Old studio films reusing existing sets

Does anybody maintain a database of physical sets reused in various movies? I was watching John Ford’s “Long Journey Home” which mostly takes place on a freight ship and it looked exactly like the set used on Val Lewton’s “Ghost Ship” (great flick!). Looking through wikipedia, they say the “Ghost Ship” set was built for a 1939 movie called “Pacific Liner” but no other lineage. Anybody know of a way to track down multi-used sets?

I know the house in “Magnificent Ambersons” was used in a ton of movies, but maybe the practice was typically to build from scratch. Any pointers or info are most welcome


No surprise that Corman used the same castle in all of his Poe films.


During the famous shot in Gone with the Wind of the huge mountain of burning debris falling over, part of it is the wall from King Kong.


What would a Coleman Francis movie be without the Coleman Francis mountain? I know it’s not a set, but he filmed all his movies in the same place.


A modern take on this are those Hallmark Christmas movies. You’ll see the same shooting location in Los Angeles in A Christmas Cruise, A Christmas in Royal Fashion, and Back to Christmas. In one of those the location is pretending to be on a fancy island resort. Oh, Hybrid, LLC, what would we do without your 40 Christmas movies (and counting)? I guess we’d still have Marvista.




I know both sets and props from Forbidden Planet were re-used many, many times in both films and TV throughout the 60s.

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Not a movie, but the Star Trek TOS episode Miri took place on a post-apocalyptic planet. The problem was that they used the Mayberry set to film it. You can even see Floyd’s barber shop at one point. Anyone who watched Andy Griffith would recognize it immediately.


The big staircase set in Hello Dolly was reused by Fox in Beneath the Planet of the Apes as the cathedral where the mutants worshipped.

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Ha, funny, now that MeTV commercial just became more brilliant.

There are a lot of articles out there, but I couldn’t find a database, though that sounds like something someone would do.

This isn’t an old studio film but Becket had just wrapped up, so Corman used sets from that film for his (IMHO) best movie, The Masque of the Red Death. The production values on that one are among the finest seen in a Corman film (the sets, the costumes)


My favorite channel!

Roger Corman was famous for reusing sets. He wanted to get his money’s worth out of them, so he’d often give random people a shot a directing a movie using sets and stars he still had time on the clock with. I believe at least one of his movies was shot in less than two days (Little Shop of Horrors, the original black and white version), using a set he had 48 hours worth of time for and hadn’t used. I’ve also heard that he had a few days left with Boris Karloff (who had been filming another movie with Corman producing) and so he found a random person on set and asked them to film a quickie movie with Karloff so he’d get his money’s worth out of the actor. That person? Peter Bogdanovich. Just a couple of examples of reusing either sets or actors.

I also love when unmistakable props show up again. My wife was watching something recently—I wish I could remember what it was … probably a Criminal Minds or something similar—and the bad guy was using what was absolutely John Malkovich’s composite pistol from In the Line of Fire.

Oh yes, along with Canadian productions all using the same seven actors, they reuse props too:

Ronon From Stargate Atlantis defending Sateda from the Wraith:

Jo in the town of Eureka, Lock and load!

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