Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, old-fashioned Deputy U.S. Marshal
Harlan County, Kentucky, Fall 2011
Episode: “Harlan Roulette” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: January 31, 2012
Director: Jon Avnet
Creator: Graham Yost
Costume Designer: Patia Prouty
More than two years have passed since I last waxed poetic about Justified, Graham Yost’s continuation of Elmore Leonard’s stories and novels centered around Raylan Givens, a modern-day Deputy U.S. Marshal who brings old west sensibilities and style to his duties. After being criticized by his superiors for his all-too-quick—if justified—trigger finger, Raylan is reassigned to the Eastern District of Kentucky, which includes the coal-mining Harlan County where was raised and acquainted with arch-criminal Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) as well as many other colorful characters who shoot in and out of the series over its six seasons.
As we get closer to the weekend, I wanted to revisit one of my favorite moments from the series as well as Raylan’s characteristically dressed-down off-duty duds.
Stephan James as John Lewis, civil rights activist and future congressman
Selma, Alabama, Spring 1965
Release Date: December 25, 2014
Director: Ava DuVernay
Costume Designer: Ruth E. Carter
On the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, today’s post celebrates the life and legacy of the late John Lewis, the prolific civil rights activist and longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives who had been an instrumental force in the fight for voter and racial equality.
Burt Reynolds as Bo “the Bandit” Darville, daredevil driver
Texarkana to Atlanta, Summer 1976
Film: Smokey and the Bandit
Release Date: May 27, 1977
Director: Hal Needham
♫ You’ve heard about the legend of Jesse James and John Henry just to mention some names,
Well, there’s a truck-drivin’ legend in the South today, a man called Bandit from Atlanta, GA… ♫
After seven years of biannual Car Week features, how did it take me this long get around to what might be the most famous “car movie” of all? On a day commemorating the anniversary of American independence, it feels appropriate to celebrate Burt Reynolds bedecked in red, white, and blue (or at least red and blue) as he speeds across half the country in a muscle car, all in the name of beer… or as the Bandit himself declares:
For the money, for the glory, and for the fun… but mostly for the money.
John Wayne as Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, tough Deputy U.S. Marshal
Fort Smith, Arkansas, into Indian Territory, Fall 1880
Film: True Grit
Release Date: June 12, 1969
Director: Henry Hathaway
Costume Designer: Dorothy Jeakins
Wardrobe: Luster Bayless (uncredited)
To commemorate John Wayne’s birthday 113 years ago today on May 26, 1907, let’s take a look at one of Duke’s most enduring roles and the one that won him the Academy Award after more than forty years making over 200 movies.
Swiftly adapted from Charles Portis’ source novel of the same name, True Grit follows 14-year-old Mattie Ross as she seeks the help of a drunken U.S. Marshal, chosen by virtue of his reputation as the meanest marshal, to avenge the murder of her father. Continue reading
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, principled Southern lawyer
Maycomb, Alabama, Summer 1932 and 1933
Film: To Kill a Mockingbird
Release Date: December 25, 1962
Director: Robert Mulligan
Costume Designer: Rosemary Odell
Tailor: H. Huntsman & Sons, London
Today marks the birthday of Gregory Peck, born April 5, 1916. Peck’s arguably most iconic role was that of the patient, humble, and earnest defense attorney Atticus Finch, a portrayal that earned Peck the Academy Award and was voted the #1 screen hero of all time in a 2003 AFI poll, outranking cinematic badasses like James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Ellen Ripley and illustrating that the most heroic strength is strength of moral character.
Matthew McConaughey as Rustin “Rust” Cohle, nihilistic Louisiana State Police homicide detective
Louisiana, January 1995
Series: True Detective
– “The Long Bright Dark” (Episode 1.01, aired 1/12/2014)
– “Seeing Things” (Episode 1.02, aired 1/19/2014)
– “The Locked Room” (Episode 1.03, aired 1/26/2014)
– “Who Goes There” (Episode 1.04, aired 2/9/2014)
– “The Secret Fate of All Life” (Episode 1.05, aired 2/16/2014)
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagan
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Time may or may not be a flat circle, but birthdays come around every year and today is Matthew McConaughey’s 50th!
Burt Reynolds as Bobby “Gator” McKlusky, paroled moonshine runner
Dunston County, Georgia, Summer 1975
Release Date: August 25, 1976
Director: Burt Reynolds
Costume Designer: Norman Salling
September 6 marks the sad one-year anniversary since Burt Reynolds’ death. One of the star’s most famous roles was that of “Gator” McKlusky, the “good ol’ boy” moonshiner introduced in White Lightning (1973) who was revisited, this time with Burt’s iconic mustache, in the Reynolds-directed Gator (1976). Continue reading
Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, Philadelphia homicide detective
Sparta, Mississippi, September 1966
Film: In the Heat of the Night
Release Date: August 2, 1967
Director: Norman Jewison
Costume Designer: Alan Levine
Happy birthday to the great Sidney Poitier, born 92 years ago today on February 20, 1927. The actor’s personal favorite among his prolific filmography is In the Heat of the Night, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1967, a year that found him pulling off a peerless hat trick that included that film as well as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and To Sir, with Love. Continue reading
Joe Pesci as Vincent LaGuardia “Vinny” Gambini, fledgling defense attorney
“Beechum County”, Alabama, January into February 1992
Film: My Cousin Vinny
Release Date: March 13, 1992
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Costume Designer: Carol Wood
Happy birthday to Joe Pesci! Though the 76-year-old actor has been mostly retired from acting over the last two decades, he’s occasionally stepped back into the camera lens for a few sporadic screen appearances, most recently a Google Assistant ad that played during Super Bowl LIII and his latest collaboration with Martin Scorsese, The Irishman, scheduled to be released this fall.
Following his notable Oscar win for Goodfellas—and his short, humble acceptance speech that consisted solely of “It’s my privilege, thank you”—Pesci had some fun parodying his excitable screen persona in comedies like Home Alone, the Lethal Weapon series, and My Cousin Vinny.
Matthew McConaughey as Rustin “Rust” Cohle, nihilistic bartender and ex-cop
Lafayette, Louisiana, April 2012
Series: True Detective
Air Dates: January 12, 2014 – March 9, 2014
Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagen
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Don’t be assholes. You wanna hear this or not?
Rust Cohle challenges his interrogators at the outset of “The Long Bright Dark”, the premiere episode of HBO’s True Detective, indicating to us as well as detectives Thomas Papania (Tory Kittles) and Maynard Gilbrough (Michael Potts) that a wild ride is ahead. Continue reading