Matthew McConaughey as Rustin “Rust” Cohle, nihilistic bartender and ex-cop
Lafayette, Louisiana, April 2012
Series: True Detective
Air Dates: January 12, 2014 – March 9, 2014
Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagen
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Don’t be assholes. You wanna hear this or not?
Rust Cohle challenges his interrogators at the outset of “The Long Bright Dark”, the premiere episode of HBO’s True Detective, indicating to us as well as detectives Thomas Papania (Tory Kittles) and Maynard Gilbrough (Michael Potts) that a wild ride is ahead. Continue reading
Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow, bank robber with “second sight”
Rural Louisiana, May 1934
Series Title: Bonnie and Clyde
Air Date: December 8, 2013
Director: Bruce Beresford
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance
Eighty years ago today, six Southern lawmen pulled off a feat that the federal government had been failing to do for months with the first real victory in the United States’ “War on Crime”.
With the advent of the Great Depression following the stock market crash of 1929, criminals abandoned gangsterdom and bootlegging (both “Machine Gun” Kelly and “Pretty Boy” Floyd were known to be bootleggers early in their career) in favor of motorized banditry. In the spirit of the Old West, bank robbers took to cars all across the country – with a special concentration in the poorest areas of the Midwest and the South.
This crime wave did not go unnoticed by the government. Soon, names like John Dillinger, “Baby Face” Nelson, and Alvin Karpis were dominating the headlines, and they were surprisingly welcome by the people who were sick and tired of the perceived “fat cats” in the government. Some of the criminals, Dillinger and Floyd especially, even had the begrudging respect of some small-town lawmen. But the greatest disparity between public opinion and actual temperament is with the case of Bonnie and Clyde. Continue reading
Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, slightly incompetent bank robber
Rural Louisiana, May 1934
Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle
The sun was shining brightly on a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on Wednesday, May 23, 1934. An old Ford Model A truck idled by the side of the road. Hidden in the bushes by the side of the road, six lawmen sat in wait, armed with heavy duty Colt Monitors and Remington hunting rifles. They’d been there all night, sacrificing their skin for the many hungry insects in the woods. By dawn, they’d waited long enough. Tired, hungry, and dirty, the men planned to head back to their motel rooms after another half hour. Almost at that same time, the unmistakable sound of a Ford V8 engine was heard up the road. Continue reading
Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, freelance mob hitman
Boston*, November 2008
* The movie – like the source novel – was indeed set in the Boston area but was filmed in New Orleans.
Although it met with mixed reviews, fans of George V. Higgins appreciate the recent film version of his 1974 book Cogan’s Trade, released as Killing Them Softly based on a line from the novel’s titular protagonist, Jackie Cogan:
They cry. They plead. They beg. They piss themselves. They call for their mothers. It gets embarrassing. I like to kill ’em softly, from a distance. Not close enough for feelings. Don’t like feelings. Don’t want to think about them.