Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, Depression-era bank robber and gang leader
Pilot Point, TX, Summer 1933
Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle
It was around this time in late November 1932 that an awkward and maladjusted Texas hoodlum decided he wanted to make the jump from armed robber and spree killer to big-time bank-robbing gang leader. Now 23 years old, Clyde Barrow already had numerous arrests dating back to an aborted attempt to steal a rental car and impress a girlfriend (not Bonnie, in case you’re curious.) He’d spent two years in prison, having endured sexual and physical abuse for most of it, and now graced headlines of small Texas newspapers with the notoriety of a gutless killer with the blood of two shopkeepers and a deputy sheriff attributed to him (not to mention that of the most abusive inmate from his prison stretch).
With the support of his vulnerable girlfriend, Bonnie Parker, and two Texas nobodies who shared his dreams of taking a major bank score, Clyde set out for the Farmers and Miners Bank in Oronago, Missouri on November 30, 1932. Bonnie had already visited the bank the previous day to case it, but the inexperienced girl drew only suspicious stares from its employees rather than a master plan for robbery. Undeterred by her lack of success, Clyde loaded his Browning Automatic Rifle – stolen from a Texas National Guard armory three months earlier – and charged into the bank around 11:30 a.m. with accomplice Frank Hardy. Things didn’t quite go according to plan. Continue reading
Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff, Chicago con artist posing as a betting parlor operator
Chicago, September 1936
Film: The Sting
Release Date: December 25, 1973
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head
It’s been almost a year since I’ve covered the classy Henry Gondorff, played by Paul Newman in 1973’s The Sting, so what would be more appropriate for New Year’s Eve than to break down Gondorff in black tie. Continue reading
Cary Grant as Brian Cruikshank (aka Peter Joshua, Alexander Dyle, or Adam Canfield)
Paris, April 1963
Release Date: December 5, 1963
Director: Stanley Donen
Referred to as “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made”, Charade is a well-made blend of espionage thriller, screwball comedy, romance, and whodunit mystery. It was one of Cary Grant’s final movies before his retirement after Walk, Don’t Run in 1966.
In the film, Grant plays the well-suited hero or foil (depending on the scene) to Audrey Hepburn’s character, housewife Regina “Reggie” Lampert, who is gradually learning the layered criminal truth about her recently deceased husband. Although he was 59 years old when the film was made, Grant makes a convincing action hero, spending most of the final third of the film running, jumping, and shooting.
As to be expected, Grant is immaculately suited through most of the film.
On the 109th anniversary of Grant’s birth—when he entered the world in Bristol, England, as Archibald Leach on January 18, 1904—please enjoy… Continue reading