Robert Redford as Hubbell Gardiner, privileged college student turned Hollywood screenwriter
Upstate New York, June 1937 and
Malibu, California, September 1947
Film: The Way We Were
Release Date: October 19, 1973
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Design: Dorothy Jeakins & Moss Mabry
As students are settling back into school after Labor Day, let’s make the acquaintance of Hubbell Gardiner, a privileged college student in 1930s America for whom “everything came too easily to him… but at least he knew it,” apropos his short story “The All-American Smile”. Hubbell’s scribbling earned the young man literary attention not only from publishers willing to pay for his work but also from Katie Morosky (Barbra Streisand), a radical classmate who puts the “active” in activist.
Humphrey Bogart as Harry Dawes, Hollywood director and screenwriter
Madrid, Spring 1951
Film: The Barefoot Contessa
Release Date: September 29, 1954
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Costume Designer: Rosi Gori (uncredited)
August 28 is National Bow Tie Day, believe it or not, so today’s post commemorates one of the most badass bow tie wearers of classic Hollywood, Humphrey Bogart.
Sidney Poitier as Mark Thackeray, novice high school teacher
London, June 1966
Film: To Sir, with Love
Release Date: June 14, 1967
Director: James Clavell
Wardrobe Supervisor: John Wilson Apperson
As many students are returning back to school at the end of August, BAMF Style takes a look at Sidney Poitier’s scholarly style as the patient teacher in To Sir, with Love, based on E.R. Braithwaite’s autobiographical novel from 1959. The film was produced, directed, and adapted for the screen by James Clavell, the prolific writer whose works include “the Asian Saga” (including Shōgun) and the screenplay for The Great Escape.
Sidney Poitier stars as Mark Thackeray, the determined teacher who takes his first appointment (or “job,” as he is politely corrected) instructing a senior class of troubled—and often troubling—high school students at the North Quay Secondary School in London’s East End just a few weeks before the students were scheduled to graduate.
Richard Burton as Dr. Edward Hewitt, self-righteous Episcopal boarding school headmaster
Big Sur, California, Spring 1965
Film: The Sandpiper
Release Date: June 23, 1965
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff
After fighting his own urges for the better part of the movie, uptight headmaster Dr. Edward Hewitt succumbs to romantic temptation. Edward tells his loving wife Claire (Eva Marie Saint) that he must depart for San Francisco to conduct a fundraising drive for his church but instead arrives at the beach home of Laura Reynolds (Elizabeth Taylor), the Bohemian mother of one of his students and the object of his obvious affections, and the two embark on a three-day romantic interlude against the stunning backdrop of Big Sur. Continue reading
Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent
Macau, Spring 1974
Film: The Man with the Golden Gun
Release Date: December 20, 1974
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Cyril Castle
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell
Following the release of Orlebar Brown’s 007-inspired collection earlier this year, the company’s take on Roger Moore’s green safari jacket from The Man with the Golden Gun renewed my interest in the actor’s sophomore adventure as James Bond which also happened to be the first 007 movie I had ever seen.
After Bond retrieves a gold bullet during his rendezvous with Saida the belly dancer, Q identifies the soft 23-karat gold dum-dum bullet plopped from Saida’s navel as a product of Portuguese gunmaker Lazar (Marne Maitland), currently living in Macau.
“An unexpected honor, Mr. Bond,” Lazar greets him. “Your reputation precedes you.” Well… so much for that whole “secret agent” thing. Continue reading
William Powell as Jim Wade, crusading assistant district attorney
New York City, Spring 1934
Film: Manhattan Melodrama
Release Date: May 4, 1934
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Costume Designer: Dolly Tree
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Happy birthday, William Powell! The suave actor was born July 29, 1892, in my hometown of Pittsburgh, though he moved to Kansas City as a teenager. He only stayed there three years before moving to New York at the age of 18 to pursue a career as an actor, eventually becoming one of the best known actors of Hollywood’s “golden era” with three Academy Award nominations for Best Actor recognizing his performances in The Thin Man (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Life with Father (1947).
Powell’s chemistry with Myrna Loy, most famously showcased as detective couple Nick and Nora Charles in the “Thin Man” series, made them one of the most iconic on-screen duos, though their first of 14 cinematic collaborations was Manhattan Melodrama in 1934. Continue reading
Fred Astaire as Tony Hunter, musical comedy star
New York, Spring 1953
Film: The Band Wagon
Release Date: August 7, 1953
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Costume Designer: Mary Ann Nyberg
On National Dance Day (July 27), who better to feature on BAMF Style than that most elegant, sophisticated, and talented of dancers, Fred Astaire. In particular, let’s look at an iconic dance sequence in The Band Wagon, that most homaged and visually spectacular of Astaire’s prolific filmography.
We encounter song and dance man Tony Hunter as he gets out his aggression about the Faustian creative direction of what was supposed to be his latest lighthearted musical comedy as well as his contentious relationship with his co-star, virtuoso ballerina Gabrielle Gerard (Cyd Charisse). Continue reading
Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr, charming studio wunderkind
Hollywood, February 1937
Series: The Last Tycoon
Episode: “An Enemy Among Us” (Episode 8)
Streaming Date: July 28, 2017
Director: Scott Hornbacher
Developed By: Billy Ray
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Do you celebrate Christmas in July? If so, do you struggle with finding just the right thing to wear for your holiday fun in the sun when celebrating with swimming pools and margaritas rather than snowmen and mulled wine?
On the much-too-short-lived Amazon original series The Last Tycoon, developed by Billy Ray from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished final novel, the young and dashing Hollywood hotshot Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer) is rarely seen in anything less than a beautifully tailored three-piece suit or white tie and tails, but he gives himself a sartorial break in the name of love and leisure for a warm February morning on the terrace with his new paramour, aspiring actress Kathleen Moore (Dominique McElligott).
Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, NASA astronaut and former U.S. Navy pilot
Houston, Texas, August 1962 through March 1966
Film: First Man
Release Date: October 12, 2018
Director: Damien Chazelle
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres
In addition to being my 30th birthday, today is also the 50th anniversary of when Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the surface of the Moon at 02:56:15 UTC on July 21, 1969, six hours after he and Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle as part of the Apollo 11 spaceflight, a mission also manned by command module pilot Michael Collins.
Last year, Damien Chazelle directed Ryan Gosling in First Man, a biopic focused on Neil Armstrong’s life and career through the 1960s from the tragic death of his young daughter Karen to his triumphant first steps on the Moon… “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Continue reading
Danny Huston as Ben “the Butcher” Diamond, sadistic and volatile Miami gangster
Miami Beach, spring 1959
Series: Magic City
– “Feeding Frenzy” (Episode 1.02, dir: Ed Bianchi, aired April 13, 2012)
– “The Harder They Fall” (Episode 1.06, dir: Ed Bianchi, aired May 11, 2012)
– “Crime and Punishment” (Episode 2.01, dir: Clark Johnson, aired June 14, 2013)
Creator: Mitch Glazer
Costume Designer: Carol Ramsey
Considering classic gangland style evokes images of pinstripe suits, flashy jewelry, and wide-brimmed fedoras… but what do gangsters wear when the sun’s at its brightest? On #MafiaMonday, let’s travel down to sunny Miami Beach where—even in the middle of January—mobster Ben “the Butcher” Diamond is dressed in lightweight linen for days by the swimming pool and nights at the cocktail lounge in Starz’s canceled-too-soon period drama Magic City. Continue reading