• Newly restored for Criterion Blu-ray and DVD special editions, Stagecoach, the film that brought cachet to the western genre, remains a genuinely thrilling experience, thanks largely to its incredible, much-imitated stunts. In one of the release’s supplements, stunt coordinator extraordinaire Vic Armstrong (Raiders of the Lost Ark) introduces us to Yakima Canutt, the man who choreographed those amazing (and risky) action scenes, which include the famous leap by Wayne’s character, the Ringo Kid, from one pair of horses to the next and a nasty tumble taken by an unfortunate villain under wagon wheels. Armstrong says Canutt is not only a great stuntman but also “a great dissector of stunts.” Check out this short excerpt from Armstrong’s discussion of this master of movie illusion, which also includes clips of some of Stagecoach’s iconic moments.

    Vic Armstrong on Stagecoach’s Yakima Canutt Vic Armstrong on Stagecoach’s Yakima Canutt

6 comments

  • By chris myles
    July 03, 2010
    01:35 AM

    i do truly love this movie but still prfer the old b movies of john wayne of course
    Reply
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    • By Edwin Morris
      September 18, 2011
      07:57 PM

      Yes ,,, yes and yes.
  • By Darryl R. Pruett
    November 19, 2010
    10:28 AM

    I will purchase the Blue Ray of "Stage Coach" Great Job
    Reply
  • By lorin
    December 30, 2012
    08:12 PM

    That is my Great uncle Yak. I remember seeing this picture on his wall in his gun/autobiography book room. What is even more interesting, If I am correct, this stunt was a similar stunt used in one of the Indiana Jones series shows. But in this case, Indiana Jones was holding onto his bull while the German deuce and a half was pulling him on the ground.Harrison would hold onto the Bull Wip, and gradually hand over hand, fall back down the bill whip to the point, where he is now being dragged by the vehicle. He then pulled him self forward on the whip and got up into the back of the vehicle. Harrison Ford was being interviewed in his chair and mentioned that several stunts from Yakima were used in the shootings of the entire production. deuce and a half
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    • By Steve Jones
      February 12, 2013
      09:01 AM

      Yes, you are right Vic Armstrong recreates some of Yak's work in the Indian Jones' movies. Vic also relates how this particular stunt baffled Yak's peers in Hollywood for nigh on twenty years until the truth came out. Unfortunately, Vic also revealed the details of the stunt when I would happily have remained mystified! In effect, Yak and John Ford pulled off the equivalent of the 'double lift' used by magicians. Truly intriguing.
    • By Jay Farella
      May 17, 2014
      09:46 PM

      I connected the two scenes instantly. Great shot; great Uncle. JJF

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