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3 Astonishing Silent Movie Stunts

Well, I say there are 3, but frankly there are so many stunts packed into these movie clips that I couldn’t reliably count them. Movie-goers in the silent movie era loved slapstick as well as bold and outrageous stunts, all of which were made without the help of CGI and which could have been catastrophic for the actor if they’d gone wrong.

I haven’t included any Charlie Chaplin in here because, quite honestly, I don’t think he cuts the mustard in quite the way that Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton did. He’s more of a clown than an astonishing stunt-man.

My favourite stunt sequence of all is the Buster Keaton motorbike scene (above) – it’s packed full of jaw-dropping near-misses. Apparently during the stunt where the house falls on Keaton (below) he only had 2 inches of clearance around him. If he’d been out by just a fraction the 2 tonne house-front would have landed directly on him. Even the cameraman crossed himself and couldn’t watch while they were filming that scene!

It really says something that these stunts still have the power to render you open-mouthed nearly 100 years later. Which is your favourite, and have I missed any great stunts you think I should have included?


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