Movie props are desirable items for collectors and fans alike, and depending on the film, they can effectively purchase a piece of movie history. Out of the various items that are sold at auctions, props from prominent films always rank very high in terms of the most expensive things that one can buy at an auction. From cars to even shoes, there are many items that can be sold in an auction from movies. We do know that certain props are more desirable than others, and these are often very iconic items. The more expensive movie props that are sold are also from classic films from back in the day, as you are about to see. We are going to take a look at some of the most expensive movie props that have ever been sold in an auction.
8. The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car – $805,000
The first item on our list is the iconic car from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This well known movie came out in 1968 and is based on an Ian Fleming novel. The film starred Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, and Adrian Hall and the car in the movie is pretty much the focal point of the film. For the movie, six of these custom made vehicles were produced from Ford’s racing team, however only one was a fully functioning road vehicle. The car had a 3.0 liter Ford 3000 V6 engine and an automatic transmission. Dick Van Dyke said it was extremely difficult to maneuver the vehicle, as it is over 17 feet long. The only working version had the license plate “GEN 11” and this particular vehicle was sold for $805,000 dollars in an auction. The buyer of the car was none other than famous movie director Peter Jackson.
7. Audrey Hepburn’s Black Givenchy Dress – $923,000
Audrey Hepburn was a legendary actress well known during Hollywood’s “Golden Age” of films which was the time between 1927 and 1963. Over her career she accomplished so much and is recognized throughout the film and fashion industry. The particular prop that makes our list was her “Black Givenchy Dress”, which is seen pictured in the majority of her famous pictures. The dress was designed by Hubert de Givenchy himself and was used for the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s which came out in 1961. At the time the dress was considered to be an important fashion statement, and it is certainly one of the most famous dresses in existence. The dress was sold in a Christie’s auction back in 2006 for $923,187 dollars. The money went to building a school for children in need in Calcutta.
6. James Bond’s Lotus Submarine – $997,000
James Bond is typically known to drive Aston Martin’s, however every now and then a different car manufacturer provides a vehicle for the Bond films. One of the more famous non-Aston vehicles was the Lotus Esprit S1 Sportscar that was used in The Spy Who Loved Me, which came out in 1977. In the film this Lotus was able to transform into a working submarine. While the car could not do that in real life, a real submarine was made and styled after the Lotus to be used in the movie. This particular submarine known as “Wet Nellie” was sold in an auction for $997,000 in 2013. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk purchased the vehicle and plans to make it fully operational again.
5. The “Do-Re-Mi” Outfits From The Sound of Music – $1.56 Million
The next item on our list, is actually a collection of items. The “Do-Re-Mi” Outfits were the clothing that were seen in the Sound of Music. The outfits were worn by the Von Trapp children and Julie Andrews during one of the most famous scenes in the entire movie. Since these outfits were so iconic, its no surprise that they fetched for $1.56 million dollars in a Profiles in History auction back in 2013.
4. The Lion Costume from The Wizard of Oz – $3 million
The next item on our list was the costume worn by Bert Lahr in The Wizard of Oz. The film was released in 1939, and is remembered as a classic. Deploying heavy use of Technicolor and elaborate costumes, The Wizard of Oz astounded movie goers when it first came out. An original Cowardly Lion costume was recently sold at an auction for $3 million dollars in New York. Aside from the historical impact, the costume was also made from real lion fur and skin, something that wouldn’t fly today.
3. Audrey Hepburn’s “Ascot Dress” – $3.7 million
We see another famous Audrey Hepburn dress appear in our list, this time selling for a lot more at $3.7 million dollars. The “Ascot Dress” was worn by Hepburn in the film My Fair Lady which was released in 1964. The film went on to win eight Academy Awards, and this extravagant dress became very famous.
2. James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 – $4.69 million
We see another James Bond vehicle make our list, this time it’s an Aston Martin. The Aston Martin DB5 is easily the most iconic Aston that has ever been used in a James Bond film. The DB5 was first seen in Goldfinger (1964) and has made many appearances in other Bond flicks including Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, and Skyfall. There were four original DB5’s used in Goldfinger and one of these vehicles was sold in an auction for $4.69 million dollars.
1. Marilyn Monroe’s “White Dress” – $5.6 Million
Finally the most expensive prop ever sold in an auction was the “White Dress” worn by Marilyn Monroe. Monroe was seen wearing the dress in The Seven Year Itch and the still from the movie is arguably the most iconic picture of her. The dress quickly became a cultural icon, and it is known throughout the world. After the Profiles in History auction settled, the dress was sold for $5.6 million dollars (including commission).
Photos by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, Oli Scarff/Getty Images, The Telegraph, WSJ, Richard Drew, LaTimes, Annex Magazine, Profiles in History