Tagged: Los Angeles

The Aviator: Leo’s Navy Jacket and White Slacks

Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004)

Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004)

Vitals

Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, eccentric and ambitious aviation and movie mogul

Los Angeles, Summer 1935

Film: The Aviator
Release Date: December 25, 2004
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Sandy Powell

Background

Almost five years after the success of his World War I epic Hell’s Angels, Howard Hughes lands his seaplane at the beach to the tune of Bing Crosby crooning the 1933 ballad “Thanks”, backed by “musical host of the coast” Jimmie Grier and his Orchestra. The graceful approach of the Sikorsky S-38 “Flying Boat” and the dapper Hughes deplaning from it dazzles the cast and crew of Sylvia Scarlett, Katharine Hepburn’s first of four films with director George Cukor and co-star Cary Grant.

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Pam Grier’s Black Suit in Jackie Brown

Pam Grier as Jackie Brown in Jackie Brown (1997)

Pam Grier as Jackie Brown in Jackie Brown (1997)
(Note that this shot is a mirror image in the film, so I flipped to reflect how Jackie actually looked in this scene.)

Vitals

Pam Grier as Jackie Brown, flight attendant and money courier

Los Angeles, Summer 1995

Film: Jackie Brown
Release Date: December 25, 1997
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Mary Claire Hannan

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today marks a BAMF Style first, focusing on a badass woman from the movies: Pam Grier as the eponymous lead in Jackie Brown, adapted by Quentin Tarantino from Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch. QT had long been a fan of Grier—and rightly so!—including a reference to her in his debut feature, Reservoir Dogs (1992). He had hoped to secure a role for her in Pulp Fiction (1994) until he realized that the actress’ strong presence would make it difficult for audiences to accept Eric Stoltz yelling at her on screen.

After Tarantino and Roger Avary acquired the film rights to three of Elmore Leonard’s novels, the director reportedly “fell in love” with Rum Punch, selecting that as his next feature. In the hopes of hiring Grier for the lead, he changed the character from the white Jackie Burke to the black Jackie Brown, her new surname alluding to Pam Grier’s famous role in Foxy Brown (1974). This character modification wasn’t Tarantino’s only homage to Grier’s career, as the soundtrack also included pieces from Roy Ayers’ original score for Coffy, the blaxploitation classic that provided Grier with her star-making role upon its release 47 years ago on May 13, 1973. Continue reading

The Graduate: Dustin Hoffman’s Herringbone Tweed Jacket

Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate (1967)

Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate (1967)

Vitals

Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock, nervous and aimless college graduate

Los Angeles, Late Spring 1967

Film: The Graduate
Release Date: December 22, 1967
Director: Mike Nichols
Costume Designer: Patricia Zipprodt

Background

The myriad impacts of the worldwide COVID-19 epidemic has included a halt on college graduation ceremonies, which would typically be occurring around this time; indeed, my own commencement was on April 30, nine years ago today.

The Graduate provided Dustin Hoffman with his breakout role as Benjamin Braddock, a recent graduate suffering from the ennui of balancing one’s achievements and desires with what’s expected of them. After a humiliating 21st birthday party where his parents forced him to scuba dive into the family pool in front of their friends, Benjamin asserts himself by arranging his first assignation with the seductive and unsatisfied Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) at the Taft Hotel (in fact, L.A.’s famous Ambassador Hotel), where he chain-smokes Parliaments and nurses a highball while waiting for her in the hotel lounge. At her prompting, he nervously reserves a room for them under the unconvincing alias of “Mr. Gladstone.” Continue reading

The Big Lebowski – The Dude’s Green Hoodie and Shorts

Jeff Bridges as "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski (1998)

Jeff Bridges as “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski (1998)

Vitals

Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, laidback stoner and bowler

Los Angeles, Fall 1991

Film: The Big Lebowski
Release Date: March 6, 1998
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not “Mr. Lebowski”. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

Having already established their appreciation for film noir and detective pulp with earlier movies like Blood Simple and Miller’s Crossing, the Coen brothers spun their fandom in a new direction with The Big Lebowski, a cult classic that riffs on the likes of Raymond Chandler, particularly his complex novel The Big Sleep. Rather than a quick-witted and snarky detective chain-smoking decks of unfiltered Camels in between shots of whiskey, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski is a simple, good-natured slacker who chooses to bowl his way through life at a glacial pace fueled by weed and White Russians.

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Frank Sinatra’s Orange Cardigan

Frank Sinatra, photographed for the April 23, 1965 cover of LIFE magazine by John Dominis. The same cardigan would appear in Marriage on the Rocks (1965), released five months later.

Frank Sinatra, photographed for the April 23, 1965 cover of LIFE magazine by John Dominis. The same cardigan would appear in Marriage on the Rocks (1965), released five months later.

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Dan Edwards, workaholic advertising executive

Los Angeles, Fall 1965

Film: Marriage on the Rocks
Release Date: September 24, 1965
Director: Jack Donohue
Costume Designer: Walter Plunkett

Background

On this #SinatraSaturday, we celebrate the famous singer’s favorite color by commemorating his appearance on the cover of LIFE magazine 55 years ago this week when he was photographed by John Dominis in an orange cardigan, white turtleneck, and houndstooth trilby for a cover story titled “Sinatra Opens Up”.

Around the same time, Frank Sinatra was filming the amusing ’60s romp Marriage on the Rocks with his friends and occasional co-stars Dean Martin and Deborah Kerr. The movie also provided Nancy Sinatra with her first opportunity to act opposite her father, playing his daughter on-screen as well. (The original title was Divorce American Style until Cy Howard’s original screenplay was deemed too offensive, resulting in rewrites under the title Community Property before all settled on the Rat Pack-friendly title Marriage on the Rocks.)

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Brad Pitt in Black and White

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, swaggering Hollywood stuntman

Los Angeles, Summer 1969

Film: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Tonight the night? Why not?

When Cliff Booth poses himself this question on the night of Friday, August 8, 1969, he was merely considering whether or not he should partake in an acid-dipped cigarette he bought from “a hippie girl” six months earlier, but the night turns out to be far more eventful than a mere drug experiment.

Brad Pitt may have asked himself the same question a month ago during the 92nd Academy Awards when he won his first Oscar for acting in recognition of his performance in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, the ninth film from Quentin Tarantino as the auteur added his own revisionist touch to a consequential year for American pop culture.

As today is Friday the 13th, let’s take a look at one of Cliff’s less celebrated outfits on what started as a very unlucky night for the stuntman… until he turned the tables thanks to that acid-dipped cigarette, his pet pit bull Brandy, and a few decades worth of combat-honed grit.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Leo’s Brown Leather Jacket

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

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

Background

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.

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The Long Goodbye: Elliott Gould as a 1970s Philip Marlowe

Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973)

Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973)

Vitals

Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe, wisecracking private investigator and “born loser”

Los Angeles, Summer 1972

Film: The Long Goodbye
Release Date: March 7, 1973
Director: Robert Altman
Men’s Costume Designer: Kent James (uncredited)

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I’m pleased to address a repeated request from BAMF Style leaders like Brandon and Craig to take a look at Elliott Gould’s scrappy attire as an equally scrappy Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye, maverick auteur Robert Altman’s adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s 1953 pulp novel of the same name.

It’s okay with me…

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In a Lonely Place: Bogie’s Dark Suit and Bow Tie

Humphrey Bogart as Dixon "Dix" Steele in In a Lonely Place (1950)

Humphrey Bogart as Dixon “Dix” Steele in In a Lonely Place (1950)

Vitals

Humphrey Bogart as Dixon “Dix” Steele, frustrated screenwriter who’s “been out of circulation too long”

Los Angeles, Summer 1949

Film: In a Lonely Place
Release Date: May 17, 1950
Director: Nicholas Ray

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

As #NoirVember continues, we shift our sartorial focus to a seminal figure in the development and enduring popularity of film noir: Humphrey Bogart. In movies like The Maltese Falcon (1941) and The Big Sleep (1946), Bogie cemented the wisecracking private eye persona often driving the heart of this subgenre, but he did not play a detective in the suspenseful thriller considered to be among his best, In a Lonely Place.

This 1950 noir co-starred Gloria Grahame and directed by Nicholas Ray, her husband at the time, though both Bogie and screenwriter Edmund North had envisioned the then-Mrs. Bogart, Lauren Bacall, to take the role of the “sultry and smooth… striking-looking girl with high cheek bones and tawny hair” as the character of Laurel Gray was described in the North’s screenplay. While Warner Brothers refused to lend Bacall to Bogart’s Santana Productions, Bogie was able to keep the leading role to deliver one of the most explosive and authentic performances of his prolific career.

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Fred MacMurray’s Flannel Sport Suit in Double Indemnity

Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff in Double Indemnity (1944)

Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff in Double Indemnity (1944)

Vitals

Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff, slick insurance salesman

Los Angeles, May through July 1938

Film: Double Indemnity
Release Date: July 3, 1944
Director: Billy Wilder
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

What’d you think I was, anyway? A guy that walks into a good-lookin’ dame’s front parlor and says, “Good afternoon, I sell accident insurance on husbands. You got one that’s been around too long, one you’d like to turn into a little hard cash? Just give me a smile and I’ll help you collect?”

Let’s finally kick off Noir-vember with the quintessential film noir, Double Indemnity, the quotable masterpiece from the pen of James M. Cain, adapted for Billy Wilder’s screen direction by pulp writer Raymond Chandler and photographed by inventive cinematographer John F. Seitz. Double Indemnity is the one that has it all: the seductive femme fatale (Barbara Stanwyck), the wisecracking protagonist willing to murder for her (Fred MacMurray), and the intrepid investigator, though in this case it’s not a trench coated private detective but an energetic, experienced, and irascible insurance claims manager played by Edward G. Robinson at his best.

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