This is where the Bond films start to dominate the Best Movie Stunts. Every picture was designed to out-do the last and they definitely don’t disappoint in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974). This stunt literally was designed in the laboratory. Designed by Raymond McHenry, and conceived at Cornell Aeronautical University, it toured the US as the Astro Spiral in the All American Thrill Show before being used for the movie.
The stunt is performed by Bumps Willard and involves him driving an AMC Hornet as Bond off of a specially designed ramp that’s made up to look like a broken bridge on one side of a creek, across the water doing a spiral flip (a 270 degree roll) and then touching down on an identical ramp on the other side and then driving on. It’s a fantastic, mathematical stunt that was performed in one take. The jump is also credited with being the first stunt ever to be calculated by computer modeling. “Bumps” Willard was an original member of ‘Helldrivers’; a stunt group specialists on dangerous car stunts; showcases. The Group leadrers was ‘The Bossle Brothers’ and also Joe Williams; famous for the ‘Two-Wheel-Stunt-Driving-Scene’ in Diamonds Are Forever.
I want to add a side note that Martial Arts is introduced as the fighting style in this movie because of the huge popularity of Bruce Lee and his films such as Fists of Fury and Enter the Dragon, so you can say that Bruce Lee had his affect not only in his own genre of Martial Arts films but in Hollywood as a whole. It’s impressive to come along and affect James Bond.
Things to look up ( go to IMDB ):
- Bumps Willard
- Raymond McHenry
- The Man With The Golden Gun
- Guy Hamilton
- Eon Productions
History of stunt terms as defined by Wikipedia: Hell Drivers – The frequently used term to describe, and the very popular title of, numerous automobile thrill-based productions performing at fairs and racetracks by various squads of stunt drivers since the 1930s. Earl “Lucky” Teter was the first to coin the phrase Hell Drivers, when he began touring his show in 1934. Hell Drivers provided massive audiences with an always exciting show filled with precision driving and deliberate crashes.
Featured stunts included driving cars on two wheels, crashing through flaming barricades, and jumping an automobile ramp to ramp through mid air. For many years, Hell Drivers were used to demonstrate the dependability of a manufacturer’s automotive product. Major Hell Driver automotive sponsors have included Chevrolet, Dodge, Chrysler, Ford, AMC, Nash, and Toyota.
Later thrill shows coining the phrase “Hell Drivers” were launched by such famous drivers and race promoters as Jack Kochman, John Francis “Irish” Horan, Danny Fleenor, Geoff Williams and Joie Chitwood.
General Manager of Kochman’s troupe was Bob Conto. Conto, a native of Malone, New York in the state’s North Country was a former radio-television announcer whose staccato delivery kept pace with the 50-mile per hour events.
The Danish city of Aalborg is known internationally as the world’s centre of Hell Drivers.
Currently, the only traditional new-car stunt show in the United States is Tonny Petersen’s Hell Drivers. There is a current documentary produced by filmmaker Dan T. Hall and Vizmo Films about the life and times of Lucky Teter.