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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Separated Material

Administrative Information

List of Productions

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Robert De Niro:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Costumes and Props in the Performing Arts Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center



Creator: De Niro, Robert , 1943-
Title: Robert De Niro Costumes and Props
Dates: 1967-2005 (bulk 1990-2005)
Abstract: The Robert De Niro Costumes and Props, 1967-2005 (bulk 1990-2005), consist of approximately 8,000 costume, prop, and makeup items from fifty-six motion pictures and two theater productions. Included are items from unidentified productions for which the genre and date are unknown. The costumes and props were acquired in 2006 along with De Niro’s personal papers, moving image materials, and personal effects, which are described separately and housed in Manuscript, Film, and Personal Effects collections within the Ransom Center.
Extent: Approximately 8,000 items
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Scope and Contents

The American actor, producer, and director Robert De Niro (born 1943) is one of the most respected actors of his generation. He is best known for his roles as the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II (1974), cab driver Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976), Michael Vronsky in The Deer Hunter (1978), casino director Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino (1995), and more recently as Jack Byrnes in Meet the Parents (2000) and Meet the Fockers (2004). De Niro has produced more than thirty films, many of which he starred in, and directed two films, A Bronx Tale (1993) and The Good Shepherd (2006).

The Robert De Niro Costumes and Props, 1967-2005 (bulk 1990-2005), consist of approximately 8,000 costume, prop, and makeup items from fifty-six motion pictures and two theater productions. Included are items from unidentified productions for which the genre and date are unknown. The costumes and props were acquired in 2006 along with De Niro’s personal papers, moving image materials, and personal effects, which are described separately and housed in Manuscript, Film, and Personal Effects collections within the Ransom Center.

The materials in this collection provide evidence of decisions made and/or implemented by the costume designer, the wardrobe department, the property master, and the makeup artist. The collection is arranged by production title and, within each production, by item number, reflecting the order in which the material was received and/or cataloged. A list of represented productions is appended to this description. Item-level descriptions are available in a searchable database which is accessible by production, actor, and costume designer.

The collection contains 5,100 costumes, 2,350 props, 350 makeup items such as colored contact lenses and fake teeth, and 200 production accessories, a category which includes items used by De Niro in conjunction with a production but not visible on film, such as padding worn in fight scenes. Also included are about thirty personal effects such as De Niro’s personal trailer slippers used on the set of Godsend (2004). Of the roughly 300 different types of objects in the collection, shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, socks, neckties, and belts are the most prevalent.

Coverage varies from one or two items to hundreds of objects per production. Generally, older productions are represented by fewer items. With 1,000 items, A Bronx Tale (1993) is by far the most thoroughly documented production. For this film, in addition to more than 200 items worn by De Niro in the character of Lorenzo, the collection includes items worn or used by two dozen actors including Chazz Palminteri, Taral Hicks, and Joe Pesci. Other well documented productions are Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Guilty by Suspicion (1991), Night and the City (1992), Mad Dog and Glory (1993), Casino (1995), Heat (1995), Flawless (1999), Men of Honor (2000), Meet the Parents (2000), The Score (2001), Showtime (2002), Godsend (2004), and Hide and Seek (2005). Of the forty costume designers credited in this collection, the best represented are Rita Ryack, Aude Bronson-Howard, Richard Bruno, John A. Dunn, and Daniel Orlandi.

Many items were received at the Ransom Center with wardrobe tags attached indicating the name of the actor, the scene number, and/or change number in which the item was used, and whether the item was actually worn or used. Apart from materials representing A Bronx Tale, nearly all items were worn or used by Robert De Niro. Some items in the collection were used by De Niro’s stunt doubles or photo doubles. If an item does not have a wardrobe tag, it is very difficult to determine the exact circumstances of its use, even with the aid of wardrobe continuity books and Polaroids located in the Robert De Niro Papers.

Similarly, the sources of items in this collection are poorly documented. Most contemporary costumes were purchased off-the-rack from mainstream retailers. Some period costumes were fabricated by tailors for specific productions, notably the archbishop’s vestments from The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2004). Domonic Gherardi, Anto, and Cosprop are the best represented tailors. Vintage items may have been obtained from suppliers who specialized in providing vintage clothing to the motion picture industry. Props for stunt doubles tended to be fabricated using De Niro’s prop as a model. The manufacturer’s label is often the best, and only, indication of the source of an item if it is not indicated in the wardrobe continuity book.

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Restrictions

Access:

Materials may be viewed in the Center’s Reading and Viewing Rooms during regular hours. An appointment is required. Please note that materials stored offsite are not available for viewing except for educational purposes. Contact staff for more information.

Item-level descriptions are available in a searchable database which is accessible by production, actor, and costume designer.

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Separated Material

De Niro’s personal papers, moving image materials, and personal effects are described separately and housed in Manuscript, Film, and Personal Effects collections within the Ransom Center.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gift of Robert De Niro, 2006-2008 (G12588), except for three items donated by Paul Schrader in 2006 (G12503)

Processed by:

Darnelle Vanghel, Leanda Gahegan, Helen Adair, Jill Morena, Nicole Kern, Emilio Banda, and Alan Carrier, 2006-2009

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 List of Productions 

The following productions are represented in the De Niro Costumes and Props. All are motion pictures unless otherwise indicated. Please note that while a small number of items are attributed to 1900 (1976), Hi, Mom! (1970), and Schubert’s Last Serenade (Manhattan Theatre Club, 1973), the attributions for these productions are uncertain.

Wardrobe continuity books are described separately and located in the Robert De Niro Papers.

  • 15 Minutes (2001) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • 1900 (1976)
  • The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Analyze That (2002) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • Analyze This (1999) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • Angel Heart (1987)
  • Awakenings (1990)
  • Backdraft (1991)
  • Bang the Drum Slowly (1973)
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2004)
  • A Bronx Tale (1993)
  • Cape Fear (1991)
  • Casino (1995)
  • City by the Sea (2002)
  • Cop Land (1997)
  • Cuba and His Teddy Bear (Longacre Theatre, 1986)
  • The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Falling in Love (1984)
  • The Fan (1996)
  • Flawless (1999) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • Frankenstein (1994)
  • The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight (1971)
  • The Godfather, Part II (1974)
  • Godsend (2004)
  • Goodfellas (1990)
  • Great Expectations (1998)
  • Guilty by Suspicion (1991)
  • Heat (1995)
  • Hi, Mom! (1970)
  • Hide and Seek (2005) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • Jackie Brown (1997)
  • Jacknife (1989)
  • The King of Comedy (1982)
  • The Last Tycoon (1976)
  • Mad Dog and Glory (1993)
  • Marvin’s Room (1996)
  • Mean Streets (1973)
  • Meet the Fockers (2004)
  • Meet the Parents (2000) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • Men of Honor (2000) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • Midnight Run (1988)
  • Mistress (1992)
  • New York, New York (1977)
  • Night and the City (1992)
  • Once upon a Time in America (1984)
  • Raging Bull (1980)
  • Ronin (1998)
  • Schubert’s Last Serenade (Manhattan Theatre Club, 1973)
  • The Score (2001) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • Shark Tale (2004)
  • Showtime (2002) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • Sleepers (1996)
  • Stanley & Iris (1990)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • This Boy’s Life (1993)
  • The Untouchables (1987)
  • Wag the Dog (1997) *wardrobe continuity book available
  • We're No Angels (1989)
  • unidentified production (genre and date unknown)

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