Tag Archives: Audie Murphy

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

Audie Murphy and the Stuntmen go To Hell and Back

 

A very successful war film when it came out, it was Universal’s biggest hit until Jaws came out over two decades later. War films get a little overlooked when considering stunts, but it’s because stuntmen are more crucial to a war picture from when the cameras start running all the way to the end, that they are sometimes forgotten about. A war picture automatically ups the danger factor for everyone involved on the picture. To give you an example, to film the war scenes on this film, a total of 50,000 rounds of ammunition, 300 pounds of TNT, 600 pounds of blasting powder and 10 cases of 40% dynamite were required. Many of the battle scenes were re-used for Universal Studio’s later picture The Young Warriors.to hell and back audie murphy

This film is highly unusual as it’s about Audie Murphy and stars Audie Murphy as himself.  The son of poor Texas sharecroppers, Audie Murphy became a national hero during World War II as the most decorated combat soldier of the war. Among his 33 awards was the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for bravery that a soldier can receive. In addition, he was also decorated for bravery by the governments of France and Belgium, and was credited with killing over 240 German soldiers and wounding and capturing many more.  His story caught the interest of superstar James Cagney, who invited Murphy to Hollywood. Cagney Productions paid for acting and dancing lessons.

He bumbled about in bit parts for many years and then finally became the lead in a few films when he was ultimately offered the opportunity to play himself in this autobiographical film based on his time in World War II.  He originally declined the opportunity to portray himself in the movie, not wanting people to think that he was attempting to cash in on his role as a war hero, but reluctantly took the role eventually.  The rest is film history and makes for the ultimate Hollywood success story.to hell and back tank

It’s interesting to mention that even though the country though of him as a hero, Murphy didn’t think of himself as one.  In his book, Murphy modestly described some of his most heroic actions – without portraying himself as the hero. He did not mention any of the many decorations he received, but praised the skills, bravery, and dedication of the other members of his platoon.  Murphy once said, “I never liked being called the “most decorated” soldier. There were so many guys who should have gotten medals and never did–guys who were killed.”   To Hell and Back was Directed by Jesse Hibbs for Universal.

Things to look up (go to IMDB page):

tohellandbacktheatreopening

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

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