2011 • USA • 97 min. • Color
Exhibition Formats: HDCAM, BLU-RAY, DVD
Sound: 5.1 Dolby Sound
Aspect Ratio: 1:85
Also available in DigiBeta NTSC (Color, Anamorphic, Stereo)
Produced by Rowan Pictures
Written and directed by Alan Howard
Bob’s New Suit — Even a well tailored life can come apart at the seams.
The fates of a blue collar family and a fine Italian suit are interwoven as their lives are set to change forever.
Bob Goodlow is a landscape gardener and handyman. His dad Buster, a patriotic ex-aerospace worker with a secret past, is now unemployed and suffering from congestive heart failure. Bob’s sister Stephanie does the books for her girlfriend Marlena’s hair salon and holds a secret of her own, just bursting to come out. Polly, their mother, helps with the struggling finances by selling antique dolls on Ebay and worries for everyone, as only mothers can. When Bob proposes to his long time love, Jenny, and his “too cool” cousin, George, proposes a get-rich quick scheme, a series of events unfold which changes their lives forever.
Radical politics, gender identity, the joy of books, rare orchids, a couple of beers and one lonely Italian suit come together in this deftly interwoven story about love, family, the legacy of the 1960’s and the unexpected.
Bob’s New Suit is the colorful, character-driven debut of writer/director Alan Howard.
Bob’s New Suit is a bright fable contemplating the legacy of the 1960’s cultural wars in a contemporary working-class Southern California family. The battle of the sexes, gender identity, radical politics, a threatened economy — all these are conjured by the first feature of writer/director Alan Howard.
Just as transformation is a theme of Bob’s New Suit, the making of the film was definitely a transformative experience. Directing movies was my first serious dream as an adolescent. Maturing into actually doing it was a long, slow process, but I never gave up the dream. After years and years of longing, I was now finally doing it.
I knew the surfaces of the movie should be charming and beautiful, which I believe they are, but they are only a doorway into the hearts of the characters. I wanted to get close to these characters so the audience feels an intimacy with them.
As a young studio executive at Columbia Pictures in the 1960’s, I worked with director Jacques Demy during production of Model Shop and met Jean Renoir near the end of his life. The two directors were a great influence on me and on Bob’s New Suit. Both Renoir and Demy frequently tell multiple stories in their movies, thereby giving us access to an entire community, a world if you will. They also share a compassionate stance towards their characters. Renoir famously said, “Everyone has their reasons.” I tried to present all the characters with understanding, even the less charming ones.
I want the audience to enjoy itself, to be amused by the surprises in the movie. I hope the movie takes them into the unexpected and transforms them during its 97 minutes. I want the end of the movie to open the hearts of the audience. I hope it does that. But what they ultimately take away from the movie is their business, I believe!
Alan Howard’s career in the film industry has seen him in many different roles including studio executive, film critic and editor, but his unfulfilled dream was to see one of his many scripts reach the screen with himself as director. As the idea for Bob’s New Suit was formulating, something told him that this was “the one.” And so he began discussing the budgetary costs and dramatic effects of possible scenes with the help of his long time friend and prolific production designer, Peter Jamison.
Beginning his theater career in Philadelphia and New York, he studied the Stanislavski method. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In Los Angeles, where he is now based, Bodine has studied acting with David Legrant and Larry Moss. He has appeared in ten feature films, including “Last of the Dogmen” and “Starship Troopers” and starred in the independent movies “Hack” and “Flying Virus.” As one of the most prolific commercial actors in Hollywood, he has appeared in over 100 of them.
She was spotted at fifteen by a scout from the famous Italian model agency FASHION. She then began traveling the world working for magazines such as Vogue Bambini, Australian Elle, Glamour, Seventeen, YM and Sassy.
DuMond has proven herself in lead roles ranging from princesses to men; a prostitute accused of murder in the record breaking CBS Movie-of-the-Week “Murder In the Mirror” to an angel sent to Earth to avenge her own death in the Paramount feature, “Dying To Live.”
Most recently she can be seen playing a tough-as-nails news correspondent Nicole St. John in the recent cult-hit “2B” opposite James Remar of “Dexter” and has the lead in the Sony/Lionsgate film “House Hunting.”
A master actor, Perry has worked in television for nearly 40 years from “Police Story” (1973) to “Cold Case” (2010). In 1988, he won a Western Heritage Award for his work on the television drama “Independence.” John enjoys working with his son, Matthew Perry, and has played his father in the film “Fools Rush In” and the television show “Scrubs.” He also enjoys touring with his folk/country/comedy band “The Ojai Boys.”
California girl Shay Astar began her career at age seven in the Vietnam war drama “China Beach” and has been acting ever since. Some of Shay’s most famous roles include The Imaginary Friend on “Star Trek: TNG,” Elizabeth in “Ernest Scared Stupid”; a four year stint as August on “3rd Rock from the Sun”; guest roles on “ER,” “The Unit” and “Cold Case”; and the abused, haunted, Jennifer Fitch in the cult hit Jack Ketchum’s “The Lost.” She can currently be seen in the thriller “Boston Girls.” Shay fronts the rock band Madame Astar and gigs regularly in Los Angeles.
Suzi Bodine has been acting her whole life. A graduate of Finch College, Suzi has worked with directors Jon Avnet (in “Up Close and Personal”) and Jonathan Demme (in “Philadelphia”). She has performed extensively on stages in Philadelphia and Santa Barbara, CA, appearing in dozens of productions in a wide range of character roles. She also appeared on ABC’s “All My Children.”
Throughout the 90s Jenny appeared in magazines for Italian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Allure, Elle, Marie Clare, Italian Glamour, French Glamour and the cover of Australian Vogue. Director Todd Hughes cast Jenny in the madcap, John Waters-esque murder mystery “Ding Dong” (1995) and in “The New Women” (2001). Jenny’s television roles include a special appearance on the “coming-out” episode of “Ellen” and Here Television’s “Dante’s Cove.” Jenny has been celebrated for her unique beauty in E Television’s “Sexiest Top Models” and UK Channel 4’s “100 Greatest Sex Symbols.” Making a shift into reality television, Jenny appeared on “America’s Next Top Model” and as a guest judge on RuPaul’s “Drag Race.” She is a series regular judge on Bravo’s “Make Me A Supermodel.”
Jenny was ranked as one of A Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Asian Americans of the Decade 1989-1999” and given the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2006 Lesbian Icon Award. When she’s not acting or modeling, Jenny is an avid motorcycle rider with a love for Ducati’s.
Jack Larson was raised in Pasadena, California and attended Pasadena Junior College where, in 1948, he was discovered by a Warner Brothers talent scout. The studio soon cast him in Raoul Walsh’s “Fighter Squadron” and made him a contract player.
Having played Jimmy Olsen since 1951 in the first “Superman” series on television, which still plays around the world, Larson found himself typecast and so began to concentrate on his writing when the show went off the air in 1958.
He became a published poet, playwright and opera libretticist collaborating with artists such as Virgil Thomson.
His works are highly acclaimed and have been performed in theaters and opera houses around the world. Larson was the longtime companion of the late director James Bridges with whom he co-produced a number of popular films in the 70s and 80s. A UCLA scholarship program for young directors was set up in Bridges’ name with which Larson is still involved.
Larson returned to acting recently in BOB’S NEW SUIT and in an acclaimed performance in an episode of NBC’s “Special Victim’s Unit.”
Michael Silverblatt is the creator, co-producer and host of KCRW’s “Bookworm,” a literary interview program which has aired on Public Radio stations for the past twenty-one years. The writers he has spoken to include John Ashbery, Orhan Pamuk, Patti Smith, Toni Morrison, Jonathan Lethem, Susan Sontag, David Foster Wallace, E.L. Doctorow, Ian McEwan, John Berger and Martin Amis. A complete archive of his interviews can be found at KCRW.com/bookworm.
(In alphabetical order)
Charlie Babcock………Cousin George
John Bennett Perry………Buster
Candy Clark………Aunt Tootie
Blaine Gray………FBI Agent
Jack Larson………Edward McIntyre
Michael Silverblatt………The Reader
Jonathan Wallace………Mickey (The Stylist)
Bradley Dobbs………A Model
Bret Richards………A Model
E. Bonnie Lewis………Betsy
Sissy Boyd………Elegant Lady
Osiris Castaneda………Mysterious Man
Rowan Bodine………Bob Jr.
Benjamin Simonetti………The Voice of the Suit
Director of Photography
Unit Production Manager
Post Production Supervisor
First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director
First Assistant Camera
Second Assistant Camera
Best Boy Electric
Production Sound Mixer
DOUGLAS S. CHAPIN
JOEL BOARDMAN, Food Fetish