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The Stunt Man Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

The "lost" sleeper hit of 1980 has since become one of the most revered cult movies of all time, largely due to its bawdy, irreverent story about the art and artifice of filmmaking and an outrageously clever performance by Peter O'Toole. As megalomaniacal film director Eli Cross, O'Toole plays a larger-than-life figure whose ability to manipulate reality is like a power-trip narcotic. The focus of his latest mind game is a fugitive (Steve Railsback) recruited to replace a stuntman killed during a recent on-set accident. In return for protective sanctuary, the fugitive takes a crash course in stunt work but soon discovers that he's the paranoid player in a game he can't control, with the dictatorial director making up the rules. Or is he? The Stunt Man is a game of its own, played through the fantasy of filmmaking, and half the fun of watching the movie comes from sharing the stuntman's paranoid confusion. Barbara Hershey has a smart, sexy supporting role as a lead actress who won't submit to her director's seemingly devious behavior; but it's clearly O'Toole who steals the show. Director Richard Rush adds to the movie's maverick appeal--in a career plagued by struggles against the mainstream studio system, Rush hasn't made a better movie before or since. The Stunt Man clearly represents the potential of his neglected talent.

Academy Awards

The Stunt Man received Academy Award nominations for Actor (Peter O'Toole), Directing (Richard Rush), and Writing (Best Screenplay based on material from another medium; Lawrence B. Marcus, Richard Rush).

 

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"A wonderful film (by Richard Rush) that should have a major re-release rather than the spotty screenings in LA (i.e. American Cinematheque)."

--Shep



 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Richard Rush

Stars: Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey, Chuck Bail, Adam Roarke, Alex Rocco, Sharon Farrell

Released: June 27, 1980

Availability: DVD VHS


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