Steve McQueen as Jake Holman, maverick U.S. Navy Machinist’s Mate, 1st Class (MM1)
Yangtze River, China, Summer 1927 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
Daniel Craig as James Bond, “resurrected” British secret agent
Shanghai, Spring 2012
Release Date: November 9, 2012
Director: Sam Mendes
Costume Designer: Jany Temime
I’ve been on a Skyfall kick lately, so for the 007th of March I’ll once again be breaking down a sequence from James Bond’s latest cinematic adventure. Continue reading
Robert Redford as Joe Turner, alias “Condor”, CIA researcher
New York City, December 1975
Film: Three Days of the Condor
Release Date: September 24, 1975
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi
In a July 2012 article of GQ, Sydney Pollack’s masterpiece paranoia government thriller Three Days of the Condor was named one of “The 25 Most Stylish Films of All Time.” Pollack apparently was shocked by questions about the wardrobe worn by Robert Redford, saying “He wore one outfit through the whole picture!”
True as that may be, Redford’s versatile costume throughout fits the character of Joe Turner, a desk-bound ex-military bookworm who finds himself in dangerous circumstances despite a relatively non-dangerous job with the CIA. Codenamed “Condor” by his CIA supervisors, Turner is “literally out to lunch” when a professional hit squad wipes out all of his co-workers, sending Turner on the run with no one to trust but a complete stranger, a troubled photographer that he takes hostage named Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway), and presses into service to help him. Continue reading