Category Archives: 1952

Best Movie Stunts of the Year List 1950-1959

 

Here is the list for the Best Movie Stunts for the Decade 1950-1959 as listed in the book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!

1950:  The Flame and the Arrow

the flame and the arrow

Burt Lancaster met Nick Cravat when they worked in the circus as acrobats, early in their careers.  This movie highlights some great acrobatics from the two of them, along with some great fighting sequences.

1951:  The Thing From Another Worldthing full body burn

I loved this movie and the remake that followed with Kurt Russell, but this one has a very cool fire burn done Tom Steele that just has to be seen to be believed.

1952:  Ivanhoeivanhoe03

Paddy Ryan was in a group of some of the finest stuntmen to ever come out of England.  In this film he does a real gasping fall from a castle, which was held as the highest fall from a castle for many years.

1953:  Code Twocode two

Motorcycles were really starting to come into their own.  This movie was one of the first one to introduce motorcycle stunts and chase scenes, with many movies following after.

1954:  The Seven SamuraiSeven_Samurai_Fight

This film was probably the most mentioned movie to ever influence a slew of filmmakers, before Star Wars.  It’s an incredible film with a great story, great characters and especially great action.  Most of the actors were hired because they could really fight.  Let’s imagine this as the very first Expendables, where some real action masters were at work here.

1955:  To Hell and Backto hell and back tank

The real life story, played by the real person himself, Audie Murphy, the highest decorated soldier of World War II.  Quite a war film!

1956:  Trapezetrapeze1956

So I mentioned Burt Lancaster was in the circus, right?  Well, here is the movie where he really shows his chops!  You just thought he was a great actor, but he was a really accomplished acrobat, that could have had an amazing career as a stuntman!

1957:  The Curse of Frankensteincurseoffrankenstein1

Hammer Films, out of Great Britain were making some of the most interesting genre films ever made with some of the finest actors like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and with fantastic stuntmen like Jock Easton.  Some really great stuff!

1958:  The VikingsVikings oars

So I fell in love with Vikings movies when I saw this one (another great one is the 13th Warrior!).  With that in mind, Kirk Douglas blows my mind when I see him, “running the oars” with such ease as he does in this film!

1959:  Ben HurBen Joe Canutt Jump

A stunt that goes wrong is not an “accident” when no one gets hurt…I just consider it an improvised stunt.  In this one the results were so cool they added it to the film.

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

Paddy Ryan and Ivanhoe

 

I saw this movie as a child, and it was enthralling.  One of my favorites when it came to the big mounted “epic”.  This is when I started to realize that the classics could be cool.  Although there are a lot of stunts in this film, there’s one that stands out for me and that is Paddy Ryan’s fall from the castle.  This was reported to be the highest fall from a castle when he performed the stunt.Ivanhoe PaddyRyan

Paddy Ryan (born Frank Singletary) was one of the leading worldwide stunt men to come out of England.  The men who thrived in the early European epics, war films and bond films.  Stunt men the likes of Jock Easton, Joe Powell, George Leech, Ken Buckle and Vic Armstrong. They would travel far and wide, often on their own dime and stay on location for weeks, sometimes months at a time, competing for the one small “stunt adjustment”, as they called it.

Information on these stunt performers are rare and very hard to come by.  A lot of these early stuntmen and women have died and taken their legacy with them, but there are a few members of the stunt crusade that are shouting their names from the rooftops.  Recent autobiographies by Hal Needham and Vic Armstrong are helping to shine the light on some of these fantastic stories and the people who truly lived them.ivanhoe03Ivanhoe was directed by Richard Thorpe for MGM.

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

Glossary of stunt terms as defined by www.RichmondStunts.com – Stunt Adjustment:  stunt adjustments are an additional fee paid to the stunt performer in addition to the minimum daily rate to compensate for more dangerous stunts or when the stunt performer exceeds expectations of the daily rate and the budget allows for extra monies to be paid. Performing utility (basic) stunts such as playing a bad guy that takes a couple punches or falling down are usually covered by the daily rate. But for the fun stuff like being set on fire or falling off a roof, a negotiation between the stunt coordinator, stunt performer and production will take place.  (typically the coordinator does this on larger shows). The factors used when determining the justified amount of adjustment will be based on technical difficulty, level of danger, etc.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!

 

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