Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Stunt Man, Free to Watch on Hulu

The Stunt Man (1980)

We were looking through the free feature films on Hulu last night and came across several that we thought we'd highlight here over the next few weeks.

First up: The Stunt Man.

We can't remember when we first saw the film — probably not until it came out on VHS since it didn't receive a wide theatrical release — but it immediately hit our Top 10 list and has remained there since. Peter O'Toole's performance is nothing short of brilliant, but it's the twisty screenplay that captured our imagination. (It was adapted from the 1970 novel of the same title by Paul Brodeur.) O'Toole, screenwriters Lawrence B. Marcus and Richard Rush, who also directed, were all nominated for Academy Awards (Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director).

Here's a summary of the film:

Running from the law, Vietnam vet Cameron (Steve Railsback) stumbles on a movie shoot just in time to interfere with a staged accident, causing the stunt man's death. Rather than turn Cameron in, director Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole) makes him an offer he can't refuse: replace the dead stunt man in return for safe harbor. Despite objections about Cameron's inexperience, Eli keeps him on, figuring that a vet will add an extra charge of realism to the World War I opus that he's filming. As leading lady Nina (Barbara Hershey) returns Cameron's affections, and Eli becomes ever more inscrutably mercurial, Cameron begins to wonder how far Eli will go to get the screen effects he wants, and if he would think twice about killing the stunt man.

The Stunt Man is rated R for pervasive strong language, intense action and violence (within the context of a film production), and nudity. We've embedded it below, but free films on Hulu aren't generally available for very long. (The film is also available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.)

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