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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.

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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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sam (as Allen Goorwitz)
...
Jake
...
Denise
...
Raymond Bailey
Philip Bruns ...
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
George Wallace ...
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:

He does wild and crazy things because he has nothing to lose...but his life. 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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-scriptwriter Richard Rush has said of adapting this film's source Paul Brodeur novel: "There was an irresistible metaphor in the book that kept haunting me, and I kept going back to it in my head". See more »

Goofs

The car used in the main "driving off the bridge" scene is consistently described as a Duesenberg, but it has the well known Mercedes-Benz hood ornament. See more »

Quotes

Cameron: Why are you trying to save my ass?
Eli Cross: Because you're almost as crazy as the young man I'm making this film about. Besides, I've fallen madly in love with the dark side of your nature.
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 The Sinister Saga of Making 'The Stunt Man' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Bits & Pieces
Music by Dominic Frontiere
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Sung by Dusty Springfield
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a comedy with some ideas
11 January 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie is a slightly surreal comedy about moviemaking. It's told with the perspective (if not always from the point of view) of a young fugitive who wanders onto the set and gets hired due to various complications. The movie people all seem larger than life to the fugitive, and since he's a little paranoid anyway, their motives seem complex and suspect. Peter O'Toole gives his usual performance, and he's perfect here as the flamboyant director (he must have had a great time sending up some blowhards of his past with this role). Steven Railsback does his usual disoriented guy on the edge, and he does it with a rather touchingly naive quality this time. Barbara Hershey is the leading lady love interest, delivers an intelligent and understated performance, and is appropriately bewitchingly beautiful.

Roger Ebert didn't like this movie, but he got confused into thinking that it was something deeper than a comedy. It's about as deep as "Get Shorty", but with a completely different feel.

The movie holds up pretty well, although the special effects look a little clunky sometimes, and I remember thinking they were pretty good when I saw the movie in its initial release. But the clunkiness isn't really distracting, and since the movie's attempts to "deceive" are all firmly tongue-in-cheek, it doesn't hurt.


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