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
Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, millionaire playboy and heist mastermind
Salem, New Hampshire, Summer 1968
Film: The Thomas Crown Affair
Release Date: June 19, 1968
Director: Norman Jewison
Costume Designer: Alan Levine
In 1968’s The Thomas Crown Affair, the titular millionaire is every bit the sportsman that you’d expect a Steve McQueen character to be. A brief scene shows Crown spending his weekend recreationally gliding a Schweizer SGS 1-23H through the skies over Salem… although it was actually local pilot Roy McMaster who rode in the cockpit during the actual scenes in flight.
This vignette also featured Steve McQueen sporting casual outerwear that was also a real-life favorite of his: a classic Harrington jacket. Continue reading
Ryan Gosling as an unnamed getaway driver and part-time stunt double
Los Angeles, Fall 2010
Release Date: September 16, 2011
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Costume Designer: Erin Benach
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Drive is an excellent neo-noir throwback to the days of Point Blank, Bullitt, Taxi Driver, and The Driver, delivering a moody and stylish character study of a taciturn anti-hero navigating the violent L.A. underworld and his own emotions with existential angst. Continue reading
Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, badass drifter and former U.S. Army Military Police Corps officer
Pittsburgh, October 2012
Film: Jack Reacher
Release Date: December 21, 2012
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Costume Designer: Susan Matheson
Tom Cruise’s Costumer: Nancy Thompson
BAMF Style’s semi-annual Car Week is returning this winter with more looks at cool outfits and cool cars. Today’s post examines Jack Reacher, the 2012 adaptation of Lee Child’s 2005 novel One Shot. Although it was the ninth of Child’s novels to feature the character of Jack Reacher, the 2012 movie became the first time that the character was represented on screen. Continue reading
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, old-fashioned and stoic Deputy U.S. Marshal
Harlan County, Kentucky, Fall 2010
– “The Life Inside” (Episode 2.02, Director: Jon Avnet, Air Date: February 16, 2011)
– “The Spoil” (Episode 2.08, Director: Michael Watkins, Air Date: March 30, 2011)
– “Bloody Harlan” (Episode 2.13, Director: Michael Dinner, Air Date: May 4, 2011)
Creator: Graham Yost
Costume Designer: Patia Prouty
Justified took greater measures to embrace the series’ potential in its rural Kentucky setting during the second season, which is arguably one of the show’s best. Continue reading
Cary Grant as Peter Joshua (maybe), mysterious government agent
Megève, France, Winter 1963
Release Date: December 5, 1963
Director: Stanley Donen
The first scene of 1963’s Charade finds its two romantic leads – Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn – engaged in a flirtatious tête-à-tête at a ski resort in southeastern France. The tone of the film is excellently set in this first scene with the immediate danger of a Luger aimed at our heroine… and the immediate comedic relief that follows when it turns out to be a boy’s insanely realistic water pistol. Grant then swiftly comes onto the scene to trade barbs with Hepburn, although she nicely deflects each of his charming attempts with a witticism of her own.
What’d He Wear?
For his mountaintop introduction to Reggie Lambert, Cary Grant’s abundantly-named character – here introduced as “Peter Joshua” – is dressed for a day on the slopes… or at least a chilly day very near the slopes. Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government secret agent
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Summer 2008
Film: Quantum of Solace
Release Date: October 31, 2008
Director: Marc Forster
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Quantum of Solace ostensibly picks up minutes after Casino Royale left off (offering no feasible explanation of Bond’s radically different suit, though) and quickly establishes itself as the more action-oriented yin to the introspective Casino Royale origin story’s yang. The sequel was determined to feature every kind of chase possible; we are immediately treated to a pulse-pounding car chase along the mountains of Italy before the opening credits, and Bond finds himself engaged in a desperate foot chase through the town of Siena immediately following.
After a few relatively calm minutes of exposition in London, Bond is dispatched to follow up on a lead in Haiti where he engages in a deadly knife fight, motorbike chase, and – ultimately – a motorboat chase. All that remains is an air chase and, don’t worry, that’s coming later. Continue reading