63 Of The Coolest Film Props That Still Live In People’s Minds “Rent-Free”

Most of us who had a good childhood remember it fondly. Who wouldn't want to go back to the days when all you did was play outside and didn't have a care in the world? That's where childhood nostalgia bias comes from. We remember some things as incredible simply because we saw or experienced them when we were kids.

Recently, one X account shared some props from movies they couldn't stop thinking about even well into adulthood, and the post went viral. This prompted other users to share their favorite things from the movies they saw as children as well. Do you have a favorite prop featured in your childhood movie that wasn't mentioned below? Let us know in the comments!

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What makes a movie truly great and memorable? I bet ‘plot’ and ‘characters’ are the things that would first come to mind to many. But props have a big impact on a film’s success and longevity as well. They capture the viewer’s attention and interest even more than satisfying cinematography and a good script does.

Who knows if Star Wars would be such a cult franchise if they used simple swords instead of lightsabers? And Cast Away without Wilson? To this day, Tom Hanks claims that it’s the one thing his fans shout at him the most. Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, the Mockingjay pin in The Hunger Games – these props become symbolic not only in the movie but to fans as well.

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Some props can just be cool background items, like the ice cream sandwich sofa in iCarly. Others are there to complement the character, to help us understand their personality better, like the hamburger phone in Juno.

But other props might also be central to the movie’s plot. Sometimes, it’s even in the title of the movie itself, like the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings or the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the case of Cast Away, a prop can even become a character in the film, even if it is an inanimate object.

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StudioBinder defines a prop as “an inanimate object that an actor interacts with in a film.” On a movie set, there is a separate department that handles props, and it is run by the prop master. Props can be bought, but they’re usually designed and made by the prop department. Nowadays, with 3D printing, it’s much easier to make a prop, yet the heart of prop-making, according to Coffee House Industries, remains “in its artistic soul.”

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Sometimes, the prop department might do such a good job that viewers think the prop is real. Like the hoverboard in Back to the Future. Director Robert Zemeckis had many people believing it was a real thing in the ’80s when he trolled fans in the behind-the-scenes special. The DeLorean, on the other hand, was a real car brand. However, by the time the movie came out, it was already defunct.

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The main function of a prop is to contribute to worldbuilding. To make the audience believe that the world the movie is presenting is real and immersive. The creator of the Star Wars universe, George Lucas, understood this when he explained to his prop masters the need for a “lived-in” aesthetic.

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The set designer for Star Wars, Roger Christian, said in a 2015 interview that Lucas’ vision for scrappy science fiction was a novelty. “Most of the crew […] thought science fiction should be like Flash Gordon. So George showed them Once Upon a Time in the West, Sergio Leone’s great cowboy movie, and that was very dusty and very real. That was the look that we were trying to get. After that, I was aging the sets and throwing dust on them and making everything look very natural.”

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But not all movie props are destined to become iconic and unforgettable. Some movies have some pretty bad props. Whether that’s due to problems on set or just a lack of effort, we still can have a chuckle now when looking at them. The example movie enthusiasts point out most often is the fake plastic baby in American Sniper. Apparently, the real baby got the flu the day they were supposed to be on set, and the understudy didn’t show. Well, fake baby doll it is then!

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Although the Star Wars franchise can boast its iconic and realistic props, the first prequel, The Phantom Menace, had an interesting prop. CBS News writes how the minuscule communication device used by Qui-Gon Jinn was actually made from a ladies razor. Apparently, it was made from a resin cast of a Gillette Ladies Sensor Excel Razor.

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But where do these props (even the bad ones) go when filming is done? Sometimes, the actors get to keep them. Elijah Wood, who played Frodo in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has admitted to having the One Ring. Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, told The Daily Mail in 2011 that he has the character’s iconic glasses.

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In other cases, movie props go to auctions or private collections, allowing fans to own a piece of their favorite movie memorabilia. Major film studios keep historic props in their warehouses, and they sometimes delegate the storage to independent prop houses.

There are places where fans can see and interact with props, like museums, restaurants, or theme parks. And in some cases, props are given a new purpose when they’re given away by charitable organizations.

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Source: boredpanda.com

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