Tag Archives: Movie Stunts

Jesse James / The Long Riders / Stunting Revisited

2 May


jesse james / ry cooder

Stunts: Jesse James and Long Riders 

Back on April 5, I made a post called Jesse James (1939): The Stunt of Infamy. It detailed an stunt in the movie whereby a horse was killed. This stunt led to the creation of the The American Humane Association (AHA) – an organization that monitors animal safety in film making (among related concerns). 

Ironically, 41 years after the this original incident, The Long Riders (1980), openly commits more animal safety infractions – while duplicating stunts from this original film?!

Here is the AHA review of The Long Riders:

AHA was not informed of the animal action prior to filming, but confirmed via screening the film on May 19, 1980 that two obvious horse trips occurred. In one fall, a horse landed on its back and in the other fall, the horse did a dangerous forward somersault. Since it was deemed that these falls could not be achieved without the use of tripping wires, AHA rated the film Unacceptable.”

Below is a clip from Jesse James (1939). Apart from the famous stunt I mentioned it shows no horse trips, but does show another questionable stunt: jumping horses through a window. Yes, we know that’s not real glass, but you have to wonder …

Below is a reprise the same stunt in The Long Riders – plus we see one obvious horse trip. Then the horses are jumped through two windows! Little wonder they wouldn’t want the AHA to monitor this. 

WHO ??? ME ?!

Director Walter Hill was a Peckinpah fan. Not hard to tell.

AHA Movie database and Reviews:

However over 90 percent of Movies monitored by the AHA pass the safety checks.
Most Movie Directors and Producers do care.

Here’s a few that didn’t pass:

Stagecoach (1939)
Horses are tripped with great abandon in this Classic.
Ben-Hur (1925)
In 1925, it’s a certainty that the safety of either beast – or man – was of no concern.
Heaven’s Gate (1980)
The reputation of this film is damaged anew.
The Wild Bunch (1969)
In one scene Sam Peckinpah collapsed a whole bridge full of horses and riders into a river.

AHA Guidelines for Producers / Film Makers 

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