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The Stunt Man
The Stunt Man
Actors: Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey, Allen Garfield, Alex Rocco
Director: Richard Rush
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2001     2hr 11min

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...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey, Allen Garfield, Alex Rocco
Director: Richard Rush
Creators: Mario Tosi, Richard Rush, Melvin Simon, Paul Lewis, Lawrence B. Marcus, Paul Brodeur
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/20/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/1980
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1980
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 11min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 4/24/2019...
This is a hidden jewel with a very unique plotline!
RD C. (allepaca) from TEMPE, AZ
Reviewed on 3/20/2010...
A brilliant satire of the movie-making industry that doubles as a surreal comedy of errors, and a darned engaging adventure tale, as well. One of the best "what am I doing here?" plots ever conceived. It skillfully and humorously intertwines the plight of a runaway felon, the egos and issues of film actors and crew, and the problems an autocratic director has in realizing his vision of the "ultimate anti-war movie". Unexpected laughs and surreal surprises just never seem to stop, and you're never really sure what the main character's fate will be until the last scene.

Some critics have compared this flick to Citizen Kane in terms of originality and scope, and for good reason-- there are really no others quite like it. This is one of those little-known gems that has had a much broader influence in the film industry than its original release numbers would suggest. . . due to very lackluster studio promotion, it was almost unnoticed when it was released in 1980.

Peter O'toole is at his wildest and megalomaniacal best-- he received one of his many Oscar nominations for the role. Steve Railsback has never been better, and this is the movie that re-launched Barbara Hershey's career and helped her shed the "hippie chick" type-casting that had bogged her down in the 70's. The film was also nominated for best director, and screenplay. Incidentally, the complete screenplay is available on the DVD!

There are some sexy scenes, and a lot of faked but realistic violence, so it's not a film for young kids. There is something here for almost any adult who loves a well-conceived and well-acted story, and this flick is a MUST for film aficionados, film students, stunt doubles, actors, and anyone who likes a rousing and amusing adventure.

Movie Reviews

If God could do the things we do ...
(5 out of 5 stars)

"... he'd be a happy man!
I just finished watching the DVD of "The Stunt Man." It's still a smart, amazing, funny, scary, exhilirating experience. This is what great movie making (and great acting) is all about. Richard Rush's direction, the acting from Peter O'Toole and the rest, the terrific screenplay, the great music ... it's just ... perfect. As fresh now as the day it rolled out of the camera.
It's a shame Rush hasn't been able to make more films, but with this classic to his credit he can rest assured that his place in cinema history is complete. Thanks, Mr. Rush!
And Peter O'Toole ... nothing will top his work in "Lawrence of Arabia," but this comes darned close. Eli Cross is the classic "film director as god." O'Toole makes him more than just a petty movie-set tyrant. Cross is sly, witty, mysterious and all-knowing. He's frightening but fascinating. You wouldn't want to introduce him to your mother but you would want to take him out to dinner just to listen to him spin his stories. When he descends from above in his camera crane you'll begin to think he's god incarnate ... just as the stunt man does.
And the plot? That's what made "The Stunt Man" such a hard sell to the movie studios and what makes it a classic. What is reality and what isn't? Are we in control of our lives or aren't we? How do we know what's really going on and what it all means? Is Eli trying to kill the stunt man or just trying to finish his movie on time?
Anchor Bay's DVD transfer is superb. The "Limited Edition" includes Rush's documentary on the making the film. Don't miss it!
If you've never seen this film, get it FAST and enjoy! If you haven't seen it in a while, rediscover why it's so great.
The Stunt Man is one of the great overlooked films!!!
K. Harris | 09/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Richard Rush's The Stunt Man was one of the best films of the 1980's, but sadly most people seem to have never heard of it. That's a shame, because this is a wonderful and unique film. Not wanting to give too much of the film's suprises away, the film concerns an escaped convict on the run (Steve Railsback) who, while running from the police, accidentally comes upon a movie being shot on location by a quite eccentric director played by the brilliant Peter O'Toole (it's his finest hour in my opinion). That's all I'll say, because the delight of this film comes from how it unfolds. It's like a Chinese puzzle box with layer after layer being revealed. The film really plays around with your mind. The film is sort of a philosophical riff on the age old reality vs. illusion game and its very entertaining too. Now how many movies can you say that about? It also happens to be a terrific look at filmmaking. Like I said, this movie just refuses to be pinned down to just one genre. I'm so pleased its finally coming to DVD, and the always reliable Anchor Bay looks to be doing a sensational job with the limited edition set. I cannot recommend this film high enough, its one of the great cult films."
Excellent acting, plot make for an engrossing film.
S. Naimpally | Dallas, TX USA | 10/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Peter O'Toole, Barbara Hershey and Steve Railsback are superb in this movie. Railsback is a Vietnam vet who accidently kills a copy and stumble upon a WW I movie being shot by O'Toole, who plays the director. After his stunt man is killed, O'Toole blackmails Railsback into becoming his stunt man, and Railsback thinks O'Toole is trying to kill him.

Barbara Hershey as Railsback love interest looks gorgeous. O'Toole is amazing. Not your usual, predictable Hollywood plot. A very special movie worth owning for repeat viewing."