Thursday, March 3, 2011
STUNTMAN new book by Hal Needham
Just finished this book and was very disappointed in it....didn't really shed any new info on anything. Yeah, Hal takes credit for a lot of break-throughs in stunt work such as air cushions for high falls and trampolines and explosives set under steel plates to make people "blown up" look more realistic and he helped design a new camera car to film high speed chases, etc. He dwells a lot on his NASCAR racing team and gives himself credit for all the product placements now found on the cars and on the drivers' suits. But not enough anecdotes about the movies he directed and he says nothing at all about why he stopped directing. Some interesting tidbits on his quest to break the sound barrier on land. Don't get me wrong...next to Yakima Canutt he probably is the next best stuntman ever. Just wish he'd given us more stories about his various film-tv projects. He did confirm that the Robert Klein director in HOOPER was based on Peter Bogdanovich whom he worked for on NICKELODEON. Hal said, in passing, that Jack Elam once turned down a tv series at Warner's because they wouldn't allow card playing on the set...wonder what series that was as Jack later starred in THE DAKOTAS for Warners?