The coolest ever glasses in movies

glasses michael caine ipcress file

I’m an idiot. I was thinking about The Ipcress File one day, and the ineffable stylishness of Michael Caine and his black-framed specs, and thought that coming up with a list of similarly awesome (or in some other way, striking) glasses worn in the movies would be quick and easy. It took me three months. SHEESH.

This, naturally, is not only because it turns out there are many more amazing spectacled movie characters than I previously knew about, but also because a stubborn streak of perfectionism meant I had to keep discovering MORE movie glasses. And more. And still more. And then it became overwhelming and I felt I was drowning in glasses and had to run away and hyperventilate for a while before I felt I could continue with my movie glasses mission.

Ahem. Anyway. Suffice to say, yes, of course most movies are populated by beautiful thin people with tasteful clothes, good hair, and no facial furniture. So far, so snore-worthy. But if you look hard enough, fabulous four-eyes start coming thick and fast.

So. Here are some of my favourite spectacles worn in movies. In no particular order, because I can’t be bothered. Some included because they are just so flipping cool, others because I adore the supreme dorkiness, and others still because in some way they add something essential to that character. Sub-rule – I have not included any characters where the actor wears the same kind of spectacles on a regular basis in real life. Because that isn’t a character, that is just them. Therefore nary a Woody Allen. Harold Ramis, Groucho Marx, Eugene Levy or Harold Lloyd will be seen.

Disclaimer: as always, there are a ton of movies I haven’t actually seen on this list. Let’s be realistic now dudes, even if I gave up books and art and music and other stuff I liked (which I don’t plan on doing anytime soon), I’d STILL never see all the movies I wanted to, in my entire life. But this has certainly further bulked out my list of ‘must-sees’.

1. Ryan O’Neal in What’s Up Doc. Waaah! Even cuter than usual with the specs! And simply one of the best screwball comedies of all time. If you haven’t seen it run, go, speed like the wind!

glasses Whats Up Doc Ryan O'Neal

2. Harrison Ford as Professor Jones in all the Indiana Jones movies. Just, swoon. I’d write ‘love you’ in biro on my eyelids too.

glasses Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford Indiana Jones

3. Pamela Franklin as Sandy in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Some of the costume styling was a bit ‘off’ era-wise, but these glasses are perfectly 30s.

glasses Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Pamela Franklin

4. Jobeth Williams in Kramer vs Kramer. How can you not love the over-the-top-70s-ness of these glasses, worn completely insouciantly. Even more so in the naked-in-hallway scene (you can look that one up yourself).

glasses Kramer vs Kramer Jobeth Williams

5. Roy Schneider in Jaws. What a dude.

glasses Jaws Roy Schneider

6. Ali Mcgraw in Love Story. Love the 70s preppy look.

glasses ali macgraw love story

7. Annie Potts in Ghostbusters – I and II. Here she goes for edgy black framed round glasses with a blunt bob in the sequel…

glasses Annie Potts Ghostbusters II

8. … but in the original it was all about the big pink mumsy specs with a safety chain

glasses Annie Potts Ghostbusters

9. Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby. Another of the greatest screwball comedies ever.

glasses Bringing Up Baby Cary Grant

10. Christopher Walken as Bond baddie Max Zorin in A View to a Kill.

Glasses Christopher Walken a View to a Kill

11. Daniel Day Lewis in A Room with a View. Poor lad. I’d go for Julian Sands too (Daniel, you can wait until Last of the Mohicans, I’ll meet you there).

glasses Daniel Day Lewis A Room With a View 2

12. Silvie Laguna as Aurore in Delicatessen. Auroooooooore!

glasses Delicatessen Aurore

13. Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. Super cool.glasses diane keaton annie hall

14. A more 80s version of the same type of frame seen on Diane in Baby Boom.glasses diane keaton baby boom 15. And another 70s horn rim in Looking for Mr Goodbar

glasses diane keaton looking for mr goodbar

16. Then in the 90s, she moves onto a wire frame in Manhattan Murder Mystery. Smaller wire frames again are worn in As Good as it Gets (not pictured).

glasses diane keaton manhattan murder mystery

17. Tony in Die Hard (you’d better tell Karl his brother is dead). You have to love an action movie that is brave enough to put a scary bad guy in big dorky glasses and grey sweatshirt. glasses Die Hard Andreas Wisniewski 2

18. Theo in Die Hard. Yeah so glasses on the computer geek is more of a trope, but still. Cool jumper too. I like that these bad guys do their stuff while being COSY. Evilness doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable clothing.glasses Die Hard Theo

19. Why Die Hard, you are spoiling us! This time, Samuel L Jackson in Die Hard With a Vengeance. What makes this is the amazing glasses strap. glasses Die Hard with a Vengeance Samuel L Jackson

20. Christopher Lee in Dr Terror’s House of Horrors. Nice shape.glasses Dr Terrors House of Horrors Christoper Lee

21. Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Feldon (she of Get Smart fame) in Fitzwilly. Haven’t seen this but I need to. Check out her bob and jacket! She is so cool!glasses Fitzwilly Dick van Dyke Barbara Feldon

22. Goldie Hawn as Gloria in Foul Play. First – glasses, trench coat, hair flicks and umbrella? That is sweet style. Second, if you haven’t seen this movie RUN DON’T WALK. It is not at all well known but comedy genius, one of my all time favourites. glasses Foul Play Goldie Hawn

23. Emma Stone as Skeeter in The Help. Nice to see some cats eyes. glasses Emma Stone The Help 2

24. George Clooney in Good Night and Good Luck. These look like clear frames – a bit more unusual for a 50s setting, but nice.glasses George Clooney Good Night and Good Luck

25. Liv Ullmann in Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata)glasses höstsonaten liv ullmann

26. Thora Birch in Ghost Worldglasses Ghost World Thora Birch

27. Alan Cuming as Boris in Goldeneyeglasses Goldeneye Alan Cummings Boris

28. Michael Caine in Hannah and Her Sistersglasses Hannah and Her Sisters Michael Caine

29. Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbirdglasses Gregory Peck to kill a mockingbird

30. Jean Seberg in In The French Styleglasses In The French Style Jean Seberg

31. Isabelle Hupert in 8 Femmes. Nice mix of cats eye and half wire. Super stylish.glasses Isabelle Hupert 8 femmes

32. Guy Pearce in LA Confidential.glasses LA Confidential Guy Pearce

33. Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusadeglasses Indiana Jones Last Crusade Sean Connery

34. Jerry Lewis in The King of Comedyglasses King of Comedy Jerry Lewis

35. Marilyn Monroe and David Wayne in How to Marry a Millionaireglasses How to Marry a Millionaire Marilyn Monroe

36. Catherine Spaak in Il Sorpassoglasses Il Sorpasso Catherine Spaak

37. Lee Remick in Anatomy of a Murderglasses Lee Remick Anatomy of a Murder

38. Kate Winslet in Enigmaglasses Kate Winslet Enigma

39. Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine. Now, I’m not normally one to gush over ‘cute’ children, but GAH! She is so cute! And I love her dorky little glasses!glasses Little Miss Sunshine

40. Willem Dafoe in Mississippi Burningglasses Mississippi Burning Willem Dafoe

41. Jerry Lewis in The Nutty ProfessorGlasses Nutty Professor Jerry Lewis

42. Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (prior to becoming Catwoman. I sort of prefer her as a scatty cat lady with the sad droopy glasses)glasses Michelle Pfeiffer Batman catwoman

43. Michael Caine in The Ipcress File. IT DOES NOT GET COOLER THAN THIS.glasses Michael Caine The Ipcress File

44. Johnny Depp in The Ninth Gate. Nice glasses, but the weedy little goatee makes me want to punch him in the chin.glasses Ninth Gate Johnny Depp

45. Cate Blanchett in The Monuments Menglasses Monuments Men Cate Blanchett

46. Liza Minelli in The Sterile Cuckooglasses Liza Minelli The Sterile Cuckoo

47. Jon Heder in Napolean Dynamite. Glasses skills.glasses Napolean Dynamite

48. Aaron Ruell as Kip in Napolean Dynamiteglasses Napolean Dynamite Kip

49. Stephen Root as Milton in Office SpaceGlasses Office Space 1

50. Gary Cole as the hoooorrible boss in Office Spaceglasses Office Space

51. Reese Witherspoon in Pleasantvilleglasses Pleasantville Reese Witherspoon

52. Barbara Bel Geddes as Midge in Vertigoglasses Rear Window Midge

53. Jason Schwartzman as Max Fischer in Rushmoreglasses Rushmore Jason Schwartzman

54. Not forgetting his long suffering friend Margaret (Sara Tanaka)glasses Rushmore Sara Tanaka

55. Hi, my name is Brad Majors. Barry Bostwick in Rocky Horror Picture Showglasses Rocky Horror Picture Show Brad

56. Talia Shire in Rocky. glasses Rocky Talia Shire

57. Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hotglasses Some like it Hot Tony Curtis

58. Corey Feldman in Stand by Meglasses Stand by Me Corey Feldman

59. Daryl Hannah in Steel Magnoliasglasses Steel Magnolia Daryl Hannah

60. Ingrid Bergman in Spellboundglasses Spellbound Ingrid Bergman

61. Romy Schneider in Les choses de la vie ( The Things of Life)glasses Romy Schneider les choses de la vie

62. Rachael Leigh Cook in She’s All That. Teaching us all that the most important thing in life is to be the same as everyone else (psst, that means no glasses).glasses She's All That Rachel Leigh Cook

63. Anne Francis in Susan Slept Here. Haven’t seen this movie but I must, if just for these gem-studded cats eyes.glasses Susan Slept Here Anne Francis

64. John Goodman in The Big Lebowskiglasses The Big Lebowski John Goodman

65. Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. I don’t actually often wear my glasses, as I prefer contacts for all round vision. But I think I should put them on more often, just to be able to give people this look.glasses The Devil Wears Prada Meryl Streep

66. Judy Geeson in The Executionerglasses the executioner judy geeson

67. Rob Lowe in The Invention of Lyingglasses The Invention of Lying Rob Lowe

68. Rachel Weisz in The Mummy (why is it that she needs glasses when working in a library, but not off having an adventure? Why do adventures suddenly make movie people non-blind? It has never worked like that for me.)

glasses The Mummy Rachel Weisz

69. Matt Damon in The Talented Mr Ripley
glasses The Talented Mr Ripley Matt Damon

70. Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent in Supermanglasses Superman Christopher Reeve

71. Kasey Rogers as Miriam in Strangers on a Trainglasses Strangers on a Train Miriam72. Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs. Which I haven’t seen because I can’t handle rape scenes. Iconic cracked glasses image though.glasses Straw Dogs Dustin Hoffman

73. Susan George has pretty good glasses in the same film too. glasses Straw Dogs Susan George

74. Isabelle Adjani in The Tenant. Another I haven’t seen, but have to since I want to steal her entire look from this one image.glasses The Tenant Isabelle Adjani

75. Rosalind Russell in The Womenglasses The Women Rosalind Russell

76. Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (not as amazing as the glasses Alec Guiness sports in the TV series, but telly don’t count)glasses Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Gary Oldman

77. Jonathan Pryce as Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies glasses Tomorrow Never Dies Elliot Carver

78. Julie Delpy in Two Days in Paris. I haven’t seen this movie but must. Julie Delpy, cool black glasses, and a superbly fluffy cat? ALL THE GOOD THINGS.glasses Two days in Paris Julie Delpy

79. Gene Barry as Dr. Clayton Forrester (what a name! What a jawline!) in War of the Worldsglasses War of the Worlds 1953

80. Dana Carvey as Garth in Wayne’s Worldglasses waynes world garth

81. Heather Matarazzo in Welcome to the Dollhouseglasses Welcome to the Dollhouse

82. Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbitglasses Who Framed Roger Rabbit Doom

83. Sharon Tate in The Wrecking Crewglasses Wrecking Crew Sharon Tate

84. Robert Downey Jr in Zodiacglasses Zodiac Robert Downey Jr

85. Angela Lansbury in Bedknobs and Broomsticksglasses Angela lansbury bedknobs and broomsticks

86. Anna Karina in Annaglasses Anna Karina Anna 1967

87. Anouk Aimee in 8 1/2 glasses Anouk Aimee 8 and a half

88. Dorothy Malone in The Big Sleepglasses bookstore girl the big sleep

89. Ben Whishaw as Q in Skyfallglasses Bond Q Ben Whishaw

90. Judy Holliday in Born Yesterdayglasses Born Yesterday Judy Holliday

91. William Holden in Born Yesterdayglasses Born Yesterday William Holden

92. John Cusack in Bullets Over Broadwayglasses Bullets over Broadway John Cusack

93. Mink Stole as Connie Marble in Pink Flamingosglasses Connie Marble Pink Flamingos

94. Michael Redgrave in The Dam Bustersglasses Dambusters Michael Redgrave

95. Jane Wyman in Brother Ratglasses Brother Rat Jane Wyman

96. Brigitte Bardot in Une Parisienneglasses Brigitte Bardot Une parisienne

97. Colin Firth in A Single ManGlasses Colin Firth A Single Man

98. Dianne Wiest in Edward Scissorhands. I applaud the matchy matchyness of glasses, suit, hat and earrings. glasses Edward Scissorhands Dianne Wiest

99. Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeralglasses Four Weddings and a Funeral Hugh Grant

100. Jennifer Jason Leigh in Greenbergglasses Greenberg Jennifer Jason Leigh

101. Ruby Keeler in Footlight Paradeglasses Footlight Parade Ruby Keeler

102. Virna Lisi in Evaglasses Eva 1962 Virna Lisi

103. Michael Douglas in Falling Down. The glasses are actually fine, but my god, his HAIR. It pains me.glasses Falling Down

104. Dustin Hoffmann as Tootsieglasses Dustin Hoffmann Tootsie

105. Looking eerily similar to Jane Fonda in Nine to Fiveglasses 9 to 5 Jane Fonda

106. Henry Fonda in The Male Animalglasses Henry Fonda The Male Animal

107. Austin Powers. Well of course. I almost didn’t include this because it is snoringly obvious, but honestly, I would SO wear these glasses. Glasses Austin Powers

108. Harry Potter. Yeah, I know. Booooring. But, the glasses make the character, and I do like a pair of round wire frames, so in they go.glasses Harry Potter

109. Jon Cryer as Jim ‘Wash Out’ Pfaffenbach in Hot Shots!glasses Jon Cryer Hot Shots

110. Steve Zahn as Sammy in Reality Bitesglasses Reality Bites Sammy

Did I include your favourite movie specs? Let me know what I missed in the comments!