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Sunglasses and spectacles we all loved at the movies

Selection of 10 iconic frames that made cinema history: from Lolita’s heart-shaped sunglasses to X-Men’s eyewear

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Whether going for sunglasses or spectacles, movie actors often turn to such ornamental accessory as a functional and useful means to give their performance a peculiar touch, to the point that – sometimes – the right choice of glasses might blend with characters’ immortal iconography.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

A timeless classic film that sees a deadly charming Audrey Hepburn wearing a pair of ultra-rare Manhattan sunglasses conceived by designer Oliver Goldsmith. The movie marked a starting point for Hollywood divas framing their faces with dark lenses, previously considered a more than negligible prop. Indeed, Hepburn’s hazard immediately put her up there on the Olympus of fashion icons.

Lolita

In Lolita, the 1962 (first discussed and later world-acclaimed) comedy-drama by Stanley Kubrick, the main character Sue Lyon appears in both the film and theatrical movie poster with a legendary pair of heart-shaped sunglasses.

The Blues Brothers

John Landis’ evergreen features the epic duo Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, whose outfits and black RayBan Wayfarers had such a huge impact on many decades’ audiences that they would probably snatch the award for “most famous sunglasses in movie history”.

Matrix

In the Cyberpunk trilogy created by the Wachowski brothers, characters instantly wear sunglasses once the “matrix” is entered. “Sunglasses turn into a visual reference aimed at strengthening the ideas of virtual reality and avatars”, the directors explained. 

X-Men

Scott Summers aka Cyclops makes use of a special protective eyewear that controls his devastating powers so to keep the world safe.

Harry Potter

Not to mention the most celebrated, “four-eyes”, little magician of all times, who partially owes his fame to the absolutely ordinary looks he shows. The goal? To let young kids from all over the world identify easily. In order to highlight his intellectual skills, Potter wears a pair of steel spectacles meant to mark a clear distinction from the bombastic physical power of more conventional heroes.

Fight Club

The cult movie by David Fincher is a cinema adaptation of Chuck Palanhiuk’s world-renowned novel: remember Brad Pitt, probably the roughest imaginary friend of all times, wearing a pair of memorable Cazal 725 that perfectly fitted the character’s impetuous nature?

Top Gun

While flying on a fighter-bomber up in the sky as the insurgent pilot Maverick, Tom Cruise wears a pair of timeless RayBan Aviator: can you think of a more “90’s pop iconography” that this?

Scarface

Al Pacino casts a shadow on drug dealer Tony Mentana’s threatening glare – one of the most memorable and celebrated performances of his full career – with a pair of Linda Farrow 6031.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Johnny Depp boasts a truly special relationship with glasses – see the Ray-Ban RB 3138 Shooter Aviator sunglasses with custom yellow tinted lenses he picked for the actually existed journalist Hunter S. Thompson in the cult movie by former member of Monty Python Terry Gilliam (opening photo).

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by Alessio Gentile / 8 March 2017

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