Today: July 13, 2024

Cinema’s Greatest Stunts

Fast & Furious 7 and Avengers: Age Of Ultron pride themselves on containing only the best CGI special effects. However for those of us who still pine for the good ole days … Mad Max: Fury Road is sure to be a thrilling ride. Director George Miller recently confirmed that every crazy car stunt you see on screen is real with not a CG’d pixel in sight. To mark the cinema release of this post-apocalyptic blockbuster, FilmJuice looks at some of cinema’s greatest real life stunts.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Apart from Mad Max, Mission Impossible is perhaps the last franchise to still pride itself on its actor’s doing stunts – unsurprising though when you consider that Tom Cruise leads the cast. No only does he hang off a plane as it takes off in the upcoming fifth installment (watch the trailer), but the actor actually climbed the tallest building in the world in Ghost Protocol!

Raiders Of The Lost Ark
The iconic scene where Indy climbs down the front of a Nazi truck and crawls underneath while it’s moving, then gets dragged behind it by his own whip before climbing up the back was deemed so dangerous by the stuntman charged with performing it, that the only condition in which he’d do it was if his trusted stuntman friend drove. Miraculously the stunt was performed in one take and it is now deemed one of the greatest chase sequences in movie history.

The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan remains a director who favours real-life stunts over CG – whether this is the incredible plane scene at the start of The Dark Knight Rises, or the 100ft 360 degree revolving corridor built to create the head-spinning fight scene in Inception. Perhaps the most impressive stunt he pulled off was in The Dark Knight, when he challenged his team to flip a 16-wheel semi truck in Chicago’s financial district with a driver behind the wheel.

The Man With The Golden Gun
Bond films again are quite well known for their reliance on insanely dangerous stunts. Honorable mentions go to the stunt man who ran over crocodiles in Live And Let Die and the tense and explosive tanker chase in License To Kill. But for pure ‘that can’t be possible’ reactions, the car jump in The Man With The Golden Gun was conceived by boffins at Cornell University and patented by filmmakers to ensure that they were the ones who would pull it off on screen first.

Bullitt
Although The Blues Brothers holds the record for the most cars destroyed in a single car chase, Bullitt is worth watching for its car chase alone. In the iconic scene, a Mustang GT reaches speeds of over 100mph as it races across the streets of San Francisco, bouncing down hills and skidding around corners, sometimes even with Steve McQueen behind the wheel. The chase ended when a car, luckily with dummies in it, crashed into the set and burst into flames –they were able to make this look intentional in post-production.

Ben Hur
In this Charlton Heston epic, a pinnacle scene sees a deadly chariot race take place in an arena full of people. As 82 horses stampede around 1,500 extras, with dynamite going off every time a chariot was destroyed, a car was used to capture all the action and had to stay just feet away from the rampaging stallions in order to avoid a catastrophic pile up. The scene took five weeks to shoot, destroyed two cameras and injured the stunt man doubling for Heston when he was flung out of his chariot into the path of the horses behind him.

Mad Max: Fury Road is out this week.

 

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