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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.



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


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


"If God could do the things that we can do, he'd be a happy man . . ." See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le diable en boîte  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declined approval to allow director Richard Rush's production filming of an early 20th century bi-plane near the Hotel del Coronado shooting location. According to Paul Tatara at the TCMDb, "Eventually, Rush secured the right to land the plane at a nearby Naval base, then Bail, who volunteered to fly the antique aircraft, 'developed radio trouble' and lost contact with the closest control tower, at which point the plane mysteriously began to 'stall' directly over the hotel. Bail then performed a handful of diving runs and machine gun passes while Rush filmed him with five strategically located cameras". See more »


One minute, Cameron is on a bridge in the town of Fair Oaks, California, and Eli Cross is in a helicopter observing him. Then, inexplicably, they're all in San Diego, California, over 100 miles to the southwest. See more »


Chuck Barton: Your mind can't be on snatch. It's gotta be on grabbing that gutter.
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 »


Referenced in The Night Of The Great Chinese Lottery (2013) See more »


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

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User Reviews

The best film of the 1980's.
3 April 2000 | by (Skull Island) – See all my reviews

I was prepared to dislike this film when I heard that it was going to replace the incredible "Empire Strikes Back." What I got was shock. Here was something different, something innovative in style and technique, something amazing. Vader and his gang were soon forgotten as I got caught up in the suspense (Will Cameron survive?), the comedy, the incredible dialogue, and one of the best soundtracks ever put on film. I fell in love with Barbara Hershey all over again after too long an absence. O'Toole was Oscar-worthy, and robbed of one. Richard Rush pulled a one-of-a-kind out of his hat, ala "Citizen Kane." He has never been near this level before or since. This must be watched several times in order to see and hear everything. There are so many subtle touches that are brilliant that I still find them 20 years and 30+ viewings later. A must for anyone who wants to know good film great. No doubt about this one. A "10" out of "10." No film was better(or as good) in the 1980's (or 90's for that matter.)

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