As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.
This time out: My Favourite…. Loren Janes (1931-2017) Film
THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963)
Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war (POWs) are all put in an ‘escape proof’ camp. Their leader decides to try to take out several hundred all at once. The first half of the film is played for comedy as the prisoners mostly outwit their jailers to dig the escape tunnel. The second half is high adventure as they use boats and trains and planes to get out of occupied Europe.
Loren Who, I hear you ask? Well Loren Janes was a pioneer stunt man, a trail blazer of the industry who worked on over 170 film and TV projects between 1955 and 2002. He worked with the best directors and doubled some of the most notable actors in Hollywood.
But for me there was only ONE favourite film: The Great Escape where he doubled Steve McQueen, one of many times they would work together. A close bond was formed between the two. Janes was a gentleman and an unsung hero. Co-ordniator, stun-man, stunt double and someone I had the honour to interview back in 2008. He leaves behind a family and a legacy that shaped modern cinema.
See also: Casino, Escape From New York, Bullitt