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5 famous films to feature umbrellas

Umbrellas are everywhere, even in the movies. And they can be used for so many things in the form of a prop for the actor in possession of one. There have got to be 1000’s of films with brollies in them but we have picked out 5 of our favourites. See which ones you can remember, and if you’re too young, ask your parents, we’re sure they’ll be able to help you out.

Audrey Hepburn (as her character as 'Eliza Doolittle' in "My Fair Lady") photographed by Cecil Beaton - 1963-64

1.      The Batman Returns

Danny DeVito plays the villain in this classic Batman film as the Penguin. Within his lair in The Batman Returns, Batman’s nemesis has chosen an alternative way of decorating his hideout, with an ominous assortment of umbrellas, (no pink umbrellas that we are aware of), of which almost all double up as sinister weaponry for his dastardly deeds. The back story on the Penguin goes that his father passed away from pneumonia in a rainstorm, and ever since he carried an umbrella. To give you an idea of his collection of umbrellas and what they are capable of, there’s pretty much all you’d need as a baddie, from blades, guns, handles fitted with radio transmitters, and explosives.

2.      Singing in the Rain (1952)

Without a doubt, one of the most well-renowned songs in the history of music, Singing in the Rain is a happy-go-lucky portrayal of Hollywood in the 1920s. The movie stars, and is directed by the famous actor, Gene Kelly. And the movie’s lead song has got to be the ultimate advert for enjoying a ‘liquid sunshine’, with the unforgettable image of Kelly happily swinging from a lamppost as he proceeds to dance with his umbrella up a street, something that will never lose its visual appeal.

3.      Mary Poppins (1964)

An absolute classic for all the family to enjoy, Mary Poppins, with her bottomless handbag (aren’t they all, ladies?!), also comes accompanied by the iconic parrot-head umbrella that the original super nanny holds as she nonchalantly parachutes through the sky. This scene has established itself and the magical umbrella as one of the most familiar in cinematic history. A great advert for the umbrella, we’re sure you’d agree! This Disney classic is frequently referred to as the pinnacle of Walt’s achievement, based on P.L Travers' books. Mr Disney apparently pursued Travers for two decades before she finally agreed to option the book to him, which itself was turned into a film in 2013 titled Saving Mr Banks.

Mary Poppins and Penguin from Batman both holding umbrellas like those from Jollybrolly


4.      Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner features space-age umbrellas in true 80’s fashion. The umbrellas used in the film sport a light-up shaft, not dissimilar to the light sabre from Star Wars, but with a canopy. The ‘Lampbrella’ has since become a cult hit prop from the film, released some 33 years ago.

5.      My Fair Lady (1964)

Audrey Heburn, known for being a poster girl for elegance and natural beauty on the screen does what only Audrey could do with her Ascot outfit in My Fair Lady. Accompanied by her white lace parasol ladies umbrella, which was designed by the legendary Cecil Beaton, has seen itself grow to become the prime image associated with the film and considered one of Beaton's greatest works. Hepburn’s role sees her play flower girl Eliza Doolittle in the film adaption of the Lerner and Loewe musical of the same name.


Image credits: JD Hancock under Creative Commons.