By Yakima Canutt

Even prior to the "talkies" got here alongside, Yakima Canutt was once exciting relocating photograph audiences along with his bold stunts within the blood and thunder Westerns-and starring in them too.

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Additional info for Stunt man: the autobiography of Yakima Canutt with Oliver Drake

Sample text

M. studio brass. We were watching one segment of a silent film made in 1926 and everyone there was making notes in his head. M. spectacle, Ben Hur, and the segment that we were all focusing on was Breezy Eason's famous chariot race. As a book written by General Lew Wallace and published in 1880, Ben Hur had broken all previous publishing sales records. 's silent films (it had cost $5 million), it had become one of the studio's most popular and enduring films. M. budgeted $15 million for its remake of this popular classic.

I had tried to prevent just this kind of a situation from happening. Now we were in trouble, thanks to Henry Henixson! My first thought was to sack it, but I quickly decided against it. I decided to take this directly to Zimbalist. He was the boss and had put his okay on the plan. Just as I got up, a big limousine Page 11 pulled alongside and stopped near the edge of the track. Sam Zimbalist got out and came over to me. " I shrugged glumly. "Pretty bad, Mr. Zimbalist. Glad you showed up. I'd like to have you take a look at the horses.

Then it should be harrowed and rolled smooth. After that an inch of sand should be put back over the surface. " The construction company took two weeks to do this and when they hauled the sand out and dumped it, it looked like the Sahara Desert. Henry Henixson was what I would term a Jekyll-and-Hyde character. Being with him at a party or a dinner, he'd be full of fun and a real nice person to be around. He ignored our squabble over the track construction and was quite friendly during the rest of the shooting.

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