A quick clarification: A stuntman didn’t die during the production of “Ben-Hur.”
For years, it was rumored that Stephen Boyd’s stunt double for the movie’s famous chariot sequence was either thrown from a chariot, or trampled by a horse and crushed (depending on the news). rumors that one might hear). Rumors may have been started by stuntman Nosher Powell, who, in his autobiography “”Nosher“claims that a stuntman is actually dead. The truth is – confirmed in Emilie Raymond’s 2006 book of heroism”From My Cold, Dead Hands: Charlton Heston and American Politics“- no stuntman died in “Ben-Hur” and the only injury suffered was from Charlton Heston’s double stunt Joe Canutt, who smashed his chin into a carriage after he I was thrown into the air.Canutt lived until 1986.
The tank scene in “Ben-Hur” is one of the more remarkable examples of famous stunt work in Hollywood history, as well as one of cinema’s great action sequences in general. The successes achieved in this scene are all first-rate and will thrill even the most fatigued action fans. Heston didn’t perform any stunts of his own, although Boyd was famous, wearing a special suit of armor to be dragged behind a chariot. But worry, no, “Ben-Hur” fans, as it’s merely a dummy trampled under thunderous hooves.
In 1997, Heston Recorded interview with BBC, and he apparently ignored Boyd’s derring-do, claiming that the actors simply weren’t – probably shouldn’t – perform their own stunts. Now, we live in an era where Tom Cruise routinely and knowingly puts his own life first to perform increasingly wild stunts for the “Mission: Impossible” movies. Heston, notoriously rigid and conservative in his attitude, probably won’t hear about it.
‘The actor who tells you he does his own stunts is a fool or a liar’
Charlton Heston has not diminished the talent of stunt actors. Indeed, he seems to want to give stunt coordinators and directors their second unit when it comes to their contributions to the film’s action sequences. Heston doesn’t say anything about an actor’s ego, but he does make it clear that actors performing their own stunts are not supposed to be at the heart of a stunt-heavy script. Heston points out that he knows a little about horses, but never drives a stunt just to show off. Indeed, Heston never even wanted to direct, and once said in an interview with Dick Cavett, that he wanted to assert control over the production at the casting, editorial, and scripting levels. Heston still enjoys directing a movie he’s made, but was never a director, nor was he a stuntman. Heston says:
“The actor who tells you he does his own stunts is either a fool or a liar. Now, there are scenes that you can do. I am a horseman of modest capacity. And the stunt coordinator, or the second unit director, is always the one who knows everything there is to know about it, and I always say, ‘Can I do this shot?’ And they’ll say, ‘Yeah, you shouldn’t do this Chuck,’ I say, ‘Okay.’ And if they say, “Yes, you can do this,” I do it, it’s very simple.”
Heston could have asked, but the stunt coordinators said no. So he didn’t.
Old Heston and New Heston
It should be noted that Heston was once a more left-leaning libertarian, serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1965 to 1971. He was concerned with actors’ rights, and even marched for Civil Rights causes throughout the 1960s. By the time he made the above statement in 1997, his politics had changed dramatically in the opposite direction, and he became head of the Union. National Rifle Association, regularly put out flawed speeches about the nebulous stuff about culture wars. In many ways, Heston later became the famous face at the center of the modern conservative movement.
However, both versions of Heston seem to believe in the actors’ rights and make sure credit is given on time. It’s a pity that Heston seems to have forgotten Boyd in his statement.
Heston, in the same 1997 interview, lamented the changing face of Hollywood, and how much money was being spent. In 1997, a cheap movie had a budget of $23 million, while “Ben-Hur” had a budget of only $14 million. He complained that a film like “Ben-Hur” couldn’t be made in 1997, largely ignoring that historical epics like “Braveheart” still won awards. Incidentally, a new movie version of “Ben-Hur”, directed by Timur Bekmambetov, will be made in 2016 with a budget of about 100 million USD. It went unnoticed by the public and was one of the biggest box office bombs of all time.
Of course, Heston’s comments don’t take into account Hollywood in 2016 – he died in 2008 – but he is correct in assuming that the true large-scale Roman epic has yet to be in vogue. We can give him just as much.
https://www.slashfilm.com/1001467/charlton-heston-wouldnt-agree-with-the-tom-cruise-school-of-stunt-acting/ Charlton Heston Won’t Agree With Tom Cruise’s School Of Stunt Acting