Tagged: Private Detective

After the Thin Man: Nick Charles’ Light Double-Breasted Suit for the New Year

William Powell and Myrna Loy in After the Thin Man (1936)... with Skippy as Asta

William Powell and Myrna Loy in After the Thin Man (1936)… with Skippy as Asta

Vitals

William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective

San Francisco, New Year’s Eve 1936

Film: After the Thin Man
Release Date: December 25, 1936
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Wardrobe Credit: Dolly Tree

Background

Happy New Year! Dashiell Hammett and “One-Take Woody” Van Dyke continued the runaway success of The Thin Man by reuniting William Powell and Myrna Loy as crime-solving power couple Nick and Nora Charles, coming home to San Francisco after solving the famous “Thin Man” case during their holiday in New York. The three-day train ride returns Nick and Nora to the City by the Bay just in time for New Year’s Eve, where they find their home commandeered by revelers that have already kicked off their celebrations.

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A Magnum, P.I. Christmas: The Burgundy Rugby Shirt

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum on Magnum, P.I. (Episode 1.18: "Beauty Knows No Pain")

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum on Magnum, P.I. (Episode 1.18: “Beauty Knows No Pain”)

Vitals

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, private investigator and former Navy SEAL

Hawaii, Christmas 1980 to Summer 1981

Series: Magnum, P.I.
Episodes:
– “Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too” (Episode 1.04, dir. Bruce Seth Green, aired 12/25/1980)
– “Lest We Forget” (Episode 1.10, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 2/12/1981)
– “Beauty Knows No Pain” (Episode 1.18, dir. Ray Austin, aired 4/16/1981)
– “Dead Man’s Channel” (Episode 2.02, dir. Ray Austin, aired 10/15/1981)
Creator: Donald P. Bellisario & Glen Larson
Costume Designer: Charles Waldo (credited with first season only)
Costume Supervisor: James Gilmore

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In perhaps an early Christmas gift to the TV-watching world, Magnum, P.I. debuted on CBS forty years ago tonight on December 11, 1980, when the two-parter “Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii” introduced us to a charming, bewhiskered private investigator living the dream life on a Hawaiian estate with a sleek red Ferrari and a full closet of Aloha shirts at his disposal.

Four episodes in, Magnum, P.I. aired its first holiday-set episode when “Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too” aired on Christmas night, 1980. The series would revisit the holidays once more during the fourth season’s more festively titled “Operation: Silent Night”, though Magnum spends most of the episode clad in his drab tank top and bush shirt rather than the more colorful, creative outfit he wears while spending the holidays foiled by schoolteacher Linda Booton (Katherine Cannon) and her larcenous young wards.

Tom Selleck and Katherine Cannon in Magnum, P.I.'s first season Christmas-set episode "Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too".

Tom Selleck and Katherine Cannon in Magnum, P.I.‘s first season Christmas-set episode “Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too”.

With just two weeks to go to Christmas on this #AlohaFriday, I wanted to wish BAMF Style readers a happy holiday season by delving into a yuletide-themed episode from one of my favorite series!

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Mitchum as Marlowe: Farewell, My Lovely

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

Vitals

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, sharp-tongued private investigator

Los Angeles, Summer 1941

Film: Farewell, My Lovely
Release Date: August 8, 1975
Director: Dick Richards
Men’s Wardrobe Credit: G. Tony Scarano

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Robert Mitchum had been credentialed in film noir for more than a generation (as explored in Saturday’s #Noirvember post) before the actor first took on the role of Raymond Chandler’s iconic private eye, Philip Marlowe. Based on an Edgar Allen Poe Award-winning screenplay by David Zulag Goodman, Dick Richards’ adaptation of Chandler’s 1940 novel Farewell, My Lovely premiered just two days after Mitchum’s 58th birthday, making the actor almost double the age of the character he portrayed… but his grizzled presence is just right as he navigates his way through the sordid City of Angels on the eve of the second world war:

This past spring was the first that I’d felt tired and realized I was growing old. Maybe it was the rotten weather we’d had in L.A., maybe it was the rotten case I’d had, mostly chasing a few missing husbands… and then chasing their wives once I found them in order to get paid. Or maybe it was just the plain fact that I am tired and growing old.

We find Mitchum’s Marlowe in media res “holed up in a dingy hotel, ducking the police,” staring under the brim of his ubiquitous hat through the neon and Philip Morris cigarette smoke. Continue reading

Meeting Magnum, P.I.: Navy Lacoste Shirt and Ferrari 308 GTS

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in the Magnum P.I. pilot episode, "Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii"

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in the Magnum P.I. pilot episode, “Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii”

Vitals

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, private investigator and former Navy SEAL

Hawaii, Spring 1980 to Summer 1981

Series: Magnum, P.I.
Episodes:
– “Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii, Part 1″ (Episode 1.01, dir. Roger Young, aired 12/11/1980)
– “No Need to Know” (Episode 1.05, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 1/8/1981)
– “Don’t Say Goodbye” (Episode 1.15, dir. Winrich Kolbe, aired 3/28/1981)
Creator: Donald P. Bellisario & Glen Larson
Costume Designer: Charles Waldo (credited with first season only)
Costume Supervisor: James Gilmore

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Let’s continue #CarWeek with one of the most famous and popular cars in TV history, the bright red Ferrari 308 GTS driven by Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) as a semi-permanent “guest” on author Robin Masters’ Hawaiian estate.

Today is a particularly suitable occasion to write about this set of wheels as we first meet Magnum⁠—and the Ferrari⁠—while our protagonist is clad in a Lacoste tennis shirt, innovated by French tennis icon and Renaissance man René Lacoste, who was born 116 years ago on July 2, 1904. Continue reading

The Rockford Files: Jim’s Black, White, and Pink Glenurquhart Check Jacket

James Garner as Jim Rockford on The Rockford Files (Episode 2.21: "Foul on the First Play")

James Garner as Jim Rockford on The Rockford Files (Episode 2.21: “Foul on the First Play”)

Vitals

James Garner as Jim Rockford, wisecracking private detective and ex-convict

Los Angeles, Fall 1975

Series: The Rockford Files
Episodes:
– “The Farnsworth Strategem” (Episode 2.02, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 9/19/1975)
– “The Deep Blue Sleep” (Episode 2.05, dir. William Wiard, aired 10/10/1975)
– “Pastoria Prime Pick” (Episode 2.11, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 11/28/1975)
– “The Girl in the Bay City Boys Club” (Episode 2.13, dir. James Garner, aired 12/19/1975)
– “Joey Blue Eyes” (Episode 2.17, dir. Meta Rosenberg, aired 1/23/1976)
– “Foul on the First Play” (Episode 2.21, dir. Lou Antonio, aired 3/12/1976)
Creator: Roy Huggins & Stephen J. Cannell
Costume Designer: Charles Waldo

Background

James Garner, one of my favorite actors, was born today in 1928. Shortly after his decorated Korean War service that provided him with the relevant background for his eventual role as “the scrounger” in The Great Escape (1963), Garner found early acting success in films like Sayonara (1957) and his breakout role on the ABC western series Maverick. Though he would enjoy an illustrious, varied career for six decades until his death of a heart attack in 2014, the role most associate with Garner is that of the affable, beach-dwelling private detective Jim Rockford on The Rockford Files.

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Daniel Craig in Knives Out

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out (2019)

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out (2019)

Vitals

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, “a private investigator of great renown”

Massachusetts, November 2018

Film: Knives Out
Release Date: November 27, 2019
Director: Rian Johnson
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagan

Background

Happy birthday to Daniel Craig, born 52 years ago today on March 2, 1968! While Craig is likely best known as the most recent actor to portray James Bond, one of his most celebrated recent roles has been his Golden Globe-nominated performance in Knives Out as Benoit Blanc, an idiosyncratic detective who describes himself as a “respectful, quiet, and passive observer of the truth.”

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Murder on the Orient Express: Kenneth Branagh’s Navy Suit as Poirot

Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Vitals

Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot, obsessive-compulsive Belgian detective

Orient Express, Winter 1934

Film: Murder on the Orient Express
Release Date: November 10, 2017
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Costume Designer: Alexandra Byrne

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Readers who have seen my posts focused on adaptations of And Then There Were NoneDeath on the Nile, and Evil Under the Sun are likely aware that I’ve been a fan of Agatha Christie’s mystery fiction since I was 10 years old. Thus, it’s a continued thrill to find her works thriving as studios on both sides of the pond continue to churn out lavish adaptations of her work a full century after she introduced the world to Hercule Poirot with the publication of her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920. In particular, David Suchet has been performing yeoman’s work as the quintessential Poirot across 70 episodes of an ITV-produced drama series that successfully—and relatively faithfully—adapted every novel and story that prominently featured Christie’s master detective.

In the spirit of contemporary BBC adaptations like The ABC MurdersAnd Then There Were NoneOrdeal by Innocence, and The Pale Horse, Kenneth Branagh helmed what’s now the fourth adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, arguably Christie’s best-known novel famous for its then-groundbreaking solution. Continue reading

Magnum, P.I.: Green Star Orchid Aloha Shirt

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in a promotional shot for Magnum, P.I.

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in a promotional shot for Magnum, P.I.

Vitals

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, private investigator and former Navy SEAL

Hawaii, Spring 1980 to Summer 1981

Series: Magnum, P.I.
Episodes:
– “Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii, Part 1″ (Episode 1.01, dir. Roger Young, aired 12/11/1980)
– “The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii” (Episode 1.08, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 1/29/1981)
– “Thicker Than Blood” (Episode 1.12, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 2/26/1981)
– “Billy Joe Bob” (Episode 2.01, dir. Ray Austin, aired 10/8/1981)
– “The Taking of Dick McWilliams” (Episode 2.10, dir. Winrich Kolbe, aired 12/1/1981
– “The Arrow That Is Not Aimed” (Episode 3.14, dir. James Frawley, aired 1/27/1983)
Creator: Donald P. Bellisario & Glen Larson
Costume Designer: Charles Waldo (credited with first season only)
Costume Supervisor: James Gilmore

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is the 75th birthday of Tom Selleck, who starred for eight seasons as the titular private eye, er, “investigator” on Magnum, P.I. Continue reading

The Long Goodbye: Elliott Gould as a 1970s Philip Marlowe

Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973)

Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973)

Vitals

Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe, wisecracking private investigator and “born loser”

Los Angeles, Summer 1972

Film: The Long Goodbye
Release Date: March 7, 1973
Director: Robert Altman
Men’s Costume Designer: Kent James (uncredited)

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I’m pleased to address a repeated request from BAMF Style leaders like Brandon and Craig to take a look at Elliott Gould’s scrappy attire as an equally scrappy Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye, maverick auteur Robert Altman’s adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s 1953 pulp novel of the same name.

It’s okay with me…

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Shaft’s Brown Leather Coat

Richard Roundtree as John Shaft in Shaft (1971)

Richard Roundtree as John Shaft in Shaft (1971)

Vitals

Richard Roundtree as John Shaft, tough private detective

New York City, January 1971

Film: Shaft
Release Date: June 25, 1971
Director: Gordon Parks
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi

Background

Almost 50 years after Richard Roundtree first stepped out onto a busy New York City street, John Shaft remains a cultural icon with the release of the fifth and latest installment of the Shaft canon that arrived in theaters this weekend.

Roundtree made his cinematic debut in 1971’s Shaft, establishing the blaxploitation genre and rapidly followed by two sequel movies and a short-lived TV show that all starred the former model as the tough private eye from Ernest Tidyman’s series of novels. Roundtree would reprise his role as John Shaft I—uncle of Samuel L. Jackson’s character—in Shaft (2000) and Shaft (2019)… yes, that’s three films in one series all named Shaft.

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