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Let's talk about Stunts!

Old 09-12-11, 09:20 PM
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Let's talk about Stunts!

As some of you may notice from what I say on here but...I'm a big fan of those wonderful crazy as shit stuff called STUNTS. Some of the people that do them are even great celebrities to us. Hell I love me some Terry Leonard, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Zoe Bell (LOVED her in Death Proof...and I also love that film), Yakima Canutt, The Epper family, The Seven Little Fortunes, etc.

We love what they do for sure but do we actually know who these people are? I mean...we see Stallone and Arnold do these crazy stuff. BUT...it's not them a lot of the time...if at all. Why? Well most likely they can't do that and at times if they can...insurance won't let them. Who are these people that are mostly unknown for the sake of the story? What's your favorite stunt?

EDIT: Mods...add an S on stunts and fix lets..I'm drunk. Somewhat. IF there's any typos here n the actual post..fuck it..but ix that titel.

Last edited by Solid Snake; 09-12-11 at 09:46 PM.
Old 09-12-11, 09:39 PM
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re: Let's talk about Stunts!

This one from Yuen Biao in Shanghai Express takes the cake for me---not only does he do a cartwheel off the top of a 2-story burning building, but he stays in character, gets up, and delivers his effin' line!

<iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9fWHFNSVZpY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 09-13-11, 11:00 AM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by Solid Snake PAC View Post
As some of you may notice from what I say on here but...I'm a big fan of those wonderful crazy as shit stuff called STUNTS. Some of the people that do them are even great celebrities to us. Hell I love me some Terry Leonard, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Zoe Bell (LOVED her in Death Proof...and I also love that film), Yakima Canutt, The Epper family, The Seven Little Fortunes, etc.

We love what they do for sure but do we actually know who these people are? I mean...we see Stallone and Arnold do these crazy stuff. BUT...it's not them a lot of the time...if at all. Why? Well most likely they can't do that and at times if they can...insurance won't let them. Who are these people that are mostly unknown for the sake of the story? What's your favorite stunt?

EDIT: Mods...add an S on stunts and fix lets..I'm drunk. Somewhat. IF there's any typos here n the actual post..fuck it..but ix that titel.
Chuck Roberson, John Wayne's longtime stunt double and a great western character actor in his own right, wrote an autobiography called, "The Fall Guy: 30 Years as The Duke's Double."

Diana Serra Cary, a onetime child star, was the daughter of an ex-cowboy-turned-stunt rider and wrote a book about all the cowboys who went to work in Hollywood once range work dried up. It's called, "The Hollywood Posse: The Story of a Gallant Band of Horsemen who Made Movie History," and it's a great book.

Check out old Republic westerns and serials--they were filled with great stuntwork.

Burt Lancaster was once a circus acrobat and you see him do his own stunts in the circus drama, TRAPEZE (1955), but even better are his two swashbucklers, THE FLAME AND THE ARROW (1950) and THE CRIMSON PIRATE (1952), in which he's paired with his old circus partner, Nick Cravat. If you love seeing stars doing their own stunts, you've gotta see these movies.

For sheer Hong Kong insanity, see YES, MADAM! (aka IN THE LINE OF DUTY 2, 1985). It stars Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock and they both do stunts that were way too dangerous for stars to be doing. But that happens a lot in HK films from that period. Rothrock's also in SHANGHAI EXPRESS (MILLIONAIRES' EXPRESS), mentioned in the second post.

I'm glad you mentioned Canutt. My grandfather, a rancher, was once a rodeo rider and his obituary claimed he rode with Canutt in a touring rodeo. My uncle wrote the obit and another uncle told me that much of it was made up, so I can't confirm the Canutt connection. (My grandfather was already raising a family when Canutt was doing rodeo work.) Still, my grandfather was quite a colorful character. He was riding a horse in a July 4th parade, dressed up in full Indian regalia, when he had a heart attack and fell off and died. A month later I was born.

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 09-13-11 at 11:06 AM.
Old 09-13-11, 11:24 AM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by Ky-Fi View Post
This one from Yuen Biao in Shanghai Express takes the cake for me---not only does he do a cartwheel off the top of a 2-story burning building, but he stays in character, gets up, and delivers his effin' line!

<iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9fWHFNSVZpY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Holy. Crap.
Old 09-13-11, 11:55 AM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Yeah, Yuen Baio was the man. I'd say he was better than Sammo or Jackie. The one thing he lacked was a stronger screen presence.

HK in the 80s was the greatest era for their stunts. And their editing...fucking fantastic for those fights.
Old 09-13-11, 12:37 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

The stunts in those old serials were ridiculously dangerous. Years ago, I saw a program on PBS about stunt work in the early days. A lot of cliffhangers were created when a stunt went wrong. The director just put that as the last scene, and then the writers had to figure out how to get the hero out of that jam in the next week's installment.

The example they gave started with the runaway stagecoach. You've seen it. A stuntman walks out on the tongue of the wagon between four horses at a full gallop. Then he is supposed to leap onto a lead horse and get it to stop. In this case the stuntman missed, and fell under the pounding hoofs. It's right there on film. So how did the writers save the hero? Next week, the hero caught the underside of the stagecoach, got dragged for a bit, and then climbed up onto the back bumper. That's the origin of the Indiana Jones stunt.

Another anecdote in that program was an old actress talking about airplane stunts. A plane was supposed to crash. The stunt pilot said, "You want me to hit the mark where? Okay. Do you want the cockpit towards the camera, or to the side? How steep an angle do you want? Do you want the wings to fall off, or collapse, or to stay on?" Then he took a hacksaw and cut halfway through the spars in the wings so they would break in the right way. Then he took off, crashed right on his mark, and the wings collapsed as promised.
Old 09-13-11, 01:46 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
The stunts in those old serials were ridiculously dangerous. Years ago, I saw a program on PBS about stunt work in the early days. A lot of cliffhangers were created when a stunt went wrong. The director just put that as the last scene, and then the writers had to figure out how to get the hero out of that jam in the next week's installment.

The example they gave started with the runaway stagecoach. You've seen it. A stuntman walks out on the tongue of the wagon between four horses at a full gallop. Then he is supposed to leap onto a lead horse and get it to stop. In this case the stuntman missed, and fell under the pounding hoofs. It's right there on film. So how did the writers save the hero? Next week, the hero caught the underside of the stagecoach, got dragged for a bit, and then climbed up onto the back bumper. That's the origin of the Indiana Jones stunt.

Another anecdote in that program was an old actress talking about airplane stunts. A plane was supposed to crash. The stunt pilot said, "You want me to hit the mark where? Okay. Do you want the cockpit towards the camera, or to the side? How steep an angle do you want? Do you want the wings to fall off, or collapse, or to stay on?" Then he took a hacksaw and cut halfway through the spars in the wings so they would break in the right way. Then he took off, crashed right on his mark, and the wings collapsed as promised.
I'm pretty sure this is the "Hazard of the Game" episode of Hollywood, the Brownlow/Gill documentary on the silent film era. This is essential viewing for any fan of stunt work. The risks that performers were willing to take in those days were insane.

My two favorites are from Keaton. In Sherlock Jr., he's riding on the handlebars of a runaway motorcycle+sidecar, unable to control it , and going parallel to a train. We see well in advance of the railway crossing that the train is approaching a curve and the two are going to have a real or near collision. Of course Keaton whizzes by the crossing with a hair's breadth to spare, but the tension leading up to this moment is what makes the gag. On seeing this for the first time in decades recently, I could tell that the scene was undercranked a great deal (i.e., it actually was performed at a much slower pace and then looked faster when projected at correct speed) but it's still a masterpiece of design and planning, just like so much of Keaton's stuff.

In Cops, Keaton, on the run from the police, dashes out into the street and then stops, looking to his left, waiting. He knows something that we don't -- why did he stop running? Aren't the cops going to get him? Then a car approaches, and just as it's about to pass, Keaton reaches out, grabs onto a door post, and is jerked away with the car. How he did that without having his arm pulled from its socket ... this is so much different from the Sherlock Jr. gag, depending on the element of surprise, almost being thrown away, compared to the slow buildup with the train.

Oh, and in The Strong Man, the circus performer of the title picks up Harry Langdon and throws him on the top of a delivery truck, a good ten feet in the air! This had to have been done with a crane and cables, but is so well designed and executed that the tricks don't show.

Last edited by obscurelabel; 09-13-11 at 03:53 PM.
Old 09-13-11, 03:07 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

'Mad Max' had crazy stunt work in it with those cars and bikes. In a number fo scenes those bikes and cars are doing over 130. Fairly unheard of. When that film came to the US the film companies passed 'Mad Max Laws' so such work could not be done in the US.

'Ben Hur' had some legendary stunt work.
Old 09-13-11, 03:11 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!



The film itself takes a bit to get going, but it's a blast once it does. The 1:40 mark is still one of my favorite stunts in recent memory.
Old 09-13-11, 03:35 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by obscurelabel View Post
I'm pretty sure this is the "Hazard of the Game" episode of Hollywood, the Brownlow/Gill documentary on the silent film era. This is essential viewing for any fan of stunt work. The risks that performers were willing to take in those days were insane.
Thank you! I saw that back in 1982, and was going from memory. I didn't know what it was. The program is not on DVD, but it's on YouTube. Here's the hour-long episode.

<iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Lr9kgXZverY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 09-13-11, 04:07 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post

'Ben Hur' had some legendary stunt work.
Those weren't "stunts". Those were real.
Old 09-13-11, 05:24 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Thank you! I saw that back in 1982, and was going from memory. I didn't know what it was. The program is not on DVD, but it's on YouTube. Here's the hour-long episode.

<iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Lr9kgXZverY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
holy fucking shit...this is awesome. YES. Thank you.
Old 09-13-11, 05:41 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

^
Yeah was just getting ready to say the same thing. Informative and interesting. Thanks for the post Danger.
Old 09-13-11, 11:38 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

So should stunts be given their own Oscar category?
Old 09-14-11, 12:28 AM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Awesome video! I teach a film writing/history class in a high school and I'd love to show the students some of those stunts! Thanks for posting that!
Old 09-14-11, 12:40 AM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Jackie Chan falling from the clock tower in Project A is one of the craziest stunts Jackie has done. No wonder that he wind up in his career with a lot of broken bones and other injuries. The man is crazy but I really enjoy in watching his movie.

<iframe width="560" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PcOdI-pDEHI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 09-14-11, 01:55 AM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Shout-out to Dar:
<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/AK5M3TLO1Vw?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/AK5M3TLO1Vw?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>
Old 09-14-11, 11:11 AM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
The stunts in those old serials were ridiculously dangerous. Years ago, I saw a program on PBS about stunt work in the early days. A lot of cliffhangers were created when a stunt went wrong. The director just put that as the last scene, and then the writers had to figure out how to get the hero out of that jam in the next week's installment.

The example they gave started with the runaway stagecoach. You've seen it. A stuntman walks out on the tongue of the wagon between four horses at a full gallop. Then he is supposed to leap onto a lead horse and get it to stop. In this case the stuntman missed, and fell under the pounding hoofs. It's right there on film. So how did the writers save the hero? Next week, the hero caught the underside of the stagecoach, got dragged for a bit, and then climbed up onto the back bumper. That's the origin of the Indiana Jones stunt.

Another anecdote in that program was an old actress talking about airplane stunts. A plane was supposed to crash. The stunt pilot said, "You want me to hit the mark where? Okay. Do you want the cockpit towards the camera, or to the side? How steep an angle do you want? Do you want the wings to fall off, or collapse, or to stay on?" Then he took a hacksaw and cut halfway through the spars in the wings so they would break in the right way. Then he took off, crashed right on his mark, and the wings collapsed as promised.
I just saw the following and remembered reading your post from a few days ago. Talk about timely!! Amazing to see the amount of work put in for such a short sequence on screen.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ILoeH2eB_UQ?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ILoeH2eB_UQ?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>

Last edited by Superman07; 09-14-11 at 11:17 AM.
Old 09-14-11, 01:31 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by printerati View Post


The film itself takes a bit to get going, but it's a blast once it does. The 1:40 mark is still one of my favorite stunts in recent memory.
Wow. Adam Carolla needs to see this movie. He's been jokingly pitching a movie for years called "Rings of Glory" about an olympic team that becomes POW's and they have to use their specialties to escape: High jump, pole vault, 100 yard dash, etc.
Old 09-14-11, 03:30 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

That's a great piece on the old-time stunt guys---thanks for posting that. I liked that bit about Cecil B. Demille telling the extras to "just fight, and don't worry about getting hurt."

The Bond movies of course had a lot of great stunt work over the years. I thought the ski chase from For Your Eyes Only was very creative and well-filmed--lots of great smaller stunts put together. Can't seem to find a clip to embed, but it's here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYI3tsK7e04
Old 09-15-11, 02:00 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by Superman07 View Post
I just saw the following and remembered reading your post from a few days ago. Talk about timely!! Amazing to see the amount of work put in for such a short sequence on screen.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ILoeH2eB_UQ?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ILoeH2eB_UQ?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>
It's actually cuz of this part of the "making of" that I hope we get all the old features.
Old 09-15-11, 04:46 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Jackie Chan

/Thread

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cI1AwZN4ZYg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 09-15-11, 04:47 PM
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Re: Let's talk about Stunts!

Originally Posted by dom56 View Post
Jackie Chan falling from the clock tower in Project A is one of the craziest stunts Jackie has done. No wonder that he wind up in his career with a lot of broken bones and other injuries. The man is crazy but I really enjoy in watching his movie.

<iframe width="560" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PcOdI-pDEHI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
that's insane, the first landing looks like he lands on his neck - major ouch.

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