The Irishman, Scorsese's latest film, deals with the theme of human loss, as well as the meaning that is lost when memories become blurred in memory. But also men and jewelry.
The film tells the story of 3 signet rings which were made from 3 $3 gold coins that were minted in 1855. “There are only 3 copies of this men's ring in the world," explains Russell Bufalino, the godfather of the Philadelphia mob played by Joe Pesci, to Franck Sheeran, the character of Robert De Niro as he presents him with one of these men's rings as an endorsement. "And you're the only Irishman," he adds. The 3rd ring belongs to Angelo Bruno (Harvey Keitel).
The Irishman is based on the true story of Sheeran, a Teamsters union member turned soldier for the Philadelphia mob boss. These men's jewelry are still in the family. "Gold coins themselves are rare, " explained the film's costume designers. “It must have been quite expensive to turn them into 14 carat rings set with 25 diamonds.”
Jewellery in Scorsese's films
There are many jewels in the films of Scorsese. Remember Ginger's bed covered in Bulgari jewelry in Casino? Karen pearls in Goodfellas? The Countless Olenska Garnets in The Age of Innocence ?
That said, they are a little less present in The Irishman. Casino was a film about excesses. When it comes to the mafia, there should be a little bling, but not too much. Just so as not to draw too much attention to her, for example from the FBI. It didn't have to be too conspicuous, that each finger had a ring on it.
A men's ring on the little finger
There is still this big gold ring on Joe Pesci's little finger (De Niro wears it on his ring finger). As one of the film's costume designers explains, at the time it was done for men to wear a ring on their little finger. It was often a signet. There was a small desire to create a bling-bling effect. You could wear this kind of men's ring after an engagement. This is why we find these rings in the film. Bobby Canavale's character also wears a vintage men's ring on his little finger.
After all, it's all about proportions. Throughout history, men have worn rings on their little fingers. Originally it was seals. Over the course of developments, this habit ended up being transmitted to the fairer sex. This trend was particularly impressed from the 1920s onwards by figures in jewelery such as Coco Chanel and Belperron. Jean Cocteau also used to wear a men's ring on his little finger. In the 60s and 70s, this kind of ring was considered both glamorous and hippie. We are therefore far from the association with the environment.