Where did that dark sunglasses & dark trench coat thing first start with?

It’s a trope now to see the guy in the dark sunglasses and dark trench coat do the “slow motion walk” directly into the camera, I remember the Matrix as the first one with it.

Did they take it from Japanese movies? Earlier westerns? Never see any Neos like that in real life.

Not slo-mo, but still a guy with dark sunglasses and a trenchcoat walking at the camera

Judd Nelson

don’t think people in old westerns wore sunglasses

The Rutger Hauer film Omega Doom had a lot of black trenchcoats. The “robots” in particular wore sunglasses. A lot of visuals like this that are similar to The Matrix. It came out in 1996, three years before.

Lots of drawn out pan or zoom shots. Don’t recall for sure any slo-mo.

Resevoir Dogs?

That’s dark suits, not trenchcoats.

There were a whole bunch of black trenchcoats in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, too.

They could have…

Tarantino originally planned to have Jules and Vincent wear long black coats in Pulp Fiction as the mark of gunslingers/assassins. He settled on black suits with skinny black ties.

The Power Walk aspect of the image mostly goes back to The Right Stuff.

Here’s my daily pedantry…

IMHO, you’re mixing trenchcoats with dusters. They are quite different, and I would regard Neo’s coat as a duster, not a trenchcoat.

YMMV and everyone is welcome to his/her opinion. BTW, my wife says it’s a cassock.

If I see a man in a black trench coat and dark sunglasses headed in my direction, I walk the other way. He could be moments away from pulling out a gun and firing.

So could a man wearing, well, pretty much anything.

George Carlin in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. 1989.

Well, if we’re being pedantic … I honestly don’t think you can make that clear a distinction. Both trench coats and dusters have varied quite a bit, over the years, with considerable crossover between them. Neo’s coat isn’t a classic example of either, to my mind — it’s just a long coat. He does wear a cassock right at the end of the film, and in the sequel, but the iconic look is definitely a coat.

Re the OP: I don’t think you’ll find a single origin. What there is, is a chain of influences, crossing cultures and media, taking in comic books, anime and manga, film, television and pop videos. Look at the original Highlander, directed by Russell Mulcahy, and his earlier video for Ultravox’s Vienna. He later directed The Shadow, based on a 30s pulp fiction hero — who dressed in a long black coat.

There was a campy Italian sci-fi movie from 1966. The English title was Wild, Wild Planet. It featured bald guys with sunglasses and black trench coats.

The trench coats hid the fact that they were mutants with four arms!

If you’re seeing anybody walking in slow-mo in real life, you might need to consider decaf.

But it can be a lot of fun!

I think the faceless bad guys is where to look. I was trying to think of actors in lead roles. My first thought was Le Samourai or a noir film. The problem is leading men, especially good looking ones, don’t seem to like wearing sunglasses, they want their eyes on-screen. Also the black trench coat seems to be a recent development. It always seems to be a buff trench coat or a black suit.