Bing Crosby as C.K. Dexter Haven, jazz musician
Newport, Rhode Island, Summer 1956
Film: High Society
Release Date: July 17, 1956
Director: Charles Walters
Costume Designer: Helen Rose
Happy St. Valentine’s Day! This year’s theme for the #WeekOfWeddings seems to be impromptu nuptials that find our cheeky protagonists thrust into taking the vows without a chance to don traditional wedding attire. Today, we’re following a mischievous summer weekend among the socialites of Newport, Rhode Island, in High Society, the musical remake of The Philadelphia Story.
High Society recasts The Philadelphia Story‘s leading gents Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart with the more musically inclined Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, respectively, though it’s interesting to note that Crosby is actually a few months older than Grant, making this surely one of the few times in movie history that a remake actually featured a performer older than his or her predecessor!
Katharine Hepburn’s role was recast with Grace Kelly, establishing High Society as the actress’ final film role before her retirement at the age of 26 upon marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. In the spirit of marriage, Kelly wore her actual Cartier engagement ring from Rainier on screen. Continue reading
Steve Martin as Vinnie Antonelli (aka Tod Wilkinson), ex-Mafia informant
Fryburg, California, November 1989 through summer 1990
Film: My Blue Heaven
Release Date: August 17, 1990
Director: Herbert Ross
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi
You know, it’s dangerous for you to be here in the frozen food section… because you could melt. all. this. stuff.
Steve Martin’s smooth-talking Vinnie Antonelli finds post-Mafia lifestyle to be more and more amenable in My Blue Heaven as he builds a suburban criminal empire and seduces a floozy in the frozen aisle of his local grocery store. Continue reading
Cary Grant as C.K. Dexter Haven, cheeky socialite yacht designer
Philadelphia, summer 1940
Film: The Philadelphia Story
Release Date: December 26, 1940
Director: George Cukor
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Many weddings are elaborate events planned out months, if not years, in advance. In The Philadelphia Story, C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) and Tracy Samantha Lord (Katharine Hepburn) have only a few minutes before taking their place [back] at the altar for a memorable wedding that results in an appropriately informal “casual Friday” post to conclude BAMF Style’s Week of Weddings. Continue reading
Cillian Murphy as Thomas “Tommy” Shelby, cunning Peaky Blinders gang leader and jaded WWI veteran
Birmingham, England, February 1924
Series: Peaky Blinders
Episode: Episode 3.01
Air Date: May 5, 2016
Director: Tim Mielants
Creator: Steven Knight
Costume Designer: Alexandra Caulfield
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today’s Week of Weddings post focuses on the sadly short-lived union of Tommy Shelby and Grace Burgess that kicked off the third season of Peaky Blinders.
This is the second Peaky Blinders wedding to be featured on BAMF Style after the first season nuptials of John Shelby and Esme Lee. While that first wedding was considerably spontaneous (at least for the groom), this union had been in the fire since Tommy and Grace first laid eyes on each other across the Garrison in 1919. Five years and one dead Irish investigator later, the two are finally tying the knot.
Grace’s family is comprised of several members of the “King’s Irish” cavalrymen that nearly abandoned the Peaky Blinders on the battlefield a decade earlier, so Tommy is forced to lay down some relatively unorthodox rules for a wedding:
No cocaine. No sport. No telling fortunes. No racing. No fucking sucking petrol out of their fucking cars… But the main thing is, you bunch of fuckers, despite the provocation from the cavalry, no fighting!
Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, ruthless and calculating U.S. President
Gaffney, SC, August 2015
Series: House of Cards
Episode: “Chapter 33” (Episode 3.07)
Streaming Date: February 27, 2015
Director: John Dahl
Costume Designer: Johanna Argan
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
The Week of Weddings comes to an end with a subdued renewal of vows for that coldest of TV couples, Frank and Claire Underwood.
“Chapter 33” is a particularly meditative episode for a show that has found its lead character throw another major character in front of a train. The episode uses the creation and subsequent destruction of a Hindu mandala to tell the story of the unorthodox Underwood marriage. While political murders and extramarital affairs aren’t enough to kill their marriage, the President and his wife find themselves more divided than ever after the events of the previous episode. It’s significant that they return to the original church in Gaffney where their formation was created in order to rejuvenate their relationship, and it’s while talking to Yates in front of their first home together that he can admit:
I can tell you this, though, there would have been no White House without Claire.
Of course, Gaffney was also the place where Frank Underwood was created, and it is here – through the increasingly less biased eyes of biographer Thomas Yates – that he is as removed from his ruthless political self as possible. He is disarmingly introspective and charismatic, pouring out stories and wisdom though it were from a bottle of bourbon in his office. Continue reading
Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas, heroin kingpin
Harlem, Summer 1971
Film: American Gangster
Release Date: November 2, 2007
Director: Ridley Scott
Costume Designer: Janty Yates
Tailor: Leonard Logsdail
For BAMF Style, the week leading up to Valentine’s Day always means a Week of Weddings, focusing on how some of the greatest on-screen tough guys dress up for their big day.
American Gangster depicts the rise and fall of heroin trafficker Frank Lucas and his disputed claims of smuggling dope home in the caskets of American servicemen who had died during the Vietnam War. He meets the Puerto Rican beauty queen Eva (her real name was Julianna) at his nightclub, and the two are soon married. Continue reading
BAMF Style looks forward to Valentine’s Day this weekend with an abbreviated Week of Weddings.
James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, hotheaded Mafia underboss
Long Island, NY, August 1945
Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone
Sonny is a natural choice as a groomsman for his sister’s wedding. Not only did he introduce her to her new husband, but he’s the underboss of New York’s powerful Corleone crime family and not the sort of guy who would appreciate being left out.
Sonny is a busy guy on the wedding day. He has to be all over the place, from the parking lot to his father’s office while keeping tabs on his war hero brother, his wife, and his mistress. Of course, when the Don summons him, he’s never far away. Continue reading