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STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS - August 2014

Pauline Wagner

Pauline WagnerThe Actress on the Ledge With “King Kong”, dies at 103. Actress Pauline Wagner, who, as Fay Wray’s double can be seen writhing on the ledge of the Empire State Building in the climax of the 1933 film “King Kong”. Wagner died May 2 in Montrose, California. She was a contract player at RKO Radio Pictures and wandering around the lot when she was approached by a group of men, she recalled in a 2011 interview. They were working on “King Kong” and needed to re-shoot the finale, in which the big ape has grabbed Wray’s character and climbed to the top of the New York skyscraper as military biplanes buzz around them. Wray was in England working on another movie, and they figured that Wagner could pass for her. Of course, the ledge on which she was lying was not on the Empire State Building; it was a studio prop nine feet off the ground. And the image of New York was projected on a screen behind her. (It’s Wray, not Wagner, who is seen in the animal’s clutches.)


Movies Made in Moab

Joe Dirt

Starring: David Spade, Dennis Miller, Christopher Walken and Brittany Daniel. The film was written by Spade and Fred Wolf

Story: Joe Dirt works as a custodian at a Los Angeles radio station lives in a boiler room in the basement of the facility. When a producer at the station discovers Joe getting bullied in the hallway, the producer finds Joe’s white trash demeanor too extravagant to be believed, and insists he be brought into the studio to talk live on the air with famous disc jockey named Zander Kelly. Joe tells his life story, beginning with him being inadvertently left behind by his parents at the Grand Canyon when he was eight years old. After growing up in a series of bizarre foster homes, Joe finds himself living in the outskirts of the village of Silvertown where he pursues a love interest, Brandy. The local bully, Robby, also has a crush on Brandy. After an odd twist of events to the death of Brandy’s beloved dog, Charlie, Joe feels the need to seek out his parents.
Christopher WalkenThe search leads Joe on a series of adventures, meeting colorful characters like Kicking Wing, the Native American fireworks salesman, and Charlene, the owner of a gator farm. All the while, he lives by working odd jobs ranging from oil drilling to advertising. Parodying the lotion scene from “The Silence of the Lambs”, Joe narrowly escapes death when captured by Buffalo Bob, who supposedly knew Joe’s parents and took pictures of them. He then ends up in New Orleans after discovering an address indicating his old house. Upon arriving in New Orleans, Joe works as a high school janitor/handyman with a former mobster in the Witness Protection Program, Clem Doore. During Joe’s story, Zander and the listening audience are initially amused at Joe’s expense, with his optimistic outlook on life and good-natured self deprecation winning over both Zander and the audience. Eventually, Joe lands his janitorial job at the Los Angeles radio station where he recounts how, after discovering his old house vacant and his parents having moved sometime ago, he decided to give up the search and return to Silvertown to be with Brandy. When he got there, Robby informed him that Brandy found Joe’s parents, but instructed Robby not to tell Joe. Robby produced a note from Brandy to prove it. Hearing this, Zander insists on getting Brandy on the phone to find out why she did this. Brandy admits to writing the note to Robby. She did it because she wanted to tell Joe in person, but never had the opportunity. Brandy goes on to tell Joe that his parents were killed the day they were at the Grand Canyon and pleads with Joe to come back to Silvertown. Upset at the news, Joe remains in Los Angeles.
Joe is unaware that recounting his story on the radio has made him an overnight media sensation. An appearance on TRL with Carson Daly results in a phone call from a woman claiming to be Joe’s mother. Joe goes to meet her, but is disappointed to discover that his parents are really just using Joe’s publicity to help sell her homemade clown figurines, and that they intentionally abandoned him at the Grand Canyon. Angry and sad, he destroys the clown figurines and storms out, cutting his ties with his parents. Depressed, Joe goes to a bridge to commit suicide, but Brandy appears and says that she had told Joe his parents were dead just to protect him when she found out what horrible people they were; she then insists that he come home with her since he “was home all along.” A policeman on horseback lassos Joe’s legs with bungee jumping cord to stop him from jumping, in the process inadvertently causing Joe to fall off the bridge. The bungee cord saves Joe from the fall, but bouncing back upward, he hits his head on the underside of the bridge and is knocked unconscious. Joe wakes up in Brandy’s house surrounded by Brandy and his other friends he has met on his journey -Kicking Wing (who has now operated several successful firework stands), Clem (now named Gert B. Frobe, and Charlene (who is engaged to Doore). Joe gets a new hairstyle following his check out from the hospital. Brandy pays the impound lot to get Joe’s Hemi back and she has a new dog, who is the offspring of Charlie. Just as they get ready to drive away, Robby suddenly drives by and taunts Joe, saying that no one wants him around in Silvertown, no matter how famous he is. Clem comes to Joe’s defense and threatens Robby as Charlene taunts Robby’s car. At that point, they all realize that they are like a family to Joe. With his new family, Joe rides off, leaving a frustrated Robby in the dust; his car now damaged by the rocks Joe’s car deflected from the ground. While driving away, Zander plays a song for Joe on the radio as fireworks go off in the sky (with special thanks to Kicking Wing).

If interested in learning more about the Hall of Fame, please contact John Hagner (Founder) at 435 260-2160.
email: johnhagner@hotmail.com
Hall of Fame website: www.stuntmen.org

John Hagner (Founder) is also the Artist of the Stars.
His Celebrity Portrait Drawings are available at telephone 435-259-7000,
Mailing address: 50 W. 400 N, Moab, Utah 84532.
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