A thin plot, lots of action, a fair script, and no comparison to a much better movie made about the same subject, THE STUNT MAN. When stuntman Davis is killed, his brother, Forster, an ex-college professor who has become a stuntman, thinks foul play was involved. Luisi is the smarmy
producer of the picture Davis was working on when he was killed. He's married to nymphomaniac Rialson. Luisi is against what Forster wants to do: replace his late brother and get to the bottom of the death. But the others on the film insist that he be allowed to take the job. Forster meets some
old pals, Glover and wife Cassidy, plus Sharkey, an irrepressible lothario who spends his off-hours pursuing women. Lewis is hanging around the set writing an article about stuntmen, and she and Forster are immediately at odds. Davis was killed in a stunt that failed, and Forster means to do it
right. The others in the fraternity give Davis a proper funeral and toss his beloved motorcycle into the sea as a tribute. Forster, Sharkey, Glover, and Cassidy make a Musketeer-like pact to turn off the life-support equipment if any of them is ever permanently disabled. The truth about Davis is
slowly revealed. He was sleeping with Rialson, who stars in the movie they are shooting, which makes Forster wonder if Luisi didn't arrange for Davis' death. In order to show his mettle, Forster does a dazzling array of stunts, each more difficult and dangerous than the one before, and Lewis is
amazed by his bravery. This is soon transformed into admiration, then physical attraction. Glover is set to do a very dangerous bit where he must fall several stories from a building while Forster and the others are going up the sheer side of it. Glover is frightened of the risk, and Forster
volunteers to change places with him for the leap. Glover uses Forster's gear for the climb up (he's better at going up than going down), and the switch will be made at the apex of the scale. Glover's rigging breaks (was it meant to break for Forster?), and he plunges to the ground. They race him
to the hospital, but the news is grim. Glover can't sustain life on his own and has been attached to the very life support system they spoke of earlier. Forster unplugs the machine and lets Glover expire. The shooting goes on; Sharkey is killed while doing a stunt that would normally be a piece of
cake for such an experienced man. Forster now realizes that both Glover's and Sharkey's deaths were supposed to be his. The final stunt of the movie, the one Davis died doing, is intricate. It requires Forster to be in a moving car and grab for a rope that's lowered from an overhead helicopter.
Rialson, in the meantime, has been soundly thrashed by Luisi, who has good reason to be jealous. Lewis finds the bruised and bloodied Rialson and is told that Luisi is the maniac who has been killing the stuntpeople (it was indicated right from the start so there is hardly a mystery). Forster is
already into his final stunt when Lewis tries to race to the location shooting to warn him. Forster has gone up the rope and is holding on to the chopper's rail. Luisi has deliberately removed some of the holding bolts from the runner, which is beginning to loosen and will separate from the
helicopter in just a few seconds. On the ground, Lewis shouts to Forster that Luisi is the culprit. Forster grabs onto a stronger section of the chopper and sees Luisi trying to get away in his open car. Forster jumps from the copter and into the car. The two men fight as the convertible careens
across the road. Forster is tossed out by the whiplash movement of the car, and Luisi, trying to regain control of the auto, is not fast enough. The car crashes and he is burned to ashes. It's an unbelievable story that could have used a stronger hand than director Lester's to shape the script.
Lester has had an interesting career. When given a bad script, he always seems to make it better. When given a good script, he somehow makes it worse.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1977
- Rating: PG
- Review: A thin plot, lots of action, a fair script, and no comparison to a much better movie made about the same subject, THE STUNT MAN. When stuntman Davis is killed, his brother, Forster, an ex-college professor who has become a stuntman, thinks foul play was in… (more)