Part of the reason that movies and television shows are so popular is because they let our imaginations escape - if only for a brief time - into wondrous fictional universes where anything is possible. It is the genius of scriptwriters combined with the talent of set engineers and computer animators which meticulously brings these stories to life for our enjoyment. Naturally, props have always been a major component of movie-making, and when it comes to furniture, films have produced some truly innovative and memorable pieces over the years. The mere sight of the following 5 home furnishings fondly reminds us of the rip-roaring films and TV shows that brought them to life:
Sword Throne from Game of Thrones
Aegon the Conqueror overruns six of the seven kingdoms of Westeros and declares himself king. Taking all 1,000 swords surrendered to him by his enemies, Aegon I of the house of Targaryen commissions the construction of his iconic Iron Throne of Swords. With the fiery breath of the dragon Balerion, metalworkers require 59 days before completion of the monstrous structure. Though obviously a compilation of molten metal, images of individual swords remain. Particularly disturbing are the series of blades that form the spiked backrest of the throne. The bizarre looking prop created for the “Game of Thrones” television series remains faithful to the opinion of the character King Aegon who believes a ruler cannot rest easy. The thrones of royals usually bring images of elaborately carved wooden structures that at the very least have lavishly upholstered seats. The mass of lackluster metal and fierce design of the sword throne more closely resembles the seat of a barbaric warrior during the Dark Ages. Standing over seven feet tall and weighing approximately 500 pounds, replicas of the throne now make their journey to varying cities across the United States and Canada.
Egg Chair from Men in Black
In the 1997 movie “Men in Black”, we famously see Jay (played by Will Smith) and several other agency recruits taking a written exam in a bare, bright white room with space age overtones. The audience watches as Will Smith humorously struggles and fails when attempting to find a comfortable position in his futuristic egg chair from which to write the test. In reality, of course, the egg chairs do not come from a futuristic era, but from the 1960s! Scandinavian designer Henrik Thor-Larsen first developed the OVALIA egg chairs in the late '60s, which made an appearance at the 1968 Scandinavian Furniture Fair. Constructed with a fiberglass reinforced polyester frame, these modern style chairs not only come in white but also in an array of over 20 different colors. Aluminum comprises the rotating or removable singular chair pedestal, which customers might also have painted to match the chair exterior. The combination of nylon and wool served as upholstery for the OVALIA interior along with polyester foam padding. By the late 1970s, Starkey Industries advanced the chairs design by adding a speaker system. Today, fans of the unusual chair find the overall design remains mostly the same. Possible sound systems packed into the unit include a 5.1 surround sound system featuring six pairs of jacks on the back of the chair for combining any number of electronic devices.
Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story
Fans of the 1983 cult classic “A Christmas Story” will always remember the hideous leg lamp. The treasured "major award" won by Ralphie’s Old Man was the final brainchild of Reuben Freed, who found inspiration for the lamp after seeing a Nehi ad depicting a soda bottle standing alongside the legs of a female model. After numerous sketches, Freed eventually settled on the vision of a single female leg donning a stocking and high-heeled shoe. The iconic golden bell-shaped lampshade with contrasting black fringe was the third and final idea that completed the design. Scrupulous fans of the movie point out that the scenes following Ralphie’s mother breaking the lamp contain a blooper. In one scene, mom holds multiple chunks of the broken lamp but in another scene, the lamp appears fractured lengthwise. Set specialists created three separate lamps for the movie but sadly, none survived. However, numerous reproductions of the ugly lamp exist on various sites for adoring pop culture fans.
Imperial Throne from Return of the Jedi
Not to be outdone in the memorable prop category, the “Star Wars” franchise produced innumerable iconic pieces. In the 1983 movie “Return of the Jedi,” audiences encounter the Death Star's Imperial Throne, used by Emperor Palpatinefor plotting his conquest of the galaxy in style. The throne not only looks futuristic, but also gives audiences some insight into Palpatine’s wicked personality; from a side view, the pear-shaped chair with sharp angular lines appears like a gaping mouth that consumes the emperor in darkness. Space aged detailing equips the throne with built-in controls and a compartment for a light saber.
Space Jockey Chair from Alien
The unusual chair and its alien “pilot,” famously known as the space jockey chair, first appeared in the 1979 movie “Alien.” The creature and its spacecraft remains a mystery, but is scheduled to make a reappearance in Ridley Scott’s upcoming prequel “Prometheus". Dutch surrealist artist H. R. Geiger designed the oddity, which bears a strange shape, similar to that of a curled caterpillar. Extending appendages grow from the alien to the chair and vice versa, suggesting that each needs the other to function. From a side view, the chair and telescoping apparatus neatly encompass the space jockey in almost cocoon like fashion. Having similar lines and colors, some close-up images of the two make it difficult to differentiate where the chair ends and the pilot’s large body begins. Inside reports indicate that Scott had the chair built into the floor mounted disc so that the device swiveled, allowing the camera to capture images of the scene at various angles. Mr. Geiger is known to use many his science fiction-inspired creations in the décor and furnishing schemes of his own home.