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 …
Another stunt in The Long Riders is an obvious horse trip. Little wonder they wouldn’t want the AHA to monitor this.
Director Walter Hill was a Peckinpah fan. Not hard to tell.
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:
Horses are tripped with great abandon in this Classic.
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.
I admire Pek’s work as a Director. He was really good.
And he always said that he didn’t ‘sugar coat’ his bloodshed
in his movies because it sanitized the true gore of killing –
which he hoped people would abhore.
Unfortunately people didn’t abhore it.
They embraced it.