Tagged: Spy

Matt Helm’s Light Blue Knitwear in Murderers’ Row

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers' Row (1966)

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row (1966)

Vitals

Dean Martin as Matt Helm, smooth secret agent

New Mexico, Summer 1966

Film: Murderers’ Row
Release Date: December 20, 1966
Director: Henry Levin
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy birthday, Dean Martin! The charismatic entertainer known for his laidback charm and boozy, breezy persona was born June 7, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio. Having established himself as a singer and actor, first in his partnership with Jerry Lewis and then among the swingers of the Rat Pack, Dino set out on his own direction in the mid-1960s, first with his variety series The Dean Martin Show on NBC and then his starring role as easygoing counter-agent Matt Helm in a multi-film franchise based on Donald Hamilton’s espionage novels. Unlike their more straightforward and serious source material, Martin’s Matt Helm movies followed the decade’s zeitgeist for spy parodies in the spirit of Carry On Spying and Our Man Flint. If you thought James Bond was a womanizer, lounge lizard Matt Helm proves that you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Continue reading

Argo: Ben Affleck in Herringbone Tweed

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo (2012)

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo (2012)

Vitals

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez, CIA covert operations officer

Tehran, Iran, January 1980

Film: Argo
Release Date: October 12, 2012
Director: Ben Affleck
Costume Designer: Jacqueline West

Background

A month ago on my Instagram page, I posted about Ben Affleck’s tweedy look in Argo to coincide with the 40th anniversary of what became known as the “Canadian Caper”, the successful 1980 rescue of six American diplomats who had been taking refuge with Canadian diplomatic personnel after the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

The six diplomats—Bob Anders, Cora and Mark Lijek, Henry Lee Schatz, and Joe and Kathleen Stafford—had managed to escape after militants first stormed the embassy on November 4, 1979, evading the 444 days of captivity that befell more than 50 Americans who were detained in what would become known as the “Iran hostage crisis”. The escapees initially received help from the British embassy but deemed their situation too risky due to the militants’ raids of diplomatic compounds. Eventually, the sextet found a safer, longer-term solution sheltered at the homes of Canadian immigration officer John Sheardown and Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor.

Taylor first contacted the Canadian government, who expressed support for the sanctuary and instigated a plan to create six Canadian passports for the Americans to safely fly out of Iran. The joint Canadian-American operation also required the participation of the CIA, particularly the efforts of Antonio “Tony” Mendez, a decorated agent and expert in disguises and exfiltration. Continue reading

Matt Helm’s Coral Red Jacket in Murderers’ Row

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers' Row (1966)

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row (1966)

Vitals

Dean Martin as Matt Helm, smooth secret agent

New Mexico to French Riviera, Summer 1966

Film: Murderers’ Row
Release Date: December 20, 1966
Director: Henry Levin
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry
Tailor: Sy Devore

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is National Wear Red Day, observed the first Friday of February to raise awareness of the dangers of the heart disease. In recognition, I wanted to feature an example of a movie or TV character prominently wearing red beyond just the usual red shirts, sweaters, or ties. Enter Matt Helm.

Continue reading

Bond Style: Charcoal Suit for Air Travel in Goldfinger

Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger (1964)

Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger (1964)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent

en route Washington, D.C., Fall 1964

Film: Goldfinger
Release Date: September 18, 1964
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Following up on Saturday’s post about Frank Sinatra’s jet-setting style in the early ’60s, let’s see how a contemporary style icon dressed for a private flight of his own. As it’s the first 00-7th of the month in 2020, it seems only appropriate to check in with the first James Bond—Sean Connery! (Barry Nelson notwithstanding.)

Continue reading

Gregory Peck’s Tropical Suit in The Guns of Navarone

Gregory Peck as Captain Keith Mallory in The Guns of Navarone (1961)

Gregory Peck as Captain Keith Mallory in The Guns of Navarone (1961)

Vitals

Gregory Peck as Captain Keith Mallory, experienced Allied spy and mountain climber

“An Allied airfield somewhere in the Middle East”, Fall 1943

Film: The Guns of Navarone
Release Date: April 27, 1961
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Wardrobe Credit: Monty M. Berman & Olga Lehmann

Background

I’ve received a few requests to write about what George, a BAMF Style reader, charmingly described as the “aristocratically frayed off-white tropical suit” worn by Gregory Peck in the early scenes of the 1961 World War II adventure The Guns of Navarone. The film was adapted by producer Carl Foreman from Alistair MacLean’s novel of the same name and inspired by the real-life Battle of Leros in the fall of 1943.

Our mission begins as Captain Keith Mallory (Peck), duped into believing that he was receiving a much-deserved leave after 18 months of spy work, arrives late for a meeting with Commodore Jensen (James Robertson Justice) as his plane was attacked due to the Germans having raised the price on Mallory’s head to 10,000 pounds.

Continue reading

Bond’s Cream Safari Jacket and Tie in The Man with the Golden Gun

Roger Moore, flanked by co-stars Maud Adams and Britt Ekland, in his second film as James Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Roger Moore, flanked by co-stars Maud Adams and Britt Ekland, in his second film as James Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Vitals

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

Background

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

Bond Style: Lazenby’s Cream Suit and Aston Martin

George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Vitals

George Lazenby as James Bond, smooth British secret agent

Estoril, Portugal, September 1969

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Tailor: Dimi Major
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius

Background

This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, often considered among the best of the James Bond canon. George Lazenby, the Australian actor who batted 1000 with OHMSS as his sole outing as 007, has also activated his Instagram presence this year, sharing photos of himself in many of the same locations he had made famous a half-century ago as the world’s most famous secret agent.

George’s #OHMSS50 tour included calling on the celebrated Palácio Estoril, the Portuguese hotel where his James Bond spent the early scenes of OHMSS chasing and seducing Diana Rigg’s character, Teresa “Tracy” di Vincenzo. During the visit, he even interacted with many of the hotel’s staff who were still in the Palácio Estoril’s employ 50 years after their on-screen cameos.

Today, on the 00-7th of July, let’s take a look at the timeless summer-friendly style that Lazenby’s James Bond wore when he pulled his Aston Martin into the parking lot at Palácio Estoril some fifty years ago. Continue reading

Bond’s Green Safari Jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun

Roger Moore as James Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Roger Moore as James Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Vitals

Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent

Bangkok, Thailand, Spring 1974

Film: The Man with the Golden Gun
Release Date: December 20, 1974
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Cyril Castle
Clothes by: Jimmy Chen
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell

Background

Today marks the momentous 20th anniversary of the first time I’d ever seen a James Bond movie. June 19, 1999, was the first Saturday of my summer vacation after 4th grade, and my friend Nate was hosting a dozen friends for his 10th birthday party. Among the pizza, pop, and festivities was a rented copy of The Man with the Golden Gun on VHS… and thus Roger Moore was my introduction to agent 007.

Arguably one of the most iconic outfits—for better or worse—from Moore’s sophomore outing is the green safari shirt-jacket and cream trousers that the agent wears when he arrives to meet Andrea Anders (Maud Adams) at a Muay Thai match to take possession of the film’s MacGuffin, a solex agitator.

Continue reading

Matt Helm’s Blue Blazer in Murderers’ Row

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers' Row (1966)

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row (1966)

Vitals

Dean Martin as Matt Helm, smooth secret agent

French Riviera, Summer 1966

Film: Murderers’ Row
Release Date: December 20, 1966
Director: Henry Levin
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry
Tailor: Sy Devore

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy birthday to Dean Martin, born Dino Paul Crocetti on June 7, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio! After a successful singing and acting career that included partnerships with Jerry Lewis and the Rat Pack as well as his own TV show, Dino was tapped for the role of Matt Helm, the American counter-agent at the center of author Donald Hamilton’s espionage novels.

While Hamilton wrote his Matt Helm novels with a serious tone, Dino’s characterization parodied the character as more of a playboy lounge lizard, the American satirical answer to his contemporary womanizer James Bond. Thus, the four Matt Helm movies produced in the late ’60s often starred the popular singer opposite many of the most attractive leading ladies of the decade. Continue reading

From Russia With Love – Kerim Bey’s Beige Suit

Pedro Armendáriz as Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love (1963)

Pedro Armendáriz as Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love (1963)

Vitals

Pedro Armendáriz as Ali Kerim Bey, gregarious MI6 station chief

Istanbul, Turkey, Spring 1963

Film: From Russia With Love
Release Date: October 10, 1963
Director: Terence Young
Costume Designer: Jocelyn Rickards

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Kerim Bey, the gregarious head of MI6’s Station T (T for Turkey), is one of the more memorable characters from the early films of the James Bond franchise. A proudly streetwise counter to the taciturn and sophisticated agent 007, the two got on like gangbusters. It’s tragic that Kerim was designated by Ian Fleming as the story’s “sacrificial lamb” as it would have been satisfying to follow his interactions with Bond across multiple adventures à la Felix Leiter or even René Mathis, who actually returned in Fleming’s novel version of From Russia With Love, though Armendáriz’s death would have prevented this anyway. Today’s 00-7th of May post is a tribute to this charismatic character. Continue reading