Thursday, August 13, 2009


My mother needed to get a new pair of eyeglasses, and she wanted somebody along to let her know how the frames looked, since she wouldn't be able to see herself clearly with the lenses in the sample frames at the optician's. I found myself thinking not about her glasses, but about whether I could find frames like those ghastly 1960s glasses that Spencer Tracy wore late in life, and can be seen in movies like Judgment at Nuremburg or Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. (My grandfather wore similar glasses late in life, but as he died in the early 1980s I don't have any digital photos of him with his wonderful glasses.) I distinctly recall Edie Adams wearing the female equivalent in The Apartment, but unfortunately haven't been able to find a photo of her in those glasses. The photo I've got of her in The Apartment has her sans glasses. I'm pretty certain the photo in that post is from the Christmas scene, and that she can be seen in those glasses near then end, just after she's been fired by Mr. Sheldrake, and is calling Mrs. Sheldrake to let her know about the mister's infidelity. (Does anybody have a screencap from that scene?)

As for other famous pairs of glasses, my mom wanted relatively narrow lenses, so Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie was clearly out of the question. (Mom, thankfully, also does not have such big hair.) There's also Harold Lloyd; indeed, if you see any of his movies on TCM you'll note that the copyright is held by the Harold Lloyd trust, which uses a stylized version of his glasses as a trademark. I don't think Mom would have appreciated that, either. Perhaps I should have suggested she get a monocle, like Charles Coburn wore in The Devil and Miss Jones.

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