Richard Burton is The Dandy Villain

Richard Burton is The Dandy Villain
Minor Spoilers

Villains have long been dandies. Dressing loud is an established method of implying wealth and standing, particularly for ‘new money’. In a modern day context, this largely began with real life gangsters echoing the obnoxious outfits of Hollywood gangsters like Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), James Cagney in The Public Enemy (1931) and Paul Muni in Scarface (1932). Conversely the actors’ looks in these movies was also drawn from real life crooks – Al Capone, for example, long known for his love of matching silk pocket squares and neckties. It is a chicken and egg situation as to which came first: the dandy gangster gangster or the dandy movie gangster. However, by and large this idea of demonstrating status via clothing has remained in place since the 1920s, with notable ‘black suit’ exceptions during the 1990s as the criminal fraternity became increasingly white collar and preferred to remain behind the scenes.
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