Tag Archives: Jock Easton

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

Jock Easton and The Curse of Frankenstein

 

This was the start of the great Hammer Horror films, considered to be their first great Gothic Horror film.  England was starting to come into it’s own with fantastic movies at this time, also it’s important to note, that a lot of the truly great stunt performers and second unit directors were coming out of England about this time as well. In 1957, the highlight was on the Curse of Frankenstein where Jock Easton did a lot of the stunts.  There were some particularly hairy moments on this film that really helps to put the tension and fear into the horror film.curse-of-frankenstein-creature_in_woods

In the biography, Hammer Horror by Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio, cameraman Len Harris recalled that the filming posed numerous risks: “We had some near-misses. When Peter Cushing pushed the professor off the balcony, we had part of the floor padded – the part where the stunt man’s head (Jock Easton) should have hit. Well…he missed! Easton also doubled for (Christopher) Lee in the climactic fire. “This was an extremely dangerous stunt,” said Harris. “We had more men with fire extinguishers on the set than you could count! They don’t pay these chaps enough!”curseoffrankenstein1

Peter Cushing who played Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee who played the Monster, were great friends and went on to do several fantastic movies together with each playing iconic roles opposite each other including; Horror of Dracula (Cushing playing Van Helsing and Lee playing Dracula), The Hound of the Baskervilles (Cushing playing Holmes and Lee playing Sir Henry) andThe Mummy (Cushing playing John Banning and Lee playing the Mummy).  The Curse of Frankenstein was directed by Terence Fisher for Hammer Film Productions.

 curseJock Easton
Stunt man JOCK EASTON takes a flaming plunge, whilst smashing through the skylight window and into the acid bath for Christopher Lee’s creature in THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (Hammer Films 1957) Starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

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

History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia: Hammer Films is a film production company based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1934, the company is best known for a series of Gothic “Hammer Horror” films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. Hammer also produced science fiction, thrillers, film noir and comedies – and in later years, television series. During its most successful years, Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and considerable financial success. This success was due, in part, to distribution partnerships with major United States studios, such as Warner Bros.

During the late 1960s and 1970s the saturation of the horror film market by competitors and the loss of American funding forced changes to the previously lucrative Hammer-formula, with varying degrees of success. The company eventually ceased production in the mid-1980s and has since then been, in effect, in hibernation. In 2000, the studio was bought by a consortium including advertising executive and art collector Charles Saatchi. The company announced plans to begin making films again after this, but none were produced. In May 2007, the company behind the movies was sold again, this time to a group headed by Big Brother backers, the Dutch consortium Cyrte Investments, who have announced plans to spend some $50m (£25m) on new horror films. The new owners have also acquired the Hammer group’s film library.

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