From burnt-out detectives to comic book heroes, countless iconic Hollywood characters have worn trench coats to add mystery, intrigue and gravitas to their personas. Traditionally, these coats have gone arm in sleeve with film noir-style narration by a chain-smoking, dame-loving doomed protagonist. And, once in a while, a giant mutant ninja turtle just wants a night out in New York without drawing too much attention to himself. Read on for the 15 of the most memorable Hollywood trench coats.
15. Detective Lt. William Somerset – Se7en (1995)
Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman used a classic detective’s trench coat to help establish the wily credentials of his character, retiring detective William Somerset, in David Fincher’s dark, critically-acclaimed 1995 crime thriller Se7en. Incoming detective David Mills (played by Brad Pitt) is bound to feel more at ease partnered with such a classic-looking gumshoe type – complete with sleuth hat and hardened outlook on life. Still, Freeman’s projected wisdom and well-crafted “seen-it-all-before” demeanor help Somerset rise above typical detective stereotypes. Also, in keeping with the old dog-meets-new rookie neo-noir dynamic, Mills wears a contrastingly edgier all-leather trench coat.
14. Col. Hans “Jew Hunter” Landa – Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Austrian actor Christoph Waltz’s career blew up after he played Nazi colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s over-the-top 2009 fictional World War II movie Inglourious Basterds. Waltz is mesmerizing in the film’s opening scene, strolling onto the farm of suspected Jew-harborer Perrier LaPadite (played by Denis Menochet) in a striking Nazi leather trench coat. The way Waltz interrogates LaPadite, expertly balancing genuine-seeming warmth with a dangerous undercurrent of menace and guile – backed up by the unnerving authority of his SS trench coat – is simply breathtaking. Waltz deservedly won a slew of awards for his performance, including an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. We just hope he thanked the coat, as the scene wouldn’t have been the same without it.