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Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Famous Movie Weapons

Updated August 19, 2021 903 votes 130 voters 8.2k views13 items

List RulesVote up the details that change the way you look at cinema's most memorable battle props.

It's amazing how one prop can change the whole dynamic of a film. What would Harry Potter be without its iconic wands? Can you imagine Indiana Jones without his trusty whip?

Over the years, these legendary movie weapons have accumulated some pretty interesting backstories.

So, if you're interested in unique (and sometimes strange) movie weapon designs, read on to learn all the behind-the-scenes stories - from how the lightsaber sound effects were made to some surprising movie weapon origins (spoiler: Captain America did not always get his shield from Howard Stark).

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  • 1

    When Leatherface's Leg Is Cut In 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre', Those Were Real Cries Of Pain By The Actor 

    How many of us have a residual fear of chainsaws after watching one of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies? Well, Gunnar Hansen, who originated the role of Leatherface in the 1974 movie, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, may join us in that fear.

    At the end of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Leatherface is running after his victims when one of them throws a wrench at his head. The blow knocks Leatherface down, and in the fall, he lays his chainsaw on his thigh, slicing into it. 

    Director Tobe Hooper said that while in most shots they took the teeth off the chainsaw, they needed real teeth to cut through the pants in this final scene. To get the desired effect, they put a metal plate against Hansen's leg, then put a chunk of steak with a bunch of stage blood in it on top of the plate. However, what they failed to plan for was the heat that would be generated from the friction of the chainsaw blade hitting the metal. In seconds, the metal plate heated up to 150 degrees, burning Hansen's leg in the process. 

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  • 2

    The Original Death Star Model Was Almost Thrown Away, But Was Grabbed By An Employee And Ended Up In An Antique Shop In Missouri

    Photo: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope / 20th Century Fox

    We often think of the Death Star as being in a galaxy "far, far away," but, strangely enough, the original Death Star model from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope ended up in... Missouri.

    In 1977, the studio that created Star Wars was storing most of the props and models from the original film in a storage unit. After filming, the studio decided it didn't want to pay rent on the unit anymore, so it ordered all the props to be thrown out.

    Luckily, one of the employees, Doug, decided he'd keep the Death Star model as a memento. After displaying it in his California home for years, Doug moved to Missouri and put the model in his mother's antique store, Sutter’s Mill Antiques (later renamed The Mexican Hillbilly).

    An interested customer actually contacted Lucasfilm in the late 1980s to inquire about the whereabouts of the original model, only to be told it had been destroyed. The model was later bought, and has made the rounds between several private collectors over the years, including being displayed at the EMP Museum in Seattle for five years.

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  • 3

    The Pulse Rifle From ‘Aliens’ Is A WWII-Era Submachine Gun With Parts Of A Carved-Up Modern Shotgun Grafted Onto It

    The M41A pulse rifle quickly became a favorite among sci-fi buffs after being featured in the 1986 movie, Aliens. The M41A was given to Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) and was actually designed by director James Cameron.

    To bring this heavy-duty weapon to life, the movie crew combined a WWII-era M1A1 Thompson submachine gun with parts of a Remington 870 shotgun to add a bigger flash.

    This Frankenstein monster's of a gun wasn't simply a toy, either. Every day, Weaver had to practice shooting each of the three guns she carried throughout the film: a flame thrower, the submachine gun, and a grenade launcher.

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  • 4

    Hugh Jackman Has Stabbed Himself Multiple Times With His Wolverine Claws

    Photo: The Wolverine / 20th Century Fox

    In the world of X-Men, perhaps the most famous weapons are a skeletal part of one of its most ferocious characters: Wolverine.

    Wolverine's adamantium claws are nearly indestructible and wreak havoc on any enemy they meet. Unfortunately, this included Hugh Jackman, the actor who portrays Wolverine. 

    As the props are rather sharp in real life, Jackman stabbed and sliced himself with his claws several times throughout his time playing Wolverine on the big screen. Once, he over-swung his arm and ended up stabbing himself in the face - leaving a 1-inch scar next to his left eye. 

    Another time, he got closer to an even more sensitive part of the body. While running unclothed down a hall for a scene, Jackman accidentally stabbed himself in the upper thigh. Luckily, no other appendages were injured in the process. 

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