A ranked list of 100 things can be fun when you find your favorites on it, and enraging when you don’t. A list of movie props could be just that, but this is much more. Every one of the 100 props that made the list has a story behind it. Where the idea came from, why they selected this object, how it was made, how it was used, what happened to it after the movie was wrapped -those kind of things are covered by the people who were involved in the movie for each prop. For example:
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63. The eggs, Alien (1979)
Roger Christian, art director: “The eggs were made with grips underneath where you could pull and open them up. Everything in H.R. Giger’s world is combined with female or male body parts, so the eggs had to look menacing and sensual at the same time. The membrane is a sheep’s stomach — I know, because I had to buy stuff from the abattoir all the time (or I’d get my buyers to go). To get that burst out, the only way to do it, Ridley [Scott] had to put on a rubber glove and put his hand up and chucked it out at the camera. That was the only way to get it to work. [The eggs] were heavy and there were only a few made practical. The rest were background ones, which they made a lot of.”
57. The cup of water, Jurassic Park (1993)
Michael Lantieri, special effects designer (in the Jurassic Park feature Making Prehistory): “I was at work and Steven [Spielberg] calls into the office. He goes, ‘I’m in the car, I’m playing Earth, Wind & Fire, and my mirror is shaking. That’s what we need to do. I want to shake the mirror and I want to do something with the water.’ The mirror shaking was really very easy — put a little vibrating motor in it that shook it. The water was a another story. It was very difficult thing to do. You couldn’t do it. I had everyone working on it. Finally, messing around with a guitar one night, I set a glass and started playing notes on a guitar and got to a right frequency, a right note, and it did exactly what I wanted it to do.”
(Image credit: Jason Hoffman/Thrillist)