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.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.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.
No, scratch that. You want to see Steve Railsback with a Charles Mansonesque gleam in his eye playing the 'Nam veteran who finds himself chased by the police into the set of said WWI movie where he is turned in the spur of the moment into the stunt man who he accidentally helped kill a few minutes earlier? No one knows what he's guilty of but O'Toole takes him under his wing because he carries that same madness he's looking for in his movie, 600 bucks at a time.
No? How about a million movies rolled into one, a chaotic, rampant, insane smorsgabord that is at once a comedy about the trappings of big budget film-making, a romance between a famous actress and a halfmad Vietnam veteran, a drama about an emotionally scarred man with no future that finds himself betrayed again and can do nothing but laugh crazily about it and yell after a helicopter for his thousand bucks? All this filled with cinematic references (King Kong, Wings) and constant games with the viewer's perception of what is real and what is fiction, the lines separating real world from film-making wizardry becoming dangerously blurred.
Well, if you answered yes to one of the above, there's only one movie for you, Richard Rush's THE STUNT MAN. Nine years in the making, this is for all intents and purposes his APOCALYPSE NOW, the sprawling film that signalled the pinacle and decline of its director's career. The logistics of the production must've been a nightmare yet perfectly reflect the chaotic nature of the film. This is the kind of movie that deserves praise for just getting made. It's one of the only films I can think of that can afford soaring melodrama, political critique, black comedy and plain absurdism in the same scene and magically pull it off.
- May 18, 2009