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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:

Richard Rush

Writers:

Lawrence B. Marcus (screenplay), Richard Rush (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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San Francisco police detectives Freebie and Bean are determined to bust local crime boss Red Meyers at any cost, even if this means destroying the whole city in the process.

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Alan Arkin, James Caan, Loretta Swit
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Charles Bail ... Chuck Barton
John Garwood ... Gabe / Eli's cameraman
Jim Hess Jim Hess ... Henry / Eli's camera assistant
John Pearce John Pearce ... Garage Guard (as John B. Pearce)
Michael Railsback Michael Railsback ... Burt
George Wallace ... Father (as George D. Wallace)
Dee Carroll 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le diable en boîte See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,063,886
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

At dinner, after Eli's line "This film... is not about fighting wars, Sam," Sam's right arm jumps; first it is putting some food in his mouth and then it's resting on the table. See more »

Quotes

Sam: [his madhouse scene having been replaced with a brothel scene] Eli, do you know that when I read the insane asylum scene to my family, do you know that my oldest son shook my hand for the first time in his whole life? So why is it, Eli, why is it that your vulgar little scene turns out to be so much more moving? So much more impassioned?
Eli Cross: Ah, I don't know, Sam. Possibly because we realize that our friend, the enemy, may just be a poor horny slob, like yourself, falling into the nearest whorehouse.
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

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Horrible Bosses (2011) 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

One of Our Greatest Actors.. ..at his absolute best.
3 February 1999 | by Doctor_BombaySee all my reviews

At the time Peter O'Toole was Academy Award nominated as Best Actor, for his portrayal of one-step-above-God-himself, Eli Cross in The Stunt Man, my movie going experience was limited to The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, Mary Poppins, and some post pubescent indulgences into the realm of Flint, Matt Helm, and James Bond.

Through the magic of video I was able to see Richard Rush's wonderful black comedy- And have never tired of it.

Had Mr. O'Toole and The Stunt Man not run headlong into the likes of Raging Bull, and Robert De Niro, I venture to say it would have garnered WINS, not just NOMINATIONS from the Academy that year.

Rent it…and while you're at it reach for `My Favorite Year' and make it a Peter O'Toole double feature.

You will not be disappointed.


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