A cynical and enjoyable dark satire of filmmaking and it features a cunningly charismatic performance by Peter O'Toole as a sociopathic director. I must say the tonal changes sometimes feel off and I think Railsback's performance was missing something, I also thought his character's 'Ice Cream' speech was ludicrous. A fine film nonetheless.
My desert island pick. A total pleasure from start to finish featuring a perfect script by Richard Rush and Lawrence Marcus and impeccable casting especially the three leads Railsback, Hershey (her best) and O'Toole. An exceptional score by Dominic Frontiere is featured. The mini-genre of films about filmmaking is best represented by this tale of a maniacal director willing to sacrifice all. "How tall is King Kong?'
Movies about movies are wet dreams for cinephiles. O'Toole is simply splendid at the God-complex/fearing figure. The real terror for the poor fugitive/stuntman & for audiences devoted to him is how easy it would be for the director to kill him. That elusive perfect shot brought by adrenaline is worth chasing & having control over this man is perfect for it. Didn't enjoy the ending because it felt like it pulled back.
Like De Palma's Blow Out, a vaguely schlocky premise becomes a game where reality (or the perception of it) is constantly in doubt. But where Blow Out would raise such provocative questions about what goes into a film, The Stunt Man is less focused with its themes, coming off like a loose jam session between Mel Brooks, Fellini, and Roger Corman. Less than meets the eye? Maybe. But what meets the eye is wondrous.
I love movies about movies but Railsback made watching this film tedious at times. Which doesn't really make any sense, because except for the filming scenes, my favorite scenes were the ones with Eli and Cameron. Maybe Peter O'Toole just makes everything better.
As great as The Stunt Man is, the total lack of charisma in the form of a lead actor stops itself from being even more. The script and the story are very well done, letting the audience see a tale of madness the character wish could be kept secret. Peter O'Toole is magnificent as always, and Barbara Hershey more than carries Steve Railsback's weight.
American ``remake`` of Truffaut's Nuit Americaine. Instead of relationship drama, this one focuses on large scale action sequences, and everyone one of them in the film is masterfully handled, especially the chase scene on the hotel's rooftop. Other than O'Toole's performance though, the human aspect of this film isn't very convincing, the backstory is purely there to set up the cheap thrills.
One of the few movies to capture the insanity and borderline psychosis behind Hollywood's fantasy machine, and O'Toole is perfect is a director close to madness. But the movie settles for a soppy ending, a Hollywood of the '70s feel and stagy dialogue that undercuts the message.
I read these reviews in awe, was anyone present in 1980? Did anyone go to movies then? I did, and absolutely loved this film with Barbara Hershey and Peter O'Toole. We were just learning about film then, and used movies like this as lessons. I copied onto vhs, then dvd, now streaming. GIVE US MORE...
there's a really good movie hiding behind this film somewhere but you can't see it for a number of reasons, first being that they cast a guy with no charisma, intelligence, or emotional range in the lead role. just totally flat guy with nothing behind the eyes. script hints at larger issues and peter o'toole is of course great, but in the end it basically feels like a (pretty fun) movie of the week
I've got to stop watching these late 70s/early 80s films with post-Vietnam and sexual-politics-in-flux-gone-wrong subtexts. There's a goofy decadence to them. I guess it's the editor in me that wants to distill them down to their strongest elements and dispense with the rest. Yes, without a doubt, Peter O'Toole is the reason to watch this film.
Cinematography during some points where amazing but the movie fell flat in my opinion. It had its high points but left me wondering if Eli was a madman or not they never fully explained that which is kind of big since that is the whole premise of the movie.