The Stunt Man  [DVD]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
It defied all odds to become the most unexpected and acclaimed cult hit of the 80s, and it remains one of the most slyly subversive and thrillingly original action/comedy/drama motion pictures of all time. The legendary Peter O’Toole in his iconic Oscar® nominated performance stars as director Eli Cross, a deliciously megalomaniacal madman commanding a film-set circus where a paranoid young veteran [Steve Railsback] finds himself maybe replacing a dead stunt man, possibly falling for the beautiful leading lady [Barbara Hershey], and discovering that love, death and the mayhem of moviemaking can definitely be the wildest illusions of all. THE STUNT MAN now features a stunning High Definition transfer supervised by Oscar® nominated Producer/Director Richard Rush, plus new interviews and commentaries with Rush, Peter O’Toole, Steve Railsback and Alex Rocco, all in the ultimate edition of the classic that the Los Angeles Times calls as innovative today as Citizen Kane was in its time! "If God could do the tricks that we can do, he'd be a happy man."
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: Academy Awards®: Nominated: Best Actor for Peter O'Toole. Nominated: Best Director for Richard Rush. Nominated: Best Adapted Screenplay for Lawrence B. Marcus, Richard Rush. Montreal World Film Festival: Win: "Grand Prix des Amériques" Best Film for Richard Rush. Win: Golden Globe® Awards: Best Original Score for Dominic Frontiere. Win: National Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Actor for Peter O'Toole. Peter O'Toole mentions in his DVD commentary that he based his character on David Lean who directed him in ‘Lawrence of Arabia.Read more ›
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.
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...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whatever you may,or may not most likely,have read about this film,you may as well forget about it as a piece of avant garde,post modern whatever because as it is,The Stunt Man... Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2011 by cally
Peter O'Toole gives his usual sterling performance as a mad film director who takes on a paranoid Steve Railsback to replace a dead stuntman in his film. Read morePublished on 8 Nov. 2009 by DAVE HORN