October 28, 2020 (NYC)-Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story is a 2020 documentary taking a look at the history, struggles, and lives of some of the leading stuntwomen in the entertainment business. The film is based on a book by Mollie Gregory. It is an enlightening, behind the scenes look at some of the most interesting and exciting action movies and television projects of modern times; all from the vantage point of the female stunt performers.
The movie pays homage to some of the pioneers of stunts, including Jeannie Epper, Julie Ann Johnson, and Jadie David. I found Amy Johnston‘s ‘sit-down” with Jeannie Epper to be one of the most compelling and moving aspects of the film. Amy Johnston is someone to watch closely on both sides of the camera.
Taekwondo Life Magazine has been at the forefront of highlighting some of these talents; particularly, modern stunt artists with martial arts pedigrees. Amy Johnston, Cheryl Lewis, and Thekla Hutyrova, prior guests, were all featured in the film. Mindy Kelly, Lauren Mary Kim, and Gabriella Corvina, who have been featured in our forum, are also building great legacies in this genre but were, sadly, omitted.
When watching the film I couldn’t help but think of my interview with legendary stuntman, Steven Lambert, where he recounted how he, reluctantly, was forced to stunt for female actresses. This need came, not out of a lack of desire to have women perform these stunts, but from a lack of female performers to choose from. From that perspective this documentary does highlight how far the industry has come in expanding the pool of gifted, daring, and talented women willing to risk their safety for the sake of popular entertainment.
This is an enjoyable and important film and I recommend it despite Shout Factory‘s ignoring our request for a screener’s copy.