Tag Archives: Action Movie

Actors and Stunt Performers in Lethal Weapon

 

Richard Donner and Joel Silver wanted the action in this film to be so realistic that in pre-production they hired stunt coordinator, Bobby Bass, to design all the action and 3 martial arts advisors, Cedric Adams, Dennis Newsome, and Rorion Gracie to oversee the fights and the training of the actors and stunt performers.lethal-weapon-gibson-glover-1

I’d like to add at this time that the film was also dedicated to legendary stuntman, Dar Robinson, although he did not die during any of the stunts in this film, he was killed executing a motorcycle stunt for the movie, Million Dollar Mystery. He trained actress, Jackie Swanson for the airbag jump at the beginning of the film. She jumped 35 feet backwards into an airbag. The stunt was done using an airbag covered with a life-size painting of the driveway and cars, which, like a foreground miniature, visually blends into the real scene. Thus, the editor was able to hold the shot until just as she makes contact with the airbag, for greater realism.

There was a second airbag jump, when Martin Riggs handcuffs himself to a guy on a building who is threatening to jump. The two stuntmen jumped together but once in the air the handcuffs disconnect so you can tell they weren’t really handcuffed together. A little movie goof as when Riggs and the man get off the airbag they are clearly handcuffed together again. Not only is the action in this film fantastic, but the action sequences seem to get better as the series moves along. The entire series was directed by Richard Donner for Silver Pictures.lethalweaponbdcap1_original

 

Things to look up (go to IMDB ):

  • Bobby Bass
  • Dar Robinson
  • Richard Donner
  • Joel Silver
  • Jackie Swanson
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Cedric Adams
  • Dennis Newsome
  • Rorion Grace

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Jackie Chan and Police Story

 

This is for several stunts, including an opening sequence featuring a car chase through a shanty town, Chan stopping a double-decker bus with his service revolver and a climactic fight scene in a shopping mall. This final scene earned the film the nickname “Glass Story” by the crew, due to the huge number of panes of sugar glass that were broken. During a stunt in this last scene, in which Chan slides down a pole from several stories up, the lights covering the pole had heated it considerably, resulting in Chan suffering second-degree burns, particularly to his hands, as well as a back injury and dislocation of his pelvis upon landing. Chan holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Stunts By A Living Actor”, which emphasises “no insurance company will underwrite Chan’s productions, in which he performs all his own stunts”.police-story21

I discussed this in the previous win of Jackie Chan’s Stunt team, 1983 Best Movie Stunt, about the way that Jackie Chan works on a film. Edward Tang, the screenwriter for this film and many others, confirmed by saying that he did not write this film the way normal Hollywood screenwriters work. Bey Logan pointed out that in America, the screenwriter has an idea and goes to discuss it with producers and directors prior to production. In this case, Jackie Chan gave Tang a list of things he wanted in the film – a shopping mall, comedy, the village, a bus, etc. – and Tang essentially wrote the rest of the story around these elements. In other words, a Hong Kong screenwriter takes the director’s ideas and works them into the film.police story final

I saw an interview with Chan, where he discussed the stunt of sliding down the pole covered with lights. As with the clock tower stunt from Project A (1983), Chan described his fear at the thought of performing the stunt. However, during the filming of Police Story (1985), there was the added pressure of strict time constraints, as the shopping mall had to be cleaned up and ready for business the following morning. One of Chan’s stuntman gave him a hug and a Buddhist prayer paper, which he put in his trousers before finally performing the stunt. Police Story was directed by Jackie Chan for Golden Harvest.pol06

Things to look up (go to IMDB ):

  • Jackie Chan
  • Golden Harvest
  • Police Story

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