The Greatest and
Most Iconic
Movie Props
in Film History


Greatest and Most Iconic Movie Props in Film History

The word "prop" is shorthand for "property" - referring to things, items, or objects on the set that are part of the design and production of a film. The variety of props may be endless -- maps, masks, traps, machines, visual gag items, costuming parts, tools, weapons, furniture or artwork, unique animals/creatures, valuables, character references, MacGuffins, symbols, mementos, the subject of the film, and even a character in itself. The greatest movie props evoke a sense of nostalgia and cultural relevance, and a well-selected, recognizable and iconic prop can serve as a symbol for the entire plot of a film.

The most common film props include:

  • vehicles (of all kinds, including cars, bikes, motorcycles, other motorized carriers)
  • costume components (shoes, clothing, and accessories such as glasses, masks, cloaks, jewelry, medallions, bracelets, necklaces, helmets, gloves, watches, hats)
  • weapons (mostly firearms, swords, knives and some concealed weapons)
  • inventive mechanical gadgets (jet-pack, lightsaber, toys, puzzles, wands, traps, various machines, computers, transmitters)
  • odds and ends (postage stamps, chess board, boxes, packages, briefcases, sports items, maps, musical instruments, statues, valuables, gag items, photographs, MacGuffins)
  • automatons (robots, puppets, dolls)
  • household items (paintings, books, clocks, umbrella, food, tools, plants, furniture, artwork)

The vast number of props are vehicles, costumes, or weapons, and as many as possible have been comprehensively incorporated into this list. Also, movie props, for the most part, should be objects that are tangible (unlike Snow White's Poisonous Apple, or Shrek's Gingerbread Man). There are a few here that are mostly visual effects or animated props that have become popular and have been recreated as memorabilia items for purchase. When first seen on-screen, some props are often overlooked as mere objects that are just part of the story. No studio or film viewer can be certain which items will become the most sought-after and valuable in the future.

Movie props and movie memorabilia have become some of the most sought-after and valuable commodities on the market. There are prop shops today that sell almost every imaginable item from a film's production, but of course, the most valuable ones are one-of-a-kind and are worth millions.

The Greatest and Most Iconic Movie Props in Film History
Introduction | 1920s-1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980-1982 | 1983-1985 | 1986-1989
1990-1995 | 1996-1999 | 2000-2002 | 2003-2005 | 2006-2009 | 2010-2012 | 2013-now

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