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Ginger's Susan Hayward Message Board: To reach If You Knew Susie by Trish Sharp, click the profile photo at www.facebook.com/susanhaywardclassicfilmstar and you will see the link.

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Did Susan Ever Have to Use 'Doubles' for Risky Scenes?

Hi, all,

I know that Susan did not WANT to use 'doubles' and, in fact, did some pretty daring stunts, even in the face of danger. But when I think of scenes like in "The Conquerer", when she is running to escape and John Wayne (or a 'double'?) scoops Susan up onto that galloping horse, I really get curious! That is some risky stunt to perform!! I like to think of myself as always having been a daredevil---but---you could count me out for THAT scene!

Because there are so many films that I have not yet seen with Susan, I really have no idea how often she was called upon to take risks. I do know about the story of her and Paulette Goddard with the logs and fire, and I so admire her for saving that little boy's life in "Garden of Evil".

But what she was called upon to do in other films--and whether she felt forced for the sake of the film not to risk injury--I am curious about!

Thanks for any info that members may have!

Lynn

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Re: Did Susan Ever Have to Use 'Doubles' for Risky Scenes?

I have not really thought (closely) when sending this...but I can't..right off...
think of many films she would have had to use a 'double'. You have mentioned the 'two' films that might have required a 'double'..but it is quite obvious in GARDEN OF EVIL she is riding...because she is on a horse throughout most of the film.

I think in many films...'doubles' are used..in 'far shots'..just because it is a 'quickie take' and the star may be busy with other things. I know that I had wondered on a couple of 'back shots' in BACK STREET if it was actually Susan....
when she is walking down the N.Y. street and first you only see the back of her head...but Susan had a 'special walk' that was truly hers..I think, because of the accident when she was a child. It only shows at certain times, but I would doubt that 'her walk' could have been copied.

Hopefully, someone else will have the answers that I don't on this one!...

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Re: Did Susan Ever Have to Use 'Doubles' for Risky Scenes?

Errol,

Thanks for your answer. You know, it had never occurred to me that 'back of the head shots' might not be Susan's! Silly me, I should KNOW, as Alice worked as a stand-in for an actress.....drat, what was her name....AH! Lee Grant, and she was often called in for that sort of work, when Lee Grant was not needed.

Actually, just thought of someone who might be able to fill me in on my 'risk taking' question about Susan......no other than.....TIM!

So, Tim, if you come across this rather odd question of mine...and remember way back when......perhaps you can stop for a min, when the fish ain't bitin' and share any info. you recall! (Beautiful pix of Easter Bunny Ally--and preppy Miles, by the way!!)

Errol, thanks for getting back to me!
Lynn

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Re: Did Susan Ever Have to Use 'Doubles' for Risky Scenes?

Lynn,
I'de also like to know if Susan did her own stunts in movies-especially
that scene in "THE CONQUEROR",but I'm also curious to know what Tim and Greg
did during the time they spent with their mother in St.George,Utah-away
from home and their friends during the summer. So if Tim sees your post
perhaps he might answer both questions!

Re: Did Susan Ever Have to Use 'Doubles' for Risky Scenes?

Regarding using Doubles for Susan - Errol has mentioned the scene in BACK STREET which was so obviously not her. Other scenes I can recall are taking place in MY FOOLISH HEART and WOMAN OBSESSED. In the former, a woman is seen getting out of a car with much thicker legs than Susan - then going in to become Susan being told that Dana Andrews has been killed. In the latter, Susan runs out of her cabin and across to the barn - it obviously is not her.

Now on to THE CONQUEROR. I have in one of my scrapbooks, a copy of a letter which John Wayne sent to his Stunt Double thanking him for his work and wishing him a Happy Christmas. This was probably sent for Christmas 1954.
As far as I know, Susan did all her own stunts on horses in this film. I am especially remembering when Wayne's double scooped her up and rode off with her on the horse. I quote now from choreographer Bob Sidney who showed her the dance routines in THE CONQUEROR and became quite friendly with her - "Susan was afraid of nothing - she jumped those horses herself side-saddle" so we can presume she didn't have a "double" on that film.

TRISH

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Re: Did Susan Ever Have to Use 'Doubles' for Risky Scenes?

Thanks..again...Trish..for catching these obvious 'doubles' used in her films. I think there are always places, in films, where a 'double' has to come in for a 'short shoot' and these were 'gems' that you mentioned. I was sure on BACK STREET that it was not Susan as soon as I saw the back of that head...

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Re: Did Susan Ever Have to Use 'Doubles' for Risky Scenes?

Quote: Elaine
Lynn,
I'de also like to know if Susan did her own stunts in movies-especially
that scene in "THE CONQUEROR",but I'm also curious to know what Tim and Greg
did during the time they spent with their mother in St.George,Utah-away
from home and their friends during the summer. So if Tim sees your post
perhaps he might answer both questions!


Unh... breathing "bad" air, camping in the front yard and catching Mom sneaking out of the house to "visit" John Wayne - across the street, swimming at the local pool, collecting stray cats, going fishing with our college guides in Zion National Park, hanging out on the set and learning swear words from the Mormons...It was a busy summer...

Studios don't let their stars get injured, too much money rides on the production...


Tim

Re: Did Susan Ever Have to Use 'Doubles' for Risky Scenes?

Tim...MORMONS SWEARING!! This can't be..true..WE are all suppose to be so 'pure'
.....(NOT!!) (lol)...But we (THEY) try to put on a 'good show'. I grew up in the religion and still find them 'snobs and liars' who look down on 'all Mormons and others' who do not attend 'their church' each week.

I did all that..until I got out into the 'real world' and knew there were good and bad people throughout the word. But was 'taught' that everyone was 'bad' that wasn't of our faith.

Just call me a..JACK MORMON...mainly because of the 'people' and not the religion....

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