Archive Collections: Props from our First Film

By: Andrew Bermudez
(Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Headquarters; March 14, 2014)
     With one of our first films, Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Leopard's Treasure being re-released later today, we felt that it would be appropriate to look back at some of the props from this film in the latest Archive Collections. So let's begin our look back at some of these classic props and see how they were used in the said film.
      First up is the actual bull whip used in the film...or at least a picture of it. It's made of actual leather and used to have a red flail attached to the tip, which would create the characteristic "snap" sound of a whip breaking the sound barrier. However, because of some quick wear and quality control issues, this flail had to be removed and replaced with the black electrical tape you see on the tip today. Despite this minor modification, this whip still packs a painful punch (watch for the scene later today when one of the henchmen says "OW!" after being hit by the whip. That line wasn't planned, if you know what I mean). This whip was also used in Indiana Jones and the Treasure of Tikal and Indiana Jones and the Heart of the Dragon, which have already been re-released online. Today, the prop is no longer used, but it still sits in our propertary department, perhaps waiting to be used once again.
      Next up is a straw pith helmet, purchased in bulk with others of its kind straight from the Oriental Trading Company as party favors (thanks, guys!). Basically, this hat is worn by any character that isn't Indy; Marcus wears the one pictured here, and the villains wear a version of this hat that has a crayon on paper swastika taped on (unfortunately, we do not have a photo of that one). In this film, hats were, for the most part, the only costume elements featured in the film. The only exception would be Indy, who wears a full body costume. Today, only one of these pith helmets remains in the prop archive, as most of them were either destroyed or donated to charity.
      While the pith helmet just mentioned may have been simply a party favor, the hat that Indy wears is no simple child's toy. It's actually a legitimate, fully-crafted stetson made for the most serious of cow-folk. While it may not be a fedora, the quality of this stetson was so good, it lasted through the filming of all three of our Indiana Jones fan films, and is still in good condition today.
     Last up is a wooden toy bolt-action rifle that is used by the Nazi henchmen in the film. Bought at a garage sale, this rifle is actually a piece of merchandise that was once sold at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (the price tag is still on the rifle butt, as seen here). This was also one of our most-used props, with its last film appearance being in Com 50-3: Raid on Central Island in 2007. However, since then, most of the inner-workings have had problems, such as the trigger and bolt. Despite these issues, the rifle lives on in our prop archive.
     While we don't have images of all of the props from Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Leopard's Treasure, this article still covers some of the more significant props and costume pieces. Be sure to watch the re-release of Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Leopard's Treasure, and stay tuned for the next Archive Collections!

Previously:
The Most Memorable Deleted Scenes

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