Most elaborate movie stunt ever?

I watched Ronin the other day with the director’s commentary by John Frankenheimer switched on. According to him, one shot of a chase scene involved some 300 stunt drivers simultaneously, according to Frankenheimer. And I wondered if that was some kind of record.

Remember, we’re not talking about special effects, but live-action stunts. No CGI, no models or bluescreens. What are some other candidates for this?

The shower scene in the original Psycho involved a huge number of takes and a massive amount of micro-editing. Not sure of exact numbers of either. May not compare with more elaborate machine-oriented stunts, and may not even be a “stunt” per se.

It’s just the first thing that popped into my mind.

Ronin is one exceptional flic, IMO.

Maybe not elaborate, but the parachute jump at the beginning of “The Spy Who Loved Me” is damned impressive.
Also, in the incredibly rotten Burt Reynolds’ movie “Stick”, Dar Robinson falls off of a building straight down (he’s tethered but you don’t see the tether) all the while still firing a gun.
In another Burt Reynolds’ dud - “Sharky’s Machine”, I believe it is Dar Robinson once again with a spectacular stunt - breaking through the “glass” window pane of a building and falling an incredible height (20 30 stories ?). There’s an air bag on the ground (which is NOT shown) but still, very impressive.

I loved the exquisite timing in “The General”. There’s one scene in which Buster Keaton climbs onto the cowcatcher of a locomotive to remove railroad ties set in his way by the baddies stealing the train in front of him. All I could think of while I was watching it was, “How many times did they have to back up that damn train to get this shot?”

Wasn’t Dar Robinson killed doing the fall from ‘Sharkey’s Machine’? Or was that another stuntman?

As best I can recall (IMDB might say and I haven’t even checked) Robinson was killed in a motorcycle accident that had nothing to do with any movie.

After Googling, it seems Dar was killed in a motorcycle accident.

How about the big 'frickin police car chase and subsequent pile up from Blues Brothers 2000?

There was another Bond movie that has a car jumping, doing a complete 360, and landing on all four wheels. There was a thing on the Discovery Channel about that shot, they had to use all kinds of computers to figure out the exact angle of the launch ramp and landing ramp. It was extremely elaborate for its time (60s-70s)

Dar Robinson was killed in a practice motorcycle jump for the movie “Million Dollar Mystery” (1987)
This was yet ANOTHER bad movie he was in - but he was a GREAT stuntman.

The chariot scenes in both the 1925 and 1959 versions of Ben-Hur are pretty spectacular.

Heck, just providing lunch for the 125,000 [!] extras that the 1925 version claims would qualify as the most elaborate movie stunt!

Dont know if it will count formuch in this thread, but the best stunt Ive seen was In LOTR: Two Towers, Its just after the company along with the Rohirrim have been fighting the orcs on the bears, and Legolas is standing on the ground as his horse runs past with all the other people and he grabs the reigns[sp?] and swings under the horse and swings around and lands in the saddle. Its probabaly just simple editing, or maybe the Orlando did it, or maybe most people who can do horse stunts can do this, I dont know, but hell I was amazed.

Not to dispute your findings at IMDB, but the same source has this item which appears to question the relatedness of the bike accident.

Since IMDB is source for both versions, perhaps IMDB either has facts available that aren’t cross-checked, the two facts aren’t self-contrdictory, or the actual details of his death are murky.

FWIW, in spite of my fascination with these odd bits of data, I always try to keep that grain of salt in my pocket just so as not to be too alarmed when they wind up on an Urban Legends site or some other debunking place.


Some of the stunts in xXx are very well done. From the extras on the DVD it seemed to be pretty dangerous and elaborate.

Swordfish has an interesting and complex stunt involving a bus and a helicopter.

But the winner would probably have to be one of the Jackie Chan stunts. Many of them are very elaborate, well planned and often end up with him hurting himself.

The stunt’s in The Man With The Golden Gun. Undoubtedly a classic.

ok KGS I didnt even think about the fact that it could CGI, but hey I dont care, I still think its one cool stunt.

While not a movie, the Honda “cog” ad was mighty impressive.

Maybe not the most elaborate, but certainly one of the gutsiest; the roof-scenes in the Jackie Chan film Who am I?, which include Jackie sliding down a glass wall, are all done without wire, ropes, nets or stunt-men.

I’d include the chase that led up to that stunt. The crew had to film the chase while the Thais went about their daily business. Someone, presumably Santa Pestonji, was on hand to negotiate any reparations in case a stunt went awry during the everchanging traffic.