Entertainment + Leisure | 1940 | Sound | B/W
An American film featuring extraordinary people performing death defying feats, including circus children, dangerous aerial stunts on the Eiffel Tower, a high diver jumping into a flaming tank, the "yo-yo man", and more crowd pleasing and breathtaking stunts. With narration.
00:00:11 Three young boy circus performers in glittery costumes rehearse acrobatics in their sitting room, they sit on three trapezes with the youngest boy on the left of the scene hoisting himself up onto the trapeze, the boys then simultaneously perform a trick by falling backwards and hanging from the trapeze holding on with one arm and one leg. Close up of the boys' performing the trick for the camera, turning over and smiling towards the camera. Close up of one of the acrobatic boys smiling at the camera. Close up of a grandmother knitting and looking up. Two of the acrobats raise their arms up then fall backwards, catching themselves on the trapeze with their feet. Close up of a boy hanging upside-down holding three pancakes and passing two of the pancakes to the other acrobats. The three boys put the pancakes in their mouths and climb up on their trapeze swings so that they sit upright. Close up of the three boys eating their pancakes while sitting on their trapeze swings.
00:00:49 Two small girls, one stands in front of a large wooden board. A woman throwing knives towards the camera with a large crowd, including many children, watching from behind. The woman throws knives at the wooden board where the small child stands, narrowly missing the small child. The small girl gestures to her little sister to take a turn standing against the wall, the little girl climbs up on the platform and turns around standing at the wooden board facing the camera. The woman throws knives at the small child onto the wooden board, narrowly missing her. Close up of the woman throwing knives as a crowd, including a nun, watches on. Close up of the small girl looking at the camera and smiling as knives are thrown at her, the girl smiles at holds her two index fingers slightly apart from each other (the narrator: "See? They only came that close")
00:01:32 Inside a tall building, a stuntwoman kisses an older man who wears a top hat and climbs out of the window followed by a stuntman. The stuntman and stuntwoman climb out of the window away from the camera. Overhead view of the stuntman and stuntwoman standing together on a tiny platform atop of a tall building, with busy traffic below. Close up of the stuntman and stuntwoman, the stuntwoman wraps her legs around the stuntman as he holds her up. Overhead view of the stuntman and stuntwoman as he holds her hanging onto him upside-down on the small platform, precariously above a busy street scene, he turns in a clockwise direction. Overhead view of the stuntman precariously holding a stuntwoman upside-down turning in a circle on top of a platform above a busy street with traffic. Close up of the stuntman starting to hoist up the stuntwoman over his shoulder. Overhead view of the stuntman hoisting the stuntwoman over his shoulder atop of a small platform above a busy street scene. View looking up of the stuntmen with the stuntwoman hoisted above his shoulder spinning in a circle atop of the small platform. Close overhead view of the stuntwoman perched on top of the stuntman's shoulder in a "swan dive" pose, spinning in a circle above a busy city street. View looking up of a stuntwoman balancing on the small platform next to a skyscraper and above a busy city street (out of view). Camera tilts the stuntwoman skipping rope or jumping rope atop of the small platform above the busy street. Side view of a woman skipping rope atop of the small platform with a cityscape in the background. Overhead view of the stuntwoman skipping rope, she misses and wobbles backwards but does not fall. The stuntwoman balances on one foot atop of the platform, raising the other foot in the air. Close overhead view of the stuntwoman holding up her left foot in the air then placing it down on the platform, she jumps and kicks out her feet. Side view of the stuntwoman on the platform jumping and kicking out her feet. Overhead view of the stuntwoman looking up at the camera and kissing and waving at the camera.
00:02:31 View looking up of a stuntman dressed in a white full length bathing suit and cap next to an extremely tall ladder. Close up of the stuntman climbing up the ladder. View looking up of the stuntman climbing up the ladder, he climbs around to the other side of the ladder. A man lights a tank of water aflame with a fiery stick (the narrator talks about the gasoline in the tank). A small child in a sweater sits with two chimpanzees wearing almost identical sweaters to that of the small boy. The stuntman atop of the tall ladder falls backwards with his hands on his hips, the camera tilts down as it follows the man falling, the frame freezes just as the man is about to land in the water. Close view of the chimpanzee repeatedly hiding its head behind the small boy (the narrator: "they can't look! Its too frightening"). Reverse of the stuntman falling into the flaming tank of water, the stuntman flies back into the air, flips, and lands on the platform. Close overhead view of the stuntman on top of the small platform above the tank. The stuntman falls backwards, flipping over and falling into the flaming tank, extinguishing the flames. Close view of the small boy clapping and sitting next to the chimpanzee.
00:03:17 A stuntman stands atop of a small platform with a bungee cord attached to his neck. The stuntman falls towards the ground attached to a bungee cord around his neck, and bounces upwards again off a trampoline on the ground. Close view looking up of a stuntman bouncing ("yo-yoing" according to the narrator") on a bungee cord or large rubber band. Several shots of the stuntman bouncing up and down by his neck then being lowered to the ground.
00:03:36 A large crowd of men, women, and children in a stadium. A stuntman wearing water-skis and holding onto a parasail speeds off across a lake pulled by a speedboat. A speedboat races across the scene from right to left as the stuntman goes airborne and soars across the sky to the left, holding onto the parasail. Point of view from the speed boat of the stuntman parasailing behind the boat, with water and trees in the background. The stuntman flies across the scene from right to left as a speedboat speeds across the water, paralleling the stuntman in the foreground, with trees and water in the background. The parasailer lands in the water and starts waterskiing. The parasailer water-skis then takes off again into the air, travelling with the kite across the air and pulled by the rope attached to the parasail which is attached to the speedboat. The parasailer soars in the air. The parasailer crashes into the water, letting go of the parasail as the boat speeds off leaving the stuntman in the water. Close view of the shirtless parasailer or stuntman wiping water off his brow and smiling, standing on a dock facing the camera with boats and people in the background.
00:04:19 A group of men stand around a metal barrel amongst trees. A stuntman puts on a helmet and facemask. A stuntman sits in the metal barrel. A crowd of onlookers stand at the edge of the water with binoculars. The stuntman closes himself inside the barrel but shutting the lid of the barrel. Overhead view of the barrel as it sets of down the river rapids. A large crowd of onlookers including men, women, and children watch from the shore of the river. Overhead view of the barrel as it perilously negotiates the rapids, crashing along the rocks and rapids. Several wide views of the barrel as it travels along the water, dangerously speeding along the rapids below Niagara Falls, hurdling towards whirlpools with the ever present possibility of striking a rock. The crowd watches from the water's edge. The rescue boat, the stuntman, and the barrel, the stuntman waves and smiles to the cameras the barrel is tugged along on the river by the small boat.
00:05:14 The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Close view looking up at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Overhead view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower, the camera pans right showing the Palais de Chaillot in the background towards two stuntmen performing an aerial act high above the ground, one acrobat lies on his back while the second moves into a handstand and balances above the ground, the camera tilts down to a female acrobat who is holding herself up by straps attached to the acrobat lying down. Close view of two cameramen on the Eiffel Tower. Impressive aerial stunt, the female acrobat falls backwards along with the two male acrobats who hold the feet of the female acrobat, she swings back and forth underneath the platform high above the ground. The camera swings dizzily back and forth simulating the female acrobat's moves with the Palais de Chaillot in the background. View looking up of the female acrobat diving off a platform towards the camera (and to the ground), attached only at her feet with cables. The female acrobat swings daringly back and forth high above the ground held by cables only by her ankles. Close view of a cameraman filming the death defying feats. Two male acrobats hang upside down from a platform holding two looped ropes, the female acrobat hangs off the platform in the centre by her hands, she lets go and drops down. Close up of the female acrobat catching the ropes with her hand, pulling her legs up to the rope and hanging down by her heels. The daredevil female acrobat hangs by her heels on a rope with the Palais de Chaillot in the background, she pulls her upper body up and grabs into the rope with her hands. A cameraman in a suit and tie stands atop of the Eiffel Tower filming the scene. The two male acrobats swing the female acrobat on a trapeze high above the ground.
00:06:07 A helicopter takes off with a female acrobat underneath holding onto large rings. View looking up of the female acrobat placing her legs into the rings and sitting upright. The helicopter flies over skyscrapers in Manhattan in New York, U.S.A., with the female acrobat sitting on the ropes underneath the helicopter and the Empire State Building in view. The camera follows the helicopter and acrobat as it travels from left to right over Manhattan. View looking up of the female acrobat travelling underneath the helicopter. The female acrobat rides underneath the helicopter in Manhattan. Two helicopters flying over Manhattan skyscrapers, the camera zooms in to the helicopter travelling with the female acrobat hanging underneath. Close view of the helicopter and the female acrobat performing tricks underneath the helicopter, attached by ropes and two rings. Overhead view of the helicopter and the female acrobat flying over Manhattan. The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island in New York. A helicopter hovers extremely close to the top of the Statue of Liberty. A view looking up of the Statue of Liberty with the helicopter and aerial acrobat flying in the sky in the background.
00:07:06 Snow capped mountains in Switzerland. A motorcycle stunt, a stuntman lowers himself down a hill. The stuntman grabs onto a metal bar and turns towards and under the metal contraption. The stuntman balances on the rope and leaps onto the motorcycle. The motorcycle travels daringly across the wire as a second stuntman rides along on a platform underneath the motorcycle with breathtaking mountains in the background. Close up of the motorcycle coming to a stop along the wire. Impressive, daredevil stunt, the stuntman on the trapeze underneath the motorcycle climbs up towards the motorcycle which causes the motorcycle to impressively turn over and over, pin wheeling on the wire high above the mountain peak and Swiss alps. Several shots of the motorcycle pin wheeling on the wire high above the valley, the second stuntman then stops and climbs down to the trapeze underneath the motorcycle which causes the motorcycle to stop spinning. Close up of the motorcycle driver smiling and waving towards the camera with clouds and mountain peaks in the background. Close view of the stuntman on the trapeze smiling and waving at the camera.
00:07:52 Two motorbike stuntmen "cycle cops" simultaneously ride over small jumps. Close up of four motorbike stuntmen riding over small jumps two at a time. Humorous shot of a stuntman dressed in uniform smoking a pipe and reading the newspaper riding backwards on a motorbike. A "ring of fire" is lit on fire. Two rows of uniformed men in helmets kneel on two sides as a stuntman rides a motorbike through the ring of fire. Close view of the stuntman bursting through the ring of fire.
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