Tagged: Summer

Steve McQueen in The Blob

Steve McQueen as Steve Andrews in The Blob (1958)

Steve McQueen as Steve Andrews in The Blob (1958)

Vitals

Steve McQueen as Steve Andrews, headstrong teenager

Chester County, Pennsylvania, Summer 1957

Film: The Blob
Release Date: September 12, 1958
Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr.

Background

As today would have been Steve McQueen’s 90th birthday, let’s take a look at his first starring role, a sci-fi/horror drive-in favorite called The Blob. A personal favorite of producer Jack H. Harris, The Blob was filmed on location in southeastern Pennsylvania on a low budget that, depending on the source, has been quoted as anywhere between $110,000 and $240,000, a cost kept low thanks in part to the low $3,000 salary that the then-struggling actor McQueen had accepted to afford short-term expenses like food and rent.

After two uncredited movie roles and scattered TV bit parts across the mid-1950s, McQueen’s credited feature film debut was in Robert Stevens’ 1958 crime drama Never Love a Stranger, which also featured his future Bullitt co-star Felice Orlandi. Less than a week after the premiere episode of Wanted Dead or Alive aired on CBS in September 1958, The Blob was released in theaters with “Steven McQueen” first-billed.

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The Omega Man: Charlton Heston’s Green Velvet Blazer

Charlton Heston as Robert Neville in The Omega Man (1971)

Charlton Heston as Robert Neville in The Omega Man (1971)

Vitals

Charlton Heston as Colonel Robert Neville, MD, former military scientist and resourceful survivor

Los Angeles, August 1977

Film: The Omega Man
Release Date: August 1, 1971
Director: Boris Sagal
Costumers: Margo Baxley & Bucky Rous
Tailor: Albert Mariani

Background

The second of three adaptations of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am LegendThe Omega Man stars Charlton Heston as Robert Neville, a survivor of a global pandemic. “The last man on earth… is not alone!” exclaimed the film’s advertising, and indeed Neville is forced to fortify himself into his home each night, warding off attacks from The Family, a violent cult of fellow survivors who—without the experimental vaccine that saved Neville—were mutated by the effects of the plague into nocturnal albinos.

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Stranger Things: Hopper’s “Cutting-Edge” Aloha Shirt

David Harbour as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things (Episode 3.04: "The Sauna Test")

David Harbour as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things (Episode 3.04: “The Sauna Test”)

Vitals

David Harbour as Jim Hopper, small-town police chief

Indiana, Summer 1985

Series: Stranger Things
Episodes:
– “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats” (Episode 3.02, dir. The Duffer Brothers)
– “Chapter Three: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard” (Episode 3.03, dir. Shawn Levy)
– “Chapter Four: The Sauna Test” (Episode 3.04, dir. Shawn Levy)
– “Chapter Five: The Flayed” (Episode 3.05, dir. Uta Briesewitz)
– “Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum” (Episode 3.06, dir. Uta Briesewitz)
– “Chapter Seven: The Bite” (Episode 3.07, dir. The Duffer Brothers)
– “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt” (Episode 3.08, dir. The Duffer Brothers)
Streaming Date:
July 4, 2019
Creator:
 The Duffer Brothers
Costume Designer: Amy Parris

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Netflix recently announced that the fourth season of its sci-fi/horror runaway hit Stranger Things has commenced production, so we can likely expect it to hit within a year. In the meantime, as I’m enjoying a “spring break” of my own with a trip south to sunny Florida this week, I’m taking a much-requested look at the “cutting edge” Aloha shirt that Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) wears in all but one episode of the series’ third season.

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The Irishman: Pacino’s Burgundy Polo as Hoffa

Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman (2019)

Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman (2019)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, pugnacious and passionate labor official

Detroit, Summer 1975

Film: The Irishman
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In addition to today famously being St. Valentine’s Day, it’s also the birthday of Jimmy Hoffa, who was born February 14, 1913, and was most recently portrayed by Al Pacino in The Irishman. The crime drama epic was released on Netflix more than three months ago with considerable fanfare, eventually garnering ten Academy Award nominations (but no wins) including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for both Pacino and Joe Pesci.

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The Irishman: Joe Pesci’s Tan Road Trip Sports Coat

Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino in The Irishman (2019)

Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino in The Irishman (2019)

Vitals

Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino, old-school northeast Pennsylvania Mafia boss

Philadelphia to Detroit, Summer 1975

Film: The Irishman
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy 77th birthday, Joe Pesci! The Newark-born actor emerged from nearly 20 years of retirement to again collaborate with director Martin Scorsese and star Robert De Niro in The Irishman, which is up for multiple Academy Awards tonight including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Costume Design, and Best Supporting Actor for both Pesci and his co-star Al Pacino.

Should Pesci take home the statue tonight, it would be his second Academy Award after he received a well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor recognizing his work in Goodfellas. 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.

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It Started in Naples: Clark Gable’s Taupe Suit

Clark Gable as Mike Hamilton in It Started in Naples (1960)

Clark Gable as Mike Hamilton in It Started in Naples (1960)

Vitals

Clark Gable as Michael Hamilton, Philadelphia lawyer and World War II veteran

Naples to Capri, Italy, Late Summer 1959

Film: It Started in Naples 
Release Date: August 7, 1960
Director: Melville Shavelson
Costume Designer: Orietta Nasalli-Rocca

Background

Screen legend Clark Gable was born 119 years ago today on February 1, 1901, the start of a storied life that included an Academy Award for It Happened One Night (1934), acclaimed performances in iconic movies like Gone with the Wind (1939) and Mogambo (1953), and decorated service with the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. While The Misfits (1961) co-starring Marilyn Monroe was Gable’s final film to be theatrically released, It Started in Naples was his final performance released during his lifetime. Continue reading

Magnum, P.I.: Green Star Orchid Aloha Shirt

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in a promotional shot for Magnum, P.I.

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in a promotional shot for Magnum, P.I.

Vitals

Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, private investigator and former Navy SEAL

Hawaii, Spring 1980 to Summer 1981

Series: Magnum, P.I.
Episodes:
– “Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii, Part 1″ (Episode 1.01, dir. Roger Young, aired 12/11/1980)
– “The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii” (Episode 1.08, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 1/29/1981)
– “Thicker Than Blood” (Episode 1.12, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 2/26/1981)
– “Billy Joe Bob” (Episode 2.01, dir. Ray Austin, aired 10/8/1981)
– “The Taking of Dick McWilliams” (Episode 2.10, dir. Winrich Kolbe, aired 12/1/1981
– “The Arrow That Is Not Aimed” (Episode 3.14, dir. James Frawley, aired 1/27/1983)
Creator: Donald P. Bellisario & Glen Larson
Costume Designer: Charles Waldo (credited with first season only)
Costume Supervisor: James Gilmore

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is the 75th birthday of Tom Selleck, who starred for eight seasons as the titular private eye, er, “investigator” on Magnum, P.I. Continue reading

Django Reinhardt: Cream Suit on Stage

Reda Kateb as Django Reinhardt in Django (2017)

Reda Kateb as Django Reinhardt in Django (2017)

Vitals

Reda Kateb as Django Reinhardt, gypsy jazz guitar virtuoso

Paris, Summer 1943

Film: Django
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Director: Étienne Comar
Costume Designer: Pascaline Chavanne

Background

My interest in Django Reinhardt’s music began in the spring of 2004, when 14-year-old me eagerly purchased Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, a computer game that was essentially the Grand Theft Auto series with a Prohibition-era twist and a dash of Scorsese-ese inspiration. Set in 1930s New Jersey, the game was scored by period music including familiar favorites by Duke Ellington and a style that was all new to me, the rhythmic, guitar-driven gypsy jazz pioneered by Django Reinhardt. Continue reading

Desi’s Sky Blue Nylon Jacket and Jeans in The Long, Long Trailer

Desi Arnaz as Nicky Collini in The Long, Long Trailer (1954)

Desi Arnaz as Nicky Collini in The Long, Long Trailer (1954)

Vitals

Desi Arnaz as Nicky Collini, civil engineer

Northern California, Late Summer 1953

Film: The Long, Long Trailer
Release Date: February 18, 1954
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Costume Designer: Helen Rose

Background

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to write about many movies that carry meaningful or nostalgic significance for me, but one that has gone sadly under-discussed (until now) is The Long, Long Trailer, a movie that I would watch so frequently with my grandma—who was born 98 years ago today—that we wore the VHS tape nearly to shreds.

Watching this movie again after more than 20 years was a welcome blast from the past, a nostalgic sensation not only for the personal reasons cited above but also as a glimpse into the glory days of “the great American road trip” during the postwar boom when roadside Googie architecture sprang up to meet the increasing need for motels and diners offering respite and rest for weary motorists.

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