The Stunt Man Reviews
Richard Rush's , The Stunt Man is one of the best films about filmmaking, or I should say ,about the deception that is filmmaking, after all as one line in the film says. "KIng Kong was only 3 foot 6 inches tall ".
In a twist of fate ,our convict is hired by Eli Cross, the megalomaniac director of the film to replace the stunt man who just died during one of the stunts.Then as he learns his craft and falls in love with the leading lady, he soon has to come to grips with his own sense of reality ,as it plays against the phony reality of a movie set. Steve Railsback's uncomfortable child like performance works well against the rest of the cast's arrogant haughty artsy persona's, making his character feel like it never quite fits into their world.
The real jewel in this film is Peter O'toole's performance as Eli Cross. He attacks this role with all the depth of a shakespearian character, as he manipulates all the players on his set, and you soon realize he will stop at nothing to get the shot he wants.
His performance was Oscar worthy, but he did not win,but Hollywood corrected that error by awarding him the following year for a lesser role in My Favourite Year.
Dominic Frontiere's music is reminiscent of The Sting and gives the film an almost silent film era feel.
I would have rated this film higher except some of it does feel a bit dated,but do yourself a favour and see the underated gem.
This is up there with T. E. Lawrence as Peter O'Toole's great performances, with good support from Steve Railsback & Barbara Hershey.