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The Stunt Man (1980)

A fugitive stumbles on a movie set just when they need a new stunt man, takes the job as a way to hide out, and falls for the leading lady.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Documentary about the making of this 1980 action/drama about a fugitive hiding out as a movie stuntman.

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Richard Rush, Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sam (as Allen Goorwitz)
...
Jake
...
Denise
...
Raymond Bailey
...
Ace
Charles Bail ...
...
Gabe / Eli's cameraman
Jim Hess ...
Henry / Eli's camera assistant
John Pearce ...
Garage Guard (as John B. Pearce)
Michael Railsback ...
Burt
...
Father (as George D. Wallace)
Dee Carroll ...
Mother
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Storyline

While on the run from the police, Steve Railsback hides in a group of moviemakers where he pretends to be a stunt man. Both aided and endangered by the director (Peter O'Toole) he avoids both the police and sudden death as a stuntman. The mixture of real danger and fantasy of the movie is an interesting twist for the viewer as the two blend in individual scenes. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You're never more vulnerable than when you know too much. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le diable en boîte  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's main "Stunt Man" character (played by Steve Railsback) is described by his director character Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole) in the film as being "A stuntman. Who is an actor. Who is a character in a movie. Who is an enemy soldier". Similarly, on the Australian home video sleeve notes, the persona's many layers is further detailed by stating that 'The Stunt Man' character is a "fugitive [who] becomes a stunt man who doubles for an actor . . . who plays an American flyer posing as a German soldier . . . who is a fugitive". See more »

Goofs

In one of the WW1 scenes, a wall is painted with the names of two French towns: Verdon and Nancy. "Verdon" should be spelled "Verdun," which is not far from the French town of Nancy, and was the site of a famous WW1 battle. See more »

Quotes

Eli Cross: Nina the actress so fair / Who fancied a man with blond hair. / But Raymond discovers / As he lifts up the covers / That his double - young "Lucky"- is there
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits end, the movie-within-a-movie director (played by Peter O'Toole) yells, "Sam, rewrite the opening reel! Crush the little bastard in the first act!" And then he laughs during the fade-out. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tales from the Script (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Bits & Pieces
Music by Dominic Frontiere
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Sung by Dusty Springfield
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User Reviews

 
I'm gonna get caught gushing!
30 March 2001 | by (Ohio USA) – See all my reviews

One of my favorite movies of all time. Must admit that I'm a bit biased since Peter O'Toole's one of my favorite actors of all time. This movie has NEVER gotten the attention that it deserves. Maybe that's, in part, due to the difficulties involved in categorizing it. I don't even know in which section of the video store I'd start looking.

Peter O'Toole is so swell in it. I love that enigmatic character, movie director Eli Cross! Like the movie (and O'Toole, for that matter), he's so hard to cubbyhole. You like him, but you don't trust him. Like Cameron/Lucky (Steve Railsback's escaped convict character) does, you NEED to know exactly where his motives lie ... all in good time. You know Cross'll do whatever's necessary to get "the shot", but he's still got a conscience ... right? Would Cameron have been better off (read safer) just staying in jail ... hmmm?

All the action in the film circles around this question and while the viewer (and Cameron) decide what to make of Eli, it's a fun trip through the world of filmmaking (how realistic a trip, I've no idea). Great performances by O'Toole and Railsback, along with Barbara Hershey, Allen Garfield, Alex Rocco and Sharon Ferrell add so much to the suspense.

See this movie. You can feel how much fun it was for the cast to make. Look at Eli's devilish grin as he tries to soothe Lucky's worries. Try to imagine how many other movies have you sympathizing for an escaped convict. And don't worry if you don't know what to make of mad genius filmmaker Eli Cross because nobody else does either, and if they do, they ain't talkin' ... that might spoil the movie!


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