Tagged: Northern California

The Birds: Mitch’s Cream Sweater and Silk Cravat

Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren in The Birds (1963)

Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren in The Birds (1963)

Vitals

Rod Taylor as Mitchell “Mitch” Brenner, smooth defense lawyer

Bodega Bay, California, Summer 1963

Film: The Birds
Release Date: March 28, 1963
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Wardrobe Supervisor: Rita Riggs

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

After the massive success of Psycho in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock knew his next thriller had to go above and beyond to meet the public’s expectations from the Master of Suspense. Inspiration fell from the skies the following summer when the California town of Capitola was besieged one August day by hundreds of sooty shearwaters slamming into their rooftops and littering the streets with bird corpses. Hitch, who vacationed in nearby Santa Cruz, saw the storytelling potential in this unique type of fear and immediately set to work developing a story with screenwriter Evan Hunter, adapting Daphne du Maurier’s novella The Birds from its postwar English setting to contemporary coastal California.

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Steve McQueen’s Carmel Cardigan, 1964

Steve McQueen at Carmel, California, photographed by William Claxton (1964).

Steve McQueen at Carmel, California, photographed by William Claxton (1964).

Vitals

Steve McQueen, iconic American actor

Fall 1964, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Photographs by William Claxton

Background

Happy birthday to Steve McQueen, born March 24, 1930, in Beach Grove, Indiana, then a small town of barely more than 3,500 people. By the age of eight, he had already received his first bike (well, a tricycle) and his first watch (a gold pocket watch from his uncle), two items that would become very important to his life and legacy. By the time McQueen died of cardiac arrest in November 1980, the “King of Cool” had cemented a place among the greatest American icons of screen and style through his performances in films like The Great EscapeBullitt, and The Thomas Crown Affair, and his lifelong passion for racing and rebellion.

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The Birds: Mitch’s Tweed Jacket and Drab Trousers

Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner in The Birds (1963).

Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner in The Birds (1963).

Vitals

Rod Taylor as Mitchell “Mitch” Brenner, smooth defense lawyer

Bodega Bay, California, Summer 1963

Film: The Birds
Release Date: March 28, 1963
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Wardrobe Supervisor: Rita Riggs

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I try to be very responsive to comments, e-mails, and suggestions on this blog, but sometimes life gets in the way. (Feel free to prod if you’re waiting for a response on something, of course!)

Three years ago, “Teeritz” (a wonderful commenter and blogger well-known to the BAMF Style community) suggested covering Rod Taylor’s outfits in The Birds, particularly the tweed suit jacket and side-pocket trousers worn for the day of the actual bird attack. I’m ashamed to admit that I had gone 26 years of life without seeing The Birds until last month, and my fellow Pittsburghers know that sharing the city with pigeons means that few things are more frightening than a potential avian mutiny. Continue reading

Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry – Larry’s Denim & ’69 Charger

Peter Fonda and Susan George on the poster for <em>Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry</em> (1974) as their '69 Charger blazes away in the background. People who have actually seen the film know how misleading this poster is, and that's all I'll say.

Peter Fonda and Susan George on the poster for Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974) as their ’69 Charger blazes away in the background. People who have actually seen the film know how misleading this poster is, and that’s all I’ll say.

Vitals

Peter Fonda as Larry Rayder, wannabe NASCAR driver and small-time robber

San Joaquin County, California, Fall 1973

Film: Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
Release Date: May 17, 1974
Director: John Hough
Wardrobe Mistress: Phyllis Garr

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Unload!

Kiss off!

While few would place Dirty Mary Crazy Larry‘s script in the same echelon with Casablanca or The Godfather, there’s no doubting that it has its place among the classic European-influenced but all-American car chase flicks that kicked off with Bullitt and tapered off somewhere in the mid-’70s as more over-the-top fare like Smokey and the Bandit took over as the gearheads’ cinematic servings. It was that brief semi-decade where the sub-genre blossomed with ennui and nihilism driving the motoring protagonists of Vanishing PointTwo-Lane Blacktop, and those of its ilk.

Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry was a transition between the earlier nihilist cult films and the more marketable, humor-laced movies. Larry, Mary, and Deke aren’t necessarily driving without a defined purpose, but one could argue they were just as doomed as Kowalski when they slipped into that lime green ’69 Charger. And it is with that ’69 Charger – which BAMF Style loyalists know by now is my favorite car of all time – that I’m concluding this run of Car Week. Continue reading