Gregory Peck as Harry Street, adventurous American expatriate writer and former newspaper reporter
Paris, Spring 1925
Film: The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Release Date: September 17, 1952
Director: Henry King
Wardrobe Supervisor: Charles Le Maire
The snowy month of January—and my shared half-birthday with Ernest Hemingway on the 21st—makes today a perfect time to look at Gregory Peck’s style in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, the first of Henry King’s two adaptations of Papa’s work that would star Ava Gardner and Peck’s second go at playing a Hemingway protagonist.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, stir-crazy writer
Silver Creek, Colorado, Winter 1990
Film: The Shining
Release Date: May 23, 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Happy Halloween, BAMF Style readers! What better way to observe the most haunted holiday than with a look at one of the scariest and most suspenseful psychological horror movies, The Shining.
Three years after Stephen King’s novel was published, Stanley Kubrick brought his own adaptation of the story to the big screen with a screenplay co-written by novelist Diane Johnson, significantly altering the characters and motivations of the source novel.
Perhaps most significantly – and certainly cited as one of King’s greatest dissatisfactions with the movie – was Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the central character, Jack Torrance, the new caretaker who brings his family to the Overlook Hotel for the winter and hopes the seclusion will help him with his writing… and to continue overcoming his battle with alcoholism. “Instead of playing a normal man who becomes insane, Nicholson portrays a crazy man attempting to remain sane,” wrote Cinefantastique editor Frederick S. Clarke in 1996. Continue reading
James Caan as Paul Sheldon, successful but cynical romance novelist
Silver Creek, Colorado, Winter 1990
Release Date: November 30, 1990
Director: Rob Reiner
Costume Designer: Gloria Gresham
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Stephen King’s novels have provided the basis for some of the most enduring horror cinema, from Carrie and Christine to The Shining and The Stand. With Halloween a week away, I wanted to focus on a request I received to take a look at the protagonist’s style in the thrilling and witty adaptation of King’s self-inspired 1987 novel Misery. The novel was partly inspired by King feeling trapped both by his demanding, horror-loving fans and his own drug and alcohol demons, all embodied in the form of the obsessive tormentor Annie Wilkes. Continue reading
Dominic Cooper as Ian Fleming, former British Secret Service agent and aspiring author
Goldeneye, Jamaica, March 1952
Series: Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond
Episode: Episode 1
Air Date: January 29, 2014
Director: Mat Whitecross
Costume Designer: Caroline Harris
This Monday, May 28, marks the 110th birthday of Ian Fleming, the author who created James Bond based on his own experiences in British naval intelligence during World War II. Fleming’s works have famously been adapted to the screen in one of the most successful film franchises to date, while the man’s own life has been adapted a few times as well.
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, is the most recent visual retelling of Fleming’s life, focusing on the period of 1938 to 1952 that included Commander Fleming’s service in the British Naval Intelligence Division during World War II and much of the gambling, girls, and gin that would become a hallmark for both Fleming and his fictional creation. Continue reading
Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker, powerful and domineering newspaper columnist
New York City, Fall 1956
Film: Sweet Smell of Success
Release Date: June 27, 1957
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Costume Designer: Mary Grant
In commemoration of Burt Lancaster’s birthday today, I’m exploring my favorite of his films, the atmospheric 1957 noir Sweet Smell of Success that starred Lancaster as acerbic columnist J.J. Hunsecker to Tony Curtis’ unscrupulous PR flack Sidney Falco.
J.J. Hunsecker is a man whose legendary power and mercurial temper is meant to intimidate nearly all in his orbit. Continue reading
Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, expatriate American journalist
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Summer 1960
Film: The Rum Diary
Release Date: October 28, 2011
Director: Bruce Robinson
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood
“In summary, this airman, although talented, will not be guided by policy,” heralded Hunter S. Thompson’s honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force in November 1957, a considerable understatement given the iconic writer’s eventual symbolic anti-authoritarian status.
Following his discharge, Thompson tried a few journalistic stints in New York but was fired by Time (for insubordination) and the Middletown Daily Record (for damaging a candy machine) and moved to Puerto Rico in 1960.
Having failed to procure a position with the San Juan Star, Thompson wrote for the El Sportivo sporting magazine… though it folded quickly after his arrival. His experiences in San Juan formed the basis of The Rum Diary, a novel that he penned shortly after his return to the U.S. the following year, although it wasn’t published for more than three decades.
While it would be inaccurate to describe The Rum Diary as a strict roman à clef, its morose, restless narrator Paul Kemp is clearly modeled on Thompson himself, and Thompson’s friend Johnny Depp was naturally tapped to play the role in the film adaptation. Continue reading
David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist and screenwriter
Los Angeles, Spring 2010
Episode: “Lights. Camera. Asshole.” (Episode 4.08)
Air Date: February 27, 2011
Director: Adam Bernstein
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer
It just seems appropriate to feature Hank Moody on 6/9, so today’s #NiceDay post explores one of his lesser seen outfits.
Midway through the fourth season, in the midst of Hank’s post-Mia revelation legal troubles, he is offered a gig to rewrite the shitty dialogue littering the script of a zombie movie starring his latest fling, Sasha Bingham (Addison Timlin), as a police officer.
Of course, Sasha’s request for our favorite writer turns out be more libidinous than literary, so Hank escapes this potentially sticky situation… and finds himself landing in another one. Continue reading