Published By: Jayati

Thrill ride: the most jaw-dropping movie stunts ever!

These insane stunts took the blockbusters to epic heights!

Stunt work is the hidden heartbeat of the movie industry, often underappreciated yet absolutely vital. For over a century, stunt performers have risked life and limb to bring heart-pounding excitement to the silver screen, and it’s high time they were recognised with an Oscar category. From the audacious feats in 1903’s ‘The Great Train Robbery’ to the jaw-dropping car chases of today, audiences have always been captivated by the real, raw thrill of stunts. Even in an era dominated by digital effects, nothing beats the adrenaline of live-action daring. So, let’s dive into the most spectacular stunts in film history and see which ones truly take the crown. Fasten your seatbelts—this is going to be a wild ride!

The Burglars (1971) 

So, taking a page from Buster Keaton's book in "Seven Chances," Henri Verneuil's French-Italian adventure hits its peak with Jean-Paul Belmondo's jewel thief getting dumped out of a truck and rolling into a quarry. And in two of the three shots, it's actually Belmondo himself taking the tumble, not some stunt double! After that heart-pounding moment, he just brushes off his hair and casually strolls away. Talk about impressive!

Police Story (1985) 

Jackie Chan pulls off this insane pole slide in Police Story's epic mall fight scene. He's sliding down several stories with light bulbs exploding all around him—it's like something out of an action movie dream. But Chan was actually sick at the time, filming both day and night while pumped full of medicine! Those lights on the pole? They were scorching hot, giving him second-degree burns on his hands. And to top it off, he landed with a back injury and a dislocated pelvis. Ouch! Yet, despite all that pain, Police Story became a massive hit, with Chan's legendary pole slide stunt stealing the show.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) 

The ultimate Bond pre-credits sequence features legendary stuntman Rick Sylvester (filling in for Roger Moore) skiing straight off the edge of Canada’s Asgard Peak, plunging into a heart-stopping free fall down, down, down into a valley. With nerves on edge, he finally yanks the ripcord, and lo and behold, a Union Jack parachute blossoms above him. Cue Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better," and you've got a scene that's hard to top!

Steamboat Bill, Jr (1928) 

It's pretty ironic that Buster Keaton, who was famously athletic, pulled off his signature stunt without needing to run, jump, climb, or fall. In "Steamboat Bill, Jr.," a house facade crashes down on him, but he miraculously stands in the exact spot where the attic window opening saves him. It's a heart-stopping moment that really shows Keaton's incredible timing and precision!

Ben-Hur (1959) 

In the epic chariot race scene from "Ben-Hur," there's a jaw-dropping moment when Judah Ben-Hur's chariot bounces over some wreckage, and Charlton Heston's stunt double, Joe Canutt (who also happens to be the son of the second-unit director), is unexpectedly flipped head over heels into the air, landing amidst the thundering hooves of the horses below. Thankfully, he escaped with just a scraped chin from the unplanned event!

Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation (2015) 

Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise's collaboration is unmatched in delivering jaw-dropping stunts. While the underwater scene in "Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation"—where Cruise held his breath for three minutes in a single take—is a close contender, the plane scene in the sequel takes the top spot. In "Rogue Nation," Ethan Hunt climbs and hangs off the outside of an Airbus A400M Atlas at over 5,000 feet in the air. Cruise performed the stunt eight times, all without getting off the plane, until the perfect shot was captured. It's a level of commitment that teeters on the edge between mastery and madness!

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) 

No need for any fancy de-ageing tricks in the first Indiana Jones flick. Back in '81, Harrison Ford was still in top form. Spielberg trusted him so much that he let him handle the iconic stunt in the opening scene himself. You can practically feel the adrenaline as our hero dashes through that booby-trapped tomb, with that giant boulder hot on his heels! 

Stunt professionals are the real unsung heroes of Hollywood, dishing out heart-pounding action while keeping the ice pack industry afloat. Here's to these fearless daredevils who turn our movie nights into adrenaline-pumping adventures!