In addition to Hawaiian shirts and detective shows, Tom Selleck also garnered recognition for a number of westerns he starred in during his career. But one film required Selleck to put it all on the line and have complete faith in his director.
“Last Stand at Saber River” stands out among Selleck’s catalog, thanks in part to some high wire stunts. Made in 1997, Dick Lowry directed the western. It starred Selleck as Paul Cable, a former Confederate soldier returning home to Texas.
During a certain point in the film, Selleck’s character must rescue his daughter. His daughter is on an out-of-control wagon heading for a cliff. Selleck’s character has to grab the girl at the last second before the wagon crashes. To film the scene, the production employed a stunt team to pose as both Selleck and the girl. For instance, a small stunt woman filled in for the young girl.
But while filming the scene, the director had an epiphany – why not get Selleck himself to perform the stunt?
“And now we’re getting ready to send the wagon over, with the team breaking loose,” stuntman Walter Scott told True West Magazine, “and the director [Dick Lowry] said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if you could get Tom to do it?’”
Tom Selleck Trusted His Director And Stuntman
Tom Selleck admitted he had a bad feeling when he saw the director approaching him. He knew that Lowry and the stuntman were going to ask him to perform the stunt. And he knew he would accept because he trusted both of them. He had worked with the stuntman on several occasions and knew Walter wouldn’t let him get harmed.
“They’re going to ask me to do this. And sure enough, Walter says, ‘What do you think? One time.’ I said, ‘You think I can do this?’ And Walter said yes. And I trust Walter. I’ve trusted him with my life many times,” Selleck said.
If viewers pay close attention, they can see Selleck rescuing the girl on the wagon. The actor’s presence made the stunt seem more realistic. Though, Selleck admittedly wouldn’t quit his day job to moonlight as Tom Cruise, a known stunt junkie. The stuntman often pushed Selleck to perform stunts.
“Tom would say, ‘Walter, why are you making me do this?’” Scott said. “‘Because you can do it, and you know it always looks better if you have the actor doing the fight and everything.’ He threw good punches and did good fights.”