VOTD: The Significance & Importance of Movie Props

Pulp Fiction - Christopher Walken

While there are certain movie props such as a lightsaber, a time machine or a briefcase that have become iconic pieces of cinema, it’s easy to forget that movie props are everywhere when we’re looking at any single frame of a motion picture. Sometimes a movie prop is so important that it’s in the title of the film and the driving force of the entire story, as with The Maltese Falcon or Raiders of the Lost Ark, and other times they just add to the authenticity of any given scene.

A new video essay takes a look at the importance of movie props on film, whether they’re big or small, subtle or in your face and how they enhance the characters, story or setting of films across the board. Watch! Read More »


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/Film’s 20 Favorite Holiday Movies of All Time

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

This Christmas, the collective entity of /Film pooled their efforts together to present this gift. Earlier this week, I polled all our writers and editors for their top ten holiday films of all time. I then gave each film on each list a 1 to 10 ranking. 10 points for first place, 1 point for 10th place, and added up the results. What were the results? Pretty predictable, if you ask me, but fun nevertheless.

Still, there were plenty of great movies on the list and weird subplots to explore. For example, only two of us put the same film number one, and it just so happens to be our overall top pick. However, another writer hasn’t even seen that movie. (Until late last night, as it turns out.) Which film is it? And what did it beat out? You’ll have to click below to read /Film’s 20 Favorite Holiday movies of all time. Read More »

Our 25 Favorite Gifts in Movie History

Christmas Story BB Gun

Whether you’re giving or receiving, there are few things better than a gift. It feels great to get one, it feels wonderful to give one, it’s just a nice thing. Gifts in movies are kind of the same. They represent a bond between characters that can be layered with meaning. The person getting the gift can be either appreciative or disappointed, the person giving it either sincere or malicious. There’s just so many ways you can go with it.

Being as it’s the holiday season, we decided to pick out our favorite gifts in movie history. Not necessarily the best ever, just our favorites. That means not all of these are “good” gifts. Some, in fact, are awful. But it’s the act of giving them, whether in the context of an overall film or series, that makes them awesome and memorable. So, below, we count down our 25 favorite gifts in movie history. Read More »

Every year since 1989, the National Film Registry — a division of the LIbrary of Congress — has added films to its roll of movies that “represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking.”

This year’s roster of twenty-five choices features a typically diverse collection, including inclusions whose significance can hardly be disputed (Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Matrix, Dirty Harry, The Times of Harvey Milk), persistent cultural touchstones (A Christmas Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s), pleasing if slightly surprising inclusions (Two-Lane Blacktop, Slacker) and a few left-field choices, such as A League of Their Own.

The full list, with text about each movie from the NFR, is below. You can also visit the Registry website to nominate films for the 2013 list. Read More »

Want to read about visual effects in Man of Steel? What does the cast of Community look like as Batman characters? Which character would David Fincher have killed had he made a Spider-Man movie? Do Marvel characters and A Christmas Story have a common ground? What happens when you mix Tintin with the X-Men? Where can you start pre-ordering merchandise for The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers? And has a spoiler slipped about the post-credits scene in The Avengers? Read about all of this and more in today’s massive Superhero Bits. Read More »

Little known fact: I collect Hallmark Ornaments. It’s a very expensive hobby my mother got me into when I was still in elementary school. Every July, she and I would go to the store on the day that Hallmark first released their ornaments for that year and we’d buy all the cool ones. This was a tradition that probably would have faded away as I grew older if Hallmark didn’t start making ornaments out of awesome licenses like Star Wars and Star Trek. Now, they’re in bed with almost everyone making ornaments of comic book characters, Disney films, TV shows, holiday classics like A Christmas Story and even new movies like The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in addition to all the traditional stuff too. After the jump, check out a huge gallery of the 2011 Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments that are inspired by pop culture properties. Read More »

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VOTD: 50 Christmas Movie Spoilers in 3 Minutes

In honor of the upcoming Christmas holiday, our friends the Fine Brothers have filed the latest episode of their popular “Spoiler” series — 50 Christmas Movie Spoilers in 3 Minutes, in one take. You might remember that we’ve featured their videos 100 Movie Spoilers in 4 minutes, Spoiling Every Best Picture Winner in Oscar History, 50 spoilers of 2009 in 4 minutes, 100 Horror Movie Spoilers in 5 Minutes, and 50 Disney Spoilers in 3 Minutes.  Hit the jump to watch their latest. And if it isn’t completely obvious already, please be warned that the following video contains spoilers.
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‘A Christmas Story: The Musical!’ in Seattle

The legacy of A Christmas Story won’t end with the Christmas-day “24 Hours of A Christmas Story marathon and the annual conventions and filming location house tour. Peter Billingsley, an actor who is probably best known as Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story, is executive producing a musical adaptation of of the film for the Seattle stage. Billingsley’s childhood acting efforts lead into a Hollywood career as a producer on Jon Favreau’s directorial efforts and most recently, he tried to direct a feature film — Couples Retreat (we’ll forget that happened).

Benj Paske and Justin Paul wrote the original score, and preview performances will begin on Wednesday at the 5th Avenue Theatre, where the production will run from December 9th to the 30th (click here to see a schedule). Billingsley tells THR that he hopes to bring “the play to more stages” across the nation, however nothing has been announced. Hit the jump to see some clips from a previous production of the musical.

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Believe it or not, A Christmas Story was the first film I ever saw in a movie theater. Which is probably one of the reasons I feel more of an attachment to the film than most. I would be afraid to add all the hours of passive viewings over the years. When I was younger, 24 Hours of A Christmas Story would remain on my television set, from the first airing, to it’s last – playing in the background for the entire Christmas holiday.

But as much as I love the film, I’ve yet to feel the need to travel to Cleveland to visit the original home which was used in the film’s production. Which is kind of strange because I love visiting real life movie locations. It might be because the house is in Ohio, and I don’t ever expect to set foot in the state (no offense to Ohio, its just… out of the way). A few years ago, a fan of the film bought the original house from the movie and restored it to it’s original screen-used conditions. The house has been turned into a tourist attraction and museum that is open all year long. A couple years ago they even held a massive Christmas Story fan convention in the city.

This year they have hired 35-year-old actor Ian Petrella, who played Ralphie’s little brother Randy in the film, to “come home” and live in the house during the months of July and August, where he will serve as a special tour guide. I guess they couldn’t get Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in the original film but is too busy as a Hollywood producer (Iron Man) turned director (Couples Retreat). Read the full press release, after the jump.

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