10 Props and Sets Reused Throughout Film and TV
Reduce, reuse, recycle. That seems to be the motto of the entertainment industry: To “reduce” the cost of production, why not “reuse” or “recycle” movie and TV props for other projects? If you've ever experienced a sense of deja vu when watching one of your favorite films or shows, you should trust your instincts. The prop, set or even sound you're focusing on has probably been used at some point in the past for another work. Here are 12 props we found from big-name movies and TV shows that were reused again and again, though there are many more out there.
The ‘Avengers’' fight scene between the Hulked-out Mark Ruffalo and the Mjornir-wielding Chris Hemsworth was one of the many highlights of the 2012 summer blockbuster. There was so much action, so much hammer slamming and so much “Hulk Smash”-ing, but all that actually made it difficult to pay attention to what was going on in the background. We’re referring to that airplane Hulk crashes into after a mega punch from Thor. In the commentary section of ‘The Avengers’ DVD and Blu-ray, it’s revealed that this particular jet was the same one featured in ‘True Lies,’ starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now we wonder if the S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft houses any other movie battle vehicles.
Redditers will know what we’re talking about when we say, “Ed O’Neill has been reading the same newspaper for years.” Turns out that the same newspaper the actor was reading during a scene for ‘Married with Children’ is the exact same one he read in a scene for ‘Modern Family.’ But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This paper has been around the block a few times. Fans of ‘Charmed,’ ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ‘That ‘70s Show’ and many other TV series will also recognize this newspaper from various episodes.
Uma Thurman would have been nothing without her Hattori Hanzo sword in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill’ movies, and neither would Lucy Liu, David Carradine or Daryl Hannah for that matter. Those swords were so unique that it was probably difficult for the studio to simply discard them after filming, which might explain why they showed up in another hit actioner a couple years later. If you’ve seen ‘Sin City,’ then you Miho (Devon Aoki), the samurai-esque warrior who’s great at slicing and dicing. Her weapons of choice were – ding, ding, ding – two Hattori Hanzo swords! If only these two movies existed in the same universe… We’d love to see a Beatrix-Miho showdown.
The soldiers in ‘Starship Troopers’ have a unique look about them – greyish helmet and body armor. It’s simple and yet when you see it, you automatically think of the alien-fighting movie. But, like with most things, there were those who tried to jack the style. ‘Firefly,’ for one, reused the armor to dress their Alliance troops. Then, in 2001, the armor can be seen again on the primate swat team that comes in at the end of the ‘Planet of the Apes’ remake when Mark Wahlberg lands back on Earth.
Robby the Robot is probably best known for his part in 'Forbidden Planet.' Although, his other appearances in 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Lost in Space' also come to mind. The MGM props department created this 7-foot-tall robot around the mid-'50s and first used it in 'Forbidden Planet' as one of Dr. Morbius' programmed creations. In his other screen roles, Robby's physical appearance was sometimes tweaked, like in 'The Twilight Zone' where he was given more human-like features. Also, remember that robot that randomly appeared in 'Gremlins'? Yup, that was Robby.
The Bronson Canyon, located in California, is one of the most reused movie sets of all-time. The setting’s career was launched after it was first featured in the 1919 film ‘Lightning Bryce,’ starring Jack Hoxie. From there, you’ll noticed it got some screen time in ‘Flash Gordon,’ 1933’s ‘The Three Musketeers,’ ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers,’ ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ the Adam West-starring ‘Batman’ series, ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Star Trek: Voyager,’ to name a few. But more recently, it housed scenes for ‘The Scorpion King’ and ‘Cabin Fever.’
Less reused than the Bronson Canyon but still repeatedly popping up in a number of films is the ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ school, known in real life as Van Nuys High School. It should be renamed “the high school of ‘80s movies,” considering Stephen King’s ‘Christine,’ an episode of ‘The Wonder Years’ and ‘My Science Project’ were also shot there.
Watching 'X-Men: The Last Stand' for the third time ('cause that's the kind of X-Men geeks we are), we realized those woods standing in the background while Wolverine attempts to win Jean back from Magneto's camp looked awfully familiar. And we were right! The location is Canada's Golden Ears Provincial Park and it was first featured in Sylvester Stallone's 'First Blood.' Later on, it got screen time for 'In the Name of the King: Two Worlds,' starring Dolph Lundgren. So, basically, it's become a go-to woods for actioners.
Every man in the '60s wanted someone like Samantha from 'Bewitched,' someone who could wiggle her nose and made cosmos, suits and cars appear out of thin air. One car in particular everyone wanted was the "Supercar" with the pop-up top. Well, it turns out that, rather than magically creating it, Samantha just stole it from another TV show. If you remember, that car is really known as the Reactor Mach II owned by Captain Kirk in 'Star Trek.' Catwoman also owned it for a period of time in the 'Batman' TV series, but she decked it out with tacky accessories and called it the Kitty Car.
You've definitely heard what's called the "Wilhelm Scream" at some point in your long life of movie watching. It's that stereotypical scream to come out of nearly every character in the older films of the '90s and earlier. The sound is referred to as the "Wilhelm Scream" because actor Sheb Wooley, playing the character of Private Wilhelm in the 1953 film 'The Charge at Feather River,' is the one who reportedly voiced it. If you decide to re-watch 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones,' be on the lookout for it. Otherwise, check out this compilation of some of the scream's more prominent moments.