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The Stunt Man [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey, Chuck Bail, Allen Goorwitz
  • Directors: Richard Rush
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Feb. 2003
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008N6ZU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,877 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A Vietnam vet is on the run and accidentally ends on a film set where he kills the leading stunt man. But the director, in order to keep him away from the police, offers the man an ultimatum - to take the place of the stuntman. Peter O'Toole was nominated for an Oscar.


The "lost" sleeper hit of 1980 has since become one of the most revered cult movies of all time, largely due to its bawdy, irreverent story about the art and artifice of filmmaking and an outrageously clever performance by Peter O'Toole. As megalomaniacal film director Eli Cross, O'Toole plays a larger-than-life figure whose ability to manipulate reality is like a power-trip narcotic. The focus of his latest mind game is a fugitive (Steve Railsback) recruited to replace a stuntman killed during a recent on-set accident. In return for protective sanctuary, the fugitive takes a crash course in stunt work but soon discovers that he's the paranoid player in a game he can't control, with the dictatorial director making up the rules. Or is he? The Stunt Man is a game of its own, played through the fantasy of filmmaking, and half the fun of watching the movie comes from sharing the stuntman's paranoid confusion. Barbara Hershey has a smart, sexy supporting role as a lead actress who won't submit to her director's seemingly devious behaviour; but it's clearly O'Toole who steals the show. Director Richard Rush adds to the movie's maverick appeal--in a career plagued by struggles against the mainstream studio system, Rush hasn't made a better movie before or since. The Stunt Man clearly represents the potential of his neglected talent. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
This film (which, it is noted, can no longer be purchased new in its country of origin, *sigh*), is one of the most incredible, enjoyable and revolutionary films ever made.

From building brand new equipment never before seen or used, to ground breaking camera technique and a script that is beguiling, bewildering and mind bending in the best sense, The Stunt Man is one of the most solidly entertaining films ever made. It is funny and outrageous, tender and horrifying, sometimes from one second to the next, certainly from one minute to the next.

Always surprising, the script is deeply fortunate in its incredible cast. Peter O'Toole grabs you by the collar and drags you through the story screaming for mercy and begging for more. Barbra Hershey and Steve Railsback are extraordinary, their characters sharply and deeply realized, maintaining a thread of sanity and insanity, respectively, with clarity and commitment.

Cult hit? Huh. If God could do the tricks that Richard Rush can do ... he's be a happy man.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Inspector Gadget VINE VOICE on 15 Aug. 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It's called 'subjective reality', children. The fact that the truth depends on the angle you happen to be watching from gives us all our unique, if skewed and unfair, perception on life. We're all puppets in someone else's dastardly play and we never know when that person, that entity, that divine being will cut our strings.

This was director Richard Rush's dream project and it took him nine years to get it on the screen. And, of course, it would! It's multi-layered, original, funny and packed full of story and circumstance that makes you think. Why would any studio want to touch it? Fox even sat on it for two years before giving it a limited release. Even on its umpteenth viewing it delivers again and again, offering new angles and subtle clues.

The viewpoint of this metafictional masterpiece is Cameron (Steve Railsback), a Vietnam vet on the run from the law. He stumbles onto the set of a WWI movie and accidentally kills a stunt driver. The director of the movie is the eccentric and megalomaniacal Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole, in one of his best ever performances), who takes Cameron under his wing and protects him from John Law, as long as he keeps his mouth shut about the accident.

Cameron practices to be a stunt man and takes the place of the man he killed. But as the movie shoot becomes more elaborate and dangerous, he falls in love with the leading lady (Barbara Hershey) and starts to suspect that Eli is trying to capture his death on film.

Although it seems nasty, the movie is wonderfully light-hearted and the outrageous stunt scenes are backed up by an awesome score by Dominic Frontiere. I've been humming that theme since I was 12-years-old when I taped it off Channel 4 in December 1992.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. Hayes on 17 Feb. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you like Peter O'Toole then this film is for you... He gives an 'over the top', but absolutely brilliant performance as a megalomaniac film director...

Steve Railsback as the 'stuntman' gives a good performance and Barbara Hershey has never looked lovelier. She also gives a strong performance as both Peter O'Toole's and Steve Railsback's love interest. San Diego and in particular the Coronado Bay hotel (as seen in 'Some Like it Hot' and 'K9 PI') also look magnificent...

Nothing is what it seems in this film and if your like me, you'll need to watch it several times to get the best out of it... You'll also need to suspend disbelief for a couple of hours, but hey!

If you like films 'about making films' then I thoroughly recommend this...
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