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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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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:

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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

The opening scene with the dog licking its genitals was shot multiple time and after a while the dog in question refused to repeatedly lick its genitals so the trainer had to apply peanut butter to the dog's testicles and sheath by rubbing it on. This encouraged the dog to lick it off and allowed the scene to be shot multiple times. 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

Eli Cross: It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it... sort of interesting.
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

Referenced in Aspen 1989 for the 31st Century - Part II (2019) 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

 
I'm gonna get caught gushing!
30 March 2001 | by youremythrillSee all my reviews

One of my favorite movies of all time. Must admit that I'm a bit biased since Peter O'Toole's one of my favorite actors of all time. This movie has NEVER gotten the attention that it deserves. Maybe that's, in part, due to the difficulties involved in categorizing it. I don't even know in which section of the video store I'd start looking.

Peter O'Toole is so swell in it. I love that enigmatic character, movie director Eli Cross! Like the movie (and O'Toole, for that matter), he's so hard to cubbyhole. You like him, but you don't trust him. Like Cameron/Lucky (Steve Railsback's escaped convict character) does, you NEED to know exactly where his motives lie ... all in good time. You know Cross'll do whatever's necessary to get "the shot", but he's still got a conscience ... right? Would Cameron have been better off (read safer) just staying in jail ... hmmm?

All the action in the film circles around this question and while the viewer (and Cameron) decide what to make of Eli, it's a fun trip through the world of filmmaking (how realistic a trip, I've no idea). Great performances by O'Toole and Railsback, along with Barbara Hershey, Allen Garfield, Alex Rocco and Sharon Ferrell add so much to the suspense.

See this movie. You can feel how much fun it was for the cast to make. Look at Eli's devilish grin as he tries to soothe Lucky's worries. Try to imagine how many other movies have you sympathizing for an escaped convict. And don't worry if you don't know what to make of mad genius filmmaker Eli Cross because nobody else does either, and if they do, they ain't talkin' ... that might spoil the movie!


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