The Stunt Man is the most exhilarating film ever made about movie-making. It’s a comedy, a drama and a social satire wrapped up in an action adventure film-within-the-film, following the exploits of a wild and crazy director played masterfully by Peter O’Toole who will do anything for the sake of his art. With only a limited release, this largely unseen gem is a wonderfully entertaining and light-hearted romp, proclaimed by Pauline Kael as one of the best films of its year. Nominated for Academy Awards for best actor, director and screenplay.
On the run from the police, Cameron (Steve Railsback) crashes the set of a Hollywood war movie. When he inadvertently causes a stunt man's death, the film's manipulative director, Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole), decides to shelter Cameron from the cops if he steps in as the daredevil's replacement. Though the arrangement seems like a good deal, it soon becomes a perilous position, with the situation only complicated when Cameron falls for the movie's lead actress, Nina Franklin (Barbara Hershey).