John Alexander as “Teddy Roosevelt” Brewster
Brooklyn, Halloween 1941
Film: Arsenic and Old Lace
Release Date: September 23, 1944
Director: Frank Capra
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, was born this day 159 years ago on October 27, 1858. A son of New York City, the timid Theodore overcame his childhood asthma with his robust physical pursuits matched only by his professional ambition as a career soldier, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New York, and finally the youngest President of the United States when he assumed office at the age of 42 after the assassination of William McKinley.
The proximity of T.R.’s birthday to Halloween always makes me think of Arsenic and Old Lace, the Frank Capra-directed dark comedy set one Halloween in Brooklyn involving Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant), his two dangerous but darling elderly aunts, and – like all of the best movies of the 1940s – Peter Lorre being Peter Lorre.
Originally a play (and doubtlessly one that your high school has performed), actor John Alexander reprised his role from the stage as “Teddy” Brewster, Mortimer’s delusional but harmless brother who believes that he is Teddy Roosevelt.
“So what?” says a friendly local cop who visits the Brewsters on his beat. “There’s a lot worse guys he could think he was.” Continue reading
Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, political boss and bootlegger
Atlantic City, January 1923
Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episode: “Bone for Tuna” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: September 30, 2012
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
Tailor: Martin Greenfield
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
I’m taking the blogger’s imperative and dedicating this whole week to Boardwalk Empire and its celebrated throwback style.
During its five-season run, Boardwalk Empire highlighted the spectrum of Prohibition-era men’s fashion from Jimmy Darmody’s street tweeds (link) and Mickey Doyle’s comic bowler-topped sack suits to Chalky White’s natty plaid suits accented by bold bow ties and Nucky Thompson’s distinctive take on white tie (link).
As a decidedly unconservative dresser, it thus becomes very meaningful when the typically bold-suited Nucky Thompson dons traditional morning dress for a morning in church. Continue reading
John F. Kennedy, U.S. President
Early 1960s, Washington, D.C.
Not every commemoration on BAMF Style is a happy one. To honor JFK on the 50th anniversary of his assassination, I’ll be examining the style of a man often described as our country’s most stylish president.
Whether he was in his office, at a cocktail party, or sailing off of Narragansett Bay, the Kennedys’ style captured the attention of the nation, with men taking hints from Jack’s fashion-forward sartorial sense and women envying Jackie’s elegance.
Everyone has their own conspiracy theory about who truly ended his life in Dallas fifty years ago today, but this isn’t the place to discuss that. Instead, I’ll be delving into the look and style of a man who became an American icon. Continue reading
Continuing our Week of Weddings, we have a two-parter today from “The Grown Ups”, the twelfth and penultimate episode of the third season of Mad Men.
I hope no one minds – nor do I care if anyone does – but we’re gonna switch up the format here and feature TWO people in one post. While you’re busy scraping your jaws up off the floor, let’s proceed to…
Pt. 1 – The Wedding Guest
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Manhattan ad man and Ossining family man
New York City, November 1963
Series: Mad Men
Episode: “The Grown-Ups” (Episode 3.12)
Air Date: November 1, 2009
Director: Barbet Schroeder
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant Continue reading