The LIFE Magazine Covers That Never Were

  • Benedict Cosgrove

Turns out many of the "classic" LIFE magazine covers featured in a popular 2013 movie were never covers at all.

In Ben Stiller's adaptation of James Thurber's classic and very funny short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Stiller plays a photo editor at LIFE magazine. Much of the film is set in the meticulously recreated offices of the storied weekly. In those offices hang poster-sized versions of LIFE magazine covers through the years.

The covers are stirring, iconic—and, for the most part, they’re fake.