Top 10 Movie Stunts

Script written by Nolan Moore. Who needs CGI when you can have a stuntman make that 750-foot jump off the side of a dam for ya? In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie stunts. For this list, we are looking at the men and women who defy death with incredible stunts that put audiences on the edge of their seats. Special thanks to our users Mike Garcia, gleekelle60, Conor Doherty, Andrew A. Dennison, Mattyhull1, Alysia Victoria Parker, Herald T J Stephens, ABHISHEK G, Jack Napier, Rubin Ulqini, aldqbigsquare, Tommy Carr, Micheal JCaboose and Sordman for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.
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Script written by Nolan Moore.

Top 10 Movie Stunts


Who needs CGI when you can have a stuntman make that 750-foot jump off the side of a dam for ya? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 greatest movie stunts of all time.

For this list, we’re looking at the men and women who defy death with incredible big screen stunts that make audiences sit on the edge of their seats. But to make the cut, stunts need to have an edge of real-life danger. So, for example, the famous bus jump scene from Jan de Bont’s high-paced thriller, “Speed,” won’t show up on our list because that gap was pure CG.

#10: The Plane Heist
“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)

Christopher Nolan wanted his Batman trilogy to feel realistic, and that included the stunts. These movies are packed with awesome effects like the truck flip from “The Dark Knight,” but the most impressive moment has gotta be the hijacking scene in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Nolan really threw a bunch of stuntmen out a plane and onto a C-130 - for the exterior scenes at least. And yeah, he actually hooked the planes together and suspended one mid-air. Topping things off, that fuselage is really falling thousands of miles to Earth. Look out below!

#9: The Astro-Spiral Jump
“The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974)

James Bond movies are known for clever gadgets, beautiful women, and amazing stunt work, like the scene from “Live or Let Die,” where a gutsy stuntman runs across a crocodile bridge. But the 360-degree barrel roll from “The Man with the Golden Gun” is Bond at his best. With precise calculations from a Cornell University computer, professional driver “Bumps” Willard launches an AMC Hornet off a spiraled ramp, does a complete corkscrew, and lands safely on the other side. If only they hadn’t included that pennywhistle.

#8: Sliding Down the Pole
“Police Story” (1985)

Stunt doubles? Jackie Chan doesn’t believe in stunt doubles. Thanks to his do-it-yourself attitude, he’s been slashed by a sword, crushed between vehicles, and almost died in “Armour of God.” But this crazy stunt from “Police Story” nearly left him paralyzed. Jackie slides down a seventy-foot pole, getting zapped by light bulbs all the way down, before crashing through a sheet of glass and landing in a kiosk. The stunt almost snapped his spine and left Jackie with a dislocated pelvis and second-degree burns. Ouch. But man, looks cool doesn’t it?

#7: The Chariot Race
“Ben-Hur” (1959)

The most expensive movie of its day, “Ben-Hur” is best remembered for its $1 million chariot race, which saw Charlton Heston do most of his own driving. But things almost ended tragically when stuntman Joe Canutt filled in for the film’s hero. In this infamous scene, Canutt was going too fast and wasn’t properly hooked in. When his chariot bounced in the air, Joe went flying over the front. Fortunately, Canutt was able to drag himself back inside, escaping with just a bloody chin.

#6: The Ship’s Mast Scene
“Death Proof” (2007)

Stuntwoman Zoë Bell has done some awesome work in films like “Catwoman,” where she made a colossal 26-story jump. But Bell is most famous for her collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino. Not only did she double for Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill,” she also found herself hanging onto the hood of a Dodge Challenger in “Death Proof.” Yep, that’s really Bell flipping and flailing around as those cars collide. And there’s no CG in this crazy chase. It’s just one brave woman holding on for dear life.

#5: Under the Truck
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)

In 1939, Yakima Canutt stunned audiences by dropping under a team of horses and the wheels of a stagecoach. Over 4 decades later, Steven Spielberg paid tribute to the scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” only this time with a ten-wheeled truck. Terry Leonard performed this fantastic feat, but only after friend and fellow stuntman, Glenn H. Randall Jr., agreed to take the wheel. A small ditch was dug underneath to help Leonard move around, but if he’d made just one wrong move, Indiana Jones would’ve ended up roadkill.

#4: Crawling Through the Coal
“Drunken Master II” (1994)

Jackie Chan is the king of practical effects. After all, he’s the guy who rolled over a table saw and spit chili pepper juice onto his knuckles. And in this action flick, Jackie almost barbecued himself to death. In “Drunken Master II”’s climactic fight, Jackie goes flying into a pit of flaming coals and nearly catches on fire trying to scramble out. A perfectionist, Jackie filmed the scene three times before he was satisfied, resulting in permanent scars and one awesome stunt.

#3: Scaling the Burj Khalifa
“Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol” (2011)

Tom Cruise is completely crazy…when it comes to stunts anyway. Set outside the Burj Khalifa—the world’s tallest building—this mind-blowing scene finds him dangling over 1,700 feet in the air - with the help of a few cables digitally erased later, of course. Just try not to gasp when he lets go and plummets for 2 ½ stories. Eventually, with just one rope, Cruise runs down the building, jumps over a camera, and soars on cross winds 1 ½ miles above the ground. Just don’t look down, Tom.

#2: The Collapsing Wall
“Steamboat Bill Jr.” (1928)

A silent star with vaudeville training, Buster Keaton wowed audiences with jaw-dropping stunts that’d put modern-day filmmakers to shame. In this iconic scene from “Steamboat Bill Jr.,” a giant wall falls right on top of him, but fortunately, there’s a window in just the right spot. It looks simple, but that wall weighed two tons. Keaton only had a few inches of clearance on each side and if he’d missed his mark, the wall would’ve crushed him like a bug. No wonder most of the crew closed their eyes – at least, we’re sure we would have, if we were on set!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Showdown in the Hallway
“Inception” (2010)
- Hanging from a Helicopter
“True Lies” (1994)
- The Balcony Jump
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007)
- Going Down the Waterfall
“Romancing the Stone” (1984)
- The Tanker Chase
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

#1: The Clock Tower Fall
“Project A” (1983)

Jackie Chan was a fan of silent movies, and our top pick pays homage to the famous clock tower scene from “Safety Last!” Only unlike Harold Lloyd, Jackie was actually three-stories up in the air…and then he let go. Jackie tumbles fifty feet down, tearing through two awnings, before hitting the ground with his head. Unhappy with the first shot, Jackie performed the stunt two more times. He even included two different takes in the final film so we can moan and groan even more.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie stunt? For more amazing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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