Trivia: In the days before ubiquitous digital technology, the majority of visual effects in film were "practical" effects using stuntmen and props on wires, springboards, flash-pots, et cetera. In "Ladyhawke" (which was decidedly on the low-end of visual effects budgets), one of the most dangerous practical effects is seen when Matthew Broderick and Rutger Hauer have a heated discussion in the woods and seem about to part company. As Broderick turns to leave, Hauer's 53" longsword sizzles past the boy's left shoulder and embeds in a tree trunk, to Broderick's horror. In fact, the steel sword was real and hurtled to its target on a guide-wire, barely 8 inches from Broderick's back. If you slow-advance the scene, you can see the sword actually changing trajectory in-flight, it was so unstable. The sword came up in a Hollywood memorabilia auction in 2002 but was not sold.

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Charles Austin Miller