Tagged: Los Angeles

Butch Coolidge in Pulp Fiction

Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge in Pulp Fiction (1994)

Vitals

Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge, tough, taciturn boxer

Los Angeles, Summer 1992

Film: Pulp Fiction
Release Date: October 14, 1994
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

There have been several requests to see Butch Coolidge’s bomber jacket ensemble from Pulp Fiction get a proper BAMF Style analysis, so what better occasion would there be than Bruce Willis’ birthday? Happy 62nd, Bruce!

Like many classic fictional boxing stories before him, Butch Coolidge finds himself in a hard place between his pride and the mob…and ultimately decides that it’s the latter that should suffer. Continue reading

Californication – Hank at the Gun Range

David Duchovny as Hank Moody in "The Ride-Along", Episode 5.05 of Californication, with a Desert Eagle-wielding RZA.

David Duchovny as Hank Moody in “The Ride-Along”, Episode 5.05 of Californication, with a Desert Eagle-wielding RZA.

Vitals

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist and screenwriter

Santa Monica, Spring 2012

Series: Californication
Episode: “The Ride-Along” (Episode 5.05)
Air Date: February 5, 2012
Director: Millicent Shelton
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer

Background

Two years before Ice Cube and Kevin Hart took their seats in a police car, Hank Moody joined unstable rapper Samurai Apocalypse (RZA) for an Santa Monica PD ride-along to prep for Sam’s new movie, Santa Monica Cop.

Writing a movie called Santa Monica Cop (no, it’s not supposed to be a very original concept) is an unexpected scenario for Californication‘s cynical, hard-drinking protagonist, but even more unexpected is the setting for the episode’s cold open: an L.A. gun range. Continue reading

Chinatown – J.J. Gittes’ Gray Striped Suit

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Vitals

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes, private investigator and ex-policeman

Los Angeles, September 1937

Film: Chinatown
Release Date: June 20, 1974
Director: Roman Polanski
Costume Designer: Anthea Sylbert

Background

J.J. Gittes begins his final day investigating the Mulwray case in Chinatown with his usual cheekiness, even when surprised by walking into a murder scene. He trades barbs with increasingly suspicious detectives, including the pugnacious Detective Loach (Richard Bakalyan) who inquires about Gittes’ sliced-up nose; Edward Norton’s character in Rounders would pay homage to Gittes’ response of “Your wife got excited. She crossed her legs a little too quick.”

But Gittes’ good humor wears off by the end, following a series of misadventures – mostly at gunpoint – involving sisters, daughters, and a shot-out eyeball. As his assistant Walsh (Joe Mantell) sagely – and now famously – advises him:

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

Continue reading

Vincent Vega’s Western-Inspired Casualwear

John Travolta as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994).

John Travolta as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994).

Vitals

John Travolta as Vincent Vega, laidback mob hitman and self-described “Elvis man”

Los Angeles, Summer 1992

Film: Pulp Fiction
Release Date: October 14, 1994
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann

Background

With Halloween around the corner, I’m revisiting one of my favorite Halloween costumes: Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. It’s a great chance for a couple’s costume, whether your significant other is a Mia or a Jules.

Pulp Fiction‘s colorful, sprawling cast of characters and famously non-linear timeline makes Vincent an even more interesting character when you realize that he is the only one to appear in each segment of the film. The role marked a rejuvenation for John Travolta, whose career had gone stagnant during the ’80s with the only real commercial success coming from Look Who’s Talking. Established and rising actors including Alec Baldwin, Daniel Day-Lewis, James Gandolfini, Andy Garcia, Michael Keaton (aw!), Gary Oldman, Jason Patric, Sean Penn, Tim Roth, and Denzel Washington had all been either interested in or considered for the role, and even Michael Madsen would go on to regret not reprising his Vega brother role when offered.

Vincent Vega was the laidback yin to Jules Winnfield’s fired-up yang. While Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) would intimidate a target with his fire-and-brimstone brand of furious anger, Vincent would merely slump against a wall, puffing one of his hand-rolled cigarettes and debating whether or not to voice a situational complaint of his own. It might have been his easy temperament that led Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) to tap Vincent as the henchman-of-choice to entertain his wife Mia (Uma Thurman) when Marsellus was called out of town. Continue reading

Lee Marvin’s Rust Brown Sportcoat in Point Blank

Angie Dickinson and Lee Marvin in Point Blank (1967).

Angie Dickinson and Lee Marvin in Point Blank (1967).

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Lee Marvin as Walker, revenge-driven armed robber

San Francisco, Summer 1967

Film: Point Blank
Release Date: August 30, 1967
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Margo Weintz

Background

Responding to another request from BAMF Style commenter Ryan Hall, this post looks at Lee Marvin’s wardrobe in 1967’s Point Blank, the first cinematic adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s crime novel The Hunter. The book became the first in the long-running Parker series penned by Westlake (as “Richard Stark”) that led to a total of 23 books before Westlake’s death in 2008.

At this point in the film, Walker (the film’s re-named version of Parker) is edging closer to getting his $93,000 back. Together with his sister-in-law Chris (Angie Dickinson), Walker heads to the home of syndicate boss Brewster (a pre-All in the Family Carroll O’Connor) to move the endgame into place. Continue reading

Bogart in The Big Sleep: Chalkstripe Flannel Double-Breasted Suit

Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1946).

Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1946).

Vitals

Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe, archetypal hard-boiled private detective

Los Angeles, Fall 1945

Film: The Big Sleep
Release Date: August 23, 1946
Director: Howard Hawks
Wardrobe Credit: Leah Rhodes

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is a pretty special day for me, and I’d like to celebrate the woman who is the Bacall to my Bogie by reflecting on The Big Sleep, which was originally released in theaters 70 years ago tomorrow, eight days after its premiere on August 23, 1946.

The Big Sleep was the second of four films starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The had originally met while filming her cinematic debut, To Have and Have Not, which was released on October 11, 1944, the very day after production began on The Big Sleep. (To Have and Have Not is also the first movie that my girlfriend and I watched together!) Continue reading

Bugsy’s Tan and Maroon Desert Sport Shirt

Warren Beatty as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel in Bugsy (1991).

Warren Beatty as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in Bugsy (1991).

Vitals

Warren Beatty as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, “celebrity” gangster and casino builder

Las Vegas to L.A., August 1946

Film: Bugsy
Release Date: December 13, 1991
Director: Barry Levinson
Costume Designer: Albert Wolsky

Background

The second warm-weather Mafia Monday in a row transports us from the glamour of 1950s Miami to the barrenness of the post-war Mojave Desert.

Bugsy Siegel has been dealing with a lot of professional issues. Construction of his “oasis in the desert” – the Flamingo Hotel and Casino – is going way over budget, and he’s just been arrested for the murder of his old pal Harry “Big Greenie” Greenberg (Elliott Gould). What’s a volatile celebrity mobster to do? Continue reading