Today: May 28, 2024

Hollywood’s Pioneering Daredevils! Film Action Before CGI

Hollywood’s Pioneering Daredevils is the tale of Hollywood’s larger than life characters, written with verve, skill, and an insider’s knowledge.

For silent film pioneers like Buster Keaton, everything that appeared on the screen actually had to happen. There were no computers to fill in the blanks. The risks were real, the skills required to survive such feats were breath-taking, and audiences were kept on the edges of their seats. Decades—in some instances almost a century later–these breathtaking stunts still set the bar. The experts who mastered the art, sometimes paid the ultimate price to thrill us, while the stars who made derring-do their trademark became household names. What would a swashbuckler film be without Errol Flynn, a car or motorbike chase without Steve McQueen or a western without John Wayne?

It’s these original daredevils that Andy Wilkinson’s new book, Hollywood’s Pioneering Daredevils, celebrates. Highlighting the best, the most ground-breaking, and the most memorable cinematic action, Andy introduces the innovators of these seminal action sequences, looking at how the craft has changed, from the birth of cinema to the very latest blockbusters.

Written by someone who has performed action sequences himself and who recognises and appreciates the skills involved, Hollywood’s Pioneering Daredevils allows film-fans to truly appreciate the creativity, innovation, and skills of film’s greatest daredevils…before computer generated imagery took over.

The book’s author, Andy Wilkinson, spent more than 35 years in the entertainment business and is the author of his own film memoir, Take One, Action!

Hollywood’s Pioneering Daredevils (ISBN: 9781803133171) is out now in paperback priced £14.99. Visit

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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