Paul Newman as Lew Harper, wisecracking private eye
Los Angeles, Late Summer 1965
Release Date: February 23, 1966
Director: Jack Smight
By the mid 1960s, Paul Newman had proved himself to be one of the most talented – and yet still down-to-earth – actors in the industry. He had racked up impressive performances in dramas like The Long Hot Summer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Exodus, The Hustler, and Hud, but the world still had yet to see how well the charming blue-eyed actor could handle comedy.
Around this time, novelist and screenwriter William Goldman was desperately trying to get Ross MacDonald’s 1949 mystery novel The Moving Target turned into a film. The film rights were purchased, and Goldman completed his first ever solo screenplay, now titled Harper. Frank Sinatra was originally slated to play the protagonist, as he was looking for detective roles at the time, but the role eventually went to Newman. Continue reading
Robert Redford as Harry Longbaugh, aka “The Sundance Kid”, American outlaw and sharpshooter
Colorado to Bolivia (via New York City), Spring 1901
Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head
For Throwback Tuesday (that’s a thing, right?), BAMF Style is focusing on another BAMF hero – Robert Redford, who celebrated his 78th birthday yesterday – in the role that arguably shot his career into megastardom.
As Harry Longbaugh, alias “The Sundance Kid”, Redford played a level-headed – if pessimisitc – ying to the optimistic dreamer Butch Cassidy played by Paul Newman. Butch and the Kid were outlaws, killers, and thieves, but William Goldman’s script, George Roy Hill’s direction, and Newman and Redford’s bickering chemistry reinvented the two bandits’ image. Continue reading
William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective
Sycamore Springs, Summer 1944
Film: The Thin Man Goes Home
Release Date: January 25, 1945
Director: Richard Thorpe
Costume Supervisor: Irene
Although it isn’t one of the better films in the Thin Man series, The Thin Man Goes Home offers us a glimpse of Nick Charles’ pre-detective home life in “Sycamore Springs”, an idyllic small town somewhere in New England, in an attempt to ground the man we’d before known only as a wise-cracking, hard-drinking urbanite.
The Thin Man Goes Home, released in early 1945 when the world was still at war, was the fifth in the six-film series that had rapidly began losing momentum. After a strong start, each movie progressively lost the trademark wit of the original, replacing it with family-friendly hijinks and – most notably – less booze. Nick Charles’ shady Greek origins (the family’s original surname was Charalambides in Hammett’s novel) were replaced by a WASPy neighborhood in small town U.S.A. Although it is curious that Nick and Nora leave their young son at home, especially given the series’ new direction in favor of family. Continue reading
Jude Law as Dr. John Watson, adventurous physician and amateur detective
London, August 1890
Film: Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Jenny Beavan
While the current British series Sherlock offers more universally adaptable wardrobe options due to its contemporary setting, I unfortunately have yet to see the show (which I know I will love) or own it on a screencappable medium. Thus, to celebrate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 155th birthday this week – May 22 – I’ll be offering a suit worn by Jude Law in the 2009 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.
Dr. John Watson is the second-greatest invention of Conan Doyle, forever influencing the “active narrator” present in mysteries and thrillers. Throughout the years, Dr. Watson evolved from Conan Doyle’s stoic if somewhat stodgy man of action into a total dolt whose friendship with Holmes was the only thing keeping him alive. Continue reading
Happy 86th birthday to Roger Moore, who still holds the record for longest tenure as James Bond.
Roger Moore as James Bond, British “secret” agent who carries a camera with his “secret” code number on it
“California”, Fall 1979
Release Date: June 26, 1979
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Costume Design: Jacques Fonteray
By the time Moonraker rolled around, the realism of earlier Bond films like From Russia With Love was gone, replaced by near-fantasy adventures of a man who practically introduces himself as a secret agent, is completely irresistible to every woman to every woman in the world, and even goes into outer space. Outer fucking space. Continue reading
Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent and super spy
Switzerland, Summer 1964
Release Date: September 18, 1964
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell
For those weekends where you feel like jaunting through the Swiss Alps in your brand new European sports car, Goldfinger‘s got you covered with an elegantly casual sartorial suggestion.
Connery’s Bond appropriately sports a brown look for his day in the country. He begins at the Stoke Poges golf course in Buckinghamshire and, unexpectedly, ends up in Switzerland. Luckily for him, his country-inspired look is appropriate for both locales.
Four years (and two blog posts) earlier, Dean Martin wore a very Americanized version of a similar outfit in Ocean’s Eleven. Dino’s look was more swinger than English gentleman, but it is interesting to compare the differences in the look.
Additionally, this is the sequence in which we first get to see Bond’s DB5 – the first and arguably finest of his “gadget cars” – in action. Continue reading