Sep 25, 2014

Vic Rivers

Vic Rivers (1948-1977) was a veteran of the Joie Chitwood Auto Thrill Show. He worked on about a half dozen films including "Live and Let Die" (1973), "Moving Violation" (1976), "Thunder and Lightning" (1977), and "The Ransom" (1977).

 Below: Vic was the stunt coordinator for director Ron Howard's, "Grand Theft Auto" (1977).

 They performed car stunts that they did in the Chitwood Thrill Shows.

Below: This stunt is called the T-bone crash.

 Below: Since there is no roll cage, the driver lays down in the seat in case the roof collapses.

 Below: In "Grand Theft Auto," Vic (driving the jeep) also played the role of Muskovitz.

Below: Vic was killed while performing this truck jump for the film, "Hi-Riders" (1978).

Vic was a well trained, professional stunt driver. Even with all the proper safety precautions, things can still go wrong. Stunts are dangerous.

Sep 11, 2014

Russ Saunders

Russell Maurice Saunders (1919-2001) 

Russ Saunders was born in Canada, and as a teen, became an expert at diving and gymnastics. He was offered diving scholarships at USC and UCLA but turned them down and went to Hollywood. He doubled stars including Gene Kelly, Alan Ladd, and Robert Cummings. Russ was a regular at the famed Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, CA and taught gymnastics there well in to his 70's. Russ was  a member of the Stuntmen's Association and a World War II veteran.

Russ worked on many well known films including "King Kong" (1933), "Samson and Delilah" (1949), "The Thing from Another World" (1951), "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952), "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), "Spartacus" (1960), "The Poseidon Adventure" (1973), "Logan's Run" (1976), and "The Goonies" (1985).

Below: Russ made this leap off a bridge while handcuffed in Alfred Hitchcock's "Saboteur" (1942).

Below: Russ in costume.

Below: Russ was the model for Salvador Dali's painting, "Christ of Saint John of the Cross" (1951). Dali had Russ suspended from an overhead gantry, so he could see how the body would appear from the desired angle.

Below: Russ (right, grabbing man) is doubling Alan Ladd in the Western classic, "Shane" (1953)

Below: Doubling Richard Widmark, Russ was injured performing this fall for the film, "Broken Lance" (1954).

Below: Russ appeared in the Roger Corman produced cult classic, "Death Race 2000" (1975) starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone.

Russ doubling Gene Kelly in "The Three Musketeers" (1948)