Hooper


1h 39m 1978
Hooper

Brief Synopsis

An aging stuntman teams up with a young hotshot.

Film Details

Also Known As
Ingen blåser Hooper
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Action
Adventure
Release Date
1978
Location
Tuscalooa, Alabama, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Two Hollywood stunt men, a long-time veteran and a younger man, compete for the title of "greatest stunt man alive" by performing increasingly dangerous feats.

Crew

Carter Alsop

Stunts

A J Bakunas

Stunts

Jerry Barrett

Stunts

Stanton Barrett

Stunts

Bobby Bass

Stunt Coordinator

Ira Bates

Set Decorator

Pamela Bebermeyer

Stunts

Janet Brady

Stunts

Greg Brickman

Stunts

Alex Brown

Stunts

Hilyard Brown

Art Director

Jophery Brown

Stunts

Milton C Burrow

Sound Editor

Richard Burrow

Sound Effects Editor

Blair Burrows

Stunts

Bill Burton

Stunts

Bobby Byrne

Dp/Cinematographer

Bobby Byrne

Director Of Photography

Donn Cambern

Editor

Al Cavigga

Sound Effects Editor

Gary Combs

Stunts

Gil Combs

Stunts

Jim Connors

Stunts

Evelyn Cuffee

Stunts

Jadie David

Stunts

David H Davis

Original Music

Sam Davis

Stunts

Melvin D Dellar

Production Manager

Patty Elder

Stunts

Tom Ellingwood

Makeup

Tom Elliott

Stunts

David Ellis

Stunts

Gary Epper

Stunts

Tony Epper

Stunts

John A Escobar

Stunts

Lawrence E Fatino

Stunts

Sid Feller

Original Music

Mickey Gilbert

Stunts

Len Glascow

Stunts

Larry Gordon

Executive Producer

Don Fox Green

Stunts

Walt Green

From Story

Walt Green

Story By

Stephan Gudju

Stunts

David Shamroy Hamburger

Assistant Director

Clifford Happy

Stunts

Walter Scott Herndon

Story By

Walter Scott Herndon

From Story

Freddie Hice

Stunts

Buddy Joe Hooker

Stunts

Hank Hooker

Stunts

Hugh Hooker

Stunts

Thomas J Huff

Stunts

Louise Johnson

Stunts

Harold Jones

Stunts

Bill Justis

Original Music

Bill Justis

Music

Bill Kerby

Screenplay

Robert Knudson

Sound

Ed Lang

Stunts

Thomas L Lupo

Stunts

Jack L Martin

Original Music

Michael H Mcgaughy

Stunts

Gary Mclarty

Stunts

Bonnie Mcpherson

Stunts

Sam Melville

Stunts

Hank Moonjean

Producer

Ace Moore

Stunts

Bennie Moore

Stunts

Dave Mungenast

Stunts

Bent Myggen

Song

Bent Myggen

Song Performer

Alan Oliney

Stunts

Bob Orrison

Stunts

Reg Parton

Stunts

Regina Parton

Stunts

Mary Peters

Stunts

Sorin Pricopie

Stunts

Robert Arnold Reich

Sound Effects Editor

Tom Rickman

Screenplay

J. N. Roberts

Stunts

R.a. Rondell

Stunts

Reid Rondell

Stunts

Ronnie Rondell

Stunts

Tim Rossovich

Stunts

Norman Saling

Costume Supervisor

Fred Scheiwiller

Stunts

William P Scott

Assistant Director

Chester L Slomka

Sound Effects Editor

Jack Solomon

Sound

Chuck A. Tamburro

Stunts

Sammy Thurman

Stunts

Loyal Truesdale

Stunts

Bill Turner

Makeup

Cliff Wenger

Special Effects

Clifford Wenger

Special Effects

Glenn Wilder

Stunts

Walter Wyatt

Stunts

Tammy Wynette

Song Performer

Tammy Wynette

Song

Dick Ziker

Stunts

Film Details

Also Known As
Ingen blåser Hooper
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Action
Adventure
Release Date
1978
Location
Tuscalooa, Alabama, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Sound

1978

Articles

Hooper


A college halfback turned rodeo stuntman turned cut-rate leading man with two failed series and a slew of forgettable programmers to his credit, Burt Reynolds was near to throwing in the towel when he got a game-changing pep talk from another former stuntman turned B movie actor: Jock Mahoney. While the specifics of Mahoney's wisdom have been lost to time, Reynolds returned to his craft with renewed purpose and saw his fortunes change dramatically with Deliverance (1972), the film that made him after fifteen years in the business a certifiable - and marketable - movie star. Though his commanding presence as the sole alpha male of John Boorman's masterful adaptation of the James Dickey novel drew estimable critical praise, Reynolds seemed most content to work with friends, among them stuntman turned first-time director Hal Needham. Needham's redneck road movie Smokey and the Bandit (1977), starring Reynolds and then-girlfriend Sally Field as a couple on the run from an apoplectic lawman (Jackie Gleason), was an unexpected boxoffice barnstormer in the year of Star Wars, earning over $300,000,000 on a $5 million budget that had been trimmed back by Universal in the 11th hour to $3.3 million.

The success of Smokey and the Bandit demanded more of the same, though a true sequel would take three years. In the interim, Reynolds and Needham dreamed up Hooper (1978), a paean to Hollywood stunt performers that amps up the magnitude of daredevilry and pyrotechnics. As the eponymous "fall guy" (the surname Hooper was a nod to veteran stunt coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker), Reynolds was surrounded again by old friends: Needham as director, Field as his long-suffering girlfriend, acting mentor James Best in a supporting role, and Adam West (who had won the part of TV's Batman away from Reynolds in the mid-Sixties) as the vain movie star for whom Hooper doubles. Added to the cast was Jan-Michael Vincent as an up-and-coming stuntman and Brian Keith as Fields' ex-stuntman father, Jocko Doyle - a character created in tribute to Jock Mahoney. Among the film's many plot points drawn from real life was the stroke that befalls Keith's irascible Jocko; Jock Mahoney had suffered a similar stroke in 1973 and was confined for a time to a wheelchair. (Reynolds worked Mahoney into a stunt bit - wheelchair and all - in his 1978 black comedy The End.) Reynolds and Needham had hoped Mahoney could play Jocko in Hooper but were overruled by executives at Warner Bros.

Laced with laughs aimed both low (a barroom brawl featuring Pittsburgh Steelers q-back Terry Bradshaw) and high (Robert Klein as a snooty auteur patterned after Peter Bogdanovich) and capped by a nigh-apocalyptic stunt jump (and the actual destruction of a former World War II era military hospital complex in Tuscaloosa, Alabama), Hooper was another win for the Reynolds-Needham-Field axis (if not quite on par with the windfall of Smokey and the Bandit). Audiences were amused and satisfied but the critical consensus was, not surprisingly, split. While Pauline Kael came down on the production like the proverbial falling smokestack, branding Hooper "a half-cocked piece of movie-making," New York magazine's David Denby - no fan of Reynolds or Needham - offered a dissenting opinion: "A raucous celebration of the childish daring of Hollywood stuntmen, Hooper is one of the most entertaining movies of the year... I don't think we've had a movie about Hollywood filmmaking as funny as this one since Singin' in the Rain." Hooper also helped usher in a vogue for stories (for screens big and small) about stuntmen, among them Richard Rush's The Stunt Man (made in 1977 but unreleased until 1980), Brian Trenchard-Smith's Stunt Rock (1980), and the long-running TV series The Fall Guy, starring Lee Majors as a seasoned stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter.

By Richard Harland Smith

Sources:

But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds (Bonnier Publishing, 2015)
Jock Mahoney: The Life and Films of a Hollywood Stuntman by Gene Freese (McFarland & Company, 2013)
Review of Hooper by David Denby, New York (August 28, 1978)
Hooper

Hooper

A college halfback turned rodeo stuntman turned cut-rate leading man with two failed series and a slew of forgettable programmers to his credit, Burt Reynolds was near to throwing in the towel when he got a game-changing pep talk from another former stuntman turned B movie actor: Jock Mahoney. While the specifics of Mahoney's wisdom have been lost to time, Reynolds returned to his craft with renewed purpose and saw his fortunes change dramatically with Deliverance (1972), the film that made him after fifteen years in the business a certifiable - and marketable - movie star. Though his commanding presence as the sole alpha male of John Boorman's masterful adaptation of the James Dickey novel drew estimable critical praise, Reynolds seemed most content to work with friends, among them stuntman turned first-time director Hal Needham. Needham's redneck road movie Smokey and the Bandit (1977), starring Reynolds and then-girlfriend Sally Field as a couple on the run from an apoplectic lawman (Jackie Gleason), was an unexpected boxoffice barnstormer in the year of Star Wars, earning over $300,000,000 on a $5 million budget that had been trimmed back by Universal in the 11th hour to $3.3 million. The success of Smokey and the Bandit demanded more of the same, though a true sequel would take three years. In the interim, Reynolds and Needham dreamed up Hooper (1978), a paean to Hollywood stunt performers that amps up the magnitude of daredevilry and pyrotechnics. As the eponymous "fall guy" (the surname Hooper was a nod to veteran stunt coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker), Reynolds was surrounded again by old friends: Needham as director, Field as his long-suffering girlfriend, acting mentor James Best in a supporting role, and Adam West (who had won the part of TV's Batman away from Reynolds in the mid-Sixties) as the vain movie star for whom Hooper doubles. Added to the cast was Jan-Michael Vincent as an up-and-coming stuntman and Brian Keith as Fields' ex-stuntman father, Jocko Doyle - a character created in tribute to Jock Mahoney. Among the film's many plot points drawn from real life was the stroke that befalls Keith's irascible Jocko; Jock Mahoney had suffered a similar stroke in 1973 and was confined for a time to a wheelchair. (Reynolds worked Mahoney into a stunt bit - wheelchair and all - in his 1978 black comedy The End.) Reynolds and Needham had hoped Mahoney could play Jocko in Hooper but were overruled by executives at Warner Bros. Laced with laughs aimed both low (a barroom brawl featuring Pittsburgh Steelers q-back Terry Bradshaw) and high (Robert Klein as a snooty auteur patterned after Peter Bogdanovich) and capped by a nigh-apocalyptic stunt jump (and the actual destruction of a former World War II era military hospital complex in Tuscaloosa, Alabama), Hooper was another win for the Reynolds-Needham-Field axis (if not quite on par with the windfall of Smokey and the Bandit). Audiences were amused and satisfied but the critical consensus was, not surprisingly, split. While Pauline Kael came down on the production like the proverbial falling smokestack, branding Hooper "a half-cocked piece of movie-making," New York magazine's David Denby - no fan of Reynolds or Needham - offered a dissenting opinion: "A raucous celebration of the childish daring of Hollywood stuntmen, Hooper is one of the most entertaining movies of the year... I don't think we've had a movie about Hollywood filmmaking as funny as this one since Singin' in the Rain." Hooper also helped usher in a vogue for stories (for screens big and small) about stuntmen, among them Richard Rush's The Stunt Man (made in 1977 but unreleased until 1980), Brian Trenchard-Smith's Stunt Rock (1980), and the long-running TV series The Fall Guy, starring Lee Majors as a seasoned stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter. By Richard Harland Smith Sources: But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds (Bonnier Publishing, 2015) Jock Mahoney: The Life and Films of a Hollywood Stuntman by Gene Freese (McFarland & Company, 2013) Review of Hooper by David Denby, New York (August 28, 1978)

Quotes

I'm gonna find the guy who invented Xylocaine and kiss his ass on Hollywood and Vine!
- Sonny Hooper
You oughta drink more. Nothing hurts when you're numb.
- Jocko Doyle
My life is worth more than a piece of film.
- Ski
I'll tell you EXACTLY what your life is worth. Your life is worth fifty thousand dollars, that's the price you put on it when you got behind this wheel!
- Hooper
Everyone get drunk and be somebody!
- Singer
It has a nice grayness to it, like La Strada.
- Roger Deal

Trivia

Stunt man A. J. Bakunas, doubling for 'Reynolds, Burt' , dropped 232 feet, setting a record for the highest jump without a parachute.

Hal Needham said on a radio show that he decided he wanted a shot from the point-of-view of the stuntman doing the motorcycle stunt that opens the film but the stuntman had already left for the day; so Needham put on pads over his street clothes and did the gag himself. The footage was not used, after all.

The climactic huge stunt sequence - referred to by the crew as "Damnation Alley" - was staged at a World War II military hospital in Alabama which had also been used as married-student housing by the University of Alabama.

This film was not a tribute to just stuntmen in general, but to perhaps the greatest stuntman of all, Jock Mahoney.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1978

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1978