Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow, bank robber with “second sight”
Rural Louisiana, May 1934
Series Title: Bonnie and Clyde
Air Date: December 8, 2013
Director: Bruce Beresford
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance
Eighty years ago today, six Southern lawmen pulled off a feat that the federal government had been failing to do for months with the first real victory in the United States’ “War on Crime”.
With the advent of the Great Depression following the stock market crash of 1929, criminals abandoned gangsterdom and bootlegging (both “Machine Gun” Kelly and “Pretty Boy” Floyd were known to be bootleggers early in their career) in favor of motorized banditry. In the spirit of the Old West, bank robbers took to cars all across the country – with a special concentration in the poorest areas of the Midwest and the South.
This crime wave did not go unnoticed by the government. Soon, names like John Dillinger, “Baby Face” Nelson, and Alvin Karpis were dominating the headlines, and they were surprisingly welcome by the people who were sick and tired of the perceived “fat cats” in the government. Some of the criminals, Dillinger and Floyd especially, even had the begrudging respect of some small-town lawmen. But the greatest disparity between public opinion and actual temperament is with the case of Bonnie and Clyde. Continue reading
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, sophisticated British secret agent
Cuba, Spring 1995
Release Date: November 13, 1995
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
For St. Patrick’s Day, it only makes sense to write the first post for this blog about the only Irish actor to ever play James Bond. And since Pierce Brosnan was also one of the few Bonds to ever wear an outfit that was predominantly green – the traditional St. Paddy’s Day attire – let’s take a look at his green military-styled assault gear in the finale of Goldeneye, his inaugural Bond film. Continue reading
Sorry this one took me long, fellas. I had planned to have it up by Tuesday (timed for the “polar vortex” ooooh…) but it’s a long-ass movie with a lot of clothes. However, this should still be pretty well-timed for anyone in North America dealing with record low temperatures this winter.
Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced Swedish investigative journalist
Hedestad, Sweden, Winter 2006
Film: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Release Date: December 20, 2011
Director: David Fincher
Costume Designer: Trish Summerville
This isn’t one of those movies you pop in just for a laugh on a summer day or to fall asleep to. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a very dark (both thematically and literally) film that’ll stick with you for days after watching. It’s long – closer to 3 hours than 2 – but the fast-paced, heart-racing sequences and the stellar acting, particularly from leads Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, make the time fly.
Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist in some hot water after his investigation into a corrupt businessman resulted in a libel case. He is mysteriously called to the home of Henrik Vanger (the always excellent and debonair Christopher Plummer) and thrown into a dark investigation of a forty-year-old murder. Continue reading
Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, slightly incompetent bank robber
Rural Louisiana, May 1934
Film: Bonnie & Clyde
Release Date: August 13, 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle
The sun was shining brightly on a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on Wednesday, May 23, 1934. An old Ford Model A truck idled by the side of the road. Hidden in the bushes by the side of the road, six lawmen sat in wait, armed with heavy duty Colt Monitors and Remington hunting rifles. They’d been there all night, sacrificing their skin for the many hungry insects in the woods. By dawn, they’d waited long enough. Tired, hungry, and dirty, the men planned to head back to their motel rooms after another half hour. Almost at that same time, the unmistakable sound of a Ford V8 engine was heard up the road. Continue reading
79 years ago today, Depression-era outlaw Charles Arthur Floyd was shot down by federal agents and local police in a farm outside East Liverpool, Ohio.
Steve Kanaly as Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd
Midwest U.S., October 1934
Release Date: July 20, 1973
Director: John Milius
Costume Designer: James M. George
Want to know something that truly bothers the hell out of me? The life of Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd has never been accurately, accessibly, and fully portrayed on film. Continue reading
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.
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.