With all of the attention that actors, directors, and cinematography get, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the objects that make the movies what they are. We are, of course, talking about the props. When seen on the big screen, props can often feel like they are just a regular part of the environment—like they weren’t created by highly skilled artists and fabricators. This is, however, far from the truth. Some of cinema’s most famous props weren’t just found backstage. They were constructed by artisan prop makers, who take great pride in the creation of custom props that bring the imagination of screenwriters to life.
At Big Apple Props, we provide this type of prop making. Our team of experienced sculptors, artists, and technicians utilize industry-leading technology, like 3D laser scanning, to make props and models that display unmatched creativity, usability, and durability. From custom foam characters to architectural molding, we can make your vision a reality. In today’s blogs, we would like to talk about some of the most memorable and expensive props in movie history.
The Delorean From Back To The Future
During the making of the Back to the Future trilogy, directors purchased six DeLorean DMC-12 cars. The first of these, which is often considered to be the original, has been restored and is now on display at Universal Studios Orlando. In 2011, the third DeLorean was sold at an auction for $541,000. What makes this price tag all the more outrageous is that the car doesn’t even have time-traveling capabilities. However, at least we can take some comfort in the fact that some of the proceeds went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber
The lightsaber used by Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, is perhaps one of the most iconic props of all-time. In 1977, when Star Wars: A New Hope was made, CGI was not an option. This required prop makers to get creative. Although most of the distinctive glow that we know and love was added in post-production, the lightsaber was cleverly made using a camera handheld flash and a wooden pole that was doused in a paint that made it easier for editors to spot. In 2008, this lightsaber was sold for $240,000.
Marilyn Monroe’s Famous White Dress
Though this is more of a costume than a prop, we can’t make a list of the most expensive movie props and not include this. To date, the legendary dress that Marilyn Monroe wore during the filming of The Seven Year Itch is the most expensive movie costume ever sold. In 2011, it sold at a Los Angeles auction for a whopping $4.6 million. We should also add that this dress was sold with a bowler hat once owned by Charlie Chaplin and a headdress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. Even as a package deal, this still seems like a hefty price to pay for movie memorabilia.
Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers
Ruby slippers are nearly synonymous with the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. It’s no surprise that in 2000 when one of the four pairs of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland was put up for auction, they sold for $666,000. One of the other pairs of slippers is on permanent display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the other pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota.
Cowardly Lion Costume
While we’re on the subject of the Wizard of Oz, we have to include the costume worn by Bert Lahr. Much to the surprise of viewers, the costume was not the most comfortable to wear. It was made from actual lion hides, and it weighed almost 60 pounds. In 2014, the costume was sold at a New York auction for over $3 million.
A great film can inspire a generation, and the best moments can live on in our minds for year and years through famous quotes and through the props. As you’ve probably gathered, some of the most famous movie props can be quite expensive. However, if you want to display your love for your favorite movie by getting a replica prop, we can make this dream come true! Contact Big Apple Props! From custom film props to 3D characters to 3D signs, we can turn your vision into reality. Get your free no-hassle quote today!