A Special Breed

August 31, 2009

The Autry National Center of the American West (aka, the Autry Museum) has a series of short films  playing on monitors interspersed among the exhibits.   These presentations examine the history of B-Westerns.  I’ve written about these films before.

Around the corner from the Charles Starrett exhibit there plays a tribute to the stunt men of the B-Western.  It begins with a quick-paced montage of movie stunts (a horse and rider diving off a cliff, a wagon rolling down a hill, etc) and culminates with a long shot of a cowboy maneuvering along a buckboard on a “speeding” wagon, clearly on a soundstage.  Recognize someone?

Special Breed 006Special Breed 007Special Breed 010Special Breed 011

“…a special breed of people who make movie magic appear to be real.”

I’ll agree with the “special” part, but, c’mon, Smiley as a stuntman?  The guy can barely pull off a convincing pratfall.

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2 Responses to “A Special Breed”

  1. anonymous said

    That shot is from the Roy Rogers film “Silver Spurs,” and it’s part of a pretty amazing wagon-chase scene with Yakima Canutt’s famous fall-under-the-horses stunt. But you’re right, the close-ups of Smiley are in a studio, to be sure. 🙂

    • stevesomething said

      Re. previous poster — that makes sense. The short film continues to include an interview with Yakima Canutt about that very stunt. Thanks for the info!

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