Tagged: Pilot

Top Gun – Maverick’s G-1 Flight Jacket

Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (1986)

Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (1986)

Vitals

Tom Cruise as LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, hotshot United States Naval Aviator

NAS Miramar near San Diego, Summer 1985

Film: Top Gun
Release Date: May 16, 1986
Director: Tony Scott
Costume Design: Wingate Jones, John Napolitano, Bobbie Read, and James W. Tyson

Background

On March 3, 1969 the United States Navy established an elite school for the top one percent of its pilots. Its purpose was to teach the lost art of aerial combat and to insure[sic] that the handful of men who graduated were the best fighter pilots in the world.

They succeeded.

Today, the Navy calls it Fighter Weapons School. The flyers call it: TOP GUN.

In 1922, the same year that the U.S. Navy commissioned its first aircraft carrier, Navy Day was established to commemorate the birthday of Theodore Roosevelt, whose vast accomplishments included serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy before the ascended to the presidency. On Navy Day, it’s hard to think of a movie more associated with the United States’ naval warfare branch than Top Gun, which celebrated the talents and competition among U.S. Naval Aviators.

Continue reading

Army of Shadows: Jardie’s Pilot Coat

Jean-Pierre Cassel as Jean-François Jardie in Army of Shadows (1969)

Jean-Pierre Cassel as Jean-François Jardie in Army of Shadows (1969)

Vitals

Jean-Pierre Cassel as Jean-François Jardie, dashing French pilot and resistance operative

France, Winter 1942

Film: Army of Shadows
(French title: L’armée des ombres)
Release Date: September 12, 1969
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Costume Designer: Colette Baudot

Background

Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1969 French Resistance epic, released at a volatile time for France and the world at large, was barely seen by the rest of the world until decades later. Army of Shadows officially debuted in the United States in 2006 and quickly shot to the top of many critics’ “best of the year” lists.

Continue reading

Catch Me If You Can – Pan Am Uniform

Need a costume this weekend for Halloween that’s identifiable but still looks good? James Bond and Don Draper are good go-tos, but those “costumes” can also be worn on a day to day basis. For an original and sharp 60s-style Halloween costume, consider a Pan Am uniform reminiscent of Frank Abagnale’s co-pilot outfit in Catch Me If You Can.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can (2002).

Vitals

Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr., international teenage con man posing as Pan Am pilot Frank Black, aka Frank Taylor, aka Frank Roberts

Pretty much anywhere in the world, notably New York, Miami, and France, 1960s

Film: Catch Me If You Can
Release Date: December 25, 2002
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres

Background

By the time he was 19, Frank Abagnale, Jr., had amassed millions of dollars posing as a college teaching assistant, a lawyer, a doctor, and – most notably – a Pan Am co-pilot.

Choosing to imitate a pilot in order to fly around the world for free, Abagnale called Pan Am to ask for a “replacement” uniform, decorated it with a forced FAA pilot’s license, and flew over 1,000,000 miles on over 250 flights in 2 years. After flying to 26 countries with travel, lodging, and food all expensed to Pan Am, Abagnale was captured in Europe. Continue reading