Tag Archives: Dinny Powell

Stunt Families: The Powells

 

The Powells have had a great legacy in the stunt world, especially in the James Bond series.  Stunts began in the family with Dinny Powell, younger brother of Nosher Powell, who was a professional boxer and also the sparring partner of Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinsons and Muhammad Ali amongst others. He did stunts for many years and stunt coordinating and got his older brother Nosher involved and eventually doing the same thing.Nosher Powell in a 1972 episode of the TV series New Scotland Yard

Nosher had two children follow in their footsteps, Greg and Gary. The family’s history with the Bond franchise has been legendary. Dinny  started with From Russia With Love (the 2nd in the series) and the family has been fully entrenched ever since, taking only one break during the George Lazenby film.  Dinny and Nosher doubled and did stunts with Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Gary, Nosher’s oldest son started on The Spy Who Loved Me and over the years worked with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton.  Greg has come in and started working with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.  His most famous stunt being the barrel-roll in the speedboat in The World is Not Enough.greg Powell

Greg is the current big man on campus for the family as he has been stunt coordinator on the last four bond films. It also doesn’t appear that the family’s relationship with the Bond series and stunts are quite done yet as they have recruited Tilly, Greg’s daughter as a stuntwoman in Skyfall and Spectre so far.  They have all created a foundation within the film Industry doing stunts for other films as well such as the Harry Potter, Star Wars, Mission: Impossible and The Avengers Series.tilly powell

Very exciting to see a family so entrenched within the stunt community and I hope we see many more to come.

 

Daniel Craig and the Stunt Team of Skyfall

Daniel Craig is settling in as Bond and is being allowed to do a lot more of his own stunts. For example, Daniel performed the stunt of leaping and sliding down the escalator rail and the signature roof-top fight on the top of a moving train traveling at 50 kph (31 mph) during the film’s opening sequence. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said: “Daniel contributes a great deal to designing the action and the fights in particular and he’s the one who really pulls it off, because he wants to do as much of it as he possibly can. We were in Turkey for the train sequence and I had my heart in my mouth the whole time; he and Ola were fighting on the roof of a moving train and the moves that they were doing were just heart stopping. Daniel’s the reason why the action works as well as it does because he sells it, he’s up there and I think audiences know that.”Skyfall 2
The film was influenced by Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) by director Christopher Nolan according to the film’s director Sam Mendes. A number of the early reviews of ‘Skyfall’ likened the mood of the film to that of The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Interestingly, a recurring line of dialogue in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was “Permission To Die” – this is also the title of a 1989 James Bond comic book released. A shot in ‘Skyfall’ of Bond (‘Daniel Craig’) standing on-top of a building looking-out over London with a flag of England evoke Batman perched on roof-tops looking-out over Gotham City. Mendes has said: “In terms of what [Nolan] achieved, specifically “The Dark Knight”, the second movie, what it achieved, which is something exceptional. It was a game changer for everybody…What Nolan proved was that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with The Dark Knight, it’s not even set in our world… That did help give me the confidence to take this movie in directions that, without The Dark Knight, might not have been possible.” Nolan has often stated that the classic James Bond films have been an influence on his “Dark Knight” trilogy. As such, one can say that Bond has inspired Batman and that Batman has inspired Bond.skyfall21505

Ironically enough, I also picked The Dark Knight (2008) for Best Movie Stunt over the last James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Stunt-man and Bond stunt-double Andy Lister performed the opening sequence’s fall from the bridge into the river. Riggers were set up a crane on a train carriage to hold a safety line. Andy then reacted to the gun shot by limply diving backwards off the 300 foot (92 m) drop. This jump stunt is a typical Bondian ‘Skyfall’ jump stunt synonymous with the series. Skyfall jumps having appeared regularly since The Spy Who Loved Me(1977), with others in Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983),A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987), Licence to Kill (1989), GoldenEye(1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002) and Quantum of Solace (2008).skyfall_2366153a

Stuntman Gary Powell and other members of his family have worked on every EON Productions official series Bond movie since Dr. No (1962). Father and uncle Nosher Powell and Dinny Powell worked on all the early 60s and 70s Bonds with Sean Connery and George Lazenby; brother Greg Powell worked on the 70s and 80s Bonds with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton whilst Gary has worked on all the 90s and 00s Bonds with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig as well as ‘Skyfall’, the first Bond movie of the 2010s.
skyfall-casino-scene

A total of twenty Honda CRF250R motorcycles were used for the opening motorcycle chase. The sequence is notable for being performed on narrow rooftop tracks and without any helmets or heavy-duty protective gear. The ‘Police’ and ‘Street Merchant’ bikes seen were ridden by stunt riders and due to the high speed of the chase, the stunt crew teams filming it also rode the bikes carrying the cameras. For the film, the Honda motorbikes were modified especially for the stunt sequence by the special effects team of Chris Corbould.

Skyfall was directed by Sam Mendes for Eon 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 ):

  • Sam Mendes
  • Chris Corbould
  • Daniel Craig
  • Andy Lister
  • Gary Powell
  • Nosher Powell
  • Dinny Powell
  • Greg Powell
  • Eon Productions