We can probably all agree that Hollywood is worlds away from our everyday existence. Full to the brim with A-list celebrities who can do it all, we have these people to thank for bringing some of the best movies into our lives.
Although it’s no longer quite as difficult to add CGI and modern props into the movies of today, the race to be the best of the best mean that producers and film studios are shelling out even more to prove that they have what it takes to rise above the competition. Don’t believe us? Check out the most expensive movie props ever used on Hollywood sets.
The Seven Year Itch – The “subway” dress ($4.6 million)
Marilyn Monroe was a legend. She was famous during her heyday, and she is just as famous now. While most fans remember her for her tight platinum curls, her beauty, and her acting/singing talent, there are also many fans across the globe who remember Marilyn for providing us with one of the most popular pop culture references known to the world.
Her escapades over a subway grate during this particular movie soon made waves everywhere, and this iconic white dress was sold in 2011 for an incredible $4.6 million.
Ben-Hur – Movie set ($1 million)
Ben-Hur is perhaps one of the most famous historical dramas ever created, and Hollywood should be pretty darn proud of their efforts. Of course, this Academy Award-winning production didn’t come cheap. To create the 340-acre film set needed for this 1959 movie, the production team had to fork out a whopping $1 million.
Much of this money went towards the infamous 2,000-foot-long chariot arena, where they brought in countless tons of sand from across the globe so that the Roman soldiers could don their armor and get their battle on.
The Dukes of Hazzard – General Lee Dodge Charger ($450,000)
Movies have brought some pretty awesome cars into our lives, and it’s fair to say that The Dukes of Hazzard is guilty of that. The General Lee Dodge Charger soon became known for its unique horn, it’s impressive paint job, and the fact that it’s just darn beautiful.
Because the General Lee was often caught up in car chases and crashes, the production team used many of these cars while they were filming the movie. However, John Schneider himself took one of these home, and it was later sold at auction for $450,000.
The Sound of Music – Do-Re-Mi outfits ($1.5 million)
Sure, Maria may have fashioned these outfits out of old drapes, but that hasn’t stopped people from lining up in the streets to own the original outfits that were used while she was singing, “Doe, a deer, a female deer” on the top of a mountain.
The Sound of Music will always be a family favorite, and families across the globe fell in love with the Von Trapps. It seems as though one buyer loved them so much they decided to shell out $1.5 million for these outfits in 2013.
You Only Live Twice – Volcano HQ ($1 million)
Everyone loves a James Bond movie, right? Because of this, the producers of these movies decide to pull out all of the stops in the hopes that their latest addition will be better than the last.
In 1967, prop designer Ken Adam was roped in to help the production team create a giant volcano lair for the SPECTRE team. Volcan HQ is still one of the most famous Bond locations ever created, and it seems as though the $1 million spent on perfecting this volcano set was definitely worth it.
The Wizard of Oz – Cowardly Lion costume ($3 million)
The Wizard of Oz may have been released in 1939, but it was ahead of its time in terms of its production. It truly is incredible what these crew members did with the technology at hand, and it seems as though they had no qualms about going all out with the Cowardly Lion’s costume.
While animal rights activists might not be too happy about it, this costume was actually made out of real lion’s fur. After filming came to an end, the costume was stowed away in an abandoned MGM building, until it was discovered and sold for $3 million.
My Fair Lady – Ascot dress ($3.7 million)
Ahhh, Audrey Hepburn. You really can’t go wrong with an Audrey Hepburn movie, because you always know she is going to be impeccably dressed. While filming My Fair Lady, Hepburn was given a chance to wear this amazing Cecil Beaton dress to the Ascot racecourse.
While Beaton may have gone a little overboard with the lace and the matching umbrella and hat, this dress has become an iconic costume within the world of Hollywood. Because of this, one willing buyer decided to pay out $3.7 million for it in 2011.
Titanic – Movie set ($20.3 million)
It’s no secret that Titanic is one of the most devastating movies of all time, but it’s also one of the most famous movies of all time. What you might not realize is that James Cameron didn’t opt for a small boat to shoot Rose and Jack’s love affair.
Instead, he decided to build a real liner that scaled in at just 10% smaller than the real deal that sunk all those years ago. He placed this boat into a tank that was full of a whopping 17 million gallons of seawater and then went from there. All in all, this cost him an icy $20.3 million to do!
The Maltese Falcon – Maltese Falcon statuette ($4.1 million)
In 1941, the world was graced with the legendary movie that is The Maltese Falcon. For the film, John Huston enlisted the help of Humphrey Bogart to bring the character of Sam Spade to life – and that he did.
Although many believe that the production team used plaster versions of this statue for filming, a 45lb statue was taken onto set and used within many of the scenes. In 2013, the real deal was sold to the casino magnate, Steve Wynne, for a whopping $4.1 million. What a purchase.
Matrix Reloaded – The highway ($2.5 million)
Although the original Matrix movie was hard to beat, that hasn’t stopped filmmakers from trying to make a sequel happen. In 2003, Matrix Reloaded brought us an intense movie filled with action, car chases, and car crashes.
However, what you might not have realized is that the production team didn’t simply find a highway in the United States and cordon it off for a few months. They actually decided to build their own highway at an abandoned military base. It cost them $2.5 million to build, and they spent three months shooting on their makeshift highway.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Flying car ($805,000)
You just know that any movie with Dick Van Dyke in it is going to be pretty darn incredible, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was no exception. Released in 1968, this movie featured a flying car that had striped wings, and it’s fair to say that we were all jealous.
If only all cars had the ability to fly, right? It seems as though Peter Jackson was also of this opinion because the movie director decided to part with $805,000 of his hard-earned cash in 2011 to have this as his own.
The Wizard of Oz – Ruby slippers ($666,000)
We’ve already told you just how amazing The Wizard of Oz was for its time, but it seems as though their costumes just kept getting better and better. Perhaps one of the most iconic items from this movie, Dorothy’s ruby slippers have gone down in history as some of the most famous shoes of all time.
There are only four original pairs of these slippers in existence. One pair has been stolen, one pair is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and another pair was sold in 2000 for $666,000.
The Spy Who Loved Me – Lotus submarine car ($860,000)
We all love a good Bond car, but the production team took 007’s car to a new level (quite literally) when they enlisted the help of the Lotus Esprit. Of course, Lotus didn’t really put a submarine car into production – but they did make six especially for The Spy Who Loved Me.
When filming came to an end, one of these cars was placed in a storage unit in New York for a whole ten years before the owner realized what they had under their belt. In the end, Elon Musk bought it at an auction for $860,000.
Le Mans – Steve McQueen’s racing suit ($984,000)
It’s no secret that Steve McQueen stole the show when he appeared in the 1971 movie, Le Mans. Proving that he really does like to live his life in the fast lane, he donned this jumpsuit for his time on the track – and the world fell in love with this white, red, and blue suit.
Sports fans across the globe wanted to get their hands on the actual suit that McQueen wore in the movie, but eventually, it was given away to a 12-year-old boy who won it in a contest. It was later sold for $155,000 in 2011, but since been sold again for $984,000.
Forbidden Planet – Robby the Robot ($5.37 million)
Although there might be robots that are much more impressive on the market today, Robby the Robot broke records in 2017 when it became the most expensive movie prop ever to be sold at auction! This robot first made its appearance in the 1956 movie, Forbidden Planet.
It starred alongside the likes of Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen, but this robot definitely stole the show. Because of this, collectors and fans alike wanted to get their hands around the giant piece of metal. Someone did for a cool $5.37 million.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – The little black dress ($900,000)
Yes, Audrey Hepburn really is on this list again for another outfit she wore on the set of one of her incredible movies. You really shouldn’t be surprised. While this lady put her name to countless classic movies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is perhaps her most iconic.
In this movie, Audrey donned a little black Givenchy dress – and it truly transformed the world of fashion. Do you have an LBD in your closet right now? That’s all Audrey’s doing. The world fell so hard in love with this dress that one buyer opted to spend a whopping $900,000 on it.
Back to the Future – DeLorean ($541,000)
In 1982, Back to the Future introduced us to a new form of time travel. All we needed was a DeLorean, and we could go anywhere – as long as we were going 88 miles per hour. To create this franchise, the prop team behind Back to the Future enlisted the help of DeLorean to produce seven cars for them to use.
Only three of these cars are still alive and kicking today, and in 2011 one of them was sold for $541,000 to one lucky bidder. Amazingly, this money went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Thor: Ragnarok – Valkyrie’s wig ($10,000)
When you’re watching the Thor franchise, there’s a high chance that you’re just constantly staring at Chris Hemsworth’s luscious locks. We don’t blame you. However, next time you watch this movie you might want to have a closer look at Valkyrie’s hair.
The actress is actually wearing a wig worth $10,000! While filming Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson was also filming the indie movie, Sorry to Bother You. Because she was sporting an orange look for this role, Marvel had to shell out for the wig.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day – T-800 metal model ($488,750)
Although we all knew that they couldn’t beat the original Terminator movie, Hollywood bosses decided to try anyway. It may not have quite hit the mark, but it’s fair to say that there was one huge success within that movie, and it was the T-800 android.
Everything about this model screamed the sci-fi vibe we all know and love within the Terminator franchise, and one lucky buyer just knew that they needed one in their house. So, they coughed up $488,750 for the pleasure.
Goldfinger/Thunderball – Aston Martin DB5 ($4.4 million)
James Bond is known for having some pretty incredible automobiles under his belt, and that was no different when he took to our screens for both Goldfinger and Thunderball. There were two Aston Martin DB5’s commissioned for this movie.
Though the souped-up car with all of the special effects was stolen in 1997, the “Road Car” that was used for the majority of filming still exists. It was first sold in 1969 for $12,000, but it has since been sold again for a whopping $4.4 million!
Star Wars: A New Hope/The Empire Strikes Back – Luke’s lightsaber ($240,000)
There are countless Star Wars fans out there, and even those who have never watched the movies before probably want their own lightsaber. As one of the leading cast members within the whole franchise, fans have also wanted to feel closer to the legend that is Mark Hamill.
So, it should come as no surprise to learn that someone was more than happy to part with $240,000 to own the very lightsaber that Hamill used in both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. That’s a bargain in our eyes.
Casablanca – The piano ($3.4 million)
Casablanca is one of those movies that everyone has to see at least once in their lives, and if you have seen it, you probably remember a scene where Sam cracks his fingers and plays “As Time Goes By” alongside Humphrey Bogart in Cafe Americain.
To many, this is just another piano in the world of Hollywood that a celebrity has had their fingers on – but there is one person who wanted this piano as their own anyway. In fact, it was sold in 2014 for an incredible $3.4 million.
Saturday Night Fever – The dance floor ($1.2 million)
If you’re looking for the most ‘70s depiction of life during this era, then you need look no further. Featuring John Travolta as Tony, Saturday Night Fever was all about the dancing and the singing, and everyone remembers that famous dance floor.
From the pink to the yellow, to the green lights, this was a pretty cool set piece. We’re not the only ones who think this, because in 2017, a Saturday Night Fever fan paid a whopping $1.2 million to have that floor in their own house.
Superman – Christopher Reeve’s costume ($115,000)
Superman is perhaps one of the most iconic superheroes out there, and it’s fair to say that Christopher Reeve took this legendary character to a whole new level when he played Clark Kent.
In fact, until Henry Cavill came along, Christopher Reeve was the only actor to ever take on the role of Superman in more than one movie! Because of this, he was kind of a big deal. In 2007, the suit that he wore on the set of Superman was sold for a cool $115,000.