007's bungee jump tops best movie stunt poll
James Bond’s spectacular bungee jump from a dam in GoldenEye has been voted the best movie stunt of all time.
The jaw-dropping 750ft plunge beat scenes from classics such as Ben Hur and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to top the Sky Movies poll.
GoldenEye opens with Pierce Brosnan’s 007 leaping from the dam attached to the bungee cord.
With milliseconds to spare he pulls out a gun and fires a piton into the ground attached to a rope, then reels himself to safety.
The stunt, which set a new world record for bungee jumping from a fixed object, was filmed at the Locarno hydro-electric dam on the Swiss-Italian border.
Stuntman Wayne Michaels’ jumped from a specially constructed platform suspended in front of the dam to minimise the chance of him hitting the wall, which is studded with steel pegs and could have left him dead.
Michaels said: “It’s pushing the limits of what can physically be done. The loading on the ropes is extreme and the body is travelling at such a high rate of speed that it puts a great deal of strain on you.
“You’re trying desperately to hit a pocket of air that will take you away from the wall, and the winds that are whipping around the bowl of the dam toss you like a leaf.”
Thousands of film fans voted in the Sky Movies poll from a shortlist drawn up by film critic Barry Norman and a panel of stunt experts, with GoldenEye winning 20%.
Second was the scene from Stagecoach in which stuntman Yakima Canutt jumps from one horse to another in front of a speeding stagecoach then gets dragged beneath the wheels.
Ben-Hur was third for the scene in which a chariot leaps over two other crashed chariots. It was choreographed by Canutt and carried out by his son, Joe.
Four Bond films make the top ten: besides GoldenEye, there is the 360 degree car jump over a river in The Man With The Golden Gun, the powerboat scene from The World Is Not Enough, and 007 skiing off a mountain and parachuting to safety in The Spy Who Loved Me.
Indiana Jones earns a place for a scene in which he gallops up a bank and leaps from his horse onto a moving tank.
The oldest stunt to make the list is from the 1928 film Steamboat Bill Jr, where the front of a building falls on to Buster Keaton, with the window frame falling directly around him.
Another notable entry was The Man Who Would Be King, in which a character hangs on to a rope bridge as it swings down a huge ravine.
Aptly, the 1978 film Hooper – which stars Burt Reynolds as an ageing stuntman - is also there.
In the chosen scene, Reynolds’ stand-in AJ Bakunas jumped 232ft without a parachute, setting a world record for the highest leap ever in a film.
The list was unveiled as part of Sky Movies’ Stunt Weekend, which ends tonight with The Stunt Man, The French Connection, Hooper and the original Gone In 60 Seconds.
Sky Movies’ Greatest Ever Movie Stunt
4 The Man With The Golden Gun
5 The World Is Not Enough
6 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
7 The Spy Who Loved Me
8 Steamboat Bill Jr
10 The Man Who Would Be King