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The Stunt Man
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The Stunt Man (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   6,121 votes »
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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lawrence B. Marcus (screenplay)
Richard Rush (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Stunt Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 February 1981 (France) See more »
Tagline:
"If God could do the things that we can do, he'd be a happy man . . ." See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Multilayered See more (80 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter O'Toole ... Eli Cross

Steve Railsback ... Cameron

Barbara Hershey ... Nina Franklin

Allen Garfield ... Sam (as Allen Goorwitz)

Alex Rocco ... Jake

Sharon Farrell ... Denise

Adam Roarke ... Raymond Bailey
Philip Bruns ... Ace
Charles Bail ... Chuck Barton

John Garwood ... 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
Leslie Winograde ... Sister
Don Kennedy ... Lineman
Whitey Hughes ... Eli's A.D.

Walter Robles ... Eli's A.D.
A.J. Bakunas ... Eli's Script Clerk
Roberto Caruso ... 1st Cop (as Robert Caruso)
Frank Avila ... 2nd Cop
Stafford Morgan ... Thompson F.B.I.
John Alderman ... Carlbinerri
Jack Palinkas ... Technician
James Garrett ... 2nd Technician (as Cecil Brittain)
Garrett McPherson ... Tourist
Nelson Tyler ... Elk's Crane Cameraman
Louis Gartner ... 1st Brothel Man (as Louie Gartner)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Joseph Arno ... (uncredited)

James Avery ... Man Playing Pinball (uncredited)
Frank Beetson ... (uncredited)

Gregg Berger ... (uncredited)
Chance Boyer ... Kid in Cemetery (uncredited)
Deanna Dae Coleman ... Stunt Crew (uncredited)
Larry Dunn ... Stunt Crew (uncredited)
Don Hayden ... WWI German Soldier (uncredited)

Patricia McPherson ... Pretty Woman (uncredited)
Ross Reynolds ... Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)
Gordon Ross ... (uncredited)
Marion Wayne ... (uncredited)
Leigh Webb ... (uncredited)
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Directed by
Richard Rush 
 
Writing credits
Lawrence B. Marcus (screenplay)

Richard Rush (adaptation)

Paul Brodeur (novel)

Produced by
Paul Lewis .... associate producer
Richard Rush .... producer
Melvin Simon .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Dominic Frontiere 
 
Cinematography by
Mario Tosi (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Caroline Biggerstaff  (as Caroline Ferriol)
Jack Hofstra 
 
Art Direction by
James L. Schoppe  (as James Shoppe)
 
Set Decoration by
Richard Spero 
 
Costume Design by
Rosanna Norton 
 
Makeup Department
Ken Chase .... makeup designer
Tom Lucas .... makeup artist
Marina Pedraza .... hair stylist
Richard Blair .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Frank Beetson .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Beetson .... first assistant director
Paula Marcus .... second assistant director
Richard H. Prince .... dga trainee (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Gary Fettis .... assistant props
Roger Irvin .... construction coordinator
Donald Krafft .... lead man
Michel Levesque .... assistant art director
Douglas E. Madison .... property master (as Douglas Madison)
 
Sound Department
Jeff Bushelman .... sound effects
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Cal Marks .... boom operator
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
Arthur Piantadosi .... sound re-recording mixer
James M. Tanenbaum .... sound mixer (as Jim Tanenbaum)
Lee Strosnider .... sound mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Milt Rice .... head special effects
David Domeyer .... special effects (uncredited)
Mike Edmonson .... special effects foreman (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Phil Adams .... stunts
A.J. Bakunas .... stunts
Gregory J. Barnett .... stunts (as Greg Barnett)
Gary Baxley .... stunts
Wayne Berg .... stunt pilot
Norman Blankenship .... stunts (as Norm Blankenship)
Hank Calia .... stunts
Deanna Dae Coleman .... stunts
Erik Cord .... stunts
Ted Duncan .... stunts
Larry Dunn .... stunts
Kenny Endoso .... stunts
Whitey Hughes .... stunts
Gray Johnson .... stunt coordinator
Gray Johnson .... stunts
Mike Johnson .... stunts (as John Michael Johnson)
Al Jones .... stunts (as Alton Leo Jones)
John Kazian .... wing walker
Tom Morga .... stunts
Regis Parton .... stunts (as Reggie Parten)
Don Pulford .... stunts
Walter Robles .... stunts
Dick Warlock .... stunts
James Winburn .... stunts (as James B. Winborn)
Charles Bail .... stunts (uncredited)
Ross Reynolds .... stunts (uncredited)
Gary Robert .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter J. Breen .... dolly grip (as Peter Breen)
Bob Fillis .... best boy
Tim Griffith .... gaffer
Joe Harada .... still photographer
Tad Harrier .... best boy grip
Frank M. Holgate .... underwater photography (as Frank Holgate)
Joel King .... camera operator
Robin Krause .... still photographer
Barry Oiffer .... assistant camera
Jack Palinkas .... key grip
Ronald Vidor .... assistant camera (as Ron Vidor)
William L. Asman .... camera operator (uncredited)
Tim Griffith .... chief lighting technician (uncredited)
Terry Kempf .... electrician (uncredited)
Michael E. Matteson .... grip (uncredited)
Tony Rivetti .... first assistant camera: additional camera (uncredited)
Nelson Tyler .... aerial photography (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Andy Blumenthal .... assistant editor
John Carnochan .... assistant editor
Dolly Gordon .... assistant editor
Vicki Hiatt .... post-production assistant
Robert Leader .... editorial coordinator
Ryan Noto .... post-production coordinator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Laurie Higgins Tobias .... co-music editor (uncredited)
Dan Wallin .... score mixer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Gary Paulsen .... transportation captain
 
Other crew
James S. Appleby .... head pilot: WWI-planes (as Jim Appleby)
Dan Perri .... title designer: main titles
Ross Reynolds .... helicopter pilot
Terry Terrill .... script supervisor
Susan Title .... production coordinator
Dean Westgaard .... parachutist
Dessie Markovsky .... post production supervisor (uncredited)
Emile Razpopov .... post production coordinator (uncredited)
Alicia Rivera Frankl .... production executive (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
131 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Canada:A (Ontario) | Chile:18 | Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 | Iceland:12 | Norway:16 | Peru:18 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (2003) | USA:R

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Co-screenwriter Richard Rush has said of the rejection of his first draft script by Columbia Pictures studio executives: "They couldn't figure out if it was a comedy, a drama, if it was a social satire, if it was an action adventure...and, of course, the answer was, 'Yes, it's all those things'. But that isn't a satisfactory answer to a studio executive".See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: 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 »
Quotes:
Eli Cross:I know a man who made an anti-war movie... a good one. When it was shown in his home town, army enlistment went up six hundred percent. I'm trying to convince the world with my movie that there is a reasonable and better way of getting home for Thanksgiving.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Jeopardy!: Episode #22.189" (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Bits & PiecesSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Multilayered, 23 June 2002
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA

I won't carry on about the plot of this marvelous flick since it's already been adequately limned, but do let me emphasize a few points that have been kind of grayed out in other comments. The score by Frontiere is outstanding, from the up-tempo opening blast to the final credits. It's not only unnerving but vertigo inducing, so it supplements the plot perfectly. The photography is outstanding as well, the colors appallingly vivid, as in an MGM cartoon, which in this context is most apt. (It is a mystery/comedy/thriller/philosophical disquisition, after all.) The Hotel Coronado in San Diego has never looked quite so palatial, not even in "Some Like it Hot."

Rush's direction boggles the mind, to coin a phrase. The film begins with a helicopter. A hand pops out of the helicopter and drops a half-eaten apple. The apple bounces on the hood of a parked car. We follow without comment the apple, the line of events, and it turns out to be what gets the story moving.

There are multiple very strange touches throughout. As a movie star myself, having been a faceless extra in half a dozen films, I have to add that movies are simply not shot this way. An expensive and dangerous (and ultimately lethal) stunt is performed as we enter the actual narrative and there is only one camera rolling -- and that in a helicopter so far away that its engine can't be heard? But it doesn't really matter. The movie plays tricks all along with the difference between "reality" and "illusion," an old game into which it's difficult to inject more life, as this movie manages to do.

At one point, Railsback is told to perform a short if dangerous stunt, leaping from one roof to another. He does so, but the stunt escalates. Not only escalates but goes on and on, with Railsback unexpectedly crashing through ceilings and floors in a shower of glass before winding up in the midst of drunken, partying enemies who shout at him and laughingly lift his body above their heads and pass him around the room. It will shock you almost as much as it shocked him. O'Toole asks him after this long gag what it is he wants. Says Railsback: "Not to think I'm going crazy."

The smallest parts are done well. A very authentic-looking German soldier with a cheery old face and big white mustache is loading his rifle for a scene in which he and his comrades are going to fire at Railsback. "I hope those are blanks," Railsback tells him. "It doesn't say so on the box," replies the soldier with a friendly tone and a big smile.

Let me mention Eli Cross, the director, played by O'Toole. At one level this movie is made, through his character, into an examination of God, and his whimsical sense of responsibility towards the human beings whose lives he controls. "Eli Cross"? I mean -- okay -- Elihu, the crucifixion -- the whole JudeoChristian tradition is embodied in that cognomen. Cross has a habit of riding around the sky in a giant crane whose seat drops unexpectedly out of space and into the middle of peoples' conversations. Before the shooting of the final stunt, Cross raises his hand, looking at the horizon, and says something like, "I hereby decree that no cloud shall pass before that sun." And while shooting another scene, the cameraman calls "Cut." Cross pauses, then asks, "WHO called cut?" The cameraman explains that there were only a few seconds of film left on the reel so they had to cut at that point. Cross, like the angry God of the Old Testament, shouts that, "NOBODY cuts a scene except ME!" After chewing the cameraman out thoroughly, he fires him on the spot. You see, if a movie is supposed to resemble life, then ending a scene suddenly ends the filmic exposure of the two human conversants and only -- well, you get the picture. A lot of this rather obvious theological stuff seems to have gotten by unrecognized or at any rate uncommented upon. It doesn't need to be dwelt on.

There are already so many layers to this film that the viewer can afford to be only half aware of any one of them at a given moment. It stands by itself as a kind of very strange comedy. I didn't find Railsback's background as a Vietnam vet put on very thickly, by the way. It would be nice if God really were as accessible as Peter O'Toole is in this movie. All you would have to do to find salvation is jump through some well-defined hoops. As it is, though, I for one find myself muddling through from one day to the next simply hoping not to step on too many toes. Gimme a fiery hoop or a dive off a bridge any day. Just as long as my scene isn't cut too quickly.

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Message Boards

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Can anyone explain this movie? shaggy61
Love Peter O'Toole, can't stand that guy that played Charlie Manson Vega_Lyra
I wish more people posted here MauraMellon
THE STUNTMAN/ AN UNMARRIED WOMAN CD harry44mag
Deleted Scene harry44mag
Sound Track ? Snow54
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