Tagged: Military

Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts

Henry Fonda as the titular Lt.(j.g.) Doug Roberts in Mister Roberts (1955)

Henry Fonda as the titular Lt.(j.g.) Doug Roberts in Mister Roberts (1955)

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Henry Fonda as Lt.(j.g.) Doug Roberts, U.S. Navy cargo ship executive officer

The Pacific Theater, Spring 1945

Film: Mister Roberts
Release Date: July 30, 1955
Director: John Ford, Mervyn Leroy, and Joshua Logan
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry

Background

On Henry Fonda’s birthday, I want to celebrate one of the actor’s most famous roles among a talented cast of some of my favorite actors: Jack Lemmon, James Cagney, and William Powell.

Lieutenant (junior grade) Doug Roberts is a pragmatic executive officer on USS Reluctant, a cargo ship far from the action in “the waning days of World War II,” as we learn during the film’s opening credits. Despite his popularity on “the bucket”, Lt. Roberts is itching to see some combat… and to get away from useless martinets like the ship’s strict captain (Cagney).

Fonda had originated the role on stage. The play Mister Roberts had opened on Broadway in February 1948, a few years after Fonda and his pal James Stewart returned from their own service in the war.

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Fury – Brad Pitt as “Wardaddy”

Today is Brad Pitt’s birthday, and I’m delighted to commemorate the actor’s special day with a submitted post from BAMF Style contributor “W.T. Hatch”. Enjoy!

Brad Pitt as Don "Wardaddy" Collier in Fury (2014)

Brad Pitt as Don “Wardaddy” Collier in Fury (2014)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Staff Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier, battle-hardened 2nd Armored Division tank commander, U.S. Army

Forward edge of the battlefield, Germany, April 1945

Film: Fury
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Director: David Ayer
Costume Design: Maja Meschede & Anna B. Sheppard

Background

Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.

Set in the final weeks of World War II, Fury is a brutally honest movie depicting the true face of war. Ground combat is dirty, cold, dangerous. War exacts a terrible cost from those who survive to return home. David Ayer’s magnum opus, Fury, depicts World War II as it happened without glorifying the unforgiving violence, death, and carnage of battle. Brad Pitt portrays Staff Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier, a hardened veteran and commander of an M4 Sherman tank nicknamed “Fury”. Very little of Wardaddy’s background is directly revealed in the film although a number of clues point to his prior combat experience in World War I and perhaps service during in interwar years. As such, Collier is an “old school” tanker with a preference for uniforms first introduced before the start of WWII. Continue reading

Murder on the Orient Express: Connery’s Plaid Norfolk Jacket

Sean Connery as Colonel John Arbuthnot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Sean Connery as Colonel John Arbuthnot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Vitals

Sean Connery as Colonel John Arbuthnot, British Indian Army commanding officer

Istanbul, December 1935

Film: Murder on the Orient Express
Release Date: November 24, 1974
Director: Sidney Lumet
Costume Designer: Tony Walton

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy birthday, Sean Connery, born August 25, 1930!

After playing James Bond in six films over the course of a decade, Connery was more than tired of the demanding role that had made him a star, and he began seeking work in different projects. One of his first films after putting 007 behind him (for the second time) was as part of the ensemble cast of Murder on the Orient Express, a 1974 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic 1934 mystery novel. Continue reading

Commander Bond’s Battle Dress in The Spy Who Loved Me

Roger Moore as Commander James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Roger Moore as Commander James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

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Roger Moore as James Bond, sophisticated British MI6 agent

Sardinia, Italy, Summer 1977

Film: The Spy Who Loved Me
Release Date: July 7, 1977
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Supervisor: Rosemary Burrows

Background

Have you heard of Black Tot Day?

On July 31, 1970, the British Royal Navy ended its centuries-old tradition of providing its sailors with a daily rum ration. The day became known as Black Tot Day, as I first learned in a Facebook post from my favorite Pittsburgh bar, Hidden Harbor, when they announced their acquisition of a Black Tot “Last Consignment” bottle, bottled from the last remaining stocks of Royal Naval rum.

To commemorate this tragic day in the history of the British Royal Navy, I’m revisiting The Spy Who Loved Me for the second time this month with a look at the naval battle dress worn by Commander James Bond, RNR, during the climactic battle aboard the Liparus, the massive supertanker owned by the film’s Goldfinger-esque villain, Karl Stomberg (Curd Jürgens). Continue reading

Murder on the Orient Express: Connery’s Houndstooth Suit

Sean Connery and Vanessa Redgrave as Colonel Arbuthnot and Mary Debenham in Murder on the Orient Express (1974).

Sean Connery and Vanessa Redgrave on set as Colonel Arbuthnot and Mary Debenham in Murder on the Orient Express (1974).

Vitals

Sean Connery as Colonel John Arbuthnot, British Indian Army commanding officer

The Orient Express, December 1935

Film: Murder on the Orient Express
Release Date: November 24, 1974
Director: Sidney Lumet
Costume Designer: Tony Walton

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is my grandma’s 95th birthday, which she will be celebrating by going to her 9-to-5 job (where she never misses a day!) and then joining our family for a dinner out on the town. One of my favorite memories with Grandma includes Saturday mornings in her kitchen, watching old mystery movies together. This tradition instilled in me a love for the genre as well as an appreciation for classic movies and stars.

Murder on the Orient Express was one of our favorite movies to watch together. Although helmed by the excellent Albert Finney as a charismatic and near-cartoonish Hercule Poirot, the film is also rightly a celebration of some of the most talented women from the silver screen including Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress from her work in this movie. Continue reading

Capt. Michael Corleone, USMC

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

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Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, USMC Captain, WWII hero, and Mafia son

Long Island, NY, September 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

On the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, BAMF Style is looking at one of cinema’s most notorious fictional war heroes from the Pacific Theater of World War II: Michael Corleone.

(Just so we’re clear, BAMF Style believes that the true heroes of World War II are those that did not go on to become mob bosses.)

What’d He Wear?

Michael’s USMC Uniform

Michael arrives at his sister’s wedding wearing his traditional Marine “greens”, the winter service uniform worn from September through April. Although appearing brown on screen, the uniform – now known as the Service A (or “Alpha”) – is forest green wool in a color specific to the Marine Corps, dating back to its introduction in 1912. At the time, the winter service uniform was standard in garrison and on leave and liberty. Since the iconic dress blues were temporarily ceased for most of WWII, a Marine not wearing his utility uniform would almost always be seen in his winter service greens. Continue reading

Maj. Reisman’s Field Uniform in The Dirty Dozen

Lee Marvin as Maj. John Reisman in The Dirty Dozen (1967).

Lee Marvin as Maj. John Reisman in The Dirty Dozen (1967).

Vitals

Lee Marvin as Maj. John Reisman, taciturn and independent U.S. Army officer

England, Spring 1944

Film: The Dirty Dozen
Release Date: June 15, 1967
Director: Robert Aldrich

Background

Tomorrow is the 71st anniversary of the Normandy landings. On June 6, 1944 – now known as D-Day, 156,000 troops from 13 Allied nations conducted the largest seaborne invasion in history, beginning the invasion of German-occupied western Europe that led to the liberation of France, and – eventually – an Allied victory to win the war within a year. Although the Allies failed to achieve their goals on the first day, the tremendous fighting spirit of the soldiers in the face of unbelievable odds led to the foothold needed by the Allies that would catapult them to victory.

Many excellent films have focused on the Normandy landings, including The Longest Day and Saving Private RyanThe Dirty Dozen used a different approach, sending a renegade OSS officer behind the lines with twelve ex-soldier convicts to create chaos for the Nazis and distract them from the upcoming landings. The film, which WWII veteran Lee Marvin had originally dismissed as “just a dummy moneymaker”, has gone on to become a classic piece of badass cinema that even received recognition in Sleepless in Seattle during a scene where Tom Hanks and Victor Garber hilariously ad-lib about what movie could make a man cry:

Jim Brown was throwing these hand grenades down these airshafts. And Richard Jaeckel and Lee Marvin – (begins mock crying) were sitting on top of this armored personnel carrier, dressed up like Nazis… and Trini Lopez… he busted his neck while they were parachuting down behind the Nazi lines…

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