50 shades: cinema’s greatest sunglasses

Are Marcello Mastroianni’s sunglasses in Fellini’s 8½ the most stylish shades in film history? We think so, but there’s plenty of competition…

Samuel Wigley
Updated:

Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) in 8½ (1963)

Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) in 8½ (1963)

It’s no wonder that Federico Fellini’s 8½ is so many film directors’ favourite film. This 1963 classic holds up a mirror to their own profession, perfectly capturing the chaotic bustle of the life of a filmmaker: the creative decisions he must make; the producers, journalists and beautiful women who orbit around him; the daydreams that give him respite from the media circus.

And in that oh-so-flattering mirror is Marcello Mastroianni, in black suit, thin black tie, white shirt, and those legendary black sunglasses. Moviemakers ever since have surely nodded vainly in approval of their surrogate image. Certainly fashionistas have ever after tried to identify the make and model of the shades. Fifty years later, the question is still being asked in internet forums: what are the sunglasses Marcello wears in 8½ and how can I get some?

Only last year, Marcello’s look was considered sufficiently iconic to adorn the official poster for the Cannes Film Festival, with the actor depicted suavely peering over the top of the sunglasses – a reminder to attending directors to fix up and look sharp.

Now Fellini’s masterpiece is back in cinemas, we thought a rundown of cinema’s other most stylish sunglasses was in order. But once we started thinking of them, more and more came to mind. So here are 50 shades – which is your favourite?

Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in Scarface (1983)

Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in Scarface (1983)

Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) in Leave Her to Heaven (1946)

Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) in Leave Her to Heaven (1946)

Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Django (Jamie Foxx) in Django Unchained (2012)

Django (Jamie Foxx) in Django Unchained (2012)

Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) in The Big Lebowski (1998)

Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) in The Big Lebowski (1998)

Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) in Far from Heaven (2002)

Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) in Far from Heaven (2002)

Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) in Pulp Fiction (1994)

Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) in Pulp Fiction (1994)

Aparna (Sharmila Tagore) in Days and Nights in the Forest (1970)

Aparna (Sharmila Tagore) in Days and Nights in the Forest (1970)

Boss Godfrey (Morgan Woodward), ‘the man with no eyes’, in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Boss Godfrey (Morgan Woodward), ‘the man with no eyes’, in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon) in Thelma <span class="amp">&</span> Louise (1991)

Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon) in Thelma & Louise (1991)

Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) in Taxi Driver (1976)

Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) in Taxi Driver (1976)

The driver (Mania Akbari) in 10 (2002)

The driver (Mania Akbari) in 10 (2002)

John Nada (Roddy Piper) in They Live (1988)

John Nada (Roddy Piper) in They Live (1988)

Alma (Bibi Andersson) in Persona (1966)

Alma (Bibi Andersson) in Persona (1966)

Anta (Mareme Niang) in Touki-Bouki (1973)

Anta (Mareme Niang) in Touki-Bouki (1973)

Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) and Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) in True Romance (1993)

Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) and Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) in True Romance (1993)

Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) in Oldboy (2003)

Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) in Oldboy (2003)

Wade ‘Cry-Baby’ Walker (Johnny Depp) in Cry-Baby (1990)

Wade ‘Cry-Baby’ Walker (Johnny Depp) in Cry-Baby (1990)

Betty Rizzo (Stockard Channing) in Grease (1978)

Betty Rizzo (Stockard Channing) in Grease (1978)

Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) in North by Northwest (1959)

Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) in North by Northwest (1959)

Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly) in To Catch a Thief (1954)

Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly) in To Catch a Thief (1954)

Patricia Franchini (Jean Seberg) in À bout de souffle (1960)

Patricia Franchini (Jean Seberg) in À bout de souffle (1960)

Helen Phillips (Jane Wyman) in Magnificent Obsession (1954)

Helen Phillips (Jane Wyman) in Magnificent Obsession (1954)

DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson) in Do the Right Thing (1989)

DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson) in Do the Right Thing (1989)

Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) and co in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) and co in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Freida (Jessica Tandy) in Used People (1992)

Freida (Jessica Tandy) in Used People (1992)

Séverine Serizy (Catherine Deneuve) in Belle de Jour (1967)

Séverine Serizy (Catherine Deneuve) in Belle de Jour (1967)

Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) in Sister Act (1992)

Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) in Sister Act (1992)

Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) in Top Gun (1986)

Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) in Top Gun (1986)

The highway patrol officer (Mort Mills) in Psycho (1960)

The highway patrol officer (Mort Mills) in Psycho (1960)

Minnie Moore (Gena Rowlands) in Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)

Minnie Moore (Gena Rowlands) in Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)

Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) in Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) in Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Jean-Louis Duroc (Jean-Louis Trintignant) in Un homme et une femme (1966)

Jean-Louis Duroc (Jean-Louis Trintignant) in Un homme et une femme (1966)

Eva Kant (Marisa Mell) and Diabolik (John Phillip Law) in Danger: Diabolik (1968)

Eva Kant (Marisa Mell) and Diabolik (John Phillip Law) in Danger: Diabolik (1968)

Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Lola (Anouk Aimée) in Model Shop (1968)

Lola (Anouk Aimée) in Model Shop (1968)

Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr Brown (Quentin Tarantino), Mr White (Harvey Keitel), Mr Orange (Tim Roth), Mr Pink (Steve Buscemi) and Mr Blue (Eddie Bunker) in Reservoir Dogs (1991)

Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr Brown (Quentin Tarantino), Mr White (Harvey Keitel), Mr Orange (Tim Roth), Mr Pink (Steve Buscemi) and Mr Blue (Eddie Bunker) in Reservoir Dogs (1991)

Colette MacFarland (Kirsten Dunst) in The Two Faces of January (2014)

Colette MacFarland (Kirsten Dunst) in The Two Faces of January (2014)

Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith) in Men in Black (1997)

Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith) in Men in Black (1997)

A passer-by in Out 1 (1971)

A passer-by in Out 1 (1971)

Bob Dylan in Dont Look Back (1967)

Bob Dylan in Dont Look Back (1967)

Sili (Lissa Balera) in The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (1999)

Sili (Lissa Balera) in The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (1999)

Jo Wallace (Audrey Hepburn) in Two for the Road (1967)

Jo Wallace (Audrey Hepburn) in Two for the Road (1967)

The blonde-wigged woman (Brigitte Lin) in Chungking Express (1994)

The blonde-wigged woman (Brigitte Lin) in Chungking Express (1994)

 

Dolores Haze (Sue Lyon) in Lolita (1962)

Dolores Haze (Sue Lyon) in Lolita (1962)

Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) and Jake Blues (John Belushi) in The Blues Brothers (1980)

Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) and Jake Blues (John Belushi) in The Blues Brothers (1980)

 

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