A Fab Car From A Fab Stunt: James Bond’s ‘Barrel Roll’ AMC Hornet Up For Auction

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Remember this…?

The stunt was revolutionary.

The vehicle used in this marvy ‘astro spiral’ is soon to be auctioned off. Read all about it in the following entry from Just Collecting – the condition of this beauty attests to the perfection of that cutting-edge stunt.


1974 AMC Hornet Front Right Tire Profile

A car used in one of the most famous James Bond stunts of all-time is heading for auction later this year.

Auctions America is set to offer the AMC Hornet used for the iconic barrel-roll jump in The Man with the Golden Gun, in which Roger Moore corkscrews over a collapsed bridge in Thailand.

Completed in a single take by stunt driver Loren ‘Bumps’ Willard, years before the advent of CGI, the stunt remains one of the most spectacular car jumps in movie history.

The 1974 AMC Hornet X ‘Astro-Spiral’ stunt car is expected to sell for $250,000 – $350,000 when it goes under the hammer in Auburn, Indiana over the Labour Day weekend.

1974 AMC Hornet

The stunt was originally conceived by US racing driver Jay Milligan, who first performed it at the Houston Astrodome back in 1972.

He then contacted the producers of the James Bond movie series, who immediately snapped up the rights to use the stunt in their next instalment.

To make sure the stunt went according to plan whilst filming on location, and ensure the safety of their driver, producers used groundbreaking computer technology to simulate the jump beforehand.

They turned to computer engineer Raymond R. McHenry, who had designed a pioneering piece of simulation software known as HVOSM (Highway Vehicle Object Simulation Model) whilst working at Calspan

The mathematical computer model had been created to simulate car accidents, and help design safer vehicles. But McHenry realised that he could also use it to design a really cool car stunt, and spent two years perfecting it.

When it came time to actually perform the stunt, the painstaking calculations and planning paid off.

1974 AMC Hornet 'Astro Spiral'

Willard nailed the jump on the first attempt, with the car landing exactly where McHenry’s software had predicted it would.

The result was cinematic and technological history – the first movie stunt ever designed on a computer.

McHenry’s software was years ahead of its time, and led directly to the simulation models used by modern-day racing video games.

Having loaned his original stunt car to the production, Jay Milligan then shipped his AMC Hornet back to the U.S, where it remained in his collection for more than 40 years.

The Auctions America Auburn Fall Sale takes place at the historic Auburn Auction Park from August 31 until September 3.

via Just Collecting

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Vintage 16mm Stop-Motion – A Pleasantly Strange World

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Before digital everything a number of families, and creative sorts, purchased the old 16-or-8mm camera to film those ‘special moments’ of a day in the life. The imaginative kids quickly figured out the magic of the frame and would often take their little action figures and toys and experiment with their own kind of film-making. The above 16mm Kodachrome stop-motion test print for Camel cigarettes is pretty raw – but every person who remembers the joys of 16-or-8mm film will quickly recall that pleasantly strange world that would come alive with the passing of each frame.

If you’re curious to read more about this particular print click here to get the scoop at Cartoon Research.

The Marriage Of Movement And Music And Their First Child Named, Gumbasia

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When Art Clokey was a boy he would spend his summers on his grandfather’s farm in Michigan. He had a good pal who lived on a neighboring farm and, as boys liked to do in those days, Clokey and his pal often played with toy soldiers. Sometimes, when the battles were particularly fierce, they would need more troops. Clokey would raise them up by fashioning them out of a mixture of soil and water known as ‘gumbo’ – clay.

Some years later Art Clokey would create a children’s television icon – a kind of strange little character made of clay named Gumby.

Gumby - he's known to skate on one foot rather than walk.

Gumby – he’s known to skate on one foot rather than walk.

Before Art Clokey created Gumby he was an early claymation pioneer. It was his 1953 experimental claymation short, Gumbasia, that excited 20th Century Fox producer Sam Engel into giving Clokey his big break. ‘Art, that is the most exciting film I have ever seen in my life,’ Engel said. Engel envisioned a children’s television show using the idea of little claymation figures in various storylines. Giving free reign to Clokey he financed the Gumby pilot, introduced it to Tom Sarnoff at NBC Hollywood, and the rest is history.

Art Clokey’s Gumbasia was a fascinating project. Inspired by his mentor in film making, Slavko Vorkapich, Clokey wanted to work with the idea of ‘kinesthetic film principles’ which enabled him to show film forces through moving objects.

The movements exert a force on your nervous system. They pinch on your nervous system through your eye cells. When you organize the images in the movement from cut to cut, it stimulates the autonomic nervous system. It gives you added excitement and it can start a feeling of movement.

Combining the kinesthetic film principles with Vorkapich’s philosophy of film as poetry and music, Clokey created a short film unique for its time. Music wasn’t used just as a cover – it was an intrinsic part of the experience. The transformation of the objects along with their movements blend with the lyric and the pulse of the jazz. It’s a visual sound experience. It’s also the concept for what would become music video. Gumbasia might properly be considered a prototype for music videos into the future.

Salvador Dali – The Dream Designer (Spellbound, 1945)

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Who better to design a dream sequence for a 1945 Hitchcock psycho-thriller than Salvador Dali? Eyes, curtains, scissors, playing cards (some of them blank), a man with no face, a man falling off of a building, a man hiding behind a chimney and dropping a wheel, and wings – psychoanalytic cues all and fab fodder for Dali’s surrealistic vision.

Still From the Dali Dream Sequence - Spellbound, 1945

Still From the Dali Dream Sequence – Spellbound, 1945 (via Unkee E. on flickr)

Below is a video of the scene featuring Gregory Peck as Dr. Anthony Edwardes/John Ballantyne, Ingrid Bergman as Dr. Constance Peterson, and Michael Chekhov as Dr. Brulov. Dr. Peterson and Dr. Brulov are attempting to assist Ballantyne in recovering his lost memory by interpreting a dream that haunts him.

Spellbound is a film that could well be termed an endorsement on the healing virtues of psychoanalysis. While some aspects of the methods seem outdated for today, Hitchcock’s use of this makes for an abosrbing story. If you would like to watch the film in its entirety you can find it on YouTube here.

In Which A Changeling Dinosaur Saves The Day – Rare 1928 Short Animation

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The Land of Wooden Soldiers (1928) Kinex Studios
Distributed by: Kodak Cinegraph
Cartoon Characters: Chip the Wooden Man, Two Dinosaurs, Soldiers.
Directed By John Burton.
Animated By John Burton.
Originally Released c. 1928

h/t Nora Falchero

Evocative, Bold, And Somewhat Intimidating: The Film Guild Cinema, NYC, 1929

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The Film Guild Cinema, 1929

The Film Guild Cinema, 1929

The Film Guild Cinema, Greenwich Village, NYC, by Frederick Kiesler, 1929

Photo: Ruth Bernhard, 1946

(via: kateopolis)