The golden throne from "The Ten Commandments" and the suits worn by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in "Men in Black" will soon be within a stone's throw of Marie Osmond's patchwork boots and Jimi Hendrix's smashed guitars (at the Hard Rock Cafe).
On Monday and Tuesday, Liberty Park hosts the Blockbuster/American Film Institute "Legends" movie memorabilia tour, with items from 20 major motion pictures.Due to Utah's film history, particularly in the Western genre, Salt Lake City is the only stop on the 27-city "Legends" tour to feature a special exhibit of movies filmed in Utah.
Fans of the Westerns "Stagecoach" and "The Searchers" may be interested in the artifacts related to director John Ford, including posters from all his Utah films, his director's chair and his trademark fedora.
Modern Utah film memorabilia includes the "Thelma" dummy from "Thelma and Louise," as well as the original movie poster, working script and several production stills from the 1991 MGM film.
Other photographs show the filming of "Maverick" (starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner) at Lake Powell, and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" on location in southern Utah.
In addition, the exhibit features other original posters of made-in-Utah pictures, including "Dumb and Dumber" and "This Boy's Life" (which starred Leonardo DiCaprio), along with a continuous video of Utah clips.
The nationwide memorabilia tour is part of the celebration of American movies' 100th anniversary. The celebration also included a much-ballyhooed list of the "100 best films," selected from a list of 400 compiled by the AFI. Several items on the exhibit come from movies on the 400 and 100 lists, including a few from the Utah exhibit.
Of course, some of the memorabilia is from movies that didn't make the lists, such as the Faber College cheerleading outfit from "Animal House," and several uniforms from the "Star Trek" movies.
The exhibit, which began its journey on June 15 in New York City, travels in an 18-wheel custom-designed truck driven by Toronto, Canada, native Bill Gregg. The exhibits stay on the truck in glass cases, and visitors are invited to go through the trailer free of charge.
Gregg says he doesn't mind the crowds. In fact he says the tour has made him "more of a people fan than a movie fan." His favorite piece is a waistcoat worn by Vivien Leigh in "Gone with the Wind," which shows what a tiny waist she had.
But what Gregg likes to do most is watch people's reactions to the exhibit. "We get quite a reaction from Jeeves, the guy at the door," he said. "He's a pneumatically operated robot. He speaks and moves, and the kids get quite a kick out of him."
While the older visitors enjoy the John Ford and "Gone With the Wind" memorabilia, Gregg finds the "Legends" exhibit holds the most wonder for children."I'll tell you what: When I clean off the glass, 90 percent of the fingerprints and nose-prints are from about three feet down."