First look: Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper in American Hustle

The pair appear to have fallen over in the 70s dressing up box.

Whether it's the big collars and drooping moustaches in the forthcoming 'X-Men' sequel or Ron Burgundy's fiercely-coiffed do in 'Anchorman', everyone loves seeing an actor or actress dressed up like it's the 70s.

This is simply a fact of life.

There were some strong looks back then, and compounding this are the first official shots - courtesy of USA Today - from 'Silver Linings Playbook' director David O. Russell's forthcoming 'American Hustle'.

Witness Bradley Cooper with a tight, curly perm. Marvel at another transformation for Christian Bale into what looks distinctly like a porn film director.

Bale, in fact, plays financial con artist Irving Rosenfeld in the movie, based on the Abscam sting, an FBI operation which ran from the late 70s to the early 80s, and aimed to root out political corruption.

Rosenfeld is forced to assist in the sting, recruited by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper).

The cast is a dazzling one. Amy Adams, also seen here, plays Sydney Prosser, Rosenfeld's partner in cons and mistress, while Jennifer Lawrence plays Rosalyn, his volatile wife.

Adams... plays Bale's mistress and partner in crime (Copyright: Columbia)

Meanwhile, there's star turns from Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro, Michael Pena, Jack Huston and comedian Louis CK.

Says Russell of the project, thought to be a potential Oscar candidate: “That era was very much like our era now. The economy was not in a good place and people had to struggle to figure out how to reinvent themselves.”

Produced by hot indie Annapurna Pictures and Columbia, it's due out in the UK on Boxing Day.