Hollywood Hatties–The Chicago Way
As we’re a proud Chicago company, it only seems right to tackle the ultimate G-man movie set in our fair city: “The Untouchables.”
This 1987 tour de force directed by Brian dePalma stars Kevin Costner as Treasury agent Eliot Ness taking on Prohibition-era crime boss Al Capone (Robert DeNiro). As if the bootleggers have a chance when Ness is backed by incorruptible lawmen played by Sean Connery, Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith?
Forget that this is an incredible crime drama that features the best gunfight ever filmed. (Need I remind you of Costner chasing a baby buggy down the stairs at Union Station as he battles nearly a dozen of Capone’s men?) This film is the ultimate showcase of men’s hats.
Virtually all of the actors with speaking roles have hats, and at least 75% of the male extras have hats, too. Best of all, the wardrobe department didn’t just buy 200 Stetson Temples of different colors and call it good. Dozens of hat styles are represented.
None of the prominent hats are doubled up. Kevin Costner wears a grey Stetson Downs cocked back high on his head for most of the movie. The teardrop-shaped crown is distinctive. He also wears the hat several ways. During the scenes where he is in the city the snap brim in down in front and up in the back. In the scenes at the Canadian border he wears the same hat with the brim down in the front and back.
Andy Garcia’s hat looks similar, but in our shop the closest we have to it is the Biltmore Ark. His is pecan, and he’s a strictly front brim down and back brim up type of cat.
In old cowboy movies the good guys always wore white hats and the bad guys wore black. Oddly enough in “The Untouchables,” most of the good guys wore teardrop-crown hats and the mobsters wore center-creased fedoras. DeNiro’s Capone wore a cream-colored fedora with a black band. It has a narrow center crease with a pinch that almost runs the length of the crown. Its wide snap brim sports a lift on the right side and a downturn on left side. A great hat that resembles it in our shop is the straw Stetson Portofino. It would need a replacement band in black, but that will be the closest hat we have in shape.
Sean Connery’s hat is the only prominently featured non-fedora that isn’t a hat that goes with a uniform. His appears to be an eight-panel cap made of brown wool similar to our brown 8-panel Cavanaugh Donegal. It is a hat that invokes blue-collar Irish immigrants of that era, which Connery’s character is one—despite his Scotch brogue. It is also a hat design that has seen a great resurgence in popularity in that past few years.
Charles Martin Smith’s character is that of a mild-mannered Treasury Dept. accountant turned shotgun wielding lawman—a slightly more intelligent Elmer Fudd, if you will. His hat of choice appears to be a Churchill Jimmy, distinguished by a teardrop crown, grosgrain dress band and smaller snap brim.
But really, watch the movie, and you’ll see myriad hats including bowlers, boaters and fedoras of every distinguishable difference. Grosgrain bow bands, bowless silk bands, countless center dent variations, colors and brim widths. Got a question about one? Get a screen shot of it, and we’ll help you find it in our vast selection.