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6 Iconic Movie Props

If there is one thing that most film fans have in common, it’s that we love to collect movie items. Whether it’s a rare funko pop that has just become available, a Criterion Collection you’ve been wanting to buy for years, or a t-shirt to wear at the screening of an anticipated release, there are tons of ways to celebrate cinema and get nostalgic in all the right ways. But if there’s one thing we love just as much as physical media, it’s iconic movie props from our favorite guilty pleasures. And we’re not just talking about flipping items for profit: we are talking about the kind of props that will brighten your day with that special cinematic magic we know so well.

When it comes to film items, the possibilities are endless! But if you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve come up with a list of 6 iconic movie props from popular films and franchises that will be a great starting point!

1. The One Ring (The Lord of the Rings)

6 Iconic Movie Props – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (New Line Cinema)

Could the first item ever have been anything other than the One Ring itself? It’s the Ring to Rule Them All, and it rightly deserves the first spot on our list! Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved titular trilogy, The Lord of the Rings begins with said ring – an artefact that was made on a mountain and that is said to have huge power, including the ability to destroy the entire world. At the beginning of the first movie, everyone’s looking for it for precisely that reason, but the one person who stumbled upon it is the noblest of them all. Frodo (Elijah Wood) is a Hobbit, a member of a peaceful race of short people with pointy ears, who are shy but courageous, and often underestimated.

And Frodo turns out to be the bravest of them all, as he embarks on a journey to return the ring to the mountain, joined by his Hobbit friends Sam (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), and a variety of members of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth: Gandalf the wizard (Ian McKellen), Legolas the elf (Orlando Bloom), Gimli the dwarf (John Rhys-Davies), and men Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean). Needless to say, their journey is not an easy one, as they cross paths with many friends and enemies, including the famous Gollum (Andy Serkis), a former owner of the One Ring – his “precious” – who got completely consumed by it.

2. “Rosebud” (Citizen Kane)

6 Iconic Movie Props – Citizen Kane (RKO Pictures)

“Rosebud…” The enigmatic word that launched a cinematic masterpiece. Orson Welles’ 1941 classic, which is widely considered to be one of the best films of all time, entirely revolves around it, as it was the very last word uttered by the film’s protagonist – newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (Welles) – right before his death. But what does Rosebud actually mean? Reporter Jedediah Leland (Joseph Cotten) is tasked with the impossible mission of deciphering its meaning in the film, and we follow him as he visits Kane’s workplace and learn about him from his colleague and mistress. Eventually, we find out what it is, in a way that suddenly gives meaning to the entire film. We’ll leave it to you to find out, but let’s just say that a movie prop may come out of it.

3. Wilson (Cast Away)

6 Iconic Movie Props – Castaway (20th Century Fox)

What does a FedEx employee who’s stranded on an island as the sole survivor of a flight that crashed do? Make friends with a volleyball and name it Wilson, of course. Robert Zemeckis’s acclaimed 2000 movie is precisely what you think it would be: Chuck’s (Tom Hanks) plane crashes and he manages to reach a deserted island, but there’s no one in sight, and so he has to learn to survive on his own, without going mad in the process. Wilson – a volleyball on which he draws a head – is what ultimately keeps him sane, and, according to the New York Times, there’s a fascinating scientific explanation behind it, that has to do with human nature and our reactions to extreme loneliness. So if you’re feeling in need of an inanimate friend, look no further: Wilson the volleyball will absolutely do the trick.

4. The Delorean (Back to the Future)

6 Iconic Movie Props – Back to the Future | The Very First DeLorean Time Travel Scene (Universal Pictures)

If you’re a Back to the Future fan, you probably have a long list of movie props that you’d like to own. Doc Brown’s flux capacitator, with which he built a time machine to go back in time, is one of them. But there are many more: the 1950-2000 Sports Almanac that bully Biff Tannen (Tom Wilson) used to become rich, the hoverboard that was all the rage in 2015 – at least, in Back to the Future 2’s version of it, the iconic clock tower that was struck by lightning right when our protagonist, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), needed it the most… The list is endless.

But we chose the Delorean because it might just be the most iconic movie prop of the film, as not only is it what sets off the entire trilogy, but it contains a series of props of its own, from the “Outatime” plate to the speedometer and the control panel with the dates and times you want to reach. It’s the main attraction at most Comic Cons, and it will also give you the chance to utter one of the most iconic lines from the film: “Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me you built a time machine out of a DeLorean?”

5. The Ruby Slippers (The Wizard of Oz)

6 Iconic Movie Props – The Wizard of Oz (MGM)

Let’s go back to another classic, this time from 1939. Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz was the very first musical we got to see, and it’s one that remains just as fun and relevant to this day. The plot is straightforward enough: a young girl from Kansas named Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog Toto are taken to a magical land by a blizzard and learn that they have to meet the Wizard and ask for his help to get back home. Needless to say, their journey to Emerald City is longer than they thought it would be, and they meet a series of characters in the process.

Eventually, Dorothy acquires the iconic ruby slippers thanks to Glinda the Good Witch (Billie Burke), who’s just trying to prevent her nemesis, the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), from having them. But these powerful shoes end up being very useful for Dorothy, who is able to return home at last.

6. The Lightsaber (Star Wars)

A list of 6 iconic movie props that all film fans should own. They will help you celebrate your favorite franchises and make you nostalgic!
6 Iconic Movie Props – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Lucasfilm)

Sound designer Ben Burtt developed the sound of Star Wars’ iconic lightsaber by combining the humming of a projection booth’s motors and a buzz coming from a TV set, which just goes to show the creative genius involved in George Lucas’ original trilogy. This specific sound is not the only achievement in sound design in the film, as everything was carefully thought through to bring us an epic sci-fi tale that would also feel authentic. And the result was achieved, because, to this day, Star Wars is one of the most popular movie franchises that have ever been made, one that fans often return to and non-fans keep discovering.

The initial trilogy revolves around a young man named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who discovers that the “Force” is powerful in him, meaning that he might have the power to save the Galaxy from the tyrannical Galactic Empire, whose leader, Darth Vader (David Prowse), is holding rebel Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) hostage. And so, Luke joins forces with a man he knows as Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and embarks on a rescue mission with the help of Millennium Falcon captain Han Solo (Harrison Ford), his right hand-wookie Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and friendly droids R2-D2 and C-3PO.

What makes the Lightsaber so iconic, besides the fact that it pretty much identifies Jedi Knights, is that it comes in different shapes and colors, which serve to distinguish the Jedis from the Siths (those who embrace the Dark Side of the Force) but also to highlight everyone’s personalities – think of Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber in Attack of the Clones!

The 6 iconic movie props listed above are just a few items in a series of many more things that are worth collecting, depending on what you’re looking for. From popular choices like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket, Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows, Indiana Jones’ whip and hat and a ton of MCU memorabilia to less obvious picks like Inception’s Spinning Totem, Do The Right Thing’s boombox, and Titanic’s Heart of the Ocean, there’s truly something for everyone. So revisit the classic films above, and happy collecting!

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