There's something really cool and grubby about early to mid 70's New York, just look at all the films from that era, Taxi Driver, The French Connection, Mean Streets, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Serpico, Klute, Saturday Night Fever, and Dog Day Afternoon, it provides a great backdrop from an era of gritty, realistic film making. An era where the bad (and good) guys were old and fat, had hairs on their chin (albeit occasionally stuck on) and chest and were not afraid to show it, there were no six packs, pointy shades and tattoos then. So let's have a little look.
Between Godfather Part One and Two in 1973 Al Pacino filmed the true story of idealistic cop Frank Serpico, so cool both Dirk Diggler (Boogie Nights) and Tony Manero (Saturday Night Fever) had the poster on their bedroom walls. Pacino was nominated for an Oscar for his role, but that's a different story, we're talking about his steez today, when this straight cop goes undercover, he appears as one cool cat, or perhaps an 'asshole with dentures' as his Cheif says upon seeing his latest top lip flavour saver. Serpico's style is unique, he's a proper hippy really, a cool hippy with a Dulux dog, and lots of beads around his neck, a corduroy poncho and rugged denim shirts and leather gilets worn with heavy knits, facial hair and daft hats a plenty. Actions speak louder than words...
I also found the villains lead by Robert Shaw as the original Mr Blue in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three the 1974 original of course, pretty cool, long macs, tweed overcoats and plenty of layers, bow ties, spectacles and big taches, topped of with titfers and of course guns.
Not to mention good guy Walter Matthau as Lt. Zachary Garber looking pretty bloody dapper in his bright shirt and even brighter tie combo, you just don't see this kind of attire in the modern day cinema. Don't get me started on the merits of Johnny Boy in Mean Streets or this post's going to end up being about two miles long.