Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly, shrewd and opportunistic Russian-born British agent
Hamburg, Germany, Spring 1905
Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “The Visiting Fireman” (Episode 3)
Air Date: September 14, 1983
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller
In honor of Sam Neill’s 75th birthday this week, I want to revisit one of my favorite roles for the New Zealand actor. Almost a decade before his starring role in the
groundbreaking groundshaking blockbuster Jurassic Park, Neill had been one of the contenders suggested to replace Roger Moore as James Bond, though the actor himself had been reluctant to take what he’s since called a “mortifying” audition and was likely grateful when the role went to Timothy Dalton instead. Neill may have been considered after his excellent performance earlier in the ’80s as Sidney Reilly, a real-life spy whose early 20th century exploits had been cited by Ian Fleming as one of his inspirations for the literary 007. Continue reading
Johnny Depp as George Jung, ambitious pot dealer
Chicago, Winter 1972
Release Date: April 6, 2001
Director: Ted Demme
Costume Designer: Mark Bridges
In the centuries since pea jackets were first established by military mariners battling the cold, these short and warm coats have emerged as a winter staple for men and women around the world. While many maintain the original template, such as the 1940s Schott in 32-ounce melton wool that was handed down to me from my grandfather, the pea coat’s ubiquity has also inspired more fashion-forward variations like the leather-trimmed, peak-lapel Billy Reid coat that Daniel Craig wore in his third 007 outing Skyfall or this Disco-era jacket briefly worn by Johnny Depp in Blow.
Steve McQueen as Jake Holman, maverick U.S. Navy Machinist’s Mate, 1st Class (MM1)
Yangtze River, China, Summer 1926 through Spring 1927
Film: The Sand Pebbles
Release Date: December 20, 1966
Director: Robert Wise
Costume Design: Wingate Jones, John Napolitano, Bobbie Read, and James W. Tyson
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
The Navy League of the United States organized the first Navy Day on October 27, 1922, to commemorate the birthday of Theodore Roosevelt who—before becoming the 26th President of the United States—had long championed the U.S. Navy and had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Set four years after the establishment of Navy Day, The Sand Pebbles begins in 1926 China, “a country of factions trying to unite to become a nation… through revolution…” according to the opening text. Continue reading
Humphrey Bogart as Harry Morgan, cynical fishing boat captain
Fort-de-France, Martinique, Summer 1940
Film: To Have and Have Not
Release Date: October 11, 1944
Director: Howard Hawks
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today in 1957, the world lost one of the most iconic actors of the classic Hollywood era with the death of Humphrey Bogart at the age of 57. In the last days of his life, Bogie was surrounded by friends and loved ones like Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, and his loving wife, Lauren Bacall.
Bogie and Bacall had first met 14 years earlier when she was making her debut in To Have and Have Not, an adaptation of what director Howard Hawks considered to be the worst of Ernest Hemingway’s novels that would translate to the screen as a war romance full of wit, style, and intrigue in the tradition of Casablanca, the film that had cemented Bogart’s stardom two years earlier. Continue reading
Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, eccentric consulting detective
London, November 1890
Film: Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Jenny Beavan
Looking for a historical Halloween costume in a pinch? In the spirit of #SherlockSunday, grab a peacoat, a peaked cap, and a pair of suspenders, and you’re good to go!
But isn’t Sherlock Holmes most associated with the classic Basil Hathbone ensemble of a deerstalker cap and Ulster cape? Not so in the 2009 film starring Robert Downey Jr. as the iconic detective, as director Guy Ritchie insisted that his incarnation would neither wear the deerstalker nor say “Elementary, my dear Watson,” choosing instead to present what Roger Ebert would call a “cheerfully revisionist” take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s character. Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government agent
Prague, Winter 2006
Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
For the first 00-7th of the new year, I want to recall the first on screen appearance of Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Continue reading
Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder, scrappy Harlan County criminal chieftain
Harlan County, Kentucky, Fall 2014
Episode: “The Hunt” (Episode 6.07)
Air Date: March 3, 2015
Director: John Dahl
Costume Designer: Patia Prouty
Next week is the start of deer hunting season here in western Pennsylvania*, so BAMF Style is taking a look at the appropriately titled “The Hunt”, the seventh episode of Justified‘s sixth and final season. The episode title primarily refers to the hunt for fugitive killer Ty Walker (played brilliantly by Timothy Olyphant’s fellow Deadwood alum Garret Dillahunt) but it also alludes to Boyd and Ava’s venture into the woods.
Ava: What the hell, Boyd?
Boyd: We going hunting.
Boyd: First day of razorback season, state of Kentucky. I already got the coffee going.
Ava: What time is it?
Boyd: It’s early. And we need to get to the stand while the sun is rising if we gonna bag us a shoat.
Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as
Connor MacManus and Murphy MacManus (respectively), Irish-American blue-collar vigilante brothers
Boston, MA, March 1999
Film: The Boondock Saints
Release Date: January 22, 1999
Director: Troy Duffy
Costume Designer: Mary E. McLeod
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
For most of us, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration full of green beer, corned beef, and bad decisions. For the MacManus brothers, two cheeky but religious meat packers in South Boston, it usually means the same thing. Even Murphy MacManus uses the holiday to welcome a trio Russian mobsters to the neighborhood bar:
Yeah, it’s St. Paddy’s Day, everyone’s Irish tonight. Why don’t you just pull up a stool and have a drink with us?
Unfortunately, the Russkies aren’t as willing to throw a few back and celebrate, so the holiday leads to an eruption of violence that evolves the MacManus brothers into “The Boondock Saints”. Continue reading
Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, U.S. Army OSS officer and redneck leader of the “Inglourious Basterds”
Occupied France, Fall 1942
Film: Inglourious Basterds
Release Date: August 21, 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Anna B. Sheppard
Brad Pitt’s Personal Costumer: Isabell Logen (though I’m not sure what her contribution was to this particular outfit)
Surprisingly to most, I was a late comer to Tarantino’s work. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college in the fall of 2007 when I first saw Reservoir Dogs and – entranced – I soon caught up by getting my hands on Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, True Romance, and Death Proof. (Somehow, neither Kill Bill film made the cut until years later.) Thus, Inglourious Basterds was the first QT flick I actually saw newly released in theaters. Continue reading
Gene Hackman as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, rough but dedicated NYPD narcotics detective
Brooklyn, December 1970
Film: The French Connection
Release Date: October 9, 1971
Director: William Friedkin
Costume Designer: Joseph Fretwell III
Car chases have been engrained in American cinema since the early days of the Keystone Kops. As the interest in cars grew, auto manufacturers began highlighting their most innovative products through on-screen action. The James Bond franchise innovated the use of car chases with Goldfinger‘s gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5 and a conveniently placed Ford Mustang convertible. The Mustang poked its head out again for the seminal chase in Bullitt as Steve McQueen faced off against a black ’68 Dodge Charger in his Mustang GT-390. After Bullitt, filmmakers began exploring the possibilities of cars on film. New, exciting cars were showcased like the new Dodge Challenger in Vanishing Point to the new Mustang Mach 1 in Diamonds are Forever.
For The French Connection, William Friedkin’s 1971 film based on Robin Moore’s book about intrepid NYPD cops Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, the car chase formula was injected with something new. Rather than the super-cool hero coolly chasing a villain in his super-cool car, the film places its ragged protagonist off-duty cop in an ordinary sedan commandeered from a civilian. Not only that, but this villain isn’t in a car; rather, he has hijacked an elevated train as Popeye is forced to race the train to each stop. Continue reading