Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximillian Largo, billionaire businessman and SPECTRE terrorist
Monte Carlo, Spring 1983
Film: Never Say Never Again
Release Date: October 7, 1983
Director: Irvin Kershner
Costume Designer: Charles Knode
1983 was the year of the dueling James Bonds. Roger Moore continued as the canonical 007 in Eon Productions’ Octopussy, while Bond emeritus Sean Connery surprised audiences by starring in Never Say Never Again, an “unofficial” reimagining of Thunderball released 40 years ago next month by Jack Schwartzman’s Taliafilm.
Never Say Never Again resulted from a two-decade effort by producer Kevin McClory, who had collaborated with Ian Fleming and screenwriter Jack Whittingham on an original Bond screenplay in the late 1950s. When Fleming published a novelization of their unproduced screenplay as Thunderball in 1961, McClory and Whittingham sued and settled out of court, albeit with a string of conditions that ultimately maintained Eon’s rights to the story for up to ten years after the release of their own cinematic adaptation of Thunderball, released in 1965.
By the mid-1970s when McClory announced his plans to produce his own version of the story, both Whittingham and Fleming had died, and Connery had hung up 007’s shoulder holster—presumably for good—after reluctantly returning to the iconic role in Diamonds are Forever. After more legal and production hurdles, the end result released in October 1983 was Never Say Never Again, titled in reference to Connery reprising his role after twice saying he would never play Bond again. (While Moore turned 55 during the production of Octopussy, it’s Never Say Never Again that focuses more on Bond’s advancing age… despite Connery actually being three years younger than Moore and looking considerably more fit than the last time Connery starred as the “official” Bond in Diamonds are Forever a dozen years earlier.)
Not being produced by Eon meant many signature elements were missing, like the James Bond theme, the opening gunbarrel, and a familiar cast portraying 007’s allies at MI6. However, Bond still received his briefing from M (Edward Fox), flirted with Miss Moneypenny (Pamela Salem), and received his equipment from an uncharacteristically jolly Q (Alec McCowen) before jetting off to the Bahamas to investigate a missing nuclear warhead… just as he had in Thunderball.
Never Say Never Again globe-hops with more ferocity than Thunderball, and it’s not long before Bond arrives in southern France, tracking the enigmatic billionaire Maximilian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer) and his girlfriend Domino Petachi (Kim Basinger). Bond literally gets his hands on Domino at a Villefranche-sur-Mer massage parlor, where he learns that Largo is hosting a charity ball that night across the border in Monte Carlo. Good thing Bond packed his tuxedo!
Largo: Do you enjoy games, Mr. Bond?
Bond: Depends with whom I’m playing.
An oft-criticized scene from Never Say Never Again pits Bond against Largo during a duel for world domination… in the form of a pixilated video game that Largo invented. Titled “Domination”, the Atari-style game was clearly an attempt to make the story seem fashionable for the 1980s—though it likely seemed dated by the time its first audiences were already out of the theater. A beaming Largo explains that “unlike armchair generals, we will share the pain of our soldiers in the form of electric shocks.” Even after almost passing out from the pain, Bond keeps the game going—is it because he wants to prove a point to Largo, or does he just not want to give $58,000 to a children’s charity?
As September 12 is National Video Games Day (not to be confused with plain old “Video Games Day” observed on July 8), BAMF Style’s inaugural Never Say Never Again post will explore Largo’s creative black tie for the event. Continue reading
Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent
Udaipur, India, Spring 1983
Release Date: June 6, 1983
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Emma Porteous
Tailor: Douglas Hayward
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Happy 00-7th of April! Easter weekend feels like the appropriate occasion to celebrate the debonair Roger Moore’s evening-wear for James Bond’s memorable “egg hunt” in his penultimate 007 adventure—the provocatively titled Octopussy, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this June. Continue reading
Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, rising country rock star
Texarkana, Texas, Summer 1955
Film: Walk the Line
Release Date: November 18, 2005
Director: James Mangold
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Pam Lisenby
Eighty-nine years ago on February 26, 1932, J.R. Cash was born in Arkansas. His childhood was dominated by music, as there was little else to encourage the family enduring the hard years of the Depression made worse by a dangerous flood and the violent death of Jack, one of the seven Cash children. It was when he joined the military that the 18-year-old Cash expanded his first name as the Air Force wouldn’t allow just initials, though it wasn’t until cutting his first recording at Sun Records that he established the name that would become legendary: Johnny Cash. Continue reading
Henry Fonda as Charles “Hopsie” Pike, brewery heir and ophidiologist
SS Southern Queen, sailing north from South America,
Film: The Lady Eve
Release Date: February 25, 1941
Director: Preston Sturges
Costume Designer: Edith Head
Men’s Wardrobe: Richard Bachler
To celebrate the birthday today of my wonderful, patient, and charming girlfriend, I’d like to highlight the elegant evening wear worn by Henry Fonda in The Lady Eve, a classic screwball comedy that I first discovered with her family. Continue reading
Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent
Las Vegas, Spring 1971
Film: Diamonds are Forever
Release Date: December 17, 1971
Director: Guy Hamilton
Wardrobe Master: Ray Beck
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
It’s Friday the 13th! Considered an unlucky day by some, this summer occurrence feels like just the right time to follow James Bond as he tests his own luck in a Las Vegas casino in Diamonds are Forever, the 1971 film that convinced Sean Connery to portray the British secret agent one more time.
Luck appears to be initially on 007’s side as he wins $50,000 at craps and makes the acquaintance of the voluptuous Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood).
Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, U.S. Army OSS officer and redneck leader of the “Inglourious Basterds”
Paris, June 1944
Film: Inglourious Basterds
Release Date: August 21, 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Anna B. Sheppard
Brad Pitt’s Evening Attire: Giorgio Armani
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Inglourious Basterds kicks off a two-film spree in Tarantino’s filmography focused on rewriting history with violent vengeance. In this revisionist take on World War II, a band of Jewish-American military guerillas – think The Dirty Dozen meets The A-Team – is assigned the sole task of secretly but brutally fighting their way through occupied German territory, murdering any Nazi encountered in their wake. The two-year spree of these “inglourious basterds” who give the film its title ends up in a Paris movie theater on the eve of the D-Day invasion with an opportunity to take down the German high command, including Hitler himself, to end the war. Continue reading
Robert Redford as Jack Weil, smooth, cynical gambler and U.S. Navy veteran
Havana, December 1958
Release Date: December 14, 1990
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack
The new year is a time of resolutions, but instead of dropping a few hundred quid on a gym membership that will be used three times until it’s finally dropped in March, invest those dollars in a perfectly tailored dinner jacket… then resolve to find the occasion in 2017 to wear it. Whether it’s to class up a night out or just to feel confident at the grocery store, you’ll be glad you made the investment!
To illustrate the impression a great dinner jacket can make, BAMF Style is delivering a double dose of Robert Redford’s formalwear leading up to the new year. (Thursday’s post analyzed his black tie ensemble in Spy Game.) In this sequence from Havana, Jack Weil (Redford) dresses to the nines for an evening meeting with Meyer Lansky (Mark Rydell) and Joe Volpi (Alan Arkin) at one of Lansky’s casinos. Continue reading
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Isaac “Ike” Evans, tough and shrewd hotel owner
Miami Beach, January 1959
Series: Magic City
Episodes: “The Year of the Fin” (Episode 1.01), “Castles Made of Sand” (Episode 1.03), & “Crossroads” (Episode 2.04)
Air Dates: March 30, 2012 (Episode 1.01), April 20, 2012 (Episode 1.03), & July 12, 2013 (Episode 2.04)
Directors: Carl Franklin (Episode 1.01) & Ed Bianchi (Episode 1.03 & 2.04)
Creator: Mitch Glazer
Costume Designer: Carol Ramsey
For two seasons, Magic City presented the abundantly stylish saga of the Evans family and the Miramar Playa, telling a compelling story beneath the elegant late ’50s aesthetic of long-finned cars, sharp-suited men and tightly-dressed bombshells, and ubiquitous cocktails and cigarettes. Continue reading
Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, cynical “gin joint” manager and former arms dealer
Casablanca, Morocco, December 1941
Release Date: November 26, 1942
Director: Michael Curtiz
Although remembered today as one of the greatest romances to grace the screen, the Los Angeles Times‘s Bob Strauss was most accurate when he declared Casablanca a “near-perfect entertainment balance” of comedy, romance, and suspense. In fact, the movie has become so ingrained as a romance classic that few recall just how badass it actually is.
Take the leading man: Rick Blaine. Played by Humphrey Bogart (which already lends plenty of BAMF credibility), Rick is more cynical than any of the private eyes that Bogie ever played on screen. He owns a bar with an illegal gambling den and maintained a successful side racket of running guns to Ethiopia, in addition to packing his own pistol on most occasions.
When Ilsa, the love of his life, walks back into his bar after nearly two years, he takes to the bottle… and he does so with gusto. The bitter Rick refuses to help Ilsa’s crusading resistance leader husband, to which she responds by drawing her own gun. After sorting out conflicted feelings, old flames, and a bullet or two in the gut of a Nazi, Rick finally manages to find closure with his old love while paving the way for further shady business ventures. The end.
With just over a week left until Valentine’s Day, Rick Blaine provides a classic, dapper look sure to make your special lady swoon on this most hated of holidays. Good luck, fellas. Continue reading
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, adventurer and archaeology professor
Shanghai, Summer 1935
Film: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Release Date: May 23, 1984
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Anthony Powell
For the first Indiana Jones post on BAMF Style, one might expect to see the iconic leather jacket, fedora, and bullwhip costume. However, Indy’s first chronological appearance in the original trilogy is at the outset of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when Indy dons his finest duds to meet with Shanghai crime boss Lao Che at the hopping Club Obi Wan. Continue reading