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The Candidate: Robert Redford’s Tweed Sport Jacket

Robert Redford and Karen Carlson in The Candidate (1972)

Robert Redford and Karen Carlson in The Candidate (1972)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Bill McKay, charismatic lawyer-turned-senatorial candidate

California, Spring through Fall 1972

Film: The Candidate
Release Date: June 29, 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris
Costume Supervisor: Bernie Pollack

Background

In case my fellow Americans’ phones haven’t been buzzing with incessant reminders about it… this Tuesday is Election Day!

Fifty years ago, American electoral politics were lampooned in The Candidate, starring Robert Redford as Bill McKay, an idealistic California lawyer tapped to run for a supposedly unwinnable seat in the U.S. Senate.

Inspired by screenwriter Jeremy Larner’s own experiences working on Senator Eugene McCarthy’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency in ’68, The Candidate chronicles the unpredictable insanity of American politics ranging from the mundane to the dramatic. Continue reading

The Electric Horseman: Robert Redford’s Denim Western Style

Robert Redford in The Electric Horseman (1979)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Norman “Sonny” Steele, championship rodeo rider-turned-cowboy cereal spokesman

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, Fall 1978

Film: The Electric Horseman
Release Date: December 21, 1979
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack

Background

I’ve been feeling romantic leading up to my wedding this weekend, so today’s fall-inspired fashions come by way of The Electric Horseman, Robert Redford’s fifth collaboration with director Sydney Pollack.

Redford plays Sonny Steele, the eponymous equestrian and former rodeo champion turned cynical after selling out to hock cereal touted as “a champ’s way to start a better day!” Continue reading

Dr. No: Bond’s Gray Mohair Suit and Walther in Jamaica

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No (1962)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated and resourceful British government agent

Morgan’s Harbour, Jamaica, Spring 1962

Film: Dr. No
Release Date: October 5, 1962
Director: Terence Young
Wardrobe Master: John Brady
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

With the release of Dr. No sixty years ago today, October 5 has since been immortalized as Global James Bond Day in commemoration of when Sean Connery first uttered that now-iconic character introduction:

Bond. James Bond.

Dr. No had actually been Ian Fleming’s sixth novel featuring the worldly secret agent, set primarily in Jamaica as he penned the novel from his Jamaican estate Goldeneye. The author had tired of the character and left Bond’s fate somewhat ambiguous at the end of his previous novel From Russia With Love, though ultimately choosing that the agent would live to die another day and beginning Dr. No with 007’s recovery from the poison inflicted by the sharp-shoed Rosa Klebb.

Back to relatively full health, Bond finds his punishment in the form of a simple assignment meant to ease him back into duty (and possibly penalize him for letting his guard down), investigating the disappearance of a station chief and his secretary in Jamaica. There, Bond learns that the late chief had been investigating an eccentric recluse with the equally eccentric name of Doctor Julius No (Joseph Wiseman). With the help of his CIA buddy Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) and local contact Quarrel (John Kitzmiller), Bond ultimately determines that he and his newly issued Walther owe the good bad doctor a long-overdue visit. Continue reading

Bond’s Nehru Jacket in Dr. No

Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in Dr. No

Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in Dr. No (1962)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated and resourceful British government agent

Crab Key, Jamaica, Spring 1962

Film: Dr. No
Release Date: October 5, 1962
Director: Terence Young
Wardrobe Master: John Brady
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the cinematic James Bond, as screen-going audiences who may have missed the 1954 Climax! episode starring Barry Nelson as the American agent “Jimmy” Bond were properly introduced in 1962 to the debonair yet dangerous 007 embodied by Sean Connery.

It was sixty years ago today—March 30, 1962—when principal photography was completed on Dr. No, whose modest million-dollar budget belied its significance as of the first installment of what would become one of the longest-running franchises in movie history.

While a few ingredients were yet to be finessed, it was Dr. No that established many of the hallmarks of the series, from Monty Norman’s iconic theme song as arranged by John Barry to our hero’s “shaken, not stirred” vodka martinis and his signature introduction:

Bond. James Bond.

Continue reading

The Deep: Nick Nolte’s Chambray Shirt at Sea

Nick Nolte as David Sanders in The Deep (1977)

Nick Nolte as David Sanders in The Deep (1977)

Vitals

Nick Nolte as David Sanders, vacationing scuba diver

Off the Bermuda coast, Summer 1976

Film: The Deep
Release Date: June 17, 1977
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Ron Talsky

Background

Okay, yes, I acknowledge that one of the few reasons anyone might still be talking about The Deep more than 40 years later is… well, the same reason anyone talked about it when it was released.

The Deep‘s enduring cultural significance indeed resulted from a costuming decision, though not related to anything Nick Nolte wore but rather Jacqueline Bisset’s simple but oh-so-memorable white tee during the underwater opening sequence.

Jacqueline Bisset in The Deep (1977)

Costume designer Ron Talsky’s on-screen credit appeared next to arguably his most famous wardrobe choice.

Once I registered what all the fuss was about, I also observed that Nolte—playing Bisset’s partner, David Sanders—begins the movie wearing an aquatic-adjacent outfit appropriate for gents developing their spring-to-summer transitional wardrobe or dressing for any seagoing getaways over Memorial Day weekend. Continue reading

The Candidate: Robert Redford’s Navy Striped Campaign Suit

Robert Redford as Bill McKay in The Candidate (1972)

Robert Redford as Bill McKay in The Candidate (1972)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Bill McKay, charismatic lawyer-turned-senatorial candidate

San Francisco to Los Angeles, Summer through Fall 1972

Film: The Candidate
Release Date: June 29, 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Design: Patricia Norris
Costume Supervisor: Bernie Pollack

Background

Tomorrow is Election Day here in the United States… though I doubt anyone has missed the memo given the barrage of emails, texts, social media posts, and more designed to serve as reminders and instructions.

Avoiding any discussion of this year’s contentious political arena, let’s step back nearly 50 years to the early 1970s when Robert Redford was seeking to work again with director Michael Ritchie after their first collaboration in Downhill Racer (1969). The duo reportedly former political writer Jeremy Larner to pen what would become an Academy Award-winning screenplay chronicling “a candidate who sold his soul.” Larner had worked as a speechwriter for Senator Eugene McCarthy during McCarthy’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968, using this experience to draft the story of Bill McKay, the activist lawyer from California tapped to challenge the popular Republican incumbent in the battle for a U.S. Senate seat.

Continue reading

The Mechanic: Charles Bronson’s Black Leather Racer Jacket

Charles Bronson as Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic (1972). Photo by MGM.

Charles Bronson as Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic (1972). Photo by MGM.

Vitals

Charles Bronson as Arthur Bishop, disciplined but depressed contract killer

Los Angeles to Naples, Italy, Fall 1972

Film: The Mechanic
Release Date: November 17, 1972
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Lambert Marks

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

After serving in supporting roles for many great Westerns and war movies of the ’60s⁠—including The Magnificent SevenThe Great EscapeThe Dirty Dozen, and Once Upon a Time in the West⁠—Hollywood was ready for Charles Bronson to take on leading roles that would establish him as one of the greatest silver screen “tough guys” of all time.

The Mechanic starred Bronson as Arthur Bishop, a skilled assassin whose quiet, luxurious lifestyle is disrupted when he takes on a protégé, Steve McKenna (Jan-Michael Vincent), the hotheaded, sociopathic son of his former boss “Big Harry” (Keenan Wynn) who he was assigned to kill. Arthur begins mentoring Steve after Big Harry’s death, taking the narcissistic young man flying, giving him shooting lessons, and eventually bringing him along for several hits.

Continue reading

Bond’s Cream Safari Jacket and Tie in The Man with the Golden Gun

Roger Moore, flanked by co-stars Maud Adams and Britt Ekland, in his second film as James Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Roger Moore, flanked by co-stars Maud Adams and Britt Ekland, in his second film as James Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Vitals

Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent

Macau, Spring 1974

Film: The Man with the Golden Gun
Release Date: December 20, 1974
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Cyril Castle
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell

Background

Following the release of Orlebar Brown’s 007-inspired collection earlier this year, the company’s take on Roger Moore’s green safari jacket from The Man with the Golden Gun renewed my interest in the actor’s sophomore adventure as James Bond which also happened to be the first 007 movie I had ever seen.

After Bond retrieves a gold bullet during his rendezvous with Saida the belly dancer, Q identifies the soft 23-karat gold dum-dum bullet plopped from Saida’s navel as a product of Portuguese gunmaker Lazar (Marne Maitland), currently living in Macau.

“An unexpected honor, Mr. Bond,” Lazar greets him. “Your reputation precedes you.” Well… so much for that whole “secret agent” thing. Continue reading

Bond Style: Lazenby’s Cream Suit and Aston Martin

George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Vitals

George Lazenby as James Bond, smooth British secret agent

Estoril, Portugal, September 1969

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Tailor: Dimi Major
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius

Background

This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, often considered among the best of the James Bond canon. George Lazenby, the Australian actor who batted 1000 with OHMSS as his sole outing as 007, has also activated his Instagram presence this year, sharing photos of himself in many of the same locations he had made famous a half-century ago as the world’s most famous secret agent.

George’s #OHMSS50 tour included calling on the celebrated Palácio Estoril, the Portuguese hotel where his James Bond spent the early scenes of OHMSS chasing and seducing Diana Rigg’s character, Teresa “Tracy” di Vincenzo. During the visit, he even interacted with many of the hotel’s staff who were still in the Palácio Estoril’s employ 50 years after their on-screen cameos.

Today, on the 00-7th of July, let’s take a look at the timeless summer-friendly style that Lazenby’s James Bond wore when he pulled his Aston Martin into the parking lot at Palácio Estoril some fifty years ago. Continue reading

Bond’s Green Safari Jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun

Roger Moore as James Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Roger Moore as James Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Vitals

Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent

Bangkok, Thailand, Spring 1974

Film: The Man with the Golden Gun
Release Date: December 20, 1974
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Cyril Castle
Clothes by: Jimmy Chen
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell

Background

Today marks the momentous 20th anniversary of the first time I’d ever seen a James Bond movie. June 19, 1999, was the first Saturday of my summer vacation after 4th grade, and my friend Nate was hosting a dozen friends for his 10th birthday party. Among the pizza, pop, and festivities was a rented copy of The Man with the Golden Gun on VHS… and thus Roger Moore was my introduction to agent 007.

Arguably one of the most iconic outfits—for better or worse—from Moore’s sophomore outing is the green safari shirt-jacket and cream trousers that the agent wears when he arrives to meet Andrea Anders (Maud Adams) at a Muay Thai match to take possession of the film’s MacGuffin, a solex agitator.

Continue reading