Tagged: Shotgun

True Detective – Ray Velcoro’s Dark Western-Yoked Jacket

Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro on the second season of True Detective (after ditching the mustache and bolo tie that defined the character's early-season look.)

Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro on the second season of True Detective (after ditching the mustache and bolo tie that defined the character’s early-season look.)

Vitals

Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro, troubled and crooked Vinci PD detective

Ventura County, California, fall 2014 to spring 2015

Series: True Detective
Season: 2
Air Dates: June 21, 2015 – August 9, 2015
Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Costume Designer: Alix Friedberg

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The second season of HBO’s True Detective is, in my opinion, better judged when on its own than against its masterful and delightfully idiosyncratic first season. The second season brought together Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, and Vince Vaughn in an acid neo-noir more in the pulp crime tradition of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler’s worlds than that of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart.

Even the show’s fictional and corrupt berg of Vinci, California, shares some undeniable similarities with the Bay City of Chandler’s Philip Marlowe novels, though it was indeed based on the rough industrial city of Vernon, where it was partially filmed.

Our self-destructive, repressed, and expendable cop protagonists, portrayed by the Farrell-McAdams-Kitsch triad, practice maverick techniques that border on impropriety but their ideals and values align them with the incorruptible Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade… naturally leading to the straight-out-of-pulp “last stand” holed up in a secluded motel room with seemingly endless bottles of whiskey. Continue reading

No Country for Old Men: Llewelyn’s Carhartt Chore Coat

Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men (2007)

Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men (2007)

Vitals

Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss, welder, hunter, and Vietnam veteran

Terrell County, Texas, Summer 1980

Film: No Country for Old Men
Release Date: November 9, 2007
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

As the Monday after Thanksgiving marks the start of deer hunting season here in western Pennsylvania, today seems a fitting day to revisit one of my favorite hunters from modern cinema, Josh Brolin’s laconic Llewelyn Moss in the Coen Bros. masterpeice No Country for Old Men. Continue reading

The Untouchables: Ness’ Leather Jacket

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987)

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987)

Vitals

Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, honest and intrepid federal agent

Canadian border, September 1930

Film: The Untouchables
Release Date: June 3, 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance
Wardrobe: Giorgio Armani

Background

Eliot Ness joins the other “untouchables” on an action-packed mission to the Canadian border following a tip that Al Capone would be importing a shipment of booze. With the help of the Mounties who aren’t yet versed in “the Chicago way”, Ness and his band of three are able to successfully halt the shipment and get their hands on a nervous informant who’s willing to talk… once he stops “muckin’ with the G here,” of course.

The mission comes at the expense of Ness having to take a life in the line of duty. Following some counseling from his cop buddy Jim Malone (“He’s as dead as Julius Caesar… would you rather it was you?”), Ness is able to absolve himself of his guilt and returns home to discover that his wife has given birth to their son. Continue reading

Llewelyn Moss: Cream-and-Brown Plaid Shirt

Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men (2007)

Vitals

Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss, taciturn welder, hunter, and Vietnam veteran

Del Rio, Texas, to Mexico, Summer 1980

Film: No Country for Old Men
Release Date: November 9, 2007
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Having found two million dollars in a briefcase at the scene of a drug deal gone sour, laconic welder Llewelyn Moss also finds himself the target of multiple groups of criminals.

Moss packs up his wife (Kelly MacDonald) and heads to the border town of Del Rio, Texas, where he shacks up in a motel. Eventually, Llewelyn is forced to face the fact that he’s not as wily as he thinks… however, he is crafty. Continue reading

Sean Connery’s Brown Corduroy Jacket in The Untouchables

Sean Connery as Jim Malone in The Untouchables (1987)

Sean Connery as Jim Malone in The Untouchables (1987)

Vitals

Sean Connery as Jim Malone, tough and honest Chicago beat cop

Chicago, September 1930

Film: The Untouchables
Release Date: June 3, 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The Untouchables is a highly entertaining – yet highly fictionalized – saga of the successful legal campaign to bring down Al Capone’s criminal enterprise that terrorized Chicago through the 1920s with an all-star cast including Robert De Niro as Capone himself.

Eliot Ness had made a name for himself in the final years of Chicago’s beer wars as a relentless Prohibition agent, and he would use his fame decades later to pen The Untouchables, a memoir in which he credits himself with practically single-handedly sending Capone to prison. In real life, Ness’ raids were indeed disruptive, but it was the work of modest investigators U.S. Attorney George E.Q. Johnson and IRS agent Frank Wilson that eventually led to the charges that successfully convicted Capone. Continue reading

Gene Hackman’s Tweed Suit as Buck Barrow

Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons as Buck and Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons as Buck and Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Vitals

Gene Hackman as “Buck” Barrow, bank robber, ex-convict, and family man

Texas, May 1933

Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

Happy birthday to Gene Hackman, who turns 86 years old today!

Bonnie and Clyde marked the first major role for Hackman, who had spent much of the ’60s as a struggling actor who shared rooms with fellow struggling actors Dustin Hoffman and Robert Duvall. 1967 turned out to be a banner year for the friends and roommates, earning Hackman and Hoffman their first Academy Award nominations.

Hackman brings an easygoing charm to the role of the more famous Clyde’s older brother Buck, and the film gets many of the “on paper” details right about Buck. As Clyde’s older brother, he had more experience tangling with the law and spent the first few months of Clyde’s criminal career in the Texas state prison. He had escaped once, but – as Hackman tells Warren Beatty’s Clyde – it was his new wife Blanche that talked him into returning to prison to serve out the rest of his sentence, and he would be pardoned 15 months later. Buck and Blanche journeyed to visit Bonnie and Clyde, ostensibly for a reunion and possibly for Buck to try and talk Clyde into following his good example. Of course, the murder of two Joplin policemen during this reunion meant Buck would be wanted again as well, and the brothers led the motley “Barrow Gang” in a string of small-town stickups and kidnappings over the next three months. Continue reading

Joe Kidd’s Tweed Suit

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd in Joe Kidd (1972).

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd in Joe Kidd (1972).

Vitals

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd, laconic hunter and former bounty hunter

New Mexico, Spring 1902

Film: Joe Kidd
Release Date: July 14, 1972
Director: John Sturges

Background

Penned by Elmore Leonard, Joe Kidd is a unique revisionist Western starring Clint Eastwood as the titular ex-bounty hunter who finds himself reluctantly hired to join a posse tracking down a group of Mexican revolutionaries fighting for land reform.

Although the Joe Kidd character could be interchanged with any of Eastwood’s usual taciturn and iron-willed Western heroes (not that he’s any less entertaining for it!), the movie benefits from its interesting and oft-ignored setting and context as well as the usual Elmore Leonard touch of an array of unique characters populating the film’s world.

At the outset, Joe is locked up in the small town of Sinola, New Mexico as he awaits his trial for poaching. When he is asked if he knew it was illegal to hunt on reservation land, Joe responds:

Well the deer didn’t know where he was, and I wasn’t sure either.

What’d He Wear?

Audiences had become well-acquainted with the sight of Clint Eastwood’s familiar “Man With No Name” guise in Westerns, so it must have caught many audiences off-guard when Joe Kidd is first introduced in a suit – albeit, a raggedly worn one after his night in the slammer. Continue reading