Reel Corner - June 2024

Homage to Stunt Men and Women


June 2024 Issue
Reel Corner by Donne Paine

Homage to Stunt Men and Women

In the early days of the film industry, little thought was given to professional stunt performances. If something risky needed to be done for a scene, the producers would hire anyone crazy or desperate enough to do it. Surprisingly, women were involved as stunt people early in filmmaking. In fact, Hollywood employed roughly the same number of stuntmen as stuntwomen, Until the 1930s, women—many from acting or dancing backgrounds— undertook stunts such as horseback riding, car stunts, hanging from buildings, and diving into freezing water.

But as movies became increasingly popular and more profitable, women became marginalized in the industry, being replaced by men wearing women’s clothing and wigs—a practice still occasionally used, known as “wigging”.

The whole stunt scene started to change in the 1960s when the development of modern stunt technology began. This technology continued to evolve creating some of the most wow moments in film history. However, now with computer generated imagery (CGI), this evolution could put stunt performers out of business.

CGI makes it possible to create life-like scenes via computer, allowing directors to shoot stunts that would be very expensive, dangerous, or simply impossible to perform with real stunt people. CGI has been used to create elaborate fight scenes, falls, car crashes, explosives and more. However, there will always be a demand for the realism of an actual stunt, and CGI has costs and difficulties of its own. Fortunately, for now, the Hollywood stunt industry is in no danger of dying off anytime soon.

Here is a new salute to stunt performance.
Be sure to grab some popcorn, and hold onto your seats!

Starring: Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt
Director: David Leitch

A perfect start to the 2024 summer blockbuster season, The Fall Guy is a fun celebration of stunt performers, intertwined with romantic comedy and mega action. Inspired by the television series of the same name, The Fall Guy is a send-up of the film industry that steadily reveals a murder mystery amid an adorable love story between Gosling’s character Colt Seavers, a down-and-out stuntman, and Emily Blunt's Jody Moreno, a camera operator turned director.

Directed by former stunt performer David Leitch, The Fall Guy’s cast takes every opportunity to celebrate the stunt teams that help bring action to the big screen. While Gosling performs some of his own stunts in the film, he has been vocal about giving props to the stunt team he worked with on the movie, notably the stunt doubles who stood in for him during some of the film’s biggest action beats. That team extends far beyond the four stunt doubles who took hits for Colt Seavers, highlighting just how important stunt teams are to the success of action films. This movie never shies away from the dangers and thrills of stunts.

The film follows Colt, a down-to-earth stunt double, as he attempts to reinvigorate his romance with his former flame, Jodie, on the set of her big directorial break. Throughout the film, Colt's endurance and skills keep him just barely ahead of the dangerous circumstances he ends up in as the murder mystery unfolds. The film is purposefully stunt-heavy, throwing Colt into all sorts of fights, chases, and escapes, and keeping viewers enthralled one scene after the other.

You will enjoy this flick! It’s a perfect way to see two favorite A-listers, Gosling and Blunt, in a fun, action-filled romp.


ReelCorner 1219 DonneDonne Paine, film enthusiast, once lived around the corner from the Orson Wells Theater in Cambridge, Massachu-setts, where her strong interest in films, especially independent ones, began. Supporter of the arts, especially films, she has traveled to local and national film festivals including Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca. There is nothing like seeing a film on the big screen. She encourages film goers to support Hilton Head local theaters, Park Plaza Theater and Northridge. To support her habit of frequent movie going, Donne is a vaccine medicine nurse consultant and also the author of 4 Interview Pillars available on Amazon. See you at the movies!

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