lit up the screen in The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler’s seminal pulp detective novel was reimagined for the contemporary setting of late 1970s England with ultimate silver screen tough guy Robert Mitchum in the lead role as Raymond Chandler’s cynical private eye, Philip Marlowe.

We catch up here with Marlowe the morning after he takes his case as he joins the police in their investigation of the Sternwood family’s chauffeur, dead in an apparent accident that soon reveals itself to be murder. Following a few leads takes Marlowe to a flat where he encounters blackmailer Joe Brody (Edward Fox), femme fatale Agnes Lozelle (Joan Collins), General Sternwood’s flighty youngest daughter Camilla (Candy Clark), and trigger-happy gunsel Karl Lundgren (Simon Fisher-Turner)… all of whom armed with a handgun but, as Marlowe wryly notes, no brains to boot. Continue reading