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?

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“…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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That Starrett Jaw!

July 2, 2009

Charles jaw was such a distinctive feature that the stuntmen doubling for him had to wear this.

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Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

That’s right.   A stunt jaw for a stunt man.