James Stewart as George Bailey, newlywed banker
Bedford Falls, NY, fall 1932 through spring 1934
Film: It’s a Wonderful Life
Release Date: December 20, 1946
Director: Frank Capra
Costume Designer: Edward Stevenson
Although the film takes place over the course of one man’s whole life, It’s a Wonderful Life has earned a comfortable home among nostalgic holiday cinema. The man in question, George Bailey (James Stewart), spends a depressing Christmas Eve questioning his existence… prompting a visit from his guardian angel to remind him of the titular wonderful life that he has led.
Marcello Mastroianni as Renzo, Italian writer
Milan, Italy, October 1963
Film: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
(Italian title: Ieri, oggi, domani)
Release Date: December 19, 1963
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Costume Designer: Piero Tosi
Car Week continues with a focus on a classic Italian comedy released 55 years ago this month.
After four movies together in the 1950s, Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren reteamed in 1963 for Vittorio De Sica’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – released in Italy as Ieri, oggi, domani – a stylish anthology about life and love. The film is split into three segments that each star Loren and Mastroianni as a different couple.
The second segment, “Anna”, is the shortest of the three and stars Loren as an industrialist’s glamorous wife – dressed to the nines in Christian Dior – as she is forced to choose between her husband’s Rolls-Royce and her unassuming lover Renzo (Mastroianni).
Louis Jourdan as Marc Champselle, “a gigolo… a buffoon… a professional diner-outer… a notorious sponger!”
Heathrow Airport, London, Winter 1963
Film: The V.I.P.s
(also released as Hotel International)
Release Date: September 19, 1963
Director: Anthony Asquith
Costume Designer: Pierre Cardin (uncredited)
Happy December! For the first month of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, we look to the stylish 1963 film The V.I.P.s, a cinematic celebration of jet-age luxury starring an impressive international cast as a group of travelers stranded at London’s Heathrow Airport and the neighboring Hotel International for a cold but passionate January night.
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, adventurer and archaeology professor
India, Summer 1935
Film: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Release Date: May 23, 1984
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Anthony Powell
A memorable scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom finds the titular archaeologist and his two newly introduced companions, Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan), invited to a banquet at Pankot Palace hosted by the young Majarajah Zalim Singh (Raj Singh). The trio doesn’t take warmly to the feast, which includes such delicacies as “snake surprise” and chilled monkey brains.
One of my favorite aspects of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the alternative costumes that Indy sports when not in his signature leather jacket and fedora. In addition to a Casablanca-inspired (but ’80s-executed) white dinner jacket at the film’s outset, Indy uses this dinner as an opportunity to dress up his usual bush shirt and “pinks” trousers by donning a tweed sport jacket and bow tie.
Lee Marvin as Walker, revenge-driven armed robber
Santa Monica, Summer 1967
Film: Point Blank
Release Date: August 30, 1967
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Margo Weintz
With the first day of autumn only a day away, we’re looking ahead to fall fashion from a tough guy. In John Boorman’s 1967 neo-noir Point Blank, Lee Marvin starred as Walker, the unsmiling thief out for revenge after he was left for dead on Alcatraz Island by his one-time partner Mal Reese (John Vernon).
Having patched up his wounds, Walker seeks out the help of his sister-in-law Chris (Angie Dickinson), who agrees to lend her own particular brand of charm to assist Walker in retrieving the $93,000 he believes he is rightfully owed. Continue reading
James Garner as Philip Marlowe, cynical private detective
Los Angeles, Spring 1969
Release Date: October 22, 1969
Director: Paul Bogart
Costume Design: Florence Hackett & James Taylor
Save for a single season of a loosely adapted ABC TV series, he character of Philip Marlowe had gone more than two decades without a cinematic portrayal at the time Marlowe was released in 1969. Directed by the appropriately named Paul Bogart (no relation), this adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s 1949 pulp novel The Little Sister updated the setting to contemporary Los Angeles.
James Garner took some criticism for his take on the famous private eye, but I think the likable actor’s vulnerable sincerity works for his interpretation of Chandler’s anti-hero. Continue reading
John Wayne as Sean Thornton, Irish-American former prizefighter
Inisfree, Ireland, spring during the 1920s
Film: The Quiet Man
Release Date: July 21, 1952
Director: John Ford
Costume Designer: Adele Palmer
John Ford’s cinematic love letter to his ancestral home remains a perennial St. Patrick’s Day favorite, even if it is a somewhat overly sanitized depiction of Irish life in the 1920s. As Duke’s outfit from The Quiet Man has been requested by at least three different BAMF Style readers over the last few years, I couldn’t imagine a better time to feature it than on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Based on a 1933 short story by Maurice Walsh, The Quiet Man stars Ford’s favorite actor John Wayne as Sean Thornton, a former boxer from Pittsburgh who is returning home to reclaim his family’s land in Ireland. Continue reading