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Burt Reynolds in White Lightning

Burt Reynolds as "Gator" McKlusky in White Lightning.

Burt Reynolds as “Gator” McKlusky in White Lightning (1973).

Vitals

Burt Reynolds as Bobby “Gator” McKlusky, paroled moonshine runner and Marine Corps veteran

Bogan County, Arkansas, Summer 1973

Film: White Lightning
Release Date: August 8, 1973
Director: Joseph Sargent
Costume Designer: Michael Butler

Background

White Lightning was arguably the first of what would be deemed “hick flicks”, a series of rural-themed films that became popular in the ’70s. The story was usually the same, an anti-hero would use his muscle car to face off against a corrupt, and usually fat, Southern lawman with illegal booze as the story’s MacGuffin. Burt Reynolds was strongly associated with this subgenre, kicking off with his appearance in White Lightning, the more lighthearted sequel Gator, and the wildly popular Smokey and the Bandit. This first, 1973’s sweltering Southern adventure White Lightning, is the grittiest and my favorite of this trio. Continue reading

Three Days of the Condor

Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Joe Turner, alias “Condor”, CIA researcher

New York City, December 1975

Film: Three Days of the Condor
Release Date: September 24, 1975
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In a July 2012 article of GQ, Sydney Pollack’s masterpiece paranoia government thriller Three Days of the Condor was named one of “The 25 Most Stylish Films of All Time.” Pollack apparently was shocked by questions about the wardrobe worn by Robert Redford, saying “He wore one outfit through the whole picture!”

True as that may be, Redford’s versatile costume throughout fits the character of Joe Turner, a desk-bound ex-military bookworm who finds himself in dangerous circumstances despite a relatively non-dangerous job with the CIA. Codenamed “Condor” by his CIA supervisors, Turner is “literally out to lunch” when a professional hit squad wipes out all of his co-workers, sending Turner on the run with no one to trust but a complete stranger, a troubled photographer that he takes hostage named Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway), and presses into service to help him. Continue reading