Monday, February 25, 2013

Ark. stunt pioneer Hal Needham gets honorary Oscar

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:09 AM

If you were paying attention while watching the Oscars last night, you might have heard that Arkansas-raised stuntman Hal Needham was one of those who received an honorary Academy Award this year. Before his retirement, Needham was a pioneer in the stunt industry, developing many techniques for making stunts more dramatic and safer, including the development of the high-fall airbag. As pointed out by Quentin Tarantino when he introduced Needham at the Governors Awards back in December, Needham is only the second stunt performer/stunt coordinator in history to receive an Oscar.

Born a dirt-poor sharecropper's son, Needham parlayed a stint as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and work as a tree trimmer into a career as a stuntman and filmmaker, directing screwball, fast-car cult classics like "Smokey and the Bandit," "Hooper," and "Cannonball Run." We talked to him at length just prior to his appearance at the Little Rock Film Festival in 2011. You can read the extensive Q&A here.

When we asked him why he thinks there is an Academy Award category for almost every facet of film making except stunts, Needham said he's glad they don't give out Oscars in his line of work, and gave an excellent answer why:


"My belief is, when a person goes in and pays his money to see a movie, and he sees his hero up there doing something spectacular, you don't want him to stop and think: 'I wonder if that's the star, or if it's a stuntman?' You want them to enjoy the movie. I think stuntmen should take their check and go on their way."

Seen above is video of Needham's emotional speech on accepting his Oscar. "You're looking at the luckiest man alive," Needham told the crowd, "and lucky to be alive."

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by David Koon

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation