Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

How LITTLE BIG MAN Learned to Shoot!!! The Visual BTS Proof!!!

Hey folks, Harry here...  

I'm not stepping on Quint's Behind The Scenes Pic of the Day - instead - I'm adding to it.   He still owes y'all one.   You see, on Sundays here in Rehab, I just have a 30 minute session of Physical Therapy - and I end up having a lot of uninterrupted time.   Enter, Father Geek with a copy of Hal Needham's STUNTMAN! MY CAR-CRASHING, PLANE-JUMPING, BONE-BREAKING, DEATH-DEFYING HOLLYWOOD LIFE.   

Do you know about Hal Needham?  If not, you're a film geek in training.   Hal Needham is generally considered one of the greatest Stuntmen of all time.   In addition, during the big, gosh - gee-whiz years of my life, he was directing a whole series of STUNT orientated films - like HOOPER, CANNONBALL RUN, SMOKEY & THE BANDIT...   but it was his work with Kirk Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Burt Reynolds...  the list is endless.   He worked on 4,500 television episodes and 310 feature films.   Many times he served as Assistant Director or 2nd Unit Director in charge of shooting all the dangerous action scenes.   

But when I got the book, I immediately jumped to the pics to see what cool BTS stuff there may be, and finding the following shot of Hal training Dustin Hoffman how to rapid fire his pistol in LITTLE BIG MAN, which was on TCM just the other day!   

So I jumped to the index to see what stories Hal had from the set of LITTLE BIG MAN, and apparently Hal feels that one of the most dangerous stunts he ever performed physically in his life took place on the film.   Specifically it involved the scene where you see the Stuntman as Dustin Hoffman, leaping onto the horse from the runaway stagecoach, Hal was the indian that jumped on that other horse.   The tough part was standing on the back of the horse and leaping to the next horse.   He describes it as a standing broadjump of 14 feet from the back of a full galloping horse to another full galloping horse.   Apparently, Arthur Penn, the director told him on his close up doing the stunt, to make it look like he was having fun, but Needham insists that it was anything but fun!  They had to continue repeating this - and well...  you can imagine.   Or maybe you can't.   I can't.   I really can't.   That's real hero shit!  They had to perform the whole stunt, going from rear horse all the way to the lead horse 13 times over the course of two days.   It's a hair-raising description.

As good as that was, the BATTLE OF LITTLE BIG HORN descriptions...  Wow.      That's just a 5 page sequence out of the book, and a single picture.   I'm gonna devour this thing tonight.   It's just told breathlessly - and with a great memory of detail.   Click the picture to order the book from Amazon:



I also discovered there was a HAL NEEDHAM - THE STUNTMAN doll that just looks amazing!  Add that to my list of things I must track down and own.  Too cool!

Such a great book so far!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Jan. 30, 2011, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Post 0


    a BTS shot of Dustin Hoffman learning to Fan Shoot his gun in LITTLE BIG MAN!

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    "Today is a good day to die."

    by Sir Loin

    Really amazing film, try to see it if you haven't already. Needham was a household name back in the day.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    There is some Ender's Game news today.

    by pushthebuttonmax

    So how bout y'all just, you know, report it?

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Hope the recovery is going well Mr. Headgeek.

    by Gabba-UK

    Hoffman looks well up that particular piece of life skill training but who wouldn't want to learn to fan a six-shooter. By the way, is the this new habit of Post zero a way of smiting the first posters?

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Barry Bostwick's flying bike...

    by justmyluck

    ...which was just in time for E.T. You forgot MEGAFORCE, geek in training.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 5:57 p.m. CST


    by Denty420

    Firstly, hope you're better, big guy. Even though I work in broadband support and am a rabid movie lover, I never really thought of myself as a geek until you mentioned Hal Needham. I love Needham's work - not just his stunt work but as a director. He pulled off something incredible with Smokey 1, a film that shouldn't have worked but did. Although the sequel was inferior, it's watchable purely because of Needham. Thank you for the pic. Hoffman was in damn good hands.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Although I will say this for Smokey 2

    by Denty420

    The demolition derby scene in the desert between the smokeys and the truckers was fucking excellent. These days they'd do that shit with CGI to save money but back then it was real cars flying around, real crashes, real stuntmen. Needham knew his onions when it came to staging great stunts. The sandwiched car makes me laugh even now.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 6:27 p.m. CST

    love to learn how to shoot a la Blondie or Mortimer

    by Tigger Tales

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Does he say much about MEGAFORCE?

    by palimpsest

    And is there a written apology for STROKER ACE?

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 7:09 p.m. CST

    That "The Shining" GIF up there

    by Shubniggorath

    First reaction was an honest to god guffaw. Second reaction... WHERE IS THE SHINING BLU RAY I ORDERED!!! Gotta scratch that itch.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 7:29 p.m. CST


    by proevad

    Movie I saw about stunt men when I was a kid. Think Needham directed. Seem to remember liking the movie. Recall seeing Terry Bradshaw with his teeth knocked out. Who knows...Seen to many damned movies.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 9:16 p.m. CST


    by maxjohnson1971

    Damn dude. How long are they doing in-patient with you on that? I know it's spinal and all, but it sounded pretty non-invasive from what you said. By the way, you aren't at the Houston rehab are you? The one at the college there. Ah, memories of fitting wheelchairs in a world class facility like that still gives me goosebumps. Just glad I never had to fit you to one of them badboys. Hope you are doing well.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 9:17 p.m. CST

    That rehab

    by maxjohnson1971

    was TIRR by the way. That's where the Arizona Congresswoman is now I think.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Wish he'd do another SMOKEY & THE BANDIT

    by KnightShift

    Yeah Jerry Reed and Jackie Gleason are no longer with us, but the Bandit saga shouldn'ta ended on PART 3. C'mon Hal, get Burt Reynolds and Sally Field to do one more!

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Please, please, PLEASE give us a Megaforce BTS pic

    by Inexplicable_Nuclear_Balls

    Then I can die happy.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 11:09 p.m. CST


    by BlaGyver

    That was the first blu I ever owned, it's a great transfer.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 11:11 p.m. CST


    by Shubniggorath

    I have 2001 and A Clockwork Orange on BD... the 2001 transfer totally lives up to the hype, I can't stop watching it.

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 11:18 p.m. CST

    I'll never forgive Needham

    by Queefer Sutherland

    For giving us Smokey and the Bandit. What a giant load of crap that was!

  • Jan. 30, 2011, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Was this before Dustin Hoffman became the biggest ego in Hollywood?

    by SmokingRobot

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Cannonball Runs 1 & 2 are 2 of my favorite guilty pleasures

    by Rooster Rugburn

    Another guilty pleasure? Masturbating in public. Let's see you make a movie about THAT, Needham. Preferably with an all-star cast that includes Dino and Sammy as drunken priests.

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Man, I loves me some Cannonball Run....

    by Damned if I can login

    That film just busts me up. So many great characters, tons of killer gags, and 6 or 7 nice boobs in jumpstuits. And no, none of these women are still hot today. But...they're on film. And by now we all should know what Al Bundy says about women on film. My fave: Jack Elam, the deranged proctologist, on Captain Caos "Lemme know if he shows up, I wanna PROBE HIS CASE!" (said while slapping his gi-normous bird finger under Burt Reynolds' nose)

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 12:43 p.m. CST

    "Deeds, Not Words"

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Persis, we miss you, baby...

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Seperated at Birth

    by PreciousRoy

    I can't believe that I'm the only one who saw the picture and asked, "What's Robert Forrester doing teaching gun play to Dustin Hoffman?" Hope things are going well with the recovery, Harry!

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    One of Hoffman's best movies

    by BenBraddock

    Damn, I loves it