MovieChat Forums > Evel Knievel (1971) Discussion > Scenes that Stuck With Me

Scenes that Stuck With Me

Apparently most of this movie was supposed to be funny, but the two scenes which made a lifetime impression on me involved deaths at public events. The first was a flashback to something which Evel supposedly witnessed at age 11 or 12. He and a friend his age attended an ill-conceived stunt involving explosives, which the daredevil mishandled, blowing himself to shreds...whereupon the entire audience burst into hysterical laughter except young Evel, his friend, and a lady concerned that "youngsters shouldn't see such things." I was horrified and impressed for life.

The other was a scene in which a rodeo bull rider was killed at an event where Evel was to perform. The announcer said something like, "Old George is fine; he'll be all right," but those close by saw he was dead. The audience didn't laugh, presumably because different crowd, and the guy died in a legitimate mishap instead of Darwining himself out.

I was particularly interested to learn whether either of these things actually happened, but according to a 2012 biography, Evel: The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel: American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend, by Leigh Montville, most of the screenplay was composed of invented incidents, at which I find myself somewhat relieved.