Tagged: Upstate New York

Leo’s Charcoal Jacket and Gray Flannels in Miller’s Crossing

Albert Finney as Leo O'Bannon in Miller's Crossing (1990)

Albert Finney as Leo O’Bannon in Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Vitals

Albert Finney as Liam “Leo” O’Bannon, Irish Mob-connected political boss

Upstate New York, Fall 1929

Film: Miller’s Crossing
Release Date: September 21, 1990
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Following an assassination attempt that he foiled with his Thompson artistry, small-town political boss Leo O’Bannon summons his troops to his office. One of said troops, Hammett-esque anti-hero Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne) uses the opportunity to earn the ire of his boss by revealing his affair with Leo’s main squeeze, Verna (Marcia Gay Harden).

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Don Draper’s Plaid Sport Shirt for the Solar Eclipse

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in "Seven Twenty Three", Episode 3.07 of Mad Men.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in “Seven Twenty Three”, Episode 3.07 of Mad Men.

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, mysterious ad exec and suburban dad

Ossining, New York, July 1963

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Seven Twenty Three” (Episode 3.07)
Air Date: September 27, 2009
Director: Daisy von Scherler Mayer
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

Background

“Why can’t you stare into the eclipse? I mean, what’s it gonna do, really? I stare at the sun every day,” wonders Carlton Hanson (Kristoffer Polaha), the philandering husband in Don and Betty Draper’s suburban social set.

After a few dismissive seconds staring through his sunglasses, Don merely responds by asking “You stare at the sun every day?”

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Don Draper’s Navy Weekend Sportcoat

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in "Marriage of Figaro", Episode 1.03 of Mad Men.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in “Marriage of Figaro”, Episode 1.03 of Mad Men.

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, mysterious ad exec and suburban dad

Ossining, New York, April 1960

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Marriage of Figaro” (Episode 1.03)
Air Date: August 2, 2007
Director: Ed Bianchi
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

Background

In addition to Mad Men‘s first mention of Dick Whitman, “Marriage of Figaro” includes a snazzy casual outfit for a slick spring weekend in the suburbs.

The first two episodes certainly hinted at the deep layers lurking beneath the man first introduced to us as Don Draper, but it is “Marriage of Figaro” that breaks Mad Men‘s ground in exploring our ostensible protagonist’s isolation and loneliness… a quality that Todd VanDerWerff of The AV Club described as “his essential unhappiness.” Continue reading

Tom’s Striped Charcoal Suit in Miller’s Crossing

Gabriel Byrne as Tom Reagan in Miller's Crossing (1990)

Gabriel Byrne as Tom Reagan in Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Vitals

Gabriel Byrne as Tom Reagan, pragmatic Irish mob fixer

Upstate New York, Fall 1929

Film: Miller’s Crossing
Release Date: September 21, 1990
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Miller’s Crossing is one of my favorite Coen Brothers movies as well as one of my favorite crime films. Perhaps overshadowed the year it was released by higher pedigree mob flicks like Goodfellas and, uh, The Godfather Part III, the Coens’ neo-noir black comedy has gained a cult following in the years since for its spirited tribute to the works of Dashiell Hammett, particularly Red Harvest (1929) and The Glass Key (1931). Continue reading

George Bailey’s Birdseye Tweed Christmas Suit

James Stewart (as George Bailey) with Donna Reed (as Mary Bailey) and Karolyn Grimes (as Zuzu) in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

James Stewart (as George Bailey) with Donna Reed (as Mary Bailey) and Karolyn Grimes (as Zuzu) in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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James Stewart as George Bailey, banker and depressed family man

Bedford Falls, NY, Christmas Eve 1945

Film: It’s a Wonderful Life
Release Date: December 20, 1946
Director: Frank Capra
Costume Designer: Edward Stevenson

Background

Jimmy Stewart and director Frank Capra have both called It’s a Wonderful Life the favorite film of each of their prolific careers. Stewart cites George Bailey as his favorite character that he’s played, and Capra would annually screen the film for his own family each Christmas.

First released 60 years ago this week, the film earned mixed reviews and was ultimately considered a financial disappointment, earning only $3.3 million during its initial box office run against its considerably expensive $3.7 million budget. (It also earned the ire of the FBI for its “Communist tricks” of “represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture,” but that’s a whole different story.) Continue reading

Jimmy Stewart’s “Charleston” Suit

Donna Reed and James Stewart dance the Charleston as Mary Hatch and George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

Donna Reed and James Stewart dance the Charleston as Mary Hatch and George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

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James Stewart as George Bailey, bank officer and “nice guy”

Bedford Falls, NY, May 1928

Film: It’s a Wonderful Life
Release Date: December 20, 1946
Director: Frank Capra
Costume Designer: Edward Stevenson

Background

Today would’ve been the 108th birthday of James Stewart, and BAMF Style is honoring this screen legend by looking at Stewart’s own favorite character from his filmography: George Bailey.

Rated #9 on AFI’s 100 Heroes list and #8 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time, Stewart’s portrayal of the Capra-esque “every man” still resonates with audiences 70 years later, especially around Christmas time (due to an NTA clerical error in 1974). In fact, the local Regent Square Theater near my house in Pittsburgh hosts a free screening of It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmastime, which I’ve been sure to never miss in the last four years.

One of my favorite scenes – not only in It’s a Wonderful Life but from movie history – is the Charleston contest where George and Mary reconnect and then find themselves drenched when a jealous rival for her affections (played by The Little Rascals‘ Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer) opens the dance floor to send the two flap-happy dancers into the school swimming pool. In fact, this scene was filmed at the Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles which indeed had a gym floor that could be converted into a pool with the press of a button. Continue reading

Leo’s Red Silk Robe in Miller’s Crossing

Albert Finney as Leo O'Bannon in Miller's Crossing (1990).

Albert Finney as Leo O’Bannon in Miller’s Crossing (1990).

Vitals

Albert Finney as Liam “Leo” O’Bannon, Irish Mob-connected political boss

Upstate New York, Fall 1929

Film: Miller’s Crossing
Release Date: September 21, 1990
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is the 80th birthday of Albert Finney so BAMF Style is taking a look at his portrayal of Liam “Leo” O’Bannon, the “cheap political boss with more hair tonic than brains” in Miller’s Crossing, the Coen brothers’ 1990 nod to Dashiell Hammett.

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