Yakima Canutt / Western Stunting 101 … Part 2

2 Jun

YAKIMA CANUTT 6

Western Stunting 101:
Elementary Western Stunt Horsemanship
and Weapon Handling Cont …

STAGECOACH opening scenes

Stunt 2:

Alright … your next Stunt is another location shot. It’s pretty simple – no riding or shooting involved.
I just need you to climb out of the speeding stagecoach and get on it’s roof … nothin’ to it.
What? You want a safety harness!!??? Wellll … we don’t have any of those … how about an extra five bucks?

Good … here we go …

STAGECOACH Stunt 2

Action !! … Open the door … out you go !

STAGECOACH Stunt 2.1

Hold ‘er steady boys !!!

STAGECOACH roof stunt

Just climb up there … !!

STAGECOACH Stunt 2.3

Hey! Not bad! – Didn’t fall or anything.
We might make a Stuntman outta you yet. 

Here’s your 15 bucks.

Next:

Stunt 3:
Western Stunt Gun Handling

Stunt 3 is mostly a series of ‘close up’ shots – so to speak – done in the studio.

You’re playing Andy Devines role – stagecoach driver. You’ll only have to pretend to handle the reins – but there’s no horses on the set. Just try to look like you know what you’re doing; Handling a real team of horses would be Advanced Western Stunt Horsemanship ...

STAGECOACH Andy Devine

Here’s an interesting  anecdote from Stagecoach (IMDB): “(Director) John Ford liked to bully actors on the set, and this was no exception. At one point he said to Andy Devine, “You big tub of lard. I don’t know why the hell I’m using you in this picture.” Undaunted, Devine replied, “Because Ward Bond can’t drive six horses.” Point taken.

Because Andy Devine usually played a ‘comic relief” role in Westerns, his skills as a Western Actor are massively under-appreciated. He was a really a very accomplished gun handler and rider. And obviously could do other things – like drive a rig.

Yakima Canutt bar

Now for Stunt 3 … this scene will clearly demonstrate some of the dangers of Western Gun Handling / Firearms.

After you (Yakima Canutt) climb up on the roof of the stagecoach the shooting starts in earnest …

STAGECOACH John

John Wayne starts firing …

STAGECOACH John 2

STAGECOACH John 3

… and gets a facefull of smoke … *cough cough*. 

But he keeps on shootin’…

STAGECOACH everybody shootin'

Marshal Curley Wilcox (George Bancroft) is ‘riding shotgun’ … and let’s fly …

STAGECOACH shotgun blast

John gets smoked again …
Note the huge muzzle flash from the shotgun … about 3 feet long!
Imagine standing in front of that?!

Doc (Thomas Mitchell) starts shootin’ too …

STAGECOACH Doc shootin'

STAGECOACH Doc shootin' 2

Did you notice Actress Louise Platt covering her ears?
She’s not Acting …

STAGECOACH Doc shootin' 3

That idiot is shooting his pistol about a foot from her face !!!.

STAGECOACH Doc shootin' 4

STAGECOACH Doc shootin' 5

The boys keep blasting away …

STAGECOACH shotgun blast 2

OK … time to get you into some action !!

Hold still … while we blast a shotgun off beside your head …

STAGECOACH shotgun blast 3

No whining.

Here comes Johnny !

STAGECOACH John shootin'

Ooops, missed …

STAGECOACH John shootin' 2

Did I detect a Wilhelm?

Good work.
Hello?

Yakima Canutt bar

Next: 
Advanced Canutt Stunting …

5 Responses to “Yakima Canutt / Western Stunting 101 … Part 2”

  1. Don Ostertag June 2, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    Nice post.

    • jcalberta June 2, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

      Thanks Don … hope somebody likes it … cuz that was a hell of a LOT of work.

      • Don Ostertag June 7, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

        A lot of work but well worth it.

  2. thoughtsallsorts June 3, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    I’m grinning from ear to ear! Love your stunt posts!

    • jcalberta June 3, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

      Glad you liked ’em. Fun to do.
      Still at least one Stunt post to go … Stunt Falls and Yak’s best.

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