Tagged: Ugh It’s Raining

Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly.

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly (2012)

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Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, freelance mob hitman

Boston*, November 2008

* The movie – like the source novel – was indeed set in the Boston area but was filmed in New Orleans.

Background

Although it met with mixed reviews, fans of George V. Higgins appreciate the recent film version of his 1974 book Cogan’s Trade, released as Killing Them Softly based on a line from the novel’s titular protagonist, Jackie Cogan:

They cry. They plead. They beg. They piss themselves. They call for their mothers. It gets embarrassing. I like to kill ’em softly, from a distance. Not close enough for feelings. Don’t like feelings. Don’t want to think about them.

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Bullitt’s Navy Suit

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Steve McQueen as Bullitt.

Steve McQueen as Bullitt (1968).Vitals

Steve McQueen as Lt. Frank Bullitt, maverick SFPD inspector

San Francisco, Spring 1968

Film: Bullitt
Release Date: October 17, 1968
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle
Tailor: Douglas Hayward

Background

There is little dispute among both film and automobile fans that 1968’s Bullitt features the best car chase scene in movie history. Steve McQueen faces off in a fastback Mustang GT against two hitmen in a black Charger. By now, diehard fans of the film know that the Charger legendarily overtook and outpowered the Mustang during the actual filming, although it was still edited to have McQueen’s driving emerge victorious as the Charger ended up, sadly, in a ball of flame. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Edwardian Gray Suit

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in "An Affair With A Married Woman", the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in “An Affair With A Married Woman”, the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Had he not been killed by the Soviets in 1925, Sidney Reilly may have lived to be 140 last weekend- March 24th to be specific. However, a 140-year-old man is very unlikely, especially with his lifestyle and habits, so something would’ve probably gotten him anyway.

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Sam Neill as Sigmund Rosenblum, later renamed “Sidney Reilly” upon his entry into the British Secret Service

London, Spring 1901

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “An Affair with a Married Woman” (Episode 1)
Air Date: September 5, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

This is the first we see of Reilly – still known as Rosenblum – back home in London after his first mission, the details of which will be covered in a later post. After an assignation with his prostitute mistress Rose, he resurfaces at a public meeting in Covent Garden where the British Secret Service is denying his own existence. In a cheeky fashion that recalls James Bond, he gets the best of everyone. Later, we also see him wearing the same suit for a series of meetings and the funeral of his aforementioned mistress. Continue reading

Charade – Cary Grant’s Dark “Drip Dry” Suit

Cary Grant as the multi-named hero in Charade (1963)

Cary Grant as the multi-named hero in Charade (1963)

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Cary Grant as Brian Cruikshank (aka Peter Joshua, Alexander Dyle, or Adam Canfield)

Paris, April 1963

Film: Charade
Release Date: December 5, 1963
Director: Stanley Donen

Background

Referred to as “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made”, Charade is a well-made blend of espionage thriller, screwball comedy, romance, and whodunit mystery. It was one of Cary Grant’s final movies before his retirement after Walk, Don’t Run in 1966.

In the film, Grant plays the well-suited hero or foil (depending on the scene) to Audrey Hepburn’s character, housewife Regina “Reggie” Lampert, who is gradually learning the layered criminal truth about her recently deceased husband. Although he was 59 years old when the film was made, Grant makes a convincing action hero, spending most of the final third of the film running, jumping, and shooting.

As to be expected, Grant is immaculately suited through most of the film.

On the 109th anniversary of Grant’s birth—when he entered the world in Bristol, England, as Archibald Leach on January 18, 1904—please enjoy… Continue reading

Jason Bourne in Switzerland

Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity (2002).

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, ex-CIA assassin on the run

Zurich, Winter 2002

Film: The Bourne Identity
Release Date: June 14, 2002
Director: Doug Liman
Costume Designer: Pierre-Yves Gayraud

Background

The Bourne Identity was the first installment of what became a very successful trilogy starring Matt Damon as amnesiac government assassin Jason Bourne. The source material was a 1975 book by Robert Ludlum that was also about an amnesiac government assassin named Jason Bourne. After that, the similarities pretty much end – the names are still there, but the tone, story, and plot are incredibly different.

Giving a boost to the spy genre, this first Bourne flick set a foundation not only for its equally successful sequels, but several other movies as well. Continue reading

Bullitt

Steve McQueen’s iconic style in Bullitt was one of my first BAMF Style posts, originally published in October 2012. As my writing style and the information available to me has evolved over the years, this post has been in a state of constant revision and updates, most recently in April 2021.

Steve McQueen as Bullitt (1968).

Steve McQueen as Bullitt (1968).

Vitals

Steve McQueen as Lt. Frank Bullitt, maverick San Francisco inspector

San Francisco, Spring 1968

Film: Bullitt
Release Date: October 17, 1968
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

Background

When I originally set out to learn more about Lieutenant Bullitt’s clothing, I came across a blog dedicated to Steve McQueen’s style that instantly made me feel seen with the declaration:

One thing sane people do, as we all know, is spend a good portion of their spare time on eBay searching for a brown tweed jacket a bit like the one in Bullitt.

Thanks to movies like The Great Escape, The Cincinnati Kid, and The Thomas Crown Affair—to name just a few—the Indiana-born McQueen has been firmly established as an icon of tough and timeless style, though its arguably his wardrobe as the eponymous hardworking and hard-driving SFPD detective in Bullitt that’s most singularly responsible for his enduring reputation as the “King of Cool”.

McQueen cycles through three distinct outfits in Bullitt—four, if you count his paisley pajamas—though it’s the tweed jacket, turtleneck, and boots that he wears while speeding his green ’68 Mustang fastback through the sloping streets of San Francisco in pursuit of a villainous black Dodge Charger R/T during the film’s unmatched ten-minute car chase that remains his most famous look. Continue reading

Three Days of the Condor

Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor (1975)

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Robert Redford as Joe Turner, alias “Condor”, CIA researcher

New York City, December 1975

Film: Three Days of the Condor
Release Date: September 24, 1975
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In a July 2012 article of GQ, Sydney Pollack’s masterpiece paranoia government thriller Three Days of the Condor was named one of “The 25 Most Stylish Films of All Time.” Pollack apparently was shocked by questions about the wardrobe worn by Robert Redford, saying “He wore one outfit through the whole picture!”

True as that may be, Redford’s versatile costume throughout fits the character of Joe Turner, a desk-bound ex-military bookworm who finds himself in dangerous circumstances despite a relatively non-dangerous job with the CIA. Codenamed “Condor” by his CIA supervisors, Turner is “literally out to lunch” when a professional hit squad wipes out all of his co-workers, sending Turner on the run with no one to trust but a complete stranger, a troubled photographer that he takes hostage named Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway), and presses into service to help him. Continue reading