Tagged: The Godfather series

Michael Corleone’s “Nice Ivy League” Charcoal Suit

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, Mafia son and World War II hero

New York City, January 1946

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Happy birthday to Al Pacino, born this day in 1940. It was The Godfather that arguably catapulted Pacino into public consciousness as one of the greatest actors of his generation, an impressive feat for an actor with only two preceding film credits. Although Paramount production chief Robert Evans had more box office-oriented names in mind for its central role ranging from Jack Nicholson to Robert Redford, Francis Ford Coppola insisted on Pacino who delivered in spades and received both an Academy Award nomination as well as a massive salary increase (from $35,000 to $600,000) to return as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II only two years later.

Although all of The Godfather is an acting tour de force for Pacino, there is one monumental scene often cited as the moment that truly established him as one of the most talented stars in the industry. An outsider to his family’s illegitimate business, Michael Corleone surprised everyone by offering to retaliate for the attempt on his father’s life by personally gunning down both the drug-peddling gangster and the corrupt police captain. Armed with the family’s blessing, an escape route, and a .38 taped behind an old toilet, Michael finds himself sitting across from these two criminals for – ostensibly – a peace meeting. Continue reading

Capt. Michael Corleone, USMC

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, USMC Captain, WWII hero, and Mafia son

Long Island, NY, September 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

On the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, BAMF Style is looking at one of cinema’s most notorious fictional war heroes from the Pacific Theater of World War II: Michael Corleone.

(Just so we’re clear, BAMF Style believes that the true heroes of World War II are those that did not go on to become mob bosses.)

What’d He Wear?

Michael’s USMC Uniform

Michael arrives at his sister’s wedding wearing his traditional Marine “greens”, the winter service uniform worn from September through April. Although appearing brown on screen, the uniform – now known as the Service A (or “Alpha”) – is forest green wool in a color specific to the Marine Corps, dating back to its introduction in 1912. At the time, the winter service uniform was standard in garrison and on leave and liberty. Since the iconic dress blues were temporarily ceased for most of WWII, a Marine not wearing his utility uniform would almost always be seen in his winter service greens. Continue reading

Sonny Corleone’s Groomsman Tuxedo

BAMF Style looks forward to Valentine’s Day this weekend with an abbreviated Week of Weddings.

James Caan as Santino "Sonny" Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone in The Godfather (1972). This is a production photo; in the film itself, he pins a white carnation onto his left lapel.

Vitals

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, hotheaded Mafia underboss

Long Island, NY, August 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Sonny is a natural choice as a groomsman for his sister’s wedding. Not only did he introduce her to her new husband, but he’s the underboss of New York’s powerful Corleone crime family and not the sort of guy who would appreciate being left out.

Sonny is a busy guy on the wedding day. He has to be all over the place, from the parking lot to his father’s office while keeping tabs on his war hero brother, his wife, and his mistress. Of course, when the Don summons him, he’s never far away. Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Shopping Attire in The Godfather

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, war hero and Mafia son

New York City, Christmas 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Christmas shopping is an activity not traditionally associated with BAMF activity, but the tradition of exchanging gifts with family is fun. After all, Don Corleone says:

…a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.

So, in the spirit of Monday’s holiday list post, follow Michael Corleone as he and Kay Adams go on a midtown shopping date at Christmas. Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Gray Striped Suit in The Godfather

Al Pacino on set as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Al Pacino on set as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, cold and calculating New York Mafia boss

Long Island, NY, August 1955

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Last weekend, I attended a baptism. While other family members were snapping photos through tearful eyes, I kept picturing fat Clemenza blowing a guy away with a shotgun and Moe Greene getting the Bugsy Siegel treatment.

Whether or not you’re the type of person moved to sentiment by a baptism, anyone who has seen The Godfather can hardly forget the brilliance of Coppola’s juxtaposition between Michael admitting his son into the church while simultaneously sending his enemies to hell.

After returning to the United States and taking his slain brother‘s former mantle as boss of the Corleone Crime Family, Michael Corleone leaves behind the earth tones he sported earlier in the film. Gray is now his color of choice, reflected throughout his wardrobe. Continue reading

Sonny Corleone’s Tollbooth Lincoln

James Caan being fitted for his death suit as "Sonny" Corleone in The Godfather.

James Caan being fitted for his death suit as “Sonny” Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

Vitals

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, hot-headed Mafia boss (well… acting boss)

Long Island, NY, Fall 1948

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

WARNING! Spoilers ahead… (and to the right!)

Background

Yesterday, we examined an Aston Martin that was totally demolished by its use in the film. Here, we’re seeing another car put out of commission. Unfortunately, its owner meets the same fate. Continue reading

Don Corleone’s tuxedo at his daughter’s wedding

For the final entry of BAMF Style’s Week of Weddings, we’re examining one of the cinema’s most iconic characters.

Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone in The Godfather.

Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

I really hope you saw this one coming.

Vitals

Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone, powerful Mafia boss and father of four

Long Island, NY, August 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

You’ve come across the scene a million times, whether actually watching it, seeing photos, or hearing your friends quote it. And indeed it is one of the most quotable sequences in film history.

I’m gonna make him an offer he won’t refuse.

Continue reading

Michael Corleone’s Gray Dupioni Silk Suit

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, powerful Mafia boss

Lake Tahoe, Fall 1958

Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

The Godfather is an American cultural phenomenon that needs no explanation. (For all the people secretly bummed out that I won’t give an explanation, here: It’s an epic three film journey following the rise of a Mafia family in the United States from 1901 to 1979).

There are differing opinions as to whether the first or the second part was the best. (No one ever says it’s the third one.)

In the first two films especially, costumes were a large indicator of the story. Much credit for this should be given to costume designer Theadora Van Runkle. When Michael is a proud Marine, he wears his uniform. When he is a college man looking for work, he wears a simple odd jacket, tie, and trousers. As he grows into the Don we have come to know, he wears expensive suits. Interestingly, Michael never wears a hat (aside from his USMC officer’s cap) until he becomes involved in the family.

This post will focus on the first act of The Godfather, Part II, where Michael Corleone is holding court on the day of his son’s Communion. Continue reading