Dean Martin as Matt Helm, smooth secret agent
New Mexico to French Riviera, Summer 1966
Film: Murderers’ Row
Release Date: December 20, 1966
Director: Henry Levin
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry
Tailor: Sy Devore
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today is National Wear Red Day, observed the first Friday of February to raise awareness of the dangers of the heart disease. In recognition, I wanted to feature an example of a movie or TV character prominently wearing red beyond just the usual red shirts, sweaters, or ties. Enter Matt Helm.
Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, New York mob associate and ex-con
Queens, NY, December 1978
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno
Following the record-breaking Lufthansa heist on December 11, 1978, Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) hosted a few of his nearest, dearest, and soon-to-be-deadest Mafia pals over to Robert’s Lounge for some Christmas cheer.
Robert’s Lounge was a real-life mob hangout in South Ozone Park, Queens, only a few miles away from the Lufthansa terminal at JFK International Airport (formerly Idlewild) from which Jimmy’s crew had just stolen more than $5.8 million in cash and jewels. Robert’s Lounge hosted both the planning and the celebration of the crime. Continue reading
Mickey Rourke as Robert “Boogie” Sheftell, part-time law student, hair stylist, and degenerate gambler
Baltimore, Christmas 1959
Release Date: March 5, 1982
Director: Barry Levinson
Costume Designer: Gloria Gresham
This Car Week segment ends with a holiday-focused look at the ’57 Chevy driven by Mickey Rourke in Diner. Continue reading
Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate
Las Vegas, Fall 1980
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn
It’s now December, a chilly month that means seeing plenty of red everywhere to celebrate the holiday season. For my office’s upcoming Christmas party, I’ll be choosing to channel the memorable red-and-black custom-made ensemble that Robert De Niro wore as idiosyncratic casino executive Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino.
The real Ace – Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal – was reportedly a loud dresser himself, known for sporting loud pastels and bold earth tones. Rosenthal’s shirtmaker, Anto Beverly Hills, was even contracted by the filmmakers to delve into its own archives to recreate Lefty’s distinctive shirts and ties for De Niro to wear on screen. Continue reading
Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, Jersey mob associate and aspiring screenwriter
New York City, Spring 1998
Series: The Sopranos
Episodes: “A Hit is a Hit” (Episode 1.10) and “D-Girl” (Episode 2.07)
Air Dates: March 14, 1999 (1.10) and February 27, 2000 (2.07)
Directors: Matthew Penn (1.10) and Allen Coulter (2.07)
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa
Although a bit late for this Valentine’s Day (and my self-proclaimed #MafiaMonday), this post explores a creative integration of red into a man’s outfit. While some – and, likely, most – will consider it over-the-top, the character in question isn’t exactly known for his good taste.
For date nights in New York City with Adriana, Chris likes to show off his gangster status by donning his two favorite wardrobe colors: red and black. The pairing of a red sport coat with black trousers and shirt evokes a look made famous by Robert De Niro in Casino. Given Christopher’s obsession with mob movies (and Martin Scorsese), it would make sense that he would choose to mimic an outfit from one of the best-known mob movies sported by the genre’s undisputed maestro. Continue reading