Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner, defense lawyer
Bodega Bay, California, Summer 1962
Film: The Birds
Release Date: March 28, 1963
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Wardrobe Supervisor: Rita Riggs
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today is the 60th anniversary of the release of The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock’s avian horror yarn adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s 1952 novella and a real-life incident in August 1961 as scores of birds crashed into the streets and rooftops of the central California town of Capitola.
The Birds centers around Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), an attractive travelers’ aid secretary from San Francisco whose flirtatious pranks with the charming attorney Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) lead about an hour north to the idyllic seaside village of Bodega Bay. Melanie’s surprise visit isn’t ultimately unwelcome, and Mitch invites her to join his little sister Cathy’s 11th birthday parry the following day. Continue reading
George Segal as Andy Kelp, jewel thief and locksmith
New York City, Summer 1971
Film: The Hot Rock
Release Date: January 26, 1972
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Ruth Morley
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
The start of spring this week means warmer weather ahead, with linen and seersucker replacing tweed and flannel at the front of my closet. One of my favorite cinematic seersucker suits is the colorfully appointed two-piece suit worn in The Hot Rock by George Segal, the prolific and versatile actor who died two years ago today on March 23, 2021. Continue reading
Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, substance-abusing country-rock star
Los Angeles, Spring 2017
Film: A Star is Born
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Director: Bradley Cooper
Costume Designer: Erin Benach
As the 65th annual Grammy Awards are tonight, I wanted to revisit a request from my friend @thestyleisnotenough to write about the country rock style from Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, the third remake of A Star is Born. I’ve already waxed poetic about his tan Runabout Goods trucker jacket, so—in the spirit of tonight’s music industry awards—let’s dive into the suit that Jackson Maine (Cooper) wears for the 2018 movie’s in-universe Grammys where his wife Ally (Lady Gaga) is being honored as the Best New Artist… quite possibly the very worst opportunity for a drunk and drugged-up Jack to clamber onto the stage and pee his pants as she accepts the award. Continue reading
Harry Styles as Jack Chambers, “technical engineer”
The Victory Project, an American desert utopia modeled after late 1950s Palm Springs
Film: Don’t Worry Darling
Release Date: September 23, 2022
Director: Olivia Wilde
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Jack Kasbarian
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
I had been among those who were anticipating the release of Don’t Worry Darling since long before the gossip, mostly excited to catch my faves Florence Pugh and Nick Kroll—supporting though his role may have been—against the lush ’50s-inspired style from costumes to cars as seen in leaked photos from the production in Palm Springs.
Much of the film’s attention has since been mired in controversy between behind-the-scenes issues and frustration over its plot execution, but I’d argue that credit is still considerably due to its showcasing the most aspirational aspects of mid-century life, including natty wardrobes, naughty cocktail parties, and Detroit’s chrome-detailed finest in every driveway. Indeed, you could say a little too much attention was paid to *clears throat* Styles over substance.
Okay, that was a cheap shot. While I won’t deny that I was frustrated by what felt like unnecessary red herrings and logistical storytelling holes that didn’t even last my trip to the fridge, Don’t Worry Darling was a dazzling spectacle anchored by a solid performance from the always-excellent Florence Pugh, who celebrates her 27th birthday today.
For this holiday treat, I again welcome BAMF Style contributor Ken Stauffer (@oceansographer on Instagram), here sharing his thoughtful analysis of a screen icon in a holiday classic.
Cary Grant as Dudley, debonair angel
New York City, December 1947
Film: The Bishop’s Wife
Release Date: December 9, 1947
Director: Henry Koster
Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff
Happy holidays, BAMF Style readers! To celebrate the season, we’re looking back at the Christmas classic The Bishop’s Wife, which premiered at the Astor Theater in Times Square exactly 75 years ago today. Interestingly, general audiences would not have a chance to see the movie until the following February, an odd marketing decision that shows how much the film industry has evolved over the years.
The film stars Cary Grant as Dudley, a literal angel on Earth, assigned to help Manhattan-based Episcopalian Bishop Henry Brougham, drolly performed by David Niven. While acting as the bishop’s assistant, Dudley finds himself drawn to his eponymous wife Julia, played by Loretta Young in an enchanting turn. Continue reading
Fred MacMurray as John “Jack” Sargent, smooth-talking New York prosecutor
New York to Indiana, Christmas 1938
Film: Remember the Night
Release Date: January 19, 1940
Director: Mitchell Leisen
Costume Designer: Edith Head
This year’s winter #CarWeek installment kicks off with a holly jolly hoosier holiday in Remember the Night, a 1940 romcom released at the outset of a decade that included many classics of Christmas cinema like The Shop Around the Corner (1940), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Holiday Inn (1942), Christmas in Connecticut (1945), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), The Bishop’s Wife (1947), It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), 3 Godfathers (1948), and Holiday Affair (1949). Yet before all those classics came Remember the Night, arguably one of the earliest major movies to recognize how compellingly Christmas, both at its loneliest and most celebratory, could be effectively woven into a story.
“While it has remained for decades mysteriously under the radar, its tender romance and comedy are so skillfully blended—and its use of Christmas so poignant—that it stands among the very best holiday movies,” describes Jeremy Arnold in the TCM volume Christmas in the Movies. Continue reading
Sidney Poitier as Dr. John Wade Prentice, widowed physician and professor
San Francisco, Spring 1967
Film: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Release Date: December 12, 1967
Director: Stanley Kramer
Costume Designer: Joe King
As we gear up for arguably the biggest family dinner of the year this week, I want to revisit one of the most famous “dinner movies” despite never actually seeing the titular meal on screen. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner broke ground upon its release 55 years ago for its positive portrayal of an interracial relationship when the white Joanna Drayton (Katharine Houghton) returns from a Hawaiian vacation with her new fiancé, a widowed black doctor named John Prentice (Sidney Poitier). Continue reading
Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, debonair and deadly vampire
Transylvania, Spring 1885
Film: Dracula, aka Horror of Dracula
Release Date: May 7, 1958
Director: Terence Fisher
Wardrobe Credit: Molly Arbuthnot
With less than a week until Halloween, I was inspired by a request from BAMF Style reader Jonathan last month to bite into the Hammer horror films, specifically Christopher Lee’s iconic debut as Count Dracula in the 1958 adaptation of Dracula, also released as Horror of Dracula in the United States to avoid confusion with the 1931 movie starring Bela Lugosi.
Lee makes the most of his scant seven minutes of screen-time, speaking only sixteen lines for the entirety but re-establishing Bram Stoker’s famous vampire as a tragic romantic anti-hero, albeit still the embodiment of evil that Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen) and Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) seek to destroy. Continue reading
Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway, impressionable bachelor and bond salesman
Long Island to New York City, Late Summer 1925
Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: March 29, 1974
Director: Jack Clayton
Costume Designer: Theoni V. Aldredge
Clothes by: Ralph Lauren
Just as the summer began with a look at Nick Carraway’s white linen suit as his portrayer Sam Waterston narrated his arrival at a pivotal dinner with the Buchanans in the 1974 cinematic adaptation of The Great Gatsby, let’s bring it to a close by looking at how Nick dresses when returning to their estate on the climactic afternoon of his 30th birthday, which likely would have been sometime around Labor Day. (The movie updated the setting to 1925, though F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel was set throughout the summer of 1922, which would have placed Nick’s birthday around 100 years ago today on Monday, September 4.)
On “just another Thursday,” I’m pleased to present another guest post contributed by my friend Ken Stauffer, who has written several pieces for BAMF Style previously and chronicles the style of the Ocean’s film series on his excellent Instagram account, @oceansographer.
Ryan Gosling as Courtland “Court” Gentry, a.k.a. Sierra Six, off-the-books CIA operative
London and Hong Kong, 2019
Film: The Gray Man
Release Date: July 22, 2022
Director: Joe and Anthony Russo
Costume Designer: Judianna Makovsky
Mr. Gosling’s Costumer: Mark Avery
If you haven’t checked out The Gray Man yet, it seems you’re in the minority. Released last month directly on Netflix, the film has consistently stayed on the streamer’s top watched list around the globe. Based on Mark Greaney’s popular book series, it’s a bit of a throwback to ’90s action movies, chock full of offhand quips and casual explosions, but modernized with drone shots and a popular, A-list cast. Continue reading