Measures Of Success: My Top Three Movie Props

A guy over at the memorabilia auction site posed an interesting question to me which I thought it’d be fun to answer here as it ties in a bit with my hopes for success as a writer.

I’m far from wealthy, and with three young children probably college bound at some point in the future, I don’t expect to have much disposable income in the years to come. In our most selfish moments though, all of us fantasize about luxury items we’d purchase for ourselves if we achieved a modicum of success.

As a long time movie nerd, it should be no surprise that my wish list items are movie-related. There are movies that helped define me as a writer, and certain artifacts from them that are emblematic of those films. I’ve often thought that as I reached certain milestones in my career, I might mark them with an outlandish purchase.

So here they are.

conanthebarbarian5First off, I’m a tremendous fan of Robert E. Howard. He’s my favorite writer, and his Conan and Solomon Kane stories are some of my earliest inspirations. But I never would have come to Howard if I hadn’t noticed his byline in the opening credits to John Milius’ masterful 1982 Conan The Barbarian, which also happen to showcase the first item on this list; the sword of Conan’s father.

conanbarbarian4We first see it as a sword-shaped trench of liquid steel poured across the black screen, and as Basil Poledouris’ tremendous theme thrums, it takes shape. We see the grinning stag skull crossguard freed from the steel beneath the father’s tools, and the split hoof motif on the pommel as Conan’s mother wraps the handle in leather. Best of all, the stylized inscription down the length of the blade – SUFFER NO GUILT YE WHO WIELD THIS IN THE NAME OF CROM.

The Atlantean sword Schwarzenegger wields throughout the movie is classic, but the artistry of the father’s sword props nudges it over the edge for me. I’d love to have it on my wall.

HanCarboniteThe median trophy on my list has to be Han Solo in carbonite from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi. The Corellian smuggler being betrayed by his friend Lando Calrissian and then lowered into the carbon freezing pit as Chewie howls plaintively and the previously aloof Princess Leia declares her love for him is one of my earliest and most favorite theater memories from childhood. I remember my mother streaming tears beside me in the dark as my five year old self whimpered, “Is he dead?” She turned to me and sobbed, “No, he’s just sleeping.” Hah. I’ve seen the movie so many times now that that initial effect is long gone, so much so that I wish I could experience it again for the first time. EP6_KEY_57_RWe next see Han hanging as Jabba The Hutt’s prize trophy in his hall on Tattooine. I suppose wanting this prop on the surface may seem like I relate to a slimy piece of worm-ridden filth, but there it is. First I need the wall space to hang it on.

Sam tells me two years ago they held an auction for Harrison Ford’s original DL-44 blaster from Star Wars.

That’s a pretty sweet acquisition.

But my holy grail? No, not the Holy Grail from Last Crusade, nor from Boorman’s Excalibur (King Arthur’s sword would be pretty killer, but I hear Boorman has it hanging above his mantle with the Grail itself). The thing that beats out Howard Hill/Errol Flynn’s bow from The Adventures of Robin Hood, or Egg Chen’s Six Demon Bag from Big Trouble In Little China, or The Man With No Name’s serape, or a half dozen other cinematic artifacts that I covet?

The one thing that, if you saw me riding around in would tell you that I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to do as an author even more than the smug look on my face?

mad-max-2The all black V-8 Interceptor as it appeared in George Miller’s original Mad Max. madmaxinterceptor-thenBuilt from a 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe and tricked out with that amazing blower, triple exhausts behind the doors, and MFP shields, it’s truly the duck’s gut. Is it a proper prop? Perhaps an unwieldy one, not as portable as say Lord Humongous’ goalie mask or Max’s pistol gripped sawed off, but the original Mad Max trilogy grabbed a hold of me like no other series of films with its visceral high octane thrills, and the Interceptor swiftly became my number one dream car.

Thanks again Invaluable for getting my wheels spinning with the question.

Check out their site here.

Published in: on June 15, 2015 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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