Doubling for McQueen and Redford

The Stunt Careers of Loren Janes and Mickey Gilbert


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About the Book

Since Hollywood’s first motion-picture, stunt players have given blood, sweat, and tears to the business. From high falls and horse gags to fist-fights, fire, water-work and automotive mayhem, this largely unsung group of action-performers has been making movie violence believable and telling stories through exciting sequences without so much as an Oscar category to acknowledge their work. This book follows the careers of Loren Janes and Mickey Gilbert, two fabled stunt practitioners born and trained during the pre-CGI film age, and shares their secrets of the trade while walking through five decades of movie magic. The fascinating and original conversations discuss some of Hollywood’s most action-packed flicks such as Spartacus, How the West Was Won, Bullitt, The Wild Bunch, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Little Big Man.

About the Author(s)

A member of IATSE’s Local 80 Grips since 1993, James C. Udel has held the position of call steward with the Hollywood Union for the past eight years. Besides serving as the Local’s archivist, he also penned a feature column for Below the Line magazine called Footnotes. He lives in Sherman Oaks, California.

Bibliographic Details

James C. Udel

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 226
Bibliographic Info: 79 photos, glossary, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9777-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4272-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 3
Part I: Loren Janes
1. Childhood and the Early Days 5
2. Going Professional 12
3. Age of the Flying Cowboys 19
4. Wrestling Anacondas, Stunt Associations and McQueen 23
5. When the World Wasn’t Padded 27
6. The Misfits, Taras Bulba and The Greatest Story Ever Told 35
7. Western Classics: McLintock! and The Sons of Katie Elder 40
8. ­­­­­­G-Men, Camelot and More 46
9. From Apes to Frank Bullitt and Beyond 63
10. Tentpoles and Bogdanovich’s Masterpiece Plus Custer’s Last Stand 72
11. Life as a Pro 80
12. A Hard Day’s Night 88
13. McQueen’s Best and Last 98
14. New Beginnings of a Journeyman Player 107
15. Cold, Cold, Cold Around the Heart 114
16. Master of the Tinseltown Universe 119
Part II: Mickey Gilbert
17. Birth of a Champion 127
18. A Career Begins: Alvarez Kelly and Peckinpah 132
19. Cleopatra to Return of a Man Called Horse 139
20. All in a Day’s Work 153
21. Sydney Pollack, Redford and Belushi 162
22. Stunt Heaven and Helicopters 168
23. Old Gringo Rides 172
24. Return of the Westerns 179
25. The Fat Lady Sings 191
Glossary 197
Index 205