Original Mock-Up of Issue 1 of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club Magazine Found at Auction

 

For those of you that are old enough to remember, the Mickey Mouse Club TV show published a magazine along with the show that lasted 23 issues before it was cancelled.  My brother Adam and I recently went to an auction in Phoenix, Arizona and purchased what I believe to be the Mock-Up of the very first issue of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club Magazine.  I’m no expert, but here is what I’ve been able to find out from my research on the Mock-Up and my history with it.  I’ve added pictures to help you decide for yourself if it is an important historical item.mickey mouse club magazine

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club Magazine was initiated in late 1955 by Western Publishing (New York) and was produced with the help of Disney staffers.  It’s unclear to me if this Mock-Up is from Western Publishing themselves or one of the Disney staffers, but the latter seems more possible as I have a stack of Christmas Cards that the Disney Company only sent to employees that came along with the magazines.walt disneys mickey mouse club magaziines

I purchased the Mock-Up along with all 23 issues of the Magazine and a few other Disneyana items at an auction this last
spring and when I looked through the lot of magazines I realized that one was different.  The Magazines, along with the Mock-Up appeared to have been archived originally in some way as they have been hole punched to fit in a binder of some sort.  All the magazines have matching holes, as if they were put together for storage.Walt Disneys Mickey Mouse Club Magazine Mock Up

The Mock-Up has light pencil marks throughout where someone wanted to highlight some changes for the final printing and on the cover at the top it has writing in pencil that says, “1st Issue Mock-Up”.Mickey Mouse Club Magazine Comparison

Mickey Mouse ClubThe Mock-Up was also unusual to me in that all the pages are printed one-sided and then glued together to show what the final may look like.  The Mock-Up is in all black and white and on several pages, you can see where the text and pictures were made up of several smaller pieces as they show the edges of the paper.  These are all indications to me that the Mock-Up was done in the 50’s as it matches the technology we had back then.  No desktop publishing or computers were used to piece the first issue together.Mickey Mouse Club Magazine Edits

7I have added several comparison pictures with the Mock-Up and the finished first issue for your review.  I hope this is helpful.  If this truly is the Mock-Up for the first issue of the Magazine as it appears to be, it represents a singular historical document that should be placed in a museum or archive that can be preserved for future generations.  It’s interesting not only for the fact that it’s the Mock-Up of the very first issue but also because it represents the techniques in magazine printing and publishing in the 1950’s.Mickey Mouse Club Magazine Last page

Walt Disneys Mickey Mouse Club Magazine Back Cover

We’ve tried to get it authenticated by contacting the Disney Archive and on Antiques Roadshow, but it’s such a unique document that it would really have to be looked at by someone involved in the original printing of the magazine or by an expert that is very familiar in how the original magazines were published, so we may never find out.  Regardless, it is a fascinating piece of history and we will keep good care of it in our own files until a museum or Hollywood Archive of some sort shows an interest in it.  For now, I thought it would be a fun story to share with our readers.

Best Movie Stunts of the Year List 2000-2009

 

Here is the list for the Best Movie Stunts for the Decade 2000-2009 as listed in the book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!

2000 – Mission: Impossible IImission motocycle

The motorcycle stunts in this John Woo Directed film performed by Tom Cruise and the rest of the stuntmen are worth the ticket of admission. Great bike stunts here.

2001 – Black Hawk Downblack-hawk-down-57593_3

Military precision is on full scale display in this fine film directed by Ridley Scott.  The actors went through a serious boot camp to get them ready and to make this as realistic as possible. Very well done.

2002 – Jackass The Moviejackass golf carts

The first time a successful movie was released with UNTRAINED stuntmen performing all the stunts.  Some of them are quite dangerous and most of them just downright silly and stupid.  But all of them entertaining.

2003 – Ong Bakong-bak-2003-13-g

Stuntman-turned-Actor Tony Jaa sparkles in this fantastic martial arts film.  In the past most martial arts films uses wires and then cgi to cover the wires later, but not in this one.  Jaa seems to have elastic legs with the kicks, jumps and splits he performs at lightning speed.

2004 – District B13District B13 Lobby Card

The French turn in a fantastic film full of Parkour stunts performed by one of the creators himself, David Belle and another great stuntman and top stunt choreographers in his own right, Cyrill Raffaelli.  If you are a fan of Taken with Liam Neeson, then you’ll love this film as Pierre Morel directed this one first.

2005 – Batman Beginsbatman

Now another Director who likes to film the action scenes himself enters the list, Christopher Nolan with this film and the sequel 3 years later.  He wanted to direct a bond film and got this franchise instead and really took it to heart.  He’s a big fan of doing practical effects and the audience gets the benefit of it all the way.  Thank you, Mr. Nolan.

2006 – Casino Royalecasino jump

Speaking of Bond, Daniel Craig‘s first entry as bond has some great Parkour in it as well.  I liked it so much I used a still as the cover for the 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts book.  It also boasts a World Record by flipping a car a record seven times!

2007 – DeathproofZoe Bell in Deathproof

I love to be able to announce another bad-ass stunt woman on the scene and Zoe Bell is not one who disappoints.  She spends the better half of Quentin Tarantino‘s movie strapped to the hood of two racing cars, with Stuntman Mike in the other car trying very hard to kill her at every chance.  Stuntman Mike played by Kurt Russell.

2008 – The Dark Knightdark_knight_7Here’s Christopher Nolan‘s sequel to Batman Begins and in so many ways it tops the original.  He manages to flip an eighteen wheeler end to end for this one by driver Jim Wilky and an amazing stunt crew.

2009 – Fast & Furiousfast-and-furious-1

The previous versions of this series were more racing films and this one transforms the series into a more stunt spectacular series from here on out.  All of the original cast is back and film is chocked full of great stunts.  Justin Lin would be the Director I would give credit to making this franchise more Universal.  And we are all the better for it.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

Best Movie Stunts of the Year List 1990-1999

 

Here is the list for the Best Movie Stunts for the Decade 1990-1999 as listed in the book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!

1990 – The Rookietherookie1990

It was reported that over eighty stuntmen worked on this film. There were way more stuntmen on this film than there were actors! It’s no wonder when you have legends Terry Leonard as the stunt coordinator and Buddy Van Horn as the 2nd Unit Director.  Great action film directed by Clint Eastwood himself.

1991 – Terminator 2: Judgement DayT2

Another great Director that loves to do live stunts is James Cameron.  The action summer blockbuster is on full force with this one.  A great little stunt by Peter Kent  doubling for Arnold Schwarzenegger as he jumps a Harley into a canal.

1992 – SupercopSupercop_003-550w1

It’s not Jackie Chan who gets the nod on this one (although, he does some great stunts in it too), it’s Michelle Yeoh who does some fantastic stunts on a motorcycle and on the hood of a little red convertible.

1993 – CliffhangerCliffhanger-Airplane

Obviously, this film has some great climbing sequences, but it’s a plane to plane transfer by Simon Crane that really wows the audience. These days we would just do this in a computer, they decided to do this as a practical stunt. With Jets.

1994 – True LiesJamie Lee Curtis hangs from a helicopter in True Lies

Another great action film by James Cameron, and he manages to talk Jamie Lee Curtis to hang underneath a helicopter for a few slow-mo shots.  On her birthday none-the-less.

1995 – GoldeneyeGoldeneye2-1024x768

James bond does it again, this time Pierce Brosnan as 007.  The opening jump from a dam was performed by Wayne Michaels doubling for Brosnan however, and it’s a fun one to open the movie with.

1996 – Mission: Impossiblemission_impossible

Tom Cruise is the finest actor ever to do his own stunts and he proves it time and time again.  He’s got nerves of steel.  In this film I count at least 3 stunts that he performs himself that most stunt performers themselves would turn down.

1997 – Titanictitanic_ship-HD

The 3rd movie this decade directed by James Cameron on the list. It’s a wonder he has time for anything else. There are a lot of special effects in this one, but there are a lot of practical and dangerous work done throughout by the cast and crew as a whole.  It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards that year, and if there was an Oscar for Stunts, it should have won that too.

1998 – Ronanroninlc

Fantastic car chase sequence, right at home in a Bourne movie, John Frankenheimer hits the list again 32 years apart! The first time was with James Garner in Grand Prix, another movie with great car stunt driving.

1999 – The Matrixmatrix-logo

The Wachowski Brothers revolutionized the Action film with this one and studios scrambled to make films like this for years after. The actors worked very closely with the stunt performers in this film and Yuen Woo-Ping made sure they were ready with months and months of training beforehand.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

Best Movie Stunts of the Year List 1980-1989

 

Here is the list for the Best Movie Stunts for the Decade 1980-1989 as listed in the book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!

1980 – The Blues Brothersblues-brothers (1)

For a musical comedy this movie has the longest car chase sequence in history.  The cars are just piling up at the end, hundreds of cars destroyed…it’s awesome!  $3.5 million was spent on this sequence alone and lasts over 20 minutes of the movie.

1981 – The Raiders of the Lost ArkRaiders-Of-The-Lost-Ark-

Although there are plenty of fantastic stunts in this film to mention, Terry Leonard does another through the windshield-off the front hood-then undercarriage crawl underneath an Army transport truck, then up the back and into the driver’s side for another round of fighting.

1982 – Mad Max 2: The Road Warriormad-max-2-the-road-warrior-1981

A case where the sequel is so much better than the original. This film rocks from beginning to end and has an unbelievable chase that lasts the second half of the movie.  Great stunts throughout.

1983 – Project Aproject a clock stunt

Jackie Chan makes a name for himself and becomes a stunt legend in this movie.  From this movie on he is untouchable worldwide as a stuntman that does his own acting or as an actor that does his own stunts, whichever way you want to say it. He created his legendary Jackie Chan Stunt Team for this movie and for years to come sets a new standard for stunt teams worldwide.

1984 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doomindiana-jones-and-the-temple-of-doom-screenshot

This decade is unique as the decade ruled by Indiana Jones in stunts and action sequences.  The first 3 Indiana Jones films make the list. Also, the second rope bridge sequence to hit since last decade’s The Man Who Would Be King. Vic Armstrong is a stand out here as Harrison Ford‘s stand-in.

1985 – Police StoryPolice-Story-1985-Chinese-Movie

Jackie Chan‘s chance to shine in a modern setting this time, and to really showcase what the Jackie Chan Stunt Team can do.  To be quite frank about this movie, it’s all stunts from start to finish and I’m surprised that all the stuntmen survived the making of this film. It’s amazing.

1986 – A Better TomorrowA Better Tomorrow Pic

The combination of John Woo and Chow Yun Fat is just too good to be true.  This film is viewed by many as the finest action film ever to come out of Chinese cinema, and put both Woo and Yun Fat in Hollywood’s viewport.  John Woo really gets Chow Yun Fat to do some fun stuff in this movie.  Very bloody stuff though.

1987 – Lethal WeaponLethalWeapon_Quad_SMALL_zpsf1d5e6c0

The next two films became great series and both just happened to be set during Christmas.  Lethal Weapon became the standard for buddy-buddy cop movies.  This film is dedicated to legendary stuntman Dar Robinson who died the year before, and features some great fight choreography by Cedric Adams, Dennis Newsome, and Rorion Gracie and a great backward high fall by actress Jackie Swanson. 

1988 – Die Harddie hard hans gruber

This movie became the template for many action films to come for years after it was made.  So much so, that pitching an action screenplay to studios became as easy as saying, “It’s Die Hard on a plane… or It’s Die Hard on a boat”.  The whole film rocks, but the highlight here is Ken Bates as he doubles for Alan Rickman in a fall from the Nakitomi building.

1989 – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusadejones45

Five years later, Vic Armstrong does it again as the stand-in for Indiana Jones.  His jump from a horse to a german tank has been voted in the top ten of movie stunts of all time on many lists over the years.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

Best Movie Stunts of the Year List 1970-1979

 

Here is the list for the Best Movie Stunts for the Decade 1970-1979 as listed in the book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!

1970 – They Call Me Trinitythey_call_me_trinity_poster_02

The Spaghetti Western and Spaghetti Western Comedies were starting to come into their own and a string of “Trinity” films starring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer would arise.  They became worldwide stars and did all their own fighting in their films.  These are great fun!

1971 – The Big Bossbig-boss-lobby

Bruce Lee would become a bonafide sensation after his first film and there really was no one quite like him. He had the skills and a way about him that everyone after him tried to copy.  Martial Arts got it’s very own movie genre after this.

1972 – The Poseidon Adventureposeidon-adventure wallpaper

Another new genre, would be this sub-category inside the action genre, that became the disaster film.  This one has a very good fall into a ballroom skylight done by a non-stuntman at the time, Ernie Orsatti.  He would go on to become a stuntman after this, he found he had a knack for it.

1973 – Live and Let DieLive Boat

James Bond would appear this decade a record 4 times!  This is the first on the list with a speedboat jump over land by Jerry Comeaux of 110 feet, which made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

1974 – The Man With The Golden Gunman_with_the_golden_gun_stunt

This one had a great car jump stunt that is a breath-taking, “I can’t believe I saw that” …mathematical stunt devised by Raymond McHenry at Cornell University and performed by Bumps Willard.

1975 – The Man Who Would Be Kingman who would be king

Joe Powell would perform a jump from a rope bridge between two ravines 100 feet into a pile of boxes that would lead legendary Director John Huston to say, ” That’s the damnest stunt I’ve ever seen.”

1976 – Gatorgator car

This would be the start of a great collaboration between Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds.  Hal Needham would body double Burt in this film and there’s a nifty car flip at the end of the movie with Hal in the truck bed.

1977 – The Spy Who Loved MeSPY-WHO-LOVED-SKI-1

This is a bond film with one of the most extensive pre-credit sequences than all the previous films and right before they go to the opening song and credits, they have a fantastic ski-stunt by Rick Sylvester right off a mountain and then slowly fall until finally has a parachute open. Really great opening.

1978 – HooperHooper3

Hal Needham directed Burt Reynolds this time in a movie inspired by and about stuntmen! Can’t name just one stunt to highlight in this film as it’s just chocked full of them, but if I had to, A. J. Bakunas has a world record breaking jump from a helicopter into an airbag (232 feet!).

1979 – MoonrakerMoonsky7

BJ Worth and Jake Lombard fight over a parachute in this Bond entry and it’s fun to watch.  I would definitely include all the camera men who had to jump and film the sequence which included 88 jumps over all.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

David Prowse, Underated Actor, Stunts

 

You may not recognize the name, but you would definitely recognize his alter ego.  He plays Darth Vader.  You may say, “Hayden Christensen played Darth Vader…” No, he played Anakin Skywalker.  You may say, “I thought James Earl Jones” played Darth Vader. Again, no.  David Prowse actually played Darth Vader in all the Star Wars films.  In the first one, he wasn’t told that his voice would later be dubbed, so he even memorized and performed all of Darth Vader’s dialogue from underneath his mask.  It was only after the film was done, that George Lucas decided that Darth Vader needed a much grander voice and so he hired James Earl Jones to re-dub all of Vader’s dialogue.david

Prowse was the one that had to practice all the fight scenes with Mark Hamill and Alec Guinness and spend hours upon hours in the hot costume, acting like the sith lord.  To me, Darth Vader wouldn’t be anywhere as menacing as he is without the imposing prescence, authoritative walk, heavy, strong and powerful gestures and movements of David Prowse.  You can’t just put someone in that costume and get the same effect.  David was/is fantastic.

There’s been a perpetual rift between Prowse and George Lucas over the years.  My suspicion is that it started when Prowse was first cast as Darth Vader and given the assumption that he would be the voice as well and after Star Wars became a hit, Prowse wanted to do more to be associated with the role than Lucas was comfortable with.  Lucas hinted that he would be seen and heard finally in Return of the Jedi, during Darth’s death scene, but that scene was ultimately given to Sebastian Shaw.  This could have simply been done because Lucas wanted another accent in the scene than what Prowse could provide but could also have been because over the course of the 3 films Prowse accidentally dropped spoilers to the press at different times, which angered Lucas.  George Lucas went so far as to prevent David Prowse from attending Star Wars Fan Conventions in 2010, and no reason from Lucas was ever given.dav

Anyway you slice it, it’s a shame as the character and ultimate bad guy in the universe will forever be a jigsaw picture developed and created by a group of effective movie professionals.  David Prowse, Sebastian Shaw, George Lucas, James Earl Jones, Bob Anderson (Stuntman Stand-In), Jake Lloyd, Ben Burtt and Hayden Christensen can all claim some participation in creating the legacy of such a fantastic character.

I was saddened to hear that Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, never made a profit, which must have been made for over a billion dollars, as David Prowse has gone on record to say that he has never seen any of his profit points for that movie.  “I get these occasional letters from Lucasfilm saying that we regret to inform you that as Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) has never gone into profit, we’ve got nothing to send you.” davidprowse-2-397x600

Well, here’s hoping you get some credit and profit from that movie some day, David.

Things to look up on IMDB:

  • David Prowse
  • Star Wars
  • George Lucas
  • LucasFilm

Bringing Up Baby, What’s Up, Doc?

 

These are two of my favorite films of all time, and the saddest thing is that no-one seems to know about them!  I mention them to people and no-one has ever watched the films.  They’ve been overlooked and forgotten over time.

Peter Bogdanovich, being a huge film fan, loved the screwball comedies of old.  A very good example of this type of film is Bringing Up Baby (1938) which has 5 main elements that make for a very successful screwball comedy; Cary Grant, the bumbling absentminded professor type, Katherine Hepburn, the smart crafty and manipulative woman that wants the Cary Grant character to fall in love with her at all costs, the object the Cary Grant character is after, in this case, a dinosaur bone, this is where number four comes in, the giant mix-up (helps to have a dog and leopard for this) and then last is very fast dialogue.whts up baby

This formula has been repeated multiple times since and soon after developed it’s own genre within comedy, the screwball.  I would argue that this wasn’t the first screwball comedy, Twentieth Century (1934) may have been first, but I’m not entirely sure if all the elements were in place.  I will give credit to figuring out the formula to Howard Hawks, who really seemed to be great at putting together the right elements, just think about how he changed the Hildy Johnson role in the play The Front Page into a woman (Hildebrand turned into Hildegard) instead of a man and turned it into another fantastic film, His Girl Friday (1940) as an example of truly how good he was at it.  I’m giving credit to the term screwball comedy due to the fact that to even be considered to be a so-called “screwball comedy” director Howard Hawks thought there couldn’t be any “normal” people in the movie, and that everyone had to be a “screwball.”

Now, let me take the opportunity to say that these elements are my opinion, but to me, seemed to be the five elements that make for a successful screwball comedy. If a screwball comedy is missing one of these items, it can still be a screwball but will be less successful.

All these elements are in What’s Up, Doc? and it’s no surprise that the title even includes “up” in both movies.  The bumbling absent-minded professor is Ryan O’Neal, Barbra Streisand is the smart crafty manipulative woman, the object Ryan is after is a suitcase full of igneous rocks, the mix-up includes 3 other identical suitcases that include secret documents, diamonds, or just plain clothes, and finally it also has the incredibly fast dialogue.whats-up-doc-cinema-lobby-card

As a side note, Barbra Streisand has gone on record to say she didn’t get this movie at all and thought the comedy wouldn’t work, she said she never knew what was really going on.  She said recently, “I was just a hired actress on that film. Just following orders.” Which is truly a shame, because I think she was brilliant in this movie and really is a natural at comedy!  Her instincts are dead on and she could have had a huge career in the comedy genre, but since she always felt a little awkward in the genre, concentrated on drama and thus we only have her in a handful of comedies.  I think she could have rivaled Lucille Ball at comedy if she would have decided to go that way early on in her career.  Not to say it hurt her at all, she’s a fantastic dramatic actor as well, I just wish we had more comedies from her.whats streisand

It’s interesting to me that Katherine Hepburn had a similar experience on her film, Bringing Up Baby.  She initially was so bad at comedy it drove Howard Hawkes crazy.  They brought several people in to help her with her comedic timing, including Walter Catlett and even silent film comedian Harold Lloyd.  She was a very fast learner, although, and Howard Hawks grew to respect Katharine Hepburn tremendously for her comic timing, ad-libbing skills and physical control. He would tell the press, “She has an amazing body – like a boxer. It’s hard for her to make a wrong turn. She’s always in perfect balance. She has that beautiful coordination that allows you to stop and make a turn and never fall off balance. This gives her an amazing sense of timing. I’ve never seen a girl that had that odd rhythm and control.”whats katherine

As for Ryan O’Neal, his character being inspired by the stuffy professor played by Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby, Ryan O’Neal had a chance to meet and speak with Grant. They had a great time talking, but the only advice he received in shooting the movie was to wear silk underpants.  Both Grant’s and O’Neal’s characters were visually modeled after the silent film comedian Harold Lloyd. Another interesting note is Christopher Reeve based his performance as Clark Kent in four “Superman” movies on Cary Grant’s “David Huxley” from Bringing Up Baby, so you can make an argument that Clark Kent is also Harold Lloyd.whats ryan oneal

whats cary grantThe final chase scene, an idea they had because of the one from the then recent movie Bullitt (1968) which was also filmed in San Francisco, cost $1 million to shoot (a quarter of the total budget), 19 days to shoot requiring 32 stuntmen resulting in 11 minutes of screen time. The segment with the giant pane of glass alone took four or five days to film. The plate glass bit was filmed at the junction of Balboa and 23rd Avenue in San Francisco’s Richmond District.whats car

The fender bender Judy causes as she crosses the street to the Bristol Hotel was added on the spur of the moment. When no stunt cars were available, Peter Bogdanovich instructed a crew member to rent two cars and make sure he got collision insurance. Then he staged the wreck before returning the battered cars.  If you see the moment in the film, it’s actually really scary to think how close they could have come to hitting Barbra, if they were just off by a few seconds.whats car2

This film has been given recognition as the first American film to have the stunt people listed in the credits at the end of the movie (the first film over all to have done this is the British movie, Moonraker).  I’m not sure if this is entirely correct, as the stunt people over the years have just been given different credits as actors or such, but as for the actual “Stunts” credit, this may be true.

Now for the initial releases of these movies, Bringing Up Baby, was an unmitigated flop, going so far as to have Katherine Hepburn branded “Box Office Poison” the next year, but has since gained a following and made it’s money back.  It’s now considered by many to be Howard Hawk’s best film.  What’s Up, Doc? itself, was incredibly successful the year it was released, coming in third to The Godfather and The Poseidon Adventure, but sadly has been virtually forgotten over time.

Things to look up on IMDB:

  • Howard Hawks
  • Peter Bogdanovich
  • Katherine Hepburn
  • Cary Grant
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Ryan O’Neal
  • Harold Lloyd
  • Walter Catlett
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • What’s Up, Doc?
  • His Girl Friday

Stunt Team for Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

 

I only saw this film as The Road Warrior (1982) when it was released in the US, but the Mad Max 2 title has since been added to the film in North America to re-establish it’s place in the series. This one is a lot like Evil Dead 2 in execution, where the 1st film in both of those series, Evil Dead and Mad Max were both very low budget films done independently of any studio. When those films were released and both were hits, the Directors, Sam Raimi for Evil Dead and George Miller for Mad Max were inundated with offers from Hollywood but both decided to do “sequels” of their films instead. What they are really, are just the proper films the directors would have made the first time around if they had the proper budgets to work with originally. Both Evil Dead 2 and The Road Warrior are highly superior films to their originals.mad-max-2-the-road-warrior-1981

I also want to add that it was this film and not the original film that caused a huge fervor and drew a whole slew of copycats of apocalyptic road pictures that has come after it.  The first one is good, don’t get me wrong, but I really think it’s this movie, specifically the last 20 minutes, that caused the cult status that it has attained.  It is arguably, the best road battle that has ever been put to film. It is utterly fantastic. That’s why it gets the nod for Best Movie Stunt for 1982.madmax2-carchase

More than 80 vehicles were involved in the production. According to cinematographer Dean Semler, the camera rig used to get medium close ups of Max driving required him and an ac (assistant camera) to stand on a small platform mounted to the driver’s side of the car. They found out during one sequence that they miscalculated the lift, because whenever they went up or down a hill the platform would actually scrape the ground, sending out a shower of sparks. (Initially alarming all involved, they just shrugged and kept shooting without cutting.) Most of the final action sequences (including Pappagallo’s death by trident machete, Wez’s final attempt to kill the Feral Kid, then the collision between Max’s truck and Humungus’ hot rod) were filmed on 24 July 1981. The collision caused more damage to the truck than expected, so the truck’s turnover (scheduled for the same day) had to be postponed. The truck was repaired, then crashed the following day.madmax road

The Road Warrior was directed by George Miller for Kennedy-Miller Productions.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

Things to look up (go to IMDB page):

  • George Miller
  • The Road Warrior
  • Kennedy-Miller Productions

History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia: Kennedy Miller Mitchell (before 2009 known as Kennedy Miller) is an Australian film, TV and games production house in Potts Point, Sydney, that has been producing television and film since 1978. It is responsible for some of Australia’s most well known and successful films, including the three Mad Max films, the two Babe films, and the two Happy Feet films.madde

Kennedy Miller Mitchell is one of Australia’s oldest existing film production companies, and the internationally most successful.

Many of the films are directed by the co-founder, George Miller, though he sometimes takes an organisational role and prefers to use someone else to direct, as with Babe, which was directed by Chris Noonan.

The company’s main current project is the fourth Mad Max film, titled Mad Max, Fury Road. After being “in development hell for 25 years”, according to Miller, the film went into pre-production in 2009.

Jerry Comeaux and Live and Let Die

 

First Bond film to make the list, just happens to be Roger Moore’s first Bond film as well. Up until this time the Bond films have had plenty of action but the real stunt pieces for the films have slowly escalated until they finally broke a Guinness Book World Record with this stunt in Live and Let Live.Live Boat

The boat chase through the bayous was originally written in the script as just “Scene 156 – The most terrific boat chase you’ve ever seen”. Bond’s speedboat jump driven by Jerry Comeaux, made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for its distance of 110 feet, a record that stood for three years. Clifton James as the Louisiana Sheriff improvised in the scene, and it was kept in the final print. Also, the second boat was not scripted to collide with the police car, but after this happened while shooting the stunt, the script was changed to accommodate it.

The Bond series is incredibly important to the stunt community and is the most successful action series of all time.  The Bond productions have the single most entries in the Best Stunt Awards and sets itself apart by achieving an unequaled standard in stunt choreography and for simple mind blowing awesomeness.  Live and Let Die (1973) was directed by Guy Hamilton for Eon Productions.liveandletdie_n2N

Things to look up (click on item to go to IMDB page or Website):

  • Jerry Comeaux
  • Live and Let Die
  • Eon Productions

History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia: Eon Productions is a film production company known for producing the James Bond film series. The company is based in London’s Piccadilly and also operates from Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom. It is a subsidiary of Danjaq LLC, the holding company responsible for the copyright and trademarks to the Bond characters and elements on screen.LiveandLetDie

Eon, a closely held (private and family) corporation, was started by film producers Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in 1961, at the same time they partnered and sought financing for Dr. No the year before they formed Danjaq, which for legal reasons became Eon’s holding company from which it licenses the copyright protections allowing Eon to produce the Bond films. Cubby Broccoli had been interested in the Bond novels rights for several years but was dissuaded from making them project by his former partner. When they dissolved their relationship he was free to pursue the property, for which Saltzman, a novice to film production had taken a gamble to acquire. The two were introduced by a New York writer who was acquainted with both, and formed a partnership within a week of meeting. The enterprise was and is still very much a family business, including both wives and the principal partners, as well as several of their progeny, the latter group now carrying on their parents’ work. Cubby almost immediately included Dana Broccoli’s college aged son Michael G. Wilson in even the early films doing various production jobs and his engineering education was put to good use occasionally in some of the series’ special effects.jane-seymour-and-geoffrey-holder-in-live-and-let-die

In 1975, after nine Bond films, Harry Saltzman sold his shares of Danjaq to United Artists (the then-current Bond series distributor). Although Albert R. Broccoli died in 1996, Eon Productions is still owned by the Broccoli family, specifically Albert R. Broccoli’s daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and his stepson and her half-brother by actress Dana Wilson Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, who are the current producers of the James Bond films.

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Actors and Stunt Performers for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

 

The second rope bridge scene to enter the best stunt awards. I will have to admit that the first time that I physically left a movie so drained because the adrenaline made the experience sitting through the movie feel like you had just sat through five trips on a roller coaster with no rest in between. I asked my dad why I felt this way and he explained that I was so involved in the movie that I was on the edge of my seat, a nervous wreck by the time the movie ended.  I was 14, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was that movie.  It was an exhilarating but exhausting experience.indiana-jones-and-the-temple-of-doom-screenshot

The actors and stunt performers all receive this award as it was one of the hardest shoots stunt-wise for all involved.  For example, Harrison Ford herniated a disc in his back during the tough shoot and had to fly to the US for surgery.  Vic Armstrong did the majority of his stunts while he was gone. Also, Kate Capshaw had over 2,000 bugs crawling all over her for a specific scene they spent days shooting as well as a very physical time shooting a mine car fight scene, during which she obtained a black eye.  The next day on the set, she walked in to find everyone in the crew had put a black smudge under one eye. Even Steven Spielberg had a hard time because of his fear of heights, he couldn’t step foot on the rope bridge and spent the whole shoot driving a mile and a half every time he had to get to the other side.indysh

Vic Armstrong covers this film effectively in his autobiography, The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Movie Heroes.  A truly great read.  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was directed by Steven Spielberg for LucasFilm.indiana_jones_short_round_willie_scott_mine_cart_action_scene

Things to look up (go to IMDB page):

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Vic Armstrong
  • Kate Capshaw
  • Harrison Ford

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM