Hollywood movies have captivated audiences around the world, and if you have the cash to spend, why not get a piece of history? Whenever there’s an auction for a movie prop, fans gather online or at auction houses in anticipation of owning a piece of cinematic magic.
There are always interesting stories to tell when it comes to movie props. Sometimes these stories are even as interesting as the movies themselves. Like the time a Star Wars fan found a lightsaber hilt in a shop for the small price of $60. It turns out it was an authentic stunt lightsaber used in The Empire Strikes Back – that lightsaber handle turned out to be an estimated $7,000 according to the Star Wars expert who appraised the item.
Some People will pay much higher prices than that to add a movie prop to their collection. He’s a look at the fifteen most expensive movies props of all time. Of course, there are many movie props out there that may be worth much more than the ones on this list, but since they might be lost or sitting in storage somewhere, we may never now how much they are worth because they have never been sold or appraised.
12 Marilyn Monroe’s Dress from The Seven Year Itch: Sold for $4.6 million
It’s one of the most iconic scenes in the history of classic cinema. The white dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the scene where she stands over a subway grate causing her dress to blow up, fetched $4.6 million at an auction in 2011.
Previous owner Debbie Reynolds paid a mere $200 for the dress used in The Seven Year Itch, when she bought the prop in 1971. Reynolds was forced to sell the dress to avoid bankruptcy. Designer William Travilla, who created the iconic dress from the 1954 comedy film by Billy Wilder, never really thought much of it. He even referred to it as: “that silly little dress.” Fans felt the opposite and became enamored with Monroe’s dress.
11 Batmobile from Batman: The Movie: Sold for $4.6 million
This car is famous because of the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West, but there was also a movie based on the TV show called Batman: The Movie. Batman: The Movie featured the iconic Ford Futura Batmobile just as the TV show did.
The original Batmobile was sold at a Barrett Jackson auction in 2013 for $4.6 million, but now it's for sale again with a reported asking price of $5 million.
10 Audrey Hepburn’s Dress from My Fair Lady: Sold for $4.5 million
The flashy and elaborate Ascot dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the classic film My Fair Lady, sold for a staggering $4.5 million at a Profiles In History auction in 2011. Film historian Debbie Reynolds also once owned this dress, but she paid slightly more for this one than the dress from The Seven Year Itch.
She said she bought the Hepburn dress deigned by Cecil Beaton for $100,000. The dress fetched such an insanely high price due to the 1964 musical film’s lasting appeal and worldwide popularity – plus the star power of Audrey Hepburn, of course.
9 James Bond's Aston Martin from Goldfinger: Sold for $4.4 million
The luxurious sports car driven by everyone’s favorite Bond, Sean Connery, in the classic James Bond film Goldfinger, sold for a whopping $4.4 million at auction. This Aston Martin was used in Goldfinger and Thunderball, and it is surely the most famous James Bond car in existence.
However, this car isn’t the one that was originally outfitted with all of Bond’s cool gadgets like an ejector seat and saw. This DB5 is the “road car” used for driving shots. The gadget equipped DB5 used in Goldfinger was actually stolen from an airport hangar in Florida, in 1997.
8 Sam’s Piano from Casablanca: Sold for $3.4 million
The majority of the most expensive movie props of all time are costumes from the golden age of cinema or famous movie cars, but this expensive prop bucks that trend and makes it one of the most unique, high-end pieces of movie memorabilia a person could ever own.
The piano that Dooley Wilson’s Sam played in Casablanca sold at Bonhams Auction House in New York last year, for an astounding $3.4 million. It’s likely the owner of this piece of movie history won’t be playing As Time Goes By, on it.
7 Cowardly Lion Costume from The Wizard of Oz: Sold for $3 million
A Cowardly Lion costume worn by Bert Lahr in The Wizard Of Oz was sold at New York auction house Bonhams, for more than $3 million at an auction last year. The costume was actually worn by Bert Lahr and was even made out of actual lion hide and fur.
The face of the costume was sculpted to look like Lahr. Another screen-used Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz sold for $700,000 in 2006, but that costume is believed to have only been worn by a stuntman and not by Lahr himself.
6 Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz: Valued at $2-3 million
Undoubtedly these are the most expensive pair of movie shoes ever made, but the exact value of them is not yet known. The famous slippers were set to go up for auction in December, 2011, but they did not sell for the estimated price of $2-$3 million.
In February of 2011, it was revealed the shoes had been purchased for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for an undisclosed amount thanks to donations from celebrities like Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio. This is the most pristine pair or ruby slippers available from the film. A pair from screen tests sold in 2011 for $612,000.
5 Costumes from The Sound of Music: Sold for $1.5 million
A selection of costumes worn by the Von Trapp children and Maria (played by Julie Andrews) in the classic musical film The Sound Of Music, sold at auction for a staggering price of $1.5 million in 2013.
The $1.5 million price tag was much higher than the Profiles In History auction listing was expected to fetch. Included in the grouping were the brown dress worn by Julie Andrews when she sang the famous song Do-Re-Mi in the film, as well as lederhosen worn by the kids in the 1965 musical movie.
4 Judy Garland’s Dress from The Wizard of Oz: Valued at $1.2 million
Next month one of the most iconic costumes in all of movie history is set to be sold at an auction in New York. The dress worn by Judy Garland’s Dorothy in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz has been entered into the Bonhams' Treasures from the Dream Factory auction next month.
This dress previously sold in 2012 for $480,000. Another Dorothy dress was sold in 2011 for $910,000, but that one was used in screen tests and never featured in the film. The dress that’s set to be sold next month still even has sweat stains on it!
3 James Bond Submarine Car from The Spy Who Loved Me: Sold for $860,000
It’s one of James Bond’s coolest cars, and in the movie The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore’s Bond drove the Lotus Esprit right off a pier. With a push of a button, the car amazingly changed into a submarine.
The person who bought the famous car at auction for $860,000 was none other than Tesla co-founder and billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk. That’s chump change for Musk who is worth over $11 billion. He jokingly said he would turn the car into a submarine for real.
2 Audrey Hepburn’s Black Dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s: sold for $807,000
In 2006, the black Givenchy dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was sold for a price far greater than what auctioneers had expected the iconic designer dress to sell for.
Original estimates had the dress worth $98,000 to $138,000, which means the telephone bidder paid six times what was expected during the sale at Christie’s Auction House in London. Proceeds from the sale of the dress went to the charity City of Joy Aid, which aims to help India’s poor.
1 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Sold for $805,000
Many celebrities have owned the classic car from the Disney movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which starred Dick Van Dyke and was based off of a book by James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Michael Jackson desperately wanted to buy the car at one point, but never got the chance. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson once owned the car, and most recently owned by British radio DJ Chris Evans. The car fetched $805,000 when it was sold at a Profiles in History auction in 2011.