When movies become beloved over time, they go into the ether, becoming some combination of Netflix-server 1's and 0's, millions of DVDs and Blu-rays, reels of celluloid packed in vaults, and human memories, all of which add up to something that transcends physicality. A movie isn't in one place; it's just "out there."
Yet movies were of course made with physical objects, and those objects can lie around for decades after the film has seeped into the cultural consciousness. Thanks to sites like eBay and PropStore, it's easier than ever for people without Hollywood connections to get their hands on a little piece of movie immortality. This stuff isn't free, but sometimes you can acquire something really cool for less than you'd expect. A key term of art to check for is "screen used" - that indicates the prop for sale actually ended up in the final film.
(Note: these are live listings, so some of them might get snapped up. Prices are also subject to change at the discretion of the sellers.)
T-1000 Shotgun Wounds From 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day': $2,000
The chilling scenes of the T-1000 suffering - and recovering from - gunshot wounds that should be lethal were done with a combination of practical effects and CGI. Here are some of the practical bits.Cool prop?
A Sarcophagus From 'National Treasure': $2,409Photo: eBay / Buena Vista Pictures
Treasure-hunt movies like National Treasure (or the Indiana Jones films) require a lot of cool props to lurk in the background and at the edges of frames while the heroes go about their business. Here's one of them.Cool prop?
Captain Hook's Globe From 'Peter Pan' (2003): $3,250
Although this pirate-era globe is a beautiful prop, its practical utility is somewhat limited. Best not use it as reference for a grade-school geography class.Cool prop?
An Animatronic Head From 'Ghoulies': $2,500Photo: eBay / Empire Pictures
One of the joys of schlocky '80s horror movies is watching all the latex work, animatronics, and other practical tricks, before CGI became the go-to visual effects solution. Truly, they don't make 'em like they used to.Cool prop?