Harry Styles as Jack Chambers, “technical engineer”
The Victory Project, an American desert utopia modeled after late 1950s Palm Springs
Film: Don’t Worry Darling
Release Date: September 23, 2022
Director: Olivia Wilde
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Jack Kasbarian
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
I had been among those who were anticipating the release of Don’t Worry Darling since long before the gossip, mostly excited to catch my faves Florence Pugh and Nick Kroll—supporting though his role may have been—against the lush ’50s-inspired style from costumes to cars as seen in leaked photos from the production in Palm Springs.
Much of the film’s attention has since been mired in controversy between behind-the-scenes issues and frustration over its plot execution, but I’d argue that credit is still considerably due to its showcasing the most aspirational aspects of mid-century life, including natty wardrobes, naughty cocktail parties, and Detroit’s chrome-detailed finest in every driveway. Indeed, you could say a little too much attention was paid to *clears throat* Styles over substance.
Okay, that was a cheap shot. While I won’t deny that I was frustrated by what felt like unnecessary red herrings and logistical storytelling holes that didn’t even last my trip to the fridge, Don’t Worry Darling was a dazzling spectacle anchored by a solid performance from the always-excellent Florence Pugh, who celebrates her 27th birthday today.
Lee Marvin as Walker, drunken sailor and future thief
San Francisco, early 1960s
Film: Point Blank
Release Date: August 30, 1967
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Margo Weintz
Lee Marvin, Academy Award-winning actor and U.S. Marine Corps veteran of World War II, was born 98 years ago today on February 19, 1924. Marvin would be established as one of the most charismatic tough guys of the screen, particularly due to movies like The Killers (1964), The Professionals (1966), The Dirty Dozen (1967), and Point Blank (1967).
Adapted from Donald E. Westlake’s pulp crime novel The Hunter (published under the pseudonym Richard Stark), Point Blank stars Marvin as the mononymous Walker, a thief left for dead by his wife Lynne (Sharon Acker) and his double-crossing partner-in-crime Mal Reese (John Vernon) after a dangerous heist. Continue reading
Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent
India, Spring 1983
Release Date: June 6, 1983
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Emma Porteous
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Born 93 years ago today on October 14, 1927, the great Sir Roger Moore continues to hold the record for the number of films in which he starred as James Bond, playing agent 007 a total of 00-7 times. (Sean Connery also played Bond seven times, though 1983’s Never Say Never Again is considered “unofficial” as it wasn’t made by EON Productions.) In anticipation of Daniel Craig’s final 007 movie No Time to Die—its release yet again delayed for another six months—let’s explore an exciting climactic scene from Sir Roger’s penultimate film as James Bond. Continue reading
Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent presumed dead
Tokyo, Summer 1966
Film: You Only Live Twice
Release Date: June 13, 1967
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Master: Eileen Sullivan
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond.
Sean Connery’s fifth film as James Bond was the first of the franchise to considerably depart from Ian Fleming’s source novel, though it retains the title, the basic plot line and characters, and the Japanese setting. In fact, while most Bond films are continent-hopping travelogues, Japan hosts the majority of the action in You Only Live Twice aside from the pre-credits sequence, set in Hong Kong where Bond is ostensibly murdered.
Of course, it’s hardly a spoiler to reveal that the assassination is a ruse to fool Bond’s enemies into thinking he is out of the picture while the agent himself lives to die another day… in fact, you could say he lived twice! Presumed dead by his enemies after his burial at sea, Bond is free to be sent to Japan to investigate a mysterious spacecraft that has seemingly landed in the Sea of Japan. Bond soon makes contact with his lovely ally Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi), who drives him around Tokyo in a sporty Toyota 2000GT that had been customized by the production to accommodate Sean Connery’s height.
I had long wanted to cover this sequence as I love Bond’s tailoring, Aki’s Toyota, and the trio of drinks he imbibes with varying degrees of satisfaction, but it felt particularly appropriate to write about for a #CarWeek post this 00-7th of July given James Bond’s safe pro-masking message…
Cary Grant as John Robie, retired cat burglar and jewel thief
French Riviera, Summer 1954
Film: To Catch a Thief
Release Date: August 5, 1955
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Costume Designer: Edith Head
In commemoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s 120th birthday on August 13, this week continues with a look at one of the Master of Suspense’s most stylish movies, the 1955 romantic caper To Catch a Thief.