Can we first address how awesome am I not to give into the temptation to make a corny pun about movie props in the title? Okay, glad we got that out of the way.
Recently, I was asked by Invaluable.com—an auction marketplace website featuring antiques, collectibles, and everything in between—if the rules were lifted and I could have any movie props from any movie, what would they be?
First of all, I shall institute some parameters (although I will break them later on, because that's how I roll). These props can't be super famous, like the ruby slippers above. I like to think out of the box, that being said, I'm probably not a hipster so this plan will crumble very soon. I'd just like to point out that my intentions were always good. This means we won't be seeing anything from "Star Wars", or "Lord of the Rings", or "Harry Potter", or any other franchise of extreme fame.
The mask from "Brazil"
The Orwellian fantasy of "Brazil" seems hardly complete without its last scenes. While everything in this movie screams of collectibility (not a word, but one that I think should be), the very last scene in which a baby mask become the scariest thing you can imagine, is the movie's most successful. The greatest of all Gilliam's movies, with a set design that dwarfs all contemporary pieces, perhaps we'd like to own the entire set...but we'll settle for the baby mask instead.
The top from "Inception"
Okay, so I broke my own rules already. This one is obvious, since "Inception" is always in my tops movies. The spinning top, the final frames, they don't really capture the movie's aching poetry and its heist like speed, the adrenaline, nor the complexity of the movie; but with only a top spinning round and round for perhaps eternity, there seems no better prop to condense this movie to a single object.
The coffee mug from "Usual Suspects"
If you haven't seen this movie, you need to and the mug is an obvious pick. There's something incredibly delightful about the way "The Usual Suspects" blends crime and intrigue together for a masterclass in screenwriting. It's seasoned, mature, goofy at times, and always full of quotable moments. The mug itself is sort of the linchpin in detective work that comes perhaps a bit too late.
The hat from "Breathless"
The king of hipsters himself, Jean-Luc Godard. This movie is by far his best work and Patricia Franchini's hat is simply the coolest. Technically both Jean-Paul Belmondo and Franchini wear this hat, but it looks way cooler on Franchini. The tale of romance, intrigue, lies, and life itself (well, maybe not), "Breathless" would be incomplete without its style. The hat serves as the best reminder of that.
The gloves from "Funny Games"
"Funny Games" is a viewing experience unlike anything else. It's brutal, playful, teasing, and infuriating. This is probably why the white gloves that both the young men wear are so curiously out of place, and yet perfect. Donning all white, that is mostly unstained by the end of the movie, their gloves are just another layer of the genius costume design. This innocent and careless superiority is one of the reasons "Funny Games" smacks you in the face.
The makeshift gun from "No Country for Old Men"
Who wouldn't want a stunner of a gun? Okay, that was lame, but seriously. Anton Chigurh's makeshift death device is present from the very beginning of the movie and it helps to make his presence one of extreme terror. Every time his figure looms on the screen, you know something's about to happen, part of this is due to his relentless killings and this unique gun is perfect for his part.
The camera from "Memento"
Nothing sums up "Memento" better than the camera. For a movie about a man who cannot make new memories, the camera is the best example of a picture never saying a thousand words. Interpretations change, the meaning shifts, even as the photo develops before our protagonist's eyes. "Memento" may not be Christopher Nolan's flashiest movie, but it is certainly one of his most complex and his grittiest.
The pod from "Prometheus"
"Prometheus" I will defend to the death. Its complicated commentary on religion, origins, and faith is just flawless to me. The writing team and Ridley Scott try to one-up the chest-burster scene from "Alien" with the medical pod that, among other uses, provides and emergency C-section for the main character. It's beyond claustrophobic and almost epic in a way. This would be cool to have if you had the space for it and the willingness to hear from every other person why "Prometheus" is actually stupid. People, calm down. It's subjective...and also I'm right.
The beaver from"The Beaver"
This is a great example of a prop actually being a character. In Jodie Foster's "The Beaver", a puppet serves as the gateway between a man's depression and the lives of his family. Not only does the film manage to somehow give puppetry a serious place, it also manages to weave the oddities of its story together without feeling fake or insensitive.
There, I think I've exhausted my immediate thoughts. Of course, given years these would change and I'm sure I would like to include props from "Laurence of Arabia" and "Casablanca" or even "La Dolce Vita", but I can't think of any that stand out to me at this moment. So there you have it, those are the props I'd like to have. Thanks to Invaluable for this entertaining question which I'll leave all of you with. What movie props would you like to have?
If you're interested in Invaluable's collection of movie props, say no more and simply click here.