Stuntman!: My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life

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Stuntman!: My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life

Format:  Hardcover,

307 pages

Publisher: Little Brown & Co

Publish Date: Feb 2011

ISBN-13: 9780316078993

ISBN-10: 0316078999

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
Yep that's me, Hal Needham, on the cover doing a fire stunt. When you're on fire you don't dare breathe because if you do, you'll suck those flames right down your throat. I was Hollywood's highest paid stuntman so I should know.
I wrecked hundreds of cars, fell from tall buildings, got blown up, was dragged by horses, and along the way broke 56 bones, my back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth...I hung upside down by my ankles under a bi-plane in "The Spirit of St. Louis," jumped between galloping horses in "Little Big Man," set a world record for a boat stunt on "Gator," jumped a rocket powered pick-up truck across a canal for a GM commercial, was the first human to test the car airbag-and taught John Wayne how to "really "throw a movie punch.
Life also got exciting outside of the movie business. I had my Ferrari stolen right from under my nose, flew in a twin-engine Cessna with a passed out pilot, rescued the cast and crew from a Russian invasion in Czechoslovakia, and once took six flight attendants on a date. I owned the Skoal-Bandit NASCAR race team, the sound-barrier breaking Budweiser Rocket Car and drove a souped-up, fake ambulance in a "little" cross-country race called "The Cannonball Run," which became the movie I directed by the same name. Oh yeah, I also directed "Smokey and the Bandit," "Hooper" and several other action/comedy movies that I liked a bunch.
I was a sharecropper's son from the hills of Arkansas who became a Hollywood stuntman. That journey was a tough row to hoe. I continually risked my life but that was the career I chose. I was never late to the set and did whatever I had to do to get the job done.
Hollywood's not all sunglasses and autographs. Let me tell you a few stories...


Publisher: Little Brown & Co
Publish Date: Feb 2011
ISBN-13: 9780316078993
ISBN-10: 0316078999
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 307
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.2
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.5 x 1.5
Walmart No.: 9780316078993


Review by Library Journal (2011-01-01)

Needham is best known for directing movies that are simply fun to watch-such as Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, and The Cannonball Run-and his autobiography of a life in film lives up to that tradition. Focusing on his years as a prolific stunt man, stunt coordinator, and film director, Needham fills the pages with behind-the-scenes anecdotes of his days with John Wayne, Burt Reynolds, and countless others. When he occasionally mentions his family, his childhood in Arkansas, or his relationship with his mother, it is all the more affecting; he is a consummate professional who never lost touch with where he came from or how lucky he was for the opportunities he had. The greatest attribute of the book is Needham's voice. He can tell a good story, and his life has provided an endless amount of source material.

Verdict: A well-written, conversational look at a distinctive Hollywood experience, perfect for any library and anyone who admires the skills of film making.

[See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/10.] - Peter Thornell, Hingham P.L., MA

(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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