Tagged: What to Wear for Dancing

Steve Martin’s Red Silk Suit in My Blue Heaven

Steve Martin with Rick Moranis in My Blue Heaven (1990). Sadly, this is just a promotional photo and Steve's rad Ray-Ban sunglasses didn't make it into this scene.

Steve Martin with Rick Moranis in My Blue Heaven (1990). Sadly, this is just a promotional photo and Steve’s rad Ray-Ban sunglasses didn’t make it into this scene.

Vitals

Steve Martin as Vinnie Antonelli (aka Tod Wilkinson), ex-Mafia informant

New York City, Early Winter 1990

Film: My Blue Heaven
Release Date: August 17, 1990
Director: Herbert Ross
Costume Designer: Joseph G. Aulisi

Background

This week’s focus on dupioni silk continues with the loud red suit worn by Steve Martin in My Blue Heaven, posted today to celebrate my sister’s birthday as this flick is a family favorite that she and I are frequently quoting to each other.

Although Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill provides himself the living epigraph of living the rest of his life “like a schnook” at the end of Goodfellas, the story really didn’t end there. Loosely based on Hill’s post-mob life in the witness protection program, My Blue Heaven was written by Nora Ephron, who had been inspired by her husband Nicholas Pileggi’s interviews with Hill. Through the interview process, it was discovered that a career criminal like Hill didn’t reform himself immediately (if at all) and was often getting into trouble with authorities – returning to his old criminal ways, maintaining a high profile, and even entering a bigamist marriage under his “new” name – all depicted in My Blue Heaven. Continue reading

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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).

Vitals

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