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STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS - October 2013

Stunts Stars And Legends: Alan Graff
Artwork and articles by John Hagner (Artist of the Stars)

Allan Lee Graf was raised in Sylmar, California, but moved to San Fernando High School in the tenth grade. In 1973, Graf attended the Los Angeles Rams fall training camp as a free agent. Playing behind All-Pro Tom Mack in camp, he asked to be traded, but was the last man cut from camp, leaving him without an NFL contract. Graf was one of several Trojan graduates to join the Portland Storm franchise in the new World Football League, but after the league folded, he thought his football was over.

While still playing for the Portland Storm, Graf had taken side work with Disney in Santa Clarita, acting as stunt double to Chicago Bears player Dick Butkus on a children’s sports comedy “Gus” about a field goal-kicking mule. Butkus invited Graf to double for him on television projects several times in the following years.

Frequent collaborations with director Walter Hill gave Graf the experience to do more than just stunt work; in 1989 he was asked to coordinate stunts for Hill’s new film “Johnny Handsome” and to direct its second unit.

Graf’s stunt coordination received much attention in Walter Hill’s 1990 film “Another 48 Hrs.”, after he performed a “cannon-roll” using a school buss at speed, lifting the bus 17 feet in the air with dynamite, and rolling it down the highway for 285 feet.

In 1993, when Walter Hill directed, “Geronimo: An American Legend”, Allan Graf was Second-unit director of all the action. It was filmed here in Moab, and starred Wes Studi as Geronimo, and featured Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Jason Patric and a host of stunt people. I had the privilege of working in this classic action-packed Western, playing the role of one of the miners at the mining camp.

It was then that several of the people on the film came to be footprinted at the Hollywood Stuntmen‘s Hall of Fame, including those mentioned above and more than twenty others to be so honored, including Allan Graf and Walter Hill.

 


 

Movies Made in Moab

GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND (1993)
Filmed in Moab ... This is a story to be told about Geronimo, who confounded 5,000 U.S. cavalry men between 1885 and 1886 with only 34 men, women and children.

This is a touching story about the man who went from Apache chieftain to a circus has-been, selling his autographs.
In the depths of his worst depression, Geronimo could never have anticipated the pain he would go through in this Walter Hill-John Milius classic.

Wes Studi as the main character, Milius centers things on Charles Gatewood (Jason Patric), the U.S. Cavalry lieutenant charged with capturing the Apache leader.

Gene Hackman (Brig. Gen. George Crook), Robert Duvall (good-old-boy Apache hunter Al Sieber) are also featured.
The production employed an array of Native American performers.

Geronimo is the prey, not the protagonist ... even though Studi’s presence as the Apache leader (he was Magua in “Last of the Mohicans”) is the best thing of all. His riveting gaze and halting, effective bursts of speech are evident.

Duvall, one of Hollywood’s greatest journeymen, weighs in memorably with old-salt mannerisms. He may have the best moment in the movie, when he surveys a burning village of slaughtered Indians, the work of bounty hunters, and wonders who would sink to such depths. “Must be Texans,” he says. “Lowest form of white man there is.”

The Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame was privileged to have the opportunity of footprinting and honoring several stuntmen by inducting them.

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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