World-class stuntman Vic Armstrong has lived as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman, and other epic cinema heroes throughout his career. He’s worked closely with the action icons many of us grew up with on the big screen, and the stuntman has risked his life countless times to perfect the unforgettable scenes that have replayed in our collective movie memory for decades.
Armstrong’s new book — The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman, a wild ride through the death-defying maestro’s career — hits shelves on May 29. It’s a reminder that some of the greatest talents in Hollywood are those behind the scenes and not mugging for the camera.
We wanted Armstrong’s expert input on some of cinema’s most exciting action stunts, and he was kind enough to share his thoughts about 10 different scenes. Head past the break where we dig up a few thrilling moments in action movie history, and drop your favorites below.
Vic Armstrong: “Supercop is a very well shot piece of action… it is superbly shot, edited, and performed, and quite a risk looks to have been taken by the stunt rider.”
Before Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider or Salt, Michelle Yeoh proved women could be incredible action performers in 1992’s Supercop. The actress played a police officer who matches action icon Jackie Chan note for note and steals the show during one impressive scene where she rides a motorcycle up a ramp, into the air, and onto the roof of a moving train. Yeoh performed all her own stunts in the film, all of them extremely dangerous.
While we don’t think it’s worth risking life and limb for a great shot, there’s something to be admired about Hong Kong stuntworkers and coordinators who perform perilous acts, that while often absolutely thrilling and stunning, could cost them their life. That’s dedication — and something you don’t really see in Hollywood due to strict regulations and union codes.