With most of us stuck at home in lockdown at the moment, there’s never been a better time to rediscover a classic film - especially if it has some standout menswear in it. Here are six of our favourites for both entertainment and stylish inspiration.
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
One of the great Seventies thrillers, Three Days of the Condor features a classic performance from a very paranoid (or is he?!) Robert Redford, and an ambiguous ending that still intrigues today. Redford’s Joe Turner (pictured above) balances bookish with practical - pairing denim with tweed and one of cinema’s more memorable pea coats. The late Max von Sydow’s mysterious and menacing Joubert makes a lasting impression with not one but two incredible coats and some bloody smart spectacles.
Withnail and I (1987)
British miserablism elevated to high art, Bruce Robinson’s loosely autobiographical paen to life as a struggling thespian in 1960s London is a comedy darker than wet black velvet. Richard E. Grant’s sneering, sad, hilarious performance as the flamboyantly crumpled, alcoholic Withnail remains his finest work, and his jauntily concocted ensembles merge traditional tailoring - wingtip collar shirts, scarves galore, that iconic greatcoat - into a proto-punk bricolage. An instant classic.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
A perennial favourite for Most Stylish Film of All Time, and certainly the summer sartorial touchstone du jour, Ripley has it all - the Italian Riviera, a cast beyond reproach (Damon! Law! Paltrow! Blanchett! Hoffman!) and a seemingly endless parade of elegant warm weather wear. Matt Damon’s vulnerable, murderous Ripley in the centre of the film, but it’s Jude Law’s beautifully callous Dickie Greenleaf that makes the biggest impression - plus he gets all the best polo shirts.
Often overlooked in favour of Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese’s gaudy, brooding Casino is every bit that film’s equal (and then some - the film is long). It’s once again the De Niro and Pesci show, with De Niro’s mafia-aligned casino manager Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein sporting some powerful Seventies tailoring, and presenting an object lesson in how bold colour blocking can be done right. Special mention to the sunglasses (and opticals) throughout - our friends at Kirk Originals definitely took some notes, to great effect.
The best Hitchcock film he didn’t make, Stanley Donen’s 1963 caper is an unsung gem and a late-period standout for Cary Grant. Winningly paired with Audrey Hepburn (her wardrobe is Givenchy, naturally), Grant slips effortlessly back into North by Northwest mode, although to more comedic effect, and gets some great use out of restrained Sixties suiting. A flinty James Coburn rounds out the ensemble and gets to make corduroy look sinister, if you can believe it.
The Great Beauty (2014)
Paolo Sorrentino’s funny, melancholy, hypnotic ode to Rome, and to life and love’s ineffability is something to savour. Centered on a towering performance from Toni Servillo, the entire film is a sumptuous feast for the senses. Servillo’s wardrobe features some best-in-class Neapolitan tailoring, often paired with some truly indulgent tableaus. If you were wondering whether you really needed a linen jacket, well, here’s your answer. Be warned, it’s sure to make one yearn for the days of European travel.