Movie Fact #768 – May 31st, 2015:

During the sequence where they are chasing the stagecoach in, well the 1939 film “Stacecoach”, a device known as a “Running W” was used on the Indians’ horses. Here’s how it worked.

Strong, thin wires are fixed to a metal post, then the other end of the wires are attached to an iron clamp that encircles the legs of a horse, and the post is anchored into the ground. Then, the horse is ridden at full gallop until the wire’s maximum length is reached when is just when the rider is “shot” at which time the animal’s legs are jerked out from underneath it, causing it to tumble violently and throw the “shot” rider off. This brutal stunt design had it’s problems though.

The trouble here was that the rider knew when the horse was going to fall but the horse didn’t which resulted in many horses either being killed outright or having to be destroyed because of broken limbs incurred during the falls.

You can imagine that the use of the “Running W” was eventually discontinued after many complaints from both inside and outside the film industry occurred. Safe to say PETA would have had a field day if they were around at the time.

Published in: on May 31, 2015 at 3:16 PM  Leave a Comment  

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