Commonly known as the ‘Master of Suspense’, Alfred Hitchcock certainly knew how to create an intense and nail-biting undercurrent, and in Foreign Correspondent he solicits the help of the umbrella to do so. The chase for the Mayor’s assassinator takes places beneath a sea of black brollies and an innovative aerial shot thrillingly captures the scene. Ranging from double-breasted belted trench coats to loosely fitted macintosh-styled raincoats and many sporting fedora hats, the reporters form a patchwork of hues and a true representation of 1940s style. The result is a sartorial scene drenched in suspense.
2 / 5
Singin' in the Rain, 1952
If there is anyone who has given the humble umbrella an iconic status, it is Gene Kelly in his seminal rendition of Singin’ in the Rain. Expertly tossing, spinning and opening the accessory, the actor uses it to do everything but keep him dry, wonderfully illustrating his extreme, childlike giddiness at falling in love. With a simple black canopy and polished wooden hooked handle, the elegant brolly not only complements his sophisticated grey tailoring and brown Oxford shoes but steals the show completely; one without which the scene would be hung out to dry.
5 / 5
Bridge of Spies, 2015
It is often in cinema that an eerie scene designed to build suspense is set at night coupled with a howling wind and torrential rain. Steven Spielberg’s historic thriller Bridge of Spies uses the same technique when defence lawyer James Donovan, played by Tom Hanks, is followed by a CIA agent down the backstreets of New York. The shot, which shows off his sartorial prowess as he wears a grey mackintosh-style raincoat, dark grey tonal stripe single-breasted suit, trilby and a large black umbrella with a chestnut wooden handle is perfectly mirrored by the man on his trail – a symbolic nod to the shadow that’s following him. Little does the agent know, Hanks is about to rain on his parade.