They’re found on dusty warehouse shelves; buried under flea market knick-knacks; Googled, Ebayed, begged for; commissioned from blacksmiths, painters, and model makers for one-time use; and constructed out of whatever $5 can buy at the local craft store. They are sketched out, improvised, or placed in scenes by the fate of logic, existing to serve the performances or action around them. But while iconic movie props make us laugh, gasp, scream, and/or sit in absolute silence, they rarely start iconic; as a property master will tell you, the best on-screen objects go unnoticed, silently winning you over with truth.
Well, call us obsessives, but we couldn’t help but notice. At a time in history when details go painfully overlooked, we slid movie history under a microscope to honor the simple joy of a perfect prop. And knowing every design choice big or small has an origin story, a past that ensured the movie around it would stick around for the future, we tracked down the stories of how they were made, from the people who made them.
Image courtesy of Thrillist.