The earliest well known old western movie produced was The Great Train Robbery. Filmed in 1903, it was not the first, but it ushered in a new era of "actor" - the stuntman. In the early days of Hollywood, the rodeo riders brought a battery of rodeo techniques that would expand and improve the excitement for the silver screen including horse falls and wagon wrecks, along with the harnesses and cable rigs to make the stunts foolproof and safe. They devised new safety devices including the 'L' stirrup, which allowed a man to fall off a horse without getting hung in the stirrup and cabling and equipment to cause spectacular wagon crashes, while releasing the team, all on the same spot every time. These safety methods saved film-makers time and money and prevented accidents and injury to performers. Yakima Canutt, an early pioneer contributed greatly to the craft, introducing a number of special rigging and effects to create drama and adventure to the filming.
Listed below are the men and women that brought their craft to Westerns.
- - -Thank you to Neil Summers and Boyd Magers for their cumulative research on this Stuntmen in the industry.- - -
John Bear Hudkins
Boyd “Red” Morgan
Dale Van Sickel