Tagged: Western Wear

Joe Kidd’s Tweed Suit

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd in Joe Kidd (1972).

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd in Joe Kidd (1972).

Vitals

Clint Eastwood as Joe Kidd, laconic hunter and former bounty hunter

New Mexico, Spring 1902

Film: Joe Kidd
Release Date: July 14, 1972
Director: John Sturges

Background

Penned by Elmore Leonard, Joe Kidd is a unique revisionist Western starring Clint Eastwood as the titular ex-bounty hunter who finds himself reluctantly hired to join a posse tracking down a group of Mexican revolutionaries fighting for land reform.

Although the Joe Kidd character could be interchanged with any of Eastwood’s usual taciturn and iron-willed Western heroes (not that he’s any less entertaining for it!), the movie benefits from its interesting and oft-ignored setting and context as well as the usual Elmore Leonard touch of an array of unique characters populating the film’s world.

At the outset, Joe is locked up in the small town of Sinola, New Mexico as he awaits his trial for poaching. When he is asked if he knew it was illegal to hunt on reservation land, Joe responds:

Well the deer didn’t know where he was, and I wasn’t sure either.

What’d He Wear?

Audiences had become well-acquainted with the sight of Clint Eastwood’s familiar “Man With No Name” guise in Westerns, so it must have caught many audiences off-guard when Joe Kidd is first introduced in a suit – albeit, a raggedly worn one after his night in the slammer. Continue reading

Advertisements

Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday – Charcoal Western Suit

Kirk Douglas as John "Doc" Holliday in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957).

Kirk Douglas as John “Doc” Holliday in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957).

Vitals

Kirk Douglas as John “Doc” Holliday, hot-tempered gambler, gunslinger, and ex-dentist

Tombstone, AZ, October 1881

Film: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Release Date: May 30, 1957
Director: John Sturges
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Friday’s post focused on Raylan Givens, the dark-suited U.S. Marshal who would’ve been more at home in the Old West rather than the era of cell phones, electric cars, and Bieber. In fact, Raylan would have fit in perfectly 134 years ago today as Doc Holliday joined the Earps for their long walk toward the O.K. Corral and a showdown that would engrain them in western lore.

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, as it became known, became a pop culture phenomenon almost instantly. Dime books, paintings, and sketches romanticized the showdown for half a century until 1934’s Frontier Marshal incorporated the events into it largely fictional showdown between fearless lawman Michael Wyatt (George O’Brien) and local crime boss Doc Warren. Half a dozen films and more than two decades later, filmmakers finally came close to getting the names and events straight with the 1957 film Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, directed by John Sturges and starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, respectively. Continue reading

Col. Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More

An Italian poster for For a Few Dollars More (1965), featuring Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Douglas Mortimer.

An Italian poster for For a Few Dollars More (1965), featuring Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Douglas Mortimer.

Vitals

Lee Van Cleef as Douglas Mortimer, taciturn Old West bounty hunter and former U.S. Army Colonel

El Paso, Fall 1873

Film: For a Few Dollars More
Release Date: November 18, 1965
Director: Sergio Leone
Costume Designer: Carlo Simi

Background

Where life had no value, death, sometimes, had its price.

That is why the bounty hunters appeared.

…is how For a Few Dollars More introduces itself after blazing onto the screen, underlined by yet another iconic Ennio Morricone score. Clint Eastwood returns to the Sergio Leone spaghetti western scene as one of these bounty hunters, a laconic loner referred to only as “Manco”. While his dress and demeanor would imply that this was the same character he portrayed in A Fistful of Dollars the previous year, a lawsuit actually prevented Leone from using Eastwood’s “Joe” character from that film. Thus, the “Man with No Name” was born more out of legal necessity than artistic intention. Continue reading

The Sundance Kid’s Brown Corded Jacket

Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Vitals

Robert Redford as Harry Longbaugh, aka “The Sundance Kid”, laconic and sharp-shooting American outlaw

Colorado, Fall 1898

Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Last year, we celebrated Robert Redford’s 78th birthday (and Throwback Tuesday, which I’ve decided can be a thing) by breaking down the Sundance Kid’s traveling suit when he and Butch Cassidy pack up and head to Bolivia. This year, for Bob’s 79th, we’ll look at his main outfit leading up to that – a badass assortment of Western wear that epitomize American outlaw style at the turn of the century.

What’d He Wear?

Although the film’s audience would be hard-pressed to call either Butch or Sundance a true villain despite their criminal vocations, Sundance is certainly the darker-demeanored of the two, reflected by his attire. In Bolivia, he wears a black suit and black hat. While still conducting his banditry in the U.S., he wears all black save for a brown corduroy jacket. By default, he becomes the film’s personification of the “black-hatted outlaw” trope although his easy charm differentiates him from more villianous contemporaries like Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The one major non-black part of his American banditry outfit is the brown wide-waled corduroy jacket. The jacket looks as well-traveled as Sundance himself, providing him comfortable and surprisingly fashionable outerwear that allows a wide range of motion for a man whose job includes jumping on and off of moving trains. Continue reading

William Holden in The Wild Bunch

William Holden as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1969).

William Holden as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1969).

Vitals

William Holden as Pike Bishop, grizzled bandit gang leader

Coahuila, Mexico, Spring 1913

Film: The Wild Bunch
Release Date: June 18, 1969
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Costume Designer: James R. Silke

Background

We’ve got to start thinking beyond our guns. Those days are closing fast.

…is what Pike Bishop wisely tells his men, an aging group of outlaws still anachronistically robbing banks and trains on horseback with a six-shooter on their hips. Pike knows the times are changing, and it doesn’t take a water-cooled machine gun or a Mexican general’s Packard to drive the point home to them.

Today would have been the 97th birthday of William Holden, who starred in classics like Sunset BoulevardStalag 17SabrinaThe Bridge on the River Kwai before taking on the role of the anachronistically self-aware Pike Bishop. Holden was one of many actors considered by Sam Peckinpah for the role; Lee Marvin had actually been cast but then turned it down to accept the higher-paying lead in Paint Your Wagon. It turned out well for Holden, who developed the character into one of the greatest movie badasses of all time… as even that sterling news source MTV agreed. Continue reading

Butch Cassidy in Bolivia

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Vitals

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, exiled American outlaw in Bolivia

Bolivia, November 1908

Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

105 years ago today, a group of scared and confused law officers surrounded a small boarding house in San Vincente, Bolivia. Inside the house were two tired American men, believed responsible for a score of robberies throughout South America over the past three years. Outside the house stood the police chief, the mayor, city officials, and three soldiers – one of whom was dead.

At 2:00 a.m., the officials heard a man screaming from inside the house. A single shot ended the screaming, soon followed by one final gunshot. These were the last shots fired in a daylong gun battle that had raged for nearly 12 hours. Under the light of the morning, the officials cautiously entered the house and found the two men dead, one of a bullet wound in the forehead and the other with a bullet wound in his temple.

There remains some doubt as to who the two men really were, but they were believed to be the thieves of a mining payroll stolen five days earlier. These thieves were better known to history, and film, as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Continue reading

Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone

Val Kilmer as

Val Kilmer as “Doc” Holliday in Tombstone.

Sorry about the length in advance, but I wasn’t totally sure how to structure this one. If there is repeated information, consider it valuable knowledge that you should never ever forget.

Vitals

Val Kilmer as John “Doc” Holliday, failed dentist, proficient gambler, and excellent gunfighter

Tombstone, AZ, October 1881

Film: Tombstone
Release Date: December 24, 1993
Director: George P. Cosmatos (but really, Kurt Russell)
Costume Designer: Joseph A. Porro

Background

Today is the 132nd anniversary of one of the most infamous shootouts in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral! Continue reading