Shout at the Devil: A Cream Three Piece Suit

12

Shout-at-the-Devil-Cream-Suit

In 1976, Roger Moore starred in the historical film Shout at the Devil opposite American actor Lee Marvin. It is directed by On Her Majesty’s Secret Service director Peter Hunt and also features On Her Majesty’s Secret Service actor Bernard Horsfall and a title sequence in a familiar Bond style by Maurice Binder. The start of the film takes place in German East Africa in 1913, where Moore wears a colonial-looking cream three-piece suit. The suit is made from a linen blend, since it doesn’t wrinkle as much as pure linen would. It’s either blended with silk, wool or a synthetic to prevent wrinkles.

Shout-at-the-Devil-Cream-Suit-2

The suit jacket is a button three with straight shoulders, natural sleeve heads and a full chest. It is detailed with a single vent, flap pockets and three buttons on each cuff. The lapels are a medium width for a classic look. The waistcoat has six buttons with five to button, since the bottom button is on the gently curved cutaway portion of the bottom.

The suit trousers have double forward pleats and tapered legs with turn-ups. The front of the waistband has a square extension with a hidden clasp closure. The back has tab extensions for braces, and there are slide-buckle side-adjusters on the sides to allow the trousers to stay up without braces. The braces are beige, likely in a cotton canvas material, and have an “X”-back rather than the “Y”-back that is more common today. Each branch of the back fastens to the trousers with one button, and the weight is spread out differently than on a “Y”-back even though the number of buttons are the same.

Shout-at-the-Devil-Cream-Suit-3

The suit was made by an English tailor, though its cut is more modern than 1913. The jacket’s light shoulder padding and full chest and the trousers’ fuller cut with pleats are what give this suit a more modern look than 1913. It’s possibly that Moore’s tailor from his first two Bond films, Cyril Castle, made this suit. If so, Shout at the Devil would be the final film that Castle tailored for Moore. If this is not Castle’s work, it is most likely the work of an English costumier such as Berman’s.

The suit is more of a piece of a 1970s idea of classic tailoring than a piece of historical tailoring, and the suit hardly looks outdated. Without the waistcoat this suit wouldn’t bat an eye today and could be something James Bond would wear sans braces. It’s not that three-piece suits are outdated, but a waistcoat on a suit made for hot weather is so impractical that it would only come across as affected rather than more formal. A white three-piece suit also recalls Ricardo Montalban’s character Mr. Roarke from the television show Fantasy Island, and thus it could make one look like the host of an island resort.

Shout-at-the-Devil-Cream-Suit-Waistcoat

Moore’s shirt has a tall point collar with rounded points, a front placket and single-link cuffs. The single-link cuffs are rounded and have the link holes placed in the middle of the cuff. Because they don’t fold like double cuffs they need to be stiffer. Modern convertible cuffs look similar to single-link cuffs but are usually too soft to be effective link cuffs. Single link cuffs are dressier than double cuffs because they are simpler and stiffer. However, the rounded edge on these cuffs makes them less formal than square single-link cuffs and brings them down closer to double cuffs. Though it’s by no means a rule, rounded single cuffs are better with suits whilst squared link cuffs are better with white tie. Either style can be appropriately worn with black tie and morning dress.

Back darts and placket stitching close to the centre of the placket on this shirt indicate that it is from Roger Moore’s regular shirtmaker Frank Foster. Foster specialised in costume and often made period pieces for film and theatre. Though this may not have the same styling as the contemporary shirts he made for Moore to wear as James Bond, it has Foster’s modern fit. Rear darts are not traditional on men’s shirts, but it doesn’t mean they are necessarily period inaccurate. Moore’s character does not have much clothes for his trip to Africa, and he unbuttons the front and undoes the cufflinks to sleep in this shirt at his hotel.

Shout-at-the-Devil-Cream-Suit-Trousers

Moore’s tie is black with light “Eton blue” (pale blue-green) stripes, signifying this as the Old Etonian tie. The tie identifies Moore’s character as someone from money who went to Eton College and perfectly fits with the character. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Moore briefly wears a straw panama hat with his suit when he arrives in Africa. The hat’s wide brim is turned down in front, the tall crown has a centre dent, and the ribbon is brown.

Moore’s footwear is medium brown plain-to derby boots. The boots have six pairs of eyelets with a wide spacing between the eyelets. They have thick double leather soles to hold up through treks in the jungle. Though these boots are period-accurate, they must wear awfully warm in Africa due to their height and thick soles.

Shout-at-the-Devil-Cream-Suit-Boots

12 COMMENTS

  1. Shout At The Devil is a very frustrating movie. It’s about a fascinating side-show theater of operations in World War I — the campaigns in East Africa. But in order to have Heroic British Underdog Roger Moore battling the Powerful Evil Germans, the movie had to completely invert the actual situation (German Underdog Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck battling the Powerful South Africans, Nigerians, Portugese, Belgians, British, and I think even some Jamaicans the British decided to throw at the problem).

    It also has a weird hypocrisy on the cinematic/directorial level: the good guys are naturally totally not racists and are kind to the Africans around them . . . but there are several scenes in which the movie just wallows in Berserk Black Men With Guns imagery.

    Never paid much attention to the clothing before.

  2. Matt, i need help. There is nothing to do with the post, so sory if I shouldn’t ask here. I realy would like to know what kind of suit fabrics can be brushed. Worsteds wool, linen, poplin, basketweave?

  3. I recall seeing a still of Moore and Marvin from this movie in a book about Roger Moore which I bought in the late 1980’s. Moore was wearing the trousers and shirt from this outfit and I remember thinking; with that long, round point collar he’s really gone with 1970’s high fashion, as these type of shirts were popular at that time. Turns out what was a first impression was completely wrong! I’d say the outfit is the work of a costumier but that’s just gut feeling. Finally, in the still of him walking alongside Marvin, Moore’s face looks very strange indeed!

  4. In The Suit, the author writes that a French blue shirt is OK for a white suit even though it is darker than the suit. And if you agree, the tie should still be darker than the shirt, no?

  5. Matt, l just binge watched 5 Roger Moore Films today and while watching this film , l noticed that this is the one film ever where Roger Moore wears Pleated trousers. If l am not mistaken , then l think that this is also probably the only film where Roger Moore wears Braces with his trousers .
    I find the shirt choice to be slightly historically inaccurate though. From the looks of the shirt collar , it looks as if it has collar stays . Van Heusen ( I believe ) made the first Attached collar shirt with Collar stays in 1921.
    I find that a more fitting choice would be a shirt with a detachable club collar , or a shirt with a soft attached collar , worn with a collar pin .
    In terms of the suiting composition , Matt , l doubt any respected English tailor would use synthetic blended with linen ( of course , l could be wrong ) . Linen Wool would be the most historically accurate , since it was an EXTREMELY popular suiting in the 1910s. Linen – silk and Dupioni Silk appeared first in the 1920s.
    But given that this is just a period film , it would also be linen – silk. Since you mentioned earlier that linen- cotton is a Very Poor and fragile material for suiting , l doubt linen cotton would be used here.

  6. Matt , you are right. It IS Frank Foster’s shirt. I am currently following their Instagram Page. There is a picture there of Roger Moore from this film in it .

  7. http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/british-white-cotton-braces-product,5629
    Matt , l believe you are correct. The braces ARE made from cotton canvas webbing. Roger Moore’s braces here appear to be the British Army Pattern , which was issued to British Troops during the first world war.
    Given that this film is set in that time period , it is an extremely period accurate choice.
    They were all cotton and had no elastic in them ( not even in the back , like Boxcloth or Barrathea Braces )
    But one thing l can’t fathom , is how could these non elasticated braces be worn ? Wouldn’t they rip the buttons off , every time a person bent down ?

      • Sorry , Matt , lt was a typo . I meant UNLIKE Boxcloth and Barrathea . I own Numerous Albert Thurston Barrathea Models myself which l rotate for daily use. The back part IS the only elasticated part.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.