Out of Sight (1998)
‘You’d be surprised about what you can get, if you ask for it the right way.‘ Jack Foley, Out of Sight.
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann.
Filmography: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Green Book.
Movies are a form of escapism, after all, and what’s better than spending a couple of hours with do-badders who look good being bad?
George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez star in this slick, catch-me shag-me Steven Soderbergh adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel. One’s a U.S Marshall in a mini skirt the others an escaped convict who really knows how to wear a suit.
Don Cheadle is somewhere in the middle stealing Albert Brooks’ suits and diamonds. Someone is doing something untoward to a bitch called Tuffi.
Interview with Betsy Heimann
I’m joined on this episode of the podcast by the films Costume Designer Betsy Heimann. Below are some quotes from Betsy I’ve transcribed from the interview.
‘George Clooney in a suit is a pretty stunning thing if you get the right cut, so you already have that working for you.’
The Red Lining
‘He (George Clooney) was great he was very open to my ideas. I have a theory that goes all the way back to Reservoir Dogs that if you’re a criminal who is in and out of jail, you probably don’t have a lot of money so you might shop at the thrift store. The first suit I made for him, he loved that suit. In honour of tailors everywhere, I put a red lining in a glen plaid suit.’
George will use it
‘He was a little retro, the suits were a little sixties. That was my silhouette of preference. My memory of George Clooney is that everything you’ll give him, he’ll use it.’
On the bar scene: ‘That was a navy suit. I don’t use blacks very often in fact the suits in Reservoir Dogs, some of them weren’t black either, but they photograph black. It’s not how they look its how they photograph. It was more of a silk mohair so that it would make some reflections.’ Betsy Heimann, Costume Designer for Out of Sight.
Listen to the podcast
As well as Betsy I’m also joined by returning guest Christopher Laverty. You’ll know Chris from the blog Clothes on Film and his lustrous moustache. The full interview is available to listen in the player below or on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.
Great look on Clooney. I was about 12 or 13 when the movie came out, and I just remember seeing this suit in the ads and how cool he looked in it. I think Clooney looked and dressed best in the Ocean’s movies, but this suit kind of set the template for that in my opinion.
Damn… I’m so happy you’re covering this movie. Supremely underrated.
Love this movie! Hope there’s mention of the amazing orange lining in his jacket at the start.
The light grey suit from the opening I always remember from the film. It looks like a early to mid 1960’s Rat Pack suit with the clover notch lapels seen on suits recently in Mad Men. I have seen Out Of Sight a lot, saw it as a teenager first and I really like the tone of the film.
I’m a huge Elmore Leonard fan, Get Shorty is another favourite. Clooney is so charismatic and likeable in Out Of Sight, which is interesting as he is a bank robber who has spent his life in and out of prison.
He looks like a classic film star in the film when he wears a suit, this really started off Clooney in my opinion as a star more so then any other film he starred in up to that time.
Jennifer Lopez is great in the film as well, she was perfect for the part of a tough yet very attractive U.S Marshal, this was really the era women became prominent in law enforcement. You could believe a Con would fall in love with her despite her being on the opposite side of the law.
An interesting fact about George Clooney in the Out of Sight era is he naturally has a prominent widows peak which he used to shave as he thought it gave his face a more open look then his own lower hairline that actually takes on a werewolf look.
You can see this prominently in Out of Sight as he has made his hairline deliberately higher. Interesting.
That’s right we did get them in the shops for Christmas. We now have some From Tailors With Love merch. I’ve done a pencil sketch of the ‘What if’ bar scene from Out of Sight and uploaded it to our Redbubble page. Available as a postcard, a badge pin, coasters etc.
Credits and thanks
Thanks to Daniel Gaster for doing some further research for this podcast. And to Ryan Hall for his comments and insights on the Facebook Page. For more podcast episodes on stylish films check out the library on the blog here.
Out of Sight is based on the book of the same name by Elmore Leonard, and is available to buy on Blu Ray. Next on my playlist will be the soundtrack that I listened to forever growing up, by David Holmes. Perfect driving tunes.