Tagged: Texas

Steve McQueen in The Hunter

Steve McQueen as Ralph "Papa" Thorson in The Hunter (1980)

Steve McQueen as Ralph “Papa” Thorson in The Hunter (1980)

Vitals

Steve McQueen as Ralph “Papa” Thorson, real-life bounty hunter

Los Angeles (among other locales), Fall 1979

Film: The Hunter
Release Date: August 1, 1980
Director: Buzz Kulik
Costume Designer: Thomas Welsh

Background

On the anniversary of Steve McQueen’s passing, I’d like to explore his style in the final film he made before his untimely death at the age of 50 on November 7, 1980.

The Hunter starred McQueen as Ralph “Papa” Thorson, a colorful real-life bounty hunter who had reportedly logged more than 5,000 cases throughout his career including the capture of would-be presidential assassin and Manson family follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme.

The concept of a bounty hunter conjures the image of a deadly serious and dangerous enforcer. The real Ralph Thorson certainly looked the part at 310 pounds and 6’2″ though Christopher Keane’s 1976 biography counters this image by describing Thorson’s many roles and talents as “a church bishop, Master bridge champion, renowed astrology, criminology alumnus of the University of California Berkeley, child nutritionist, [and] aficionado of classical music.” Continue reading

Lee Marvin’s Brown Shawl Cardigan in The Professionals

Lee Marvin as Henry "Rico" Fardan in The Professionals (1966)

Lee Marvin as Henry “Rico” Fardan in The Professionals (1966)

Vitals

Lee Marvin as Henry “Rico” Fardan, tough mercenary

Texas, January 1917

Film: The Professionals
Release Date: November 2, 1966
Director: Richard Brooks
Wardrobe Credit: Jack Martell

Background

Written, produced, and directed by prolific auteur Richard Brooks, The Professionals depicts a band of mercenaries hired by rancher baron Joe Grant (Ralph Bellamy) to rescue his wife. Though it is often overlooked in the shadow of its “bigger” contemporaries like The Wild BunchButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Sergio Leone’s “Man With No Name” trilogy of spaghetti westerns, The Professionals was Columbia Pictures’ biggest hit of 1966.

Lee Marvin starred as Henry “Rico” Fardan, a cynical weapons specialist whose experience fighting under Pancho Villa’s command makes him invaluable to the team pursuing one of Villa’s former revolutionaries who supposedly kidnapped Grant’s wife Maria (Claudia Cardinale). Continue reading

Clyde Barrow’s Brown Peak-Lapel Suit (2013 Version)

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (2013)

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (2013)

Vitals

Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow, amateur armed robber

Texas, Spring 1932

Series Title: Bonnie and Clyde
Air Date: December 8, 2013
Director: Bruce Beresford
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

Background

Earlier this week, I posted about the (possibly brown) single-breasted, peak-lapel suit worn by Derrick De Marney in Hitchcock’s 1930s thriller Young and Innocent. Today’s post expands on that theme, exploring a similar suit worn by another desperate young man on the run during the 1930s.

Continue reading

Frank Underwood’s Dressed-Down Blue-Gray Suit

Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood (with Robin Wright as Claire Underwood) in "Chapter 40" of House of Cards (2016).

Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood (with Robin Wright as Claire Underwood) in “Chapter 40” of House of Cards (2016).

Vitals

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, ruthless and calculating U.S. President

Dallas, January 2016

Series: House of Cards
Episode: “Chapter 40” (Episode 4.01)
Streaming Date: March 4, 2016
Director: Tucker Gates
Costume Designer: Johanna Argan

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In the fourth season premiere of the Netflix U.S. version of House of Cards, Frank Underwood’s presidential re-election campaign takes him from his own home state of South Carolina to his wife’s home state of Texas, where Claire (Robin Wright) has been visiting with her mother, Elizabeth (Ellen Burstyn), who has been suffering from terminal lymphoma. Continue reading

Llewelyn Moss: Cream-and-Brown Plaid Shirt

Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men (2007)

Vitals

Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss, taciturn welder, hunter, and Vietnam veteran

Del Rio, Texas, to Mexico, Summer 1980

Film: No Country for Old Men
Release Date: November 9, 2007
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Having found two million dollars in a briefcase at the scene of a drug deal gone sour, laconic welder Llewelyn Moss also finds himself the target of multiple groups of criminals.

Moss packs up his wife (Kelly MacDonald) and heads to the border town of Del Rio, Texas, where he shacks up in a motel. Eventually, Llewelyn is forced to face the fact that he’s not as wily as he thinks… however, he is crafty. Continue reading

Clyde Barrow’s Blue Hairline Windowpane Suit (2013 Version)

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger wielding a BAR and a Tommy gun as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (2013).

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger wielding a BAR and a Tommy gun as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (2013).

Vitals

Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow, bank robber with “second sight”

Northeast Texas, Spring 1932

Series Title: Bonnie and Clyde
Air Date: December 8, 2013
Director: Bruce Beresford
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

Background

As an amateur criminal historian with a special interest in Depression-era desperadoes, I’d be remiss to let a year go by without commemorating the end of Bonnie and Clyde’s crime streak on May 23, 1934 when the now-famous duo was gunned down by a squad of expert lawmen on a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. Continue reading

Gene Hackman’s Tweed Suit as Buck Barrow

Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons as Buck and Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons as Buck and Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Vitals

Gene Hackman as “Buck” Barrow, bank robber, ex-convict, and family man

Texas, May 1933

Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

Happy birthday to Gene Hackman, who turns 86 years old today!

Bonnie and Clyde marked the first major role for Hackman, who had spent much of the ’60s as a struggling actor who shared rooms with fellow struggling actors Dustin Hoffman and Robert Duvall. 1967 turned out to be a banner year for the friends and roommates, earning Hackman and Hoffman their first Academy Award nominations.

Hackman brings an easygoing charm to the role of the more famous Clyde’s older brother Buck, and the film gets many of the “on paper” details right about Buck. As Clyde’s older brother, he had more experience tangling with the law and spent the first few months of Clyde’s criminal career in the Texas state prison. He had escaped once, but – as Hackman tells Warren Beatty’s Clyde – it was his new wife Blanche that talked him into returning to prison to serve out the rest of his sentence, and he would be pardoned 15 months later. Buck and Blanche journeyed to visit Bonnie and Clyde, ostensibly for a reunion and possibly for Buck to try and talk Clyde into following his good example. Of course, the murder of two Joplin policemen during this reunion meant Buck would be wanted again as well, and the brothers led the motley “Barrow Gang” in a string of small-town stickups and kidnappings over the next three months. Continue reading