Skip to main content

The Cameraman Was a Real Hero

Grace McHugh is a scene from Across the Border

 Accidents on movie sets are rare, but not unknown. Of course productions have rules and safeguards to make things safer, but that wasn't always the case. In 1914 the movie industry was pretty new. There was already an issue in the filming of Across the Border. A pony had fallen over a cliff to its death. That shot even made it into the movie, allowed by censors because they had been assured the incident was accidental. The movie finished filming without further incident. Until, that is, one scene was ruined while being developed. They had to reshoot a scene of their leading lady, Grace McHugh riding a horse across the Arkansas River. A few accounts say she was in a boat, but the majority of them state she was on a horse. Something happened that caused her to fall off her horse (or out of her boat) and into the strong current.

But cameraman Owen Carter was not going to just stand there and let her get swept away by the river. He jumped in after the drowning actress. Again accounts differ. Most modern accounts state that they both drowned. Apparently her body was found five days later a mile from where she fell in, and his was found 4 days after that 12 miles away. However some of the accounts of the day paint a more horrifying scene. They posit that Carter actually saved McHugh, dragging her to a sandbar. Unfortunately the sandbar was actually quicksand, and the crew watched helplessly as the almost drowned duo sank and died. There were some claims that the whole accident may have been a publicity hoax. But while the tragedy was used to sell the movie in many tasteless ads, it had been all too real. Carter was posthumously honored with a medal by the Carnegie Hero Fund.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nancy Sinatra Gets Nude

Nancy Sinatra was known for her song These Boots are made for Walking. Her musical career didn't  last nearly as long as her famous crooner father's did, but she remained a real looker. In fact, she did a photo shoot for Playboy in her 50's. Another thing that lasted into her 50's, she remained daddy's little princess. This is illustrated by the fact that she got Frank's permission before doing the shoot. The most surprising thing is that the Chairman of the Board agreed to let her show her goods in a nationally published magazine.

The Original Shrek

Chris Farley was originally cast as the voice of Shrek, and even began work on the movie. Unfortunately he passed before finishing recording his dialog. He was replaced by his friend Mike Myers, who took the character in his own direction.

A Salute To Elvira

Cassandra Peterson was born in Kansas in 1951. That is a very bland statement of fact for the arrival into this world as the Queen of Halloween. Of course Peterson wasn't born as the seductive Mistress of the Dark. When she was just a small child, she was scalded by boiling water and had severe burns on 35% of her body. She was teased for the scars this left as she was growing up, She says that as a child she was more interested in horror themed toys than the Barbie dolls the other girls were playing with. It apparently didn't take her long to find at least some of her talents. As a teen she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar. Dancing was to be her gateway to becoming an icon beloved the world over. At 17 she went on a trip to Las Vegas. She convinced her parents to let her see a show, and the story has it that the producers noticed her and approached her about becoming a performer herself. Since she was underage she had to get her parents' permission, but they agr