Cary Grant as C.K. Dexter Haven, cheeky socialite yacht designer
Philadelphia, summer 1940
Film: The Philadelphia Story
Release Date: December 26, 1940
Director: George Cukor
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Many weddings are elaborate events planned out months, if not years, in advance. In The Philadelphia Story, C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) and Tracy Samantha Lord (Katharine Hepburn) have only a few minutes before taking their place [back] at the altar for a memorable wedding that results in an appropriately informal “casual Friday” post to conclude BAMF Style’s Week of Weddings. Continue reading
Robert Redford as Bob Woodward, investigative journalist for The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., late summer 1972
Film: All the President’s Men
Release Date: April 9, 1976
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Costume Supervisor: Bernie Pollack
Bob Woodward had only been at The Washington Post for nine months when he received an assignment in June 1972 to look into the arrests of five men who had been caught breaking into the DNC office at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. As the story continued to build over the following months, Woodward and Carl Bernstein relentlessly investigated for a series of Post articles that would expose an unprecedented level of government corruption that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Continue reading
Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, enigmatic millionaire and eager romantic
Long Island, NY, Summer 1925
Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: March 29, 1974
Director: Jack Clayton
Costume Designer: Theoni V. Aldredge
Things are looking good for Jay Gatsby by the end of summer. He’s reunited with his former love, Daisy Buchanan (Mia Farrow), and – for better or worse – he’s established himself as the party king of West Egg. Sure, no one knows where his curiously vast fortune came from, but as long as he keeps the champagne flowing and hot jazz booming, no one cares either. Continue reading
Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, ruthless and calculating U.S. President
Atlanta, July 2016
Series: House of Cards
Episode: “Chapter 48” (Episode 4.09)
Streaming Date: March 4, 2016
Director: Robin Wright
Costume Designer: Johanna Argan
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Tomorrow is Election Day here in the U.S. and hopefully the end of one of the ugliest campaign seasons in modern American politics.
In the political world of House of Cards, voters tomorrow would be choosing between Democratic incumbent Frank Underwood and Republican candidate Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman). In Chapter 48 of the series, Underwood notes about his opponent:
You’re a New York Republican. That’s an attractive fiction, isn’t it?
Chapter 48 spans the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta from Monday, July 25 through Wednesday, July 27. (The actual 2016 DNC was held in Philadelphia, in case you’d forgotten, and was quite dramatic in itself… which I’m sure you hadn’t forgotten.) President Underwood’s team seemingly makes a play for Secretary of State Catherine Durant (Jayne Atkinson) to be chosen as his running mate while secretly working behind the scenes to secure the spot for the First Lady, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright, who also directed this installment.)
One of the episode’s more outstanding scenes finds the unlikely situation of both candidates meeting alone, sifting through the heavy haze of dirty politics permeating the air while channeling their opposition into a discussion of video games. Continue reading
John Travolta as Vincent Vega, laidback mob hitman and self-described “Elvis man”
Los Angeles, Summer 1992
Film: Pulp Fiction
Release Date: October 14, 1994
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann
With Halloween around the corner, I’m revisiting one of my favorite Halloween costumes: Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. It’s a great chance for a couple’s costume, whether your significant other is a Mia or a Jules.
Pulp Fiction‘s colorful, sprawling cast of characters and famously non-linear timeline makes Vincent an even more interesting character when you realize that he is the only one to appear in each segment of the film. The role marked a rejuvenation for John Travolta, whose career had gone stagnant during the ’80s with the only real commercial success coming from Look Who’s Talking. Established and rising actors including Alec Baldwin, Daniel Day-Lewis, James Gandolfini, Andy Garcia, Michael Keaton (aw!), Gary Oldman, Jason Patric, Sean Penn, Tim Roth, and Denzel Washington had all been either interested in or considered for the role, and even Michael Madsen would go on to regret not reprising his Vega brother role when offered.
Vincent Vega was the laidback yin to Jules Winnfield’s fired-up yang. While Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) would intimidate a target with his fire-and-brimstone brand of furious anger, Vincent would merely slump against a wall, puffing one of his hand-rolled cigarettes and debating whether or not to voice a situational complaint of his own. It might have been his easy temperament that led Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) to tap Vincent as the henchman-of-choice to entertain his wife Mia (Uma Thurman) when Marsellus was called out of town. Continue reading
Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, hustler and casino heister
Las Vegas, Spring 2001
Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: December 7, 2001
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Jeffrey Kurland
Danny Ocean’s crew had a tough night out before their big heist. In a possible management decision snafu, Danny (George Clooney) left the over-eager Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) behind with the Malloy twins (Scott Caan and Casey Affleck) while he, Basher (Don Cheadle), and The Amazing Yen (Shaobo Qin) conduct a break-in. Feeling left out and annoyed by the Malloys, Linus takes the initiative and breaks into the facility on his own… just seconds before the other guys come back out. Continue reading
Lee Marvin as Walker, revenge-driven armed robber
San Francisco, Summer 1967
Film: Point Blank
Release Date: August 30, 1967
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Margo Weintz
Responding to another request from BAMF Style commenter Ryan Hall, this post looks at Lee Marvin’s wardrobe in 1967’s Point Blank, the first cinematic adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s crime novel The Hunter. The book became the first in the long-running Parker series penned by Westlake (as “Richard Stark”) that led to a total of 23 books before Westlake’s death in 2008.
At this point in the film, Walker (the film’s re-named version of Parker) is edging closer to getting his $93,000 back. Together with his sister-in-law Chris (Angie Dickinson), Walker heads to the home of syndicate boss Brewster (a pre-All in the Family Carroll O’Connor) to move the endgame into place. Continue reading