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“Gangs Of New York” Bill The Butcher Costume Shirt Worn by Daniel Day-Lewis’ Double (Backlot Props)
Gangs of New York is a 2002 American epic period drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of New York City. It was inspired by Herbert Asbury’s 1927 non-fiction book, The Gangs of New York. It was nominated for numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, among nine other Oscar nominations.
The film is set in 1863 and follows fictional gang leader William “Bill the Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) in his roles as crime boss and political kingmaker under the helm of “Boss” Tweed (Jim Broadbent). The film culminates in a violent confrontation between Cutting and his mob with the protagonist Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his allies, which prefaces the real-life New York Draft Riots of 1863.
In his role as the villainous gang leader, William “Bill the Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) began his lengthy, self-disciplined process by taking lessons as an apprentice butcher, hiring a butcher from Peckham, south London to instruct him in carving up carcasses. He also hired circus performers to teach him to throw knives. While filming, he was never out of character between takes (including keeping his character’s New York accent). At one point during filming, having been diagnosed with pneumonia, he refused to wear a warmer coat or to take treatment because it was not in keeping with the period; however, he was eventually persuaded to seek medical treatment. His performance in Gangs of New York earned him his third Academy Award nomination and won him his second BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Presented is a shirt that Daniel Day-Lewis’ double wore in the film as is “Bill The Butcher” in the movie “Gangs Of New York”. It is long sleeve and plain white. The studio detailing is marked in the collar via tape, “D. DAY-LEWIS – Bill the Butcher DOUBLE.”
These items originated from the company Backlot Props and Costumes. Backlot Props and Costumes were based in Burbank, California. They warehoused costumes and props from the major movie studios. The company liquidated their assets in 2010 and these were part of the acquisition of tens of thousands of original costumes and props. These are now available for the first time publicly.