Fox Archives: Slant boards give actors and actresses a place to lean on the sets of 20th Century Fox films


Though rarely used today, slant boards (also known as leaning boards) were commonly found on movie sets. They were designed to allow reclining without wrinkling neatly pressed costumes, reclining when the costume was too snug for the actor to sit or reclining when the immense weight of the costume limited mobility.

Here are some photos of slant boards being used on the set of 20th Century Fox films:

Constance Bennett and director Gregory La Cava, on the set of “The Affairs of Cellini” (1934). Original caption: “Constance Bennett is learning to ‘sit down standing up.’ Weighing only around one-hundred pounds, the royal robes Miss Bennett wears as the Duchess of Florence in this comedy romance of 16th century Italy are so unusual that the star can neither sit nor stand. So, director Gregory La Cava figured out a way to prop her up… A ‘leaning board,’ with heavy arm-rests, was designed and built in the studio carpenter shops… [The leaning board is] destined to become an important piece of furniture during the making of costume pictures.”
Kent Taylor and Evelyn Venable on the set of “The County Chairman” (1935). Original caption: “No, this isn’t Al Smith in the brown derby – it’s Kent Taylor, and the lady is Evelyn Venable, who shares the romantic leading roles with him in the Will Rogers’ forthcoming Fox Film offering, ‘The County Chairman.’”
Rochelle Hudson on the set of “Rascals” (1938). Original caption: “KEEPING FRESH FOR THE WEDDING – Rochelle Hudson, playing the romantic feminine lead in Jane Withers’ latest starring film at 20th Century-Fox, ‘Gypsy,’ relaxes before the colorful wedding scene against a specially-constructed back-rest designed to keep the finest of finery unwrinkled.”
Ginger Rogers and Reginald Gardiner on the set of “Black Widow” (1954).
Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm, also known as The Thing, on the set of “Fantastic Four” (2005).

The Fox Archives is mandated to collect, catalog, preserve and make accessible the following assets of the 20th Century Fox studios: props, set decoration, photographs, art department and publicity materials from our film and television productions, and from the 20th Century Fox studio itself. We work primarily with internal Fox groups but also from time to time with outside organizations such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.