Who’s the lunatic behind those sunglasses?


Purportedly it’s Claude Rains. All sources say he starred as The Invisible Man in the 1933 film. Could have been anyone, though. Think about it. Rains could have just looped his voice. The cool sunglasses were sort of the star of the movie anyway. Since the week’s over why not let your imagination have its own Casual Friday and speculate on all the different people it could be?

Whoever it wears some sort of goggles, probably industrial, here:

Claude Rains (or whoever it is) wears goggles here.

There’s something about the combination of sunglasses, a concealed face, and dandified clothing that projects a weird glamor and power.

Comic Book artist Mike Mignola recognized this and took it a step further in his Hellboy series by giving his villain Karl Ruprecht Kroenen a leather SS uniform and Darth Vader style mask. The sunglasses were incorporated into the mask.

Ladislav Beran as Karl Ruprecht Kroenen in Hellboy (2004)

And Philippine Police Director Carmelo Valmoria, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), took it still further. He banned hats and sunglasses from shopping malls. The supposed reason was criminals were using them to conceal their identities.

My suspicion, though, is it’s all about the semiotics of dress. Face-concealing headgear and sunglasses inspire primordial fear in humans. The greater the concealment the greater the fear.


The unknown makes people nervous. Yet there’s also something thrilling about mystery, especially as regards a person’s eyes and face.

Maybe that’s why sunglasses wield such power.

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