Paul Newman as Michael Armstrong, American physicist and amateur spy
East Berlin, September 1965
Film: Torn Curtain
Release Date: July 14, 1966
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Costume Supervisor: Grady Hunt
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Alfred Hitchcock’s 50th film, Torn Curtain, marked his one and only collaboration with Paul Newman. Production on the Cold War spy thriller was plagued by the veteran director clashing with his leads, unused to method actor Paul Newman’s constant questioning of his character’s motivation. “Your motivation is your salary,” Hitch reportedly replied.
The famously easygoing Newman was a little more enthusiastic, later recalling, “I think Hitch and I could have really hit it off, but the script kept getting in the way.”
Indeed, the serious political thriller was a departure from Hitchcock’s usual scripts, developed in response to the growing popularity of the James Bond franchise through the ’60s. Continue reading
Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, corrupt Atlantic City politician and bootlegger
Atlantic City, January 1920
Series: Boardwalk Empire
– “Boardwalk Empire” (Episode 1.01, dir. Martin Scorsese, aired September 19, 2010)
– “The Ivory Tower” (Episode 1.02, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired September 26, 2010)
– “Broadway Limited” (Episode 1.03, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired October 3, 2010)
– “Hold Me in Paradise” (Episode 1.08, dir. Brian Kirk, aired November 7, 2010)
– “A Return to Normalcy” (Episode 1.12, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired December 5, 2010)
– “What Does the Bee Do?” (Episode 2.04, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired October 16, 2011)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
Tailor: Martin Greenfield
This week, I’m taking a look at outfits worn by BAMFs in the first episodes of some of my favorite TV shows. #MafiaMonday is a great excuse to start with Boardwalk Empire, particularly the suit worn by Steve Buscemi as Atlantic County treasurer Enoch “Nucky” Thompson in the opening credits of the series’ five-season run… as well as a few early episodes. Continue reading
Colin Firth as Harry Hart, aka “Galahad”, sophisticated secret agent
London, Spring 2014
Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: January 29, 2015
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Martin Nicholls
Today marks the U.K. release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the long awaited follow-up to the criminally entertaining 2014 spy film Kingsman: The Secret Service. Featuring a group of quintessentially British spies operating out of a London tailor shop (of all places!), the stylish Kingsman franchise was basically built for BAMF Style readers… and I apologize that it’s taken this long to get a post together about it!
Colin Firth plays Kingsman agent Harry Hart, a dapper and witty spy well equipped for his “Galahad” codename. Continue reading
Cillian Murphy as Thomas “Tommy” Shelby, cunning Peaky Blinders gang leader and jaded WWI veteran
Birmingham, England, February 1924
Series: Peaky Blinders
Episode: Episode 3.01
Air Date: May 5, 2016
Director: Tim Mielants
Creator: Steven Knight
Costume Designer: Alexandra Caulfield
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today’s Week of Weddings post focuses on the sadly short-lived union of Tommy Shelby and Grace Burgess that kicked off the third season of Peaky Blinders.
This is the second Peaky Blinders wedding to be featured on BAMF Style after the first season nuptials of John Shelby and Esme Lee. While that first wedding was considerably spontaneous (at least for the groom), this union had been in the fire since Tommy and Grace first laid eyes on each other across the Garrison in 1919. Five years and one dead Irish investigator later, the two are finally tying the knot.
Grace’s family is comprised of several members of the “King’s Irish” cavalrymen that nearly abandoned the Peaky Blinders on the battlefield a decade earlier, so Tommy is forced to lay down some relatively unorthodox rules for a wedding:
No cocaine. No sport. No telling fortunes. No racing. No fucking sucking petrol out of their fucking cars… But the main thing is, you bunch of fuckers, despite the provocation from the cavalry, no fighting!
Gabriel Byrne as Tom Reagan, pragmatic Irish mob fixer
Upstate New York, Fall 1929
Film: Miller’s Crossing
Release Date: September 21, 1990
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Miller’s Crossing is one of my favorite Coen Brothers movies as well as one of my favorite crime films. Perhaps overshadowed the year it was released by higher pedigree mob flicks like Goodfellas and, uh, The Godfather Part III, the Coens’ neo-noir black comedy has gained a cult following in the years since for its spirited tribute to the works of Dashiell Hammett, particularly Red Harvest (1929) and The Glass Key (1931). Continue reading
Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate
Las Vegas, Fall 1980
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn
Today’s Mafia Monday post is the final in a two-week streak where, for no reason at all, I chose only to feature movies and TV shows beginning with the letter “C”.
This scene in Casino finds Sam “Ace” Rothstein anxious waiting for his daughter’s return from the airport after she was kidnapped by her drug-addicted mother Ginger (Sharon Stone) and Ginger’s boyfriend and former pimp Lester (James Woods). After happily picking up his daughter and reluctantly greeting Ginger, the “happy” couple heads to Oscar’s Steakhouse at the Plaza Hotel for an attempted reconciliation dinner. Continue reading
James Stewart as George Bailey, banker and depressed family man
Bedford Falls, NY, Christmas Eve 1945
Film: It’s a Wonderful Life
Release Date: December 20, 1946
Director: Frank Capra
Costume Designer: Edward Stevenson
Jimmy Stewart and director Frank Capra have both called It’s a Wonderful Life the favorite film of each of their prolific careers. Stewart cites George Bailey as his favorite character that he’s played, and Capra would annually screen the film for his own family each Christmas.
First released 60 years ago this week, the film earned mixed reviews and was ultimately considered a financial disappointment, earning only $3.3 million during its initial box office run against its considerably expensive $3.7 million budget. (It also earned the ire of the FBI for its “Communist tricks” of “represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture,” but that’s a whole different story.) Continue reading