Embellishing movie characters’ scalps with a chunk of metal headgear always seems to make them more memorable. This is the innate power of the helmet. Costume designers just don’t receive enough credit when it comes to their iconic creations, so we present to you the best Hollywood helmets ever to grace heads.
Easy Rider – 1969
This landmark road movie tells the tale of Wyatt and Billy, stylishly biking their way from LA to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras. Peter Fonda’s character, Wyatt (AKA Captain America), drapes himself in perhaps an overly patriotic ensemble. To match his Americanized motorcycle, Wyatt wears a flag-adorned leather jacket with a red striped and star spangled helmet. This iconic motorcycle helmet has spawned many recreations, allowing modern riders to flaunt their true-blue patriotism or, more than likely, celebrate their undying “Easy Rider” fandom.
Star Wars IV, V, VI – 1977-1983
The epic science fiction space series is packed to the gills with legendary helmets. Apparently, helmets are all the rage in a galaxy far, far away. Stormtroopers, Rebel pilots, Imperial Guards, Boba Fett, Darth Vader…this list can continue indefinitely. The most prominent is arguably Darth Vader’s jet-black mechanical helmet that curiously transforms the Sith Lord’s voice into that of James Earl Jones.
The Rocketeer – 1991
After pilot Cliff Secord happens upon an experimental jet pack in 1938 designed by none other than aviation extraordinaire Howard Hughes, he soon becomes the Nazi-fighting “Rocketeer.” Cliff’s mechanic friend Peevy creates an aesthetically awesome gold helmet to complete the Rocketeer’s superhero getup. The iconic helmet was an insectile robot-looking contraption with a vent-like mouthpiece and topped with an elongated fin. Luckily, Disney didn’t get the chance to replace the Rocketeer’s trademark headgear with a NASA helmet as they originally intended.
The City of Lost Children – 1995
Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s surrealistic steampunk film is loaded with an abundance of eye candy wonders, but none more so than the helmet of the dream-immune scientist, Krank. The wicked and wonderfully weird device is used to nefarious effect to steal the dreams of captive children. Ironically, the tin dome helmet adorned with projecting tubular components and dangling wires is more nightmarish than dreamy. It brings to mind some Nikola Tesla headgear experiment gone terribly wrong.
300 – 2006
Leonidas and his army of 300 battle the Persians at Thermoplylae dressed at the height of 480 B.C. Spartan warrior fashion. The bronze helmets are impeccably designed with sharp angles, protracted side plating, black plumed and are appropriately war-ravaged. It doesn’t hurt the helmet’s conspicuousness that the Spartans aren’t wearing much else, though most eyes are likely drawn to those exquisitely sculpted eight-pack abs.
Dredd – 2012
Where Sylvester Stallone failed to keep his helmet on in 1995’s “Judge Dredd,” Karl Urban succeeds. That’s right, the red and black helmet remains affixed to the Judge’s head throughout the film, accentuating the stubbly scowl of his face. When the criminals of Mega City One experience Dredd’s three-in-one package of judge, jury and executioner, the Judge’s helmet is the last thing they’ll ever see.