The stunt where he jumps from a horse onto a German tank was voted one of the Top Ten film stunts of all time by a panel of experts and Sky Movies viewers in the UK in 2002. In 2001, the Academy presented Vic Armstrong with a Scientific and Technical Academy Award for development of the Fan Descender and use of it throughout the years.
Vic Armstrong wrote a very good account of this stunt in his autobiography, The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Movie Heroes. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, he is the world’s most prolific stuntman.
Another interesting point is, Sean Connery was always Steven Spielberg’s first choice to play Indiana Jones’s father, as an inside joke to say that James Bond is the father of Indiana Jones. If that had failed, Gregory Peck and Jon Pertwee were back-up choices for the role. Spielberg had always wanted to do a Bond film but did Indiana Jones as a James Bond type character. In keeping with the James Bond theme, the movie has many Bond movie co-stars: John Rhys-Davies, Alison Doody, Julian Glover, Stefan Kalipha, Pat Roach, Eugene Lipinski and Vernon Dobtcheff.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was directed by Steven Spielberg for LucasFilm.
Things to look up (go to IMDB page):
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Steven Spielberg
- Vic Armstrong
- Harrison Ford
Glossary of stunt terms as defined by Wikipedia: Fan Descender – Modern technology and new materials have contributed enormously to the stunt business. In the early days, stuntmen would perform high falls onto hay, but this was replaced by the miracle of empty cardboard boxes, which, when stacked correctly, would collapse and break the fall. Jackie Chan and his popular stunt team, still use this technique. As they say: ‘it isn’t the fall that hurts but the stopping’! Cardboard boxes have since been superseded by the airbag, with multiple chambers to stop it collapsing if it develops a tear. The multi-chamber airbag has enabled stuntmen to fall more safely from much greater heights.
A device called a ‘fan descender’, which was invented in the early 1980s by Vic Armstrong for a movie called Green Ice, enables a stunt person to fall from great heights at a controlled speed. It has been used all over the world, on such movies as the Indiana Jones trilogy, through to Titanic, and recently earned an award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!