Tagged: Mafia

Tony Soprano’s Tan Herringbone Sport Jacket

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.20: "The Blue Comet")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.20: “The Blue Comet”)

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James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

Montclair, New Jersey, Fall 2007

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “The Ride” (Episode 6.09, dir. Alan Taylor, aired May 7, 2006)
– “Chasing It” (Episode 6.16, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired April 29, 2007)
– “The Blue Comet” (Episode 6.20, dir. Alan Taylor, aired June 3, 2007)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

On the seventh anniversary of James Gandolfini’s death, I chose to celebrate the actor’s legacy with another look from the landmark HBO series The Sopranos. (Fans of the Skip’s outfits should already be following my friend @TonySopranoStyle on Instagram!)

In the series’ penultimate episode, “The Blue Comet”, Tony Soprano had no idea that this therapy session would be his last, blissfully idling his time in Dr. Jennifer Melfi’s waiting room by purloining a pepper-marinated steak recipe from Departures magazine. Unbeknownst to him, it’s one ravaged periodical too many as Dr. Melfi is already having serious concerns about having potentially spent the last seven years enabling a dangerous sociopath rather than helping him.

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The Godfather, Part II: Tom Hagen’s Seersucker Suit

Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

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Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen, levelheaded Mafia lawyer

Lake Tahoe, Fall 1958

Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The second Thursday in June is recognized as National Seersucker Day in the United States, an observance that began in Congress during the late 1990s to celebrate the traditional congressional summer dress in the days of the early 20th century before air conditioning reached the Capitol.

Apropos his quiet persona, Tom Hagen makes his inconspicuous return in The Godfather, Part II, seen almost in silhouette against the window as he greets the smarmy, crooked, and proudly blunt Senator Pat Geary (G.D. Spradlin) in the Don’s Lake Tahoe estate on the day of his son’s first communion. Continue reading

Tony Soprano’s Aloha Panel-Print Shirt in “Irregular Around the Margins”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 5.05: "Irregular Around the Margins")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 5.05: “Irregular Around the Margins”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

Newark, New Jersey, Spring 2004

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Irregular Around the Margins” (Episode 5.05)
Air Date: April 4, 2004
Director: Allen Coulter
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been the unofficial start of the summer season with cookouts and amusement park openings, despite the solstice itself still being a month away. (Today also concludes Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, highlighting a topic that anchors to The Sopranos‘ central narrative.)

Many spent time during self-isolation this spring to catch up on classic TV shows, with The Sopranos frequently cited as a show that people were re-watching or discovering for the first time. As we’re hopefully moving away from the weeks and months of social distancing, I want to take a look at one of many summer-friendly looks from the show’s central character, conflicted Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano played by James Gandolfini, who deservedly racked up three Emmy Awards among other accolades for his portrayal. Tony brings a summery sartorial spirit to a moment of isolated indoor frivolity in “Irregular Around the Margins”, the memorable fifth episode of The Sopranos‘ fifth season.

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Tony Soprano’s Yachting Clothes in “Funhouse”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 2.13: "Funhouse")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 2.13: “Funhouse”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

New Jersey, Spring 2000

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Funhouse” (Episode 2.13)
Air Date: April 9, 2000
Director: Alan Taylor
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Things are good. What the fuck?

Tony Soprano can’t quite seem to believe his luck at the outset of “Funhouse”, the iconic second season finale that aired 20 years ago tonight and is considered to be among The Sopranos‘ finest hours.

All of Tony’s enemies have been vanquished in one way or another, he’s making boatloads of cash due to a lucrative calling card scam, and his daughter is graduating from high school with a promising future at a number of prestigious colleges. And yet, there’s something nagging at Tony Soprano… and it isn’t just the unfamiliar combination of a full Indian dinner followed by Artie Bucco’s potentially tainted zuppa di mussels that’s troubling his stomach.

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Goodfellas: Tommy’s “Funny” Gray Silk Suit

Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas (1990)

Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas (1990)

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Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito, volatile and violent Mafia associate

Brooklyn, New York, Summer 1963

Film: Goodfellas
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno

Background

You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little fucked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

Well, Tommy, it is April Fool’s Day. Continue reading

The Sopranos: Christopher’s Black Leather Blazer

Michael Imperioli with Drea de Matteo and Lola Glaudini on The Sopranos (Episode 4.02: "No Show")

Michael Imperioli with Drea de Matteo and Lola Glaudini on The Sopranos (Episode 4.02: “No Show”)

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Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, Jersey mob acting capo

New Jersey, Fall 2002

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “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

Background

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.

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Tony Soprano’s Red Knit Polo Shirts

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 3.09: "The Telltale Moozadell")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 3.09: “The Telltale Moozadell”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

New Jersey, Winter 2000-2002

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “Nobody Knows Anything” (Episode 1.11, dir. Henry J. Bronchtein, aired 3/21/1999)
– “The Telltale Moozadell” (Episode 3.09, dir. Dan Attias, aired 4/22/2001)
– “Pine Barrens” (Episode 3.11, dir. Steve Buscemi, aired 5/6/2001)
– “Whoever Did This” (Episode 4.09, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired 11/10/2002)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

Let’s kick off the first 2020 post about James Gandolfini’s expansive wardrobe on The Sopranos by looking ahead this week to Wear Red Day, the American Heart Association’s annual observance on the first Friday of each February that encourages people to wear red to show their support for the awareness of heart disease. Continue reading

Tony Soprano’s Christmas in “Kaisha”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.12: "Kaisha")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.12: “Kaisha”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

North Caldwell, New Jersey, Christmas 2006

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Kaisha” (Episode 6.12)
Air Date: June 4, 2006
Director: Alan Taylor
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

On #SopranosSunday with Christmas just a few days away, let’s check in with everyone’s favorite mob family for the second and final holiday-set episode of The Sopranos‘ epic run.

I’m a sucker for Christmas scenes, and I always appreciate “holiday adjacent” movies like The Thin ManThree Days of the CondorThe GodfatherGoodfellas, and—of course—Die Hard that add a certain mysticism by setting some or all of the action at Christmas, a time of wonderment and hope but often not without melancholy. Although we only spend the last five minutes of the episode in the midst of true yule celebrations, “Kaisha” is framed by family holidays, beginning with the bombing of Phil Leotardo’s New York restaurant just before Thanksgiving and continuing over the weeks to follow throughout the holiday season as the all-too-human characters of Soprano-world navigate the stressful spectrum that ranges from loveliness to an abundance of loved ones.

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The Sopranos: “Acting Boss” Silvio in Silver Flecked Silk

Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante on The Sopranos (Episode 6.03: "Mayham")

Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante on The Sopranos (Episode 6.03: “Mayham”)

Vitals

Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante, Jersey mob consigliere and “acting boss”

New Jersey, Spring 2006

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Mayham” (Episode 6.03)
Air Date: March 26, 2006
Director: Jack Bender
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

Happy birthday, Steven Van Zandt!

While The Sopranos introduced him to new audiences after the show’s premiere in 1999, “Little Steven” had been a longtime guitarist with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Van Zandt first toured with the Boss in the 1970s before embarking on his own successful solo career and launching a series of ventures where he could share his encyclopedic knowledge of rock and pop music as a radio host, Sirius program director, label producer, and more! Miami Steve had never formally acted before taking the role of Silvio Dante on The Sopranos, and the cool-headed (but cold-hearted) consigliere quickly rose to become a fan favorite, known for his bouffant and his bold, idiosyncratic fashion sense that wasn’t unlike the man portraying him.

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Scarface (1932) – Tony’s Brown Striped Suit

Paul Muni, flanked by Vince Barnett and Karen Morley, in Scarface (1932)

Paul Muni, flanked by Vince Barnett and Karen Morley, in Scarface (1932)

Vitals

Paul Muni as Tony Camonte, ruthless Italian-born bootlegger and mob enforcer

Chicago, Summer 1927

Film: Scarface
Release Date: April 9, 1932
Director: Howard Hawks

Background

Today’s #MafiaMonday post goes back to the Prohibition era, the age that gave rise to the modern American gangster… and the American gangster movie.

After Warner Brothers scored back-to-back hits with Little Caesar (1931) and The Public Enemy (1931), effectively establishing the subgenre of the gangster film, Howard Hughes entered the fray with Scarface, an explosive, influential, and fast-paced criminal epic adapted from Armitage Trail’s novel that had been based on the life of Al Capone. Hughes had been warned against taking on Warner’s dominance in the genre, so he packed his production with talent including screenwriter Ben Hecht, director Howard Hawks, and lead actor Paul Muni, who was born 124 years ago yesterday on September 22, 1895.

In the wake of movies like Little Caesar and The Public Enemy, the Hays Office had been increasing its efforts to censor what it deemed to be glamorization of criminal lifestyles in cinema, but its notoriously restrictive production code had yet to be put into place, giving Scarface full reign to arm its vaguely incestuous central character with a Thompson submachine gun, once dubbed “the gun that made the twenties roar,” as he rose the ranks of the criminal underworld in a series of violent vignettes paralleling the life and crimes of the infamous Capone.

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