When stunts were real and stunt-men were real men.
The bonus disc on original Indiana Jones DVD boxed set that came out in 2003 featured an extensive three part 'Making the Trilogy' documentary by Laurent Bouzereau as it's centerpiece. Although it managed to pack in a lot of information, there was still enough interview footage left over to edit together four short featurettes. The first of these celebrates the spectacular stunt work done in the first three Indiana Jones pictures and the men who performed them, for real, without the help of digital enhancements. Naturally all interviews are augmented by footage from the pictures (presented in a wider aspect ratio than the films themselves were in this boxed set) and always great to watch behind the scenes footage from the original 1980s making off programs from the 1980 such as 'Great Movie Stunts: Raiders of the Lost Ark' (which have not and probably won't ever be released on DVD).
Vic Armstrong, who joined the Raiders stunt teams at a late date but quickly became Harrison Ford's main double because of the great resemblance between them (at the time) recalls how some of the films stunts were done in the order they appear in the film as apposed to shooting order (the same approach was used in 'Making the Trilogy). He also mentions how his wife, Wendy Leech went on to double all three of Indy's leading ladies. Terry Leonard reveals it was he who requested the famous stunt where Indy goes beneath the truck because he had failed to do it satisfactory in "Legend of the Lone Ranger". George Lucas talks about the inspiring image of a guy jumping from a horse onto a truck. The 'Complete Making of Indiana Jones' book, which uses a lot of Bouzereau's interviews in it's text reveals that this serial hero was none other than Zorro. Both Lucas and Spielberg pay tribute to Pat Roach, the late giant of a man who appeared in multiple parts throughout the trilogy, although neither mention his passing. We do however finally get to see a bit of footage from his deleted scene from The Last Crusade.
As usual, most time is spend on Raiders, while the Temple of Doom is only touched upon briefly and The Last Crusade segments mostly feature on set footage of Harrison Ford being funny to the camera that the original promo footage so readily used. It's ironic that the final montage ends on a shot of Spielberg proving himself to be a bit of a sissy when watching stunts being performed, fearing for the stunt-men's lives as they are filmed.
8 out of 10
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