Yakima Canutt - Rotten Tomatoes

Yakima Canutt

Highest Rated:   100% Stagecoach (1939)
Lowest Rated:   77% For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Yakima Canutt was the most innovative stunt performer and coordinator ever to risk life and limb for the art of Hollywood illusion. Cheating death at every turn, many of the tricks of the trade he first developed in the Westerns of the silent era remain fixtures of the craft even today. Born Enos Edward Canutt on November 29, 1895, in Colfax, WA, he began working on ranches while in his youth and at the age of 17 signed on as a trick rider with a Wild West show, where he ultimately won the title of Rodeo World Champion. Billing himself as Eddie Canutt, "the Man From Yakima," in 1917 he met Hollywood cowboy star Tom Mix, who recruited him as a stunt man. Quickly he became one of the leading fall guys in the industry, with a knack for horse spills and wagon wrecks. Over and over again, Canutt brought Western reelers to a rousing finale by doubling as the hero as he leapt from his horse to tackle a villain attempting to flee from the long arm of the law. In 1920, Canutt first earned billing for his work in The Girl Who Dared. Soon his name was appearing in the credits of several Westerns each year, all highlighted by his daredevil antics. His reputation rested on his ability to mastermind larger-than-life sequences -- cattle stampedes, covered-wagon races, and the like -- as well as intricate battles between frontier settlers and their Indian rivals. He could also be counted on to leap from a cliff's top while on horseback, or from a stagecoach onto its runaway horse team. For his elaborately choreographed fight scenes, Canutt developed a new, more realistic method of throwing punches, positioning the action so that the camera filmed over the shoulder of the actor receiving the blow, with the punch itself coming directly toward the lens. With the addition of sound effects, the illusion of fisticuffs was complete, and the practice remains an essential component of the stunt man's craft today. Under Canutt's supervision, a number of rules and guidelines designed to improve stunt safety were established, all of them becoming industry standards. Indeed, to his credit no one was ever seriously injured in any of his films. Many of Canutt's most important innovations involved his use of rigging: In one such attempt to minimize the possibility of broken bones, he carefully rigged his stirrups to break open to allow his feet to release at the proper moment. He also rigged cable mechanisms to trigger stunt action, maintaining more control over his scenes to eliminate the possibility of catastrophe. Gene Autry, Roy Rogers -- nearly every major Western star -- owed much of his success to Canutt's daring; eventually, his mastery of the craft was such that scripts were penned without detailed descriptions of their fight scenes or chases, and "Action by Yakima Canutt" was simply written instead.By the mid-'20s, Canutt was starring in Westerns as well as handling stunts. However, as the sound era dawned he suffered an illness which stripped the resonance from his voice, effectively ending his career as a leading man and reducing him to turns as sidekicks and heavies. In 1932's serial The Shadow of the Eagle, he was cast alongside John Wayne, beginning a partnership that was to endure for many years; their most notable collaboration was the 1939 classic Stagecoach, where Canutt not only came aboard as the stunt supervisor but also appeared onscreen to take falls as a cowboy, an Indian, and even as a woman. In addition to keeping peace between Wayne and director John Ford, Canutt also performed one of the most legendary stunts in film history, a pulse-pounding pass under a moving stagecoach: Doubling as an Indian, he rode his horse ahead of the coach before attempting to leap over to its lead team and dropping to the ground; after a brief moment, he then released his grip and allowed the horses and the coach to pass over his body. As Canutt grew older, injuries began to take their toll, and he cut back on his rigorou

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Rocky Mountain
  • Ryan
1950
No Score Yet The Showdown
  • Davis
1950
No Score Yet G-Men Never Forget
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet The Adventures of Frank and Jesse James
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet Oklahoma Badlands
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet Desert Command
  • Actor
1946
No Score Yet My Pal Trigger
  • Director
1946
No Score Yet Dakota
  • Actor
1945
No Score Yet Along the Navajo Trail
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet Captain Mephisto and the Transformation Machine
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet Federal Operator 99
  • Director
  • Actor
1945
No Score Yet San Fernando Valley
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet In Old Oklahoma (War of the Wildcats)
  • Actor
1943
No Score Yet King of the Cowboys
  • Actor
1943
77% For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Young Cavalry Man
1943
No Score Yet Calling Wild Bill Elliott
  • Soldier
1943
No Score Yet Song of Texas
  • Rodeo Performer (uncredited)
1943
No Score Yet Bad Man of Deadwood
  • Actor
1941
No Score Yet Nevada City
  • Actor
1941
No Score Yet Prairie Pioneers
  • Morrison
1941
No Score Yet The Ranger and the Lady
  • McNair
1940
No Score Yet The Carson City Kid
  • Pete the Bartender
1940
No Score Yet The Dark Command
  • Townsman
1940
No Score Yet Calling Philo Vance
  • Sailor
1940
No Score Yet Virginia City
  • Stunts
1940
94% Gone With the Wind
  • Renegade
1939
No Score Yet Wyoming Outlaw
  • Ed Sims
1939
100% Stagecoach
  • Cavalry Scout
1939
No Score Yet Santa Fe Stampede
  • Ben Carey
1938
No Score Yet Overland Stage Raiders
  • Bus Driver
1938
No Score Yet Ten Laps to Go
  • Barney
1938
No Score Yet Heart of the Rockies
  • Enoch
1937
No Score Yet Come On, Cowboys!
  • Henchman Jake
1937
No Score Yet Gunsmoke Ranch
  • Spider
1937
No Score Yet Hit the Saddle
  • Buck
1937
No Score Yet Riders of the Whistling Skull
  • Otah
1937
No Score Yet Riders of the Rockies
  • Sgt. Beef
1937
No Score Yet Trouble in Texas
  • Henchman Squint Palmer
1937
No Score Yet Roarin' Lead
  • Canary
1936
No Score Yet Ghost Town Gold
  • Buck
1936
No Score Yet Stagecoach Run
  • Actor
1936
No Score Yet Winds of the Wasteland
  • Henchman Smokey (uncredited)
1936
No Score Yet The Lonely Trail
  • Horell
1936
No Score Yet King of the Pecos
  • Smith
1936
No Score Yet The Oregon Trail
  • Tom Richards
1936
No Score Yet Black Coin
  • Ed McMahan
1936
No Score Yet Clutching Hand
  • Number Eight
1936
No Score Yet Lawless Range
  • Burns
1935
No Score Yet Dante's Inferno
  • Stoker on the Paradise
1935
No Score Yet Westward Ho
  • Red
1935
No Score Yet Paradise Canyon
  • Curly Joe Gale
1935
No Score Yet The Dawn Rider
  • Saloon Owner
1935
No Score Yet Texas Terror
  • Actor
1935
No Score Yet Rough Riding Ranger
  • Henchman Draw
1935
No Score Yet Branded a Coward
  • 'The Cat'
1935
No Score Yet Guns Along the Trail
  • Actor
1935
No Score Yet Pals of the Range
  • Brown
1935
No Score Yet 'Neath Arizona Skies
  • Sam Black
1934
No Score Yet The Lawless Frontier
  • Joe
1934
No Score Yet The Man from Hell
  • Yak
1934
No Score Yet The Star Packer (He Wore a Star)
  • Yak
1934
No Score Yet Randy Rides Alone
  • Henchman Spike
1934
No Score Yet The Man from Utah
  • Cheyenne Kent
1934
No Score Yet Blue Steel
  • Danti, The Polka Dot Bandit
1934
No Score Yet Lucky Texan
  • Cole
1934
No Score Yet West of the Divide
  • Hank
1934
No Score Yet Gold Strike Fever
  • Actor
1934
No Score Yet Sagebrush Trail
  • Ed Walsh
1933
No Score Yet Riders of Destiny
  • henchman
1933
No Score Yet The Three Musketeers
  • El Shaitan (when masked)
1933
No Score Yet The Telegraph Trail
  • High Wolf
1933
No Score Yet Fighting Texans
  • Hank
1933
No Score Yet The Devil Horse
  • Actor
1932
No Score Yet The Last Frontier
  • Wild Bill Hickok
1932
No Score Yet The Shadow of the Eagle
  • Boyle
1932
No Score Yet Law and Lawless
  • Tex Barnes
1932
No Score Yet Wyoming Whirlwind
  • Jackson
1932
No Score Yet Guns for Hire
  • Actor
1932
No Score Yet The Texan
  • Actor
1932
No Score Yet Battling with Buffalo Bill
  • Jack Brady
1931
No Score Yet Vanishing Legion
  • Director
  • Yak
1931
No Score Yet Lightning Warrior
  • Actor
1931
No Score Yet Two-Fisted Justice
  • Perkins
1931
No Score Yet The Devil Horse
  • Dave Garson
1926
No Score Yet The Fighting Stallion
  • Yak
1926
No Score Yet Iron Rider
  • Actor
1925
No Score Yet Wild Horse Canyon
  • Actor
1925
No Score Yet Branded a Bandit
  • Jess Dean
1924

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