Tagged: South America

Bond Style – Dark Herringbone Tweed in Diamonds are Forever

Sean Connery as James Bond in Diamonds are Forever (1971)

Sean Connery as James Bond in Diamonds are Forever (1971)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent

South America, Spring 1971

Film: Diamonds are Forever
Release Date: December 17, 1971
Director: Guy Hamilton
Wardrobe Master: Ray Beck
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

Background

Making mud pies, 007?

Did you know that today, August 19, is National Potato Day? In Diamonds are Forever, James Bond’s hunt for vengeance after the events of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service leads him to an undisclosed location in search of his enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who has taken to cloning himself in order to form a group of decoy doubles to distract 007. Part of the pre-operation procedure consists of a volunteer decoy resting in an 80°F mud bath (while armed with a revolver, for some reason), and that’s where National Potato Day comes in. Continue reading

Quantum of Solace – Felix Leiter’s Striped Shirt

Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter in Quantum of Solace (2008)

Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter in Quantum of Solace (2008)

Vitals

Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, cynical CIA agent

Bolivia, Summer 2008

Film: Quantum of Solace
Release Date: October 31, 2008
Director: Marc Forster
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley

Background

The brilliant Jeffrey Wright was the first actor to reprise the mercurial role of Felix Leiter in consecutive Bond outings, appearing as the reliable if cynical CIA agent in Quantum of Solace two years after his introduction in Casino Royale. (David Hedison is the only actor to have played Felix twice: first with Roger Moore’s Bond in Live and Let Die in 1973, then reprising his role with Timothy Dalton’s Bond in 1989’s Licence to Kill.)

Ian Fleming wrote Felix Leiter to be the closest thing to a friend that James Bond would have, first described as a lanky Texan in the first literary Bond adventure Casino Royale. Leiter reappeared in the next novel, Live and Let Die, where he lost his leg in an incident that fans of the 007 cinematic universe would recollect from the events of Licence to Kill. Continue reading

Quantum of Solace – Bond’s Brown Suit

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Quantum of Solace (2008)

Vitals

Daniel Craig as James Bond, rogue British government agent

La Paz, Bolivia, August 2008

Film: Quantum of Solace
Release Date: October 31, 2008
Director: Marc Forster
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley

Background

The last post found us sailing down to Bolivia with the Sundance Kid, so let’s hang around and see what kind of trouble James Bond gets into in the same country for the 00-7th of April.

Exactly 100 years after Butch and Sundance met their fate in San Vicente, Daniel Craig’s rogue James Bond arrived in the country with his former MI6 handler Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini), where they are immediately interrupted by the efficient Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton, who recently expressed that she wouldn’t take the role if offered it today). Continue reading

The Tailor of Panama: Andy Osnard’s Check Sportcoat

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Vitals

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard, sleazy and shrewd MI6 agent

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

Pierce Brosnan had a reputation for playing smooth, dapper characters like Remington Steele, Thomas Crown, and – of course – James Bond, making it all the more entertaining when he traded in that image to play unapologetic cad Andy Osnard in John Boorman’s 2001 adaptation of John le Carré’s spy novel The Tailor of Panama.

Viewers at the time may have thought “Pierce Brosnan playing a British spy in an exotic setting? Won’t that just be James Bond?” John le Carré readers who were familiar with the book knew the answer was a resounding “Hell, no!” Continue reading

The Tailor of Panama: Harry Pendel’s Cream Suit

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001).

Vitals

Geoffrey Rush as Harry Pendel, tailor to Panama’s finest and ex-con

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

I tend to get grumpy about sartorial “rules”, including the snobbish American insistence that white can only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day. While I wouldn’t see much of a need to wear white (or that of its ilk) on a chilly winter day in Pittsburgh, it’s still frustrating to be informed what I can and can’t wear. For all of his faults, Boss Hogg deserves some credit for refusing to yield to arbitrary rules of dress and proudly wearing his white busting-at-the-seams three-piece suit all year round.

Luckily for Harry Pendel, this rule doesn’t apply in the tropical locale of Panama where the British expat (and ex-con) has set up his tailor shop. Harry is one of the few characters from his novels that John le Carré felt he could relate to, stating that “I was exploring the relationship between myself and my own fabricator. Anybody in the creative business, as you might call it, has some sense of guilt about fooling around with fact, that you’re committing larceny, that all of life is material for your fabulations.”

Director John Boorman said he always imagined Geoffrey Rush for the role. “You never lose sympathy for Geoffrey on screen, even when he does dreadful things,” explained Boorman. “There’s something worn yet innocent about him.” Continue reading

The Tailor of Panama: Andy Osnard’s Linen Suit

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001). His right arm is folded behind his back; he is not playing an amputee.

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (2001). His right arm is folded behind his back; he is not playing an amputee.

Vitals

Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard, sleazy and shrewd MI6 agent

Panama City, Fall 1999

Film: The Tailor of Panama
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson

Background

The Tailor of Panama, John Boorman’s darkly comic adaptation of John le Carré’s spy novel, presents Pierce Brosnan as we’d never seen him before.

“Yeah, a hard-drinking MI6 agent who beds women in exotic locales. Real switch-up for him,” you say, dubiously.

Of course, Brosnan’s character Andy Osnard could best be described as the anti-Bond. Continue reading

George Jung’s White Leisure Suit in Blow

Johnny Depp as George Jung in Blow (2001), from New Line Cinema.

Johnny Depp as George Jung in Blow (2001), from New Line Cinema.

Vitals

Johnny Depp as George Jung, international cocaine dealer

Miami to Colombia, Summer 1977

Film: Blow
Release Date: April 6, 2001
Director: Ted Demme
Costume Designer: Mark Bridges

Background

Pablo Escobar: So, you’re the man, huh? Who takes fifty kilos and make them disappear in one day.
George Jung: Actually, it was three days.

As a multimillion dollar-earning international drug dealer, George Jung was well-known to the drug culture and law enforcement by the time Bruce Porter’s 1993 book, Blow, was released. However, it was the Ted Demme-directed 2001 film of the same name that brought Jung’s life into the mainstream with Johnny Depp in the lead role. Continue reading