Tagged: Panama

The Tailor of Panama: Andy Osnard’s Check Sportcoat

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Vitals

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard, sleazy and shrewd MI6 agent

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

Pierce Brosnan had a reputation for playing smooth, dapper characters like Remington Steele, Thomas Crown, and – of course – James Bond, making it all the more entertaining when he traded in that image to play unapologetic cad Andy Osnard in John Boorman’s 2001 adaptation of John le Carré’s spy novel The Tailor of Panama.

Viewers at the time may have thought “Pierce Brosnan playing a British spy in an exotic setting? Won’t that just be James Bond?” John le Carré readers who were familiar with the book knew the answer was a resounding “Hell, no!” Continue reading

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The Tailor of Panama: Harry Pendel’s Cream Suit

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Vitals

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel, tailor to Panama’s finest and ex-con

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

I tend to get grumpy about sartorial “rules”, including the snobbish American insistence that white can only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day. While I wouldn’t see much of a need to wear white (or that of its ilk) on a chilly winter day in Pittsburgh, it’s still frustrating to be informed what I can and can’t wear. For all of his faults, Boss Hogg deserves some credit for refusing to yield to arbitrary rules of dress and proudly wearing his white busting-at-the-seams three-piece suit all year round.

Luckily for Harry Pendel, this rule doesn’t apply in the tropical locale of Panama where the British expat (and ex-con) has set up his tailor shop. Harry is one of the few characters from his novels that John le Carré felt he could relate to, stating that “I was exploring the relationship between myself and my own fabricator. Anybody in the creative business, as you might call it, has some sense of guilt about fooling around with fact, that you’re committing larceny, that all of life is material for your fabulations.”

Director John Boorman said he always imagined Geoffrey Rush for the role. “You never lose sympathy for Geoffrey on screen, even when he does dreadful things,” explained Boorman. “There’s something worn yet innocent about him.” Continue reading

The Tailor of Panama: Andy Osnard’s Linen Suit

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001). His right arm is folded behind his back; he is not playing an amputee.

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001). His right arm is folded behind his back; he is not playing an amputee.

Vitals

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard, sleazy and shrewd MI6 agent

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

The Tailor of Panama, John Boorman’s darkly comic adaptation of John le Carré’s spy novel, presents Pierce Brosnan as we’d never seen him before.

“Yeah, a hard-drinking MI6 agent who beds women in exotic locales. Real switch-up for him,” you say, dubiously.

Of course, Brosnan’s character Andy Osnard could best be described as the anti-Bond. Continue reading

The Tailor of Panama: Harry Pendel’s Light Gray Suit

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Vitals

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel, tailor to Panama’s finest and ex-con

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

For once, someone in a film is better dressed than Pierce Brosnan!

The Tailor of Panama is a 2001 film directed by John Boorman (Point Blank, Deliverance, The General) from a novel by John le Carré. As one would expect from le Carré, it is a complex, tightly-wound, and realistic espionage tale with much dark humor deriving from the realistically grounded characters. Both the film and the novel were wisely recommended to me by Roman, an astute and frequent commenter of this blog. Continue reading