Warren Beatty as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, “celebrity” gangster and casino builder
New York, Summer 1945, and
Beverly Hills, December 1946
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Release Date: December 13, 1991
Director: Barry Levinson
Costume Designer: Albert Wolsky
Bugsy is an entertaining and stylish drama penned by James Toback, transforming the violent mobster in a suave and romantic visionary much as the real life gangster himself tried to reinvent his persona after moving out to the West Coast, choosing to rub elbows with the likes of George Raft, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant rather than his old associates like Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano, and Joe Adonis. Continue reading
Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, smug and successful Wall Street businessman
New York City, Spring 1985
Film: Wall Street
Release Date: December 11, 1987
Director: Oliver Stone
Costume Designer: Ellen Mirojnick
Tailor: Alan Flusser
Returning to the office on Monday is no excuse to slack off on your wardrobe, especially on Wall Street. Continue reading
Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito, volatile and violent Mafia associate
New York, Spring 1979
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
We always called each other “good fellas.” Like you said to somebody, “You’re gonna like this guy. He’s all right. He’s a good fella. He’s one of us.” You understand? We were good fellas. Wiseguys.
The line may have been an afterthought to explain the new Goodfellas title after Scorsese was unable to use the book’s original Wiseguy title, but it provides the perfect context and framework for Tommy DeVito prepping for his “made man” ceremony, especially against the optimistic driving piano exit of Derek and the Dominoes’ “Layla”.
Of course, little does Tommy know that he’s in for the ultimate case of the [Mafia] Mondays… Continue reading
Al Pacino as Ricky Roma, ace real estate closer
New York (or maybe Chicago…), September 1992
Film: Glengarry Glen Ross
Release Date: October 2, 1992
Director: James Foley
Costume Designer: Jane Greenwood
This is a big week for iconic actor birthdays! Today is the 77th birthday of Al Pacino, born April 25, 1940 in New York.
After a dormant post-Scarface career through most of the ’80s, Pacino shot back onto the screen in the following decade, returning to the part that made him famous as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III and taking on the role of confident and cut-throat real estate salesman Richard Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross from a screenplay adapted by David Mamet of his own Pulitzer- and Tony-winning 1984 play. Continue reading
Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker, powerful and domineering newspaper columnist
New York City, Fall 1956
Film: Sweet Smell of Success
Release Date: June 27, 1957
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Costume Designer: Mary Grant
One of my favorite movies is Sweet Smell of Success, the atmospheric film noir starring Burt Lancaster as a Walter Winchell-like columnist and Tony Curtis as the opportunistic young PR flack desperate to get in good with him.
Ernest Lehman, who contributed to the screenplay based on his own novelette, declined to direct the film due to his fear of Lancaster, but the actor’s aggressive and volatile temperament paid off to create the needed aura of his intimidating character, the sort of man who could and would destroy an enemy’s career on a whim. Continue reading
Vincent Piazza as Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Sicilian-American mobster
New York City, April 1931
Series: Boardwalk Empire
* “Golden Days for Boys and Girls” (Episode 5.01, aired September 7, 2014, dir. Tim Van Patten)
* “The Good Listener” (Episode 5.02, aired September 14, 2014, dir. Allen Coulter)
* “Eldorado” (Episode 5.08, aired October 26, 2014, dir. Tim Van Patten)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
86 years ago tomorrow “Lucky” Luciano brought an end to the Castellammarese War – as mob historians refer to the bloody gangland conflict that divided New York City – by engineering the death of Sicilian-American mob chieftain Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria.
Masseria’s demise is one of the many colorful episodes that has, for better or worse, iconicized the history of the American Mafia… and it makes for a compelling and dramatic re-introduction to Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza) for the final season of Boardwalk Empire. Continue reading
Robert Redford as Harry Longbaugh, aka “The Sundance Kid”, American outlaw
New York City to Bolivia, Spring 1901
Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head
For Western Wednesday, BAMF Style is taking a look at one of the most classic and unique films in the genre, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The film is loosely based on the true story of the turn-of-the-century outlaws who fled to South America after their gang, the Wild Bunch, was broken up by the long arm of the law. William Goldman’s witty, engaging screenplay became a hot commodity in Hollywood once studio execs warmed up to the idea of its Old West heroes fleeing. A veritable “who’s who” of the era’s most popular actors were considered for the titular leading roles before Paul Newman and Robert Redford were cast, cementing their place in film history as one of the most dynamic buddy duos to hit the screen. Continue reading