by Sherif M. Awad
Stuntmen are the unsung heroes of the film industry. They risk their lives to perform amazing feats of action and adventure, often without getting much recognition or credit. But sometimes, they get to be the stars of their own stories, either on the big screen or on the small screen. Here are some of the greatest films and TV series with a stuntman as the main character.
The Stunt Man (1980)
This film is a metafictional comedy-drama that explores the relationship between a fugitive, a stuntman, and a director. The fugitive (Steve Railsback) stumbles onto a movie set just when they need a new stunt man, takes the job as a way to hide out and falls for the leading lady (Barbara Hershey) while facing off with his manipulative director (Peter O’Toole). The film is full of twists and turns, as well as stunning stunts and action sequences. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for O’Toole.
The Fall Guy (1981-1986)
This TV series follows the adventures of Colt Seaver (Lee Majors), a film stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter when movie work is slow. He has two companions, Howie (Douglas Barr) and Jody (Heather Thomas), who usually follow Colt in his missions, but sometimes they are on their own. The show features many guest stars from the film industry, as well as spectacular stunts and chases. It was one of the most popular shows of the 1980s and ran for five seasons.
This film is a neo-noir crime thriller that stars Ryan Gosling as an unnamed Hollywood action film stuntman who gets in trouble with gangsters when he tries to help his neighbor’s husband rob a pawn shop while serving as his getaway driver. The film is known for its stylish direction by Nicolas Winding Refn, its synth-pop soundtrack by Cliff Martinez, and its brutal violence. It was critically acclaimed and received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, where Refn won the Best Director Award.
Other Notable Films and TV Series with Stuntmen
- Hooper (1978) – A comedy starring Burt Reynolds as an aging Hollywood stuntman who wants to prove that he’s still got what it takes to be a great professional.
- The Fall (2006) – A fantasy drama starring Lee Pace as an injured stuntman who begins to tell a fantastical story of five mythical heroes to a little girl with a broken arm in a hospital.
- Stuntmen (2009) – A mockumentary comedy starring Marc Blucas and Ross Patterson as two rival stuntmen who are nominated for Stuntman of the Year and engage in an all-out press war.
- The Terminal List (2022) – An upcoming thriller series starring Chris Pratt as a Navy SEAL who returns home after his team is ambushed and discovers that there’s more to the incident than he thought.
These are just some of the examples of films and TV series that feature stuntmen as the main characters. They showcase the talent, courage, and charisma of these performers who make our entertainment more exciting and enjoyable.