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Men In Black - Stunt Man Catch
In the scene where Kay and Jay are driving through the tunnel, Kay turns the car upside and Jay falls out of his seat. As he tries to get back into it, the camera zooms in on his ankles. What's this? It turns out that this is Will Smith's stunt double, a white man with, you guessed it. White ankles.
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Avg. Rating:    6.3 of 10 - (351 votes cast)
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Contributed By:
Writer's Block on 08-16-1999
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Comments:
Ron Spiegelhalter writes:
Sorry folks, but I have to shoot this one down. It's definitely not a white stunt man (or a stunt man at all), although it's easy to see how it could be mistaken as such on a quick glimpse. I'm framing through my newly-acquired Limited Edition DVD and it's clear from closer inspection that it's Will Smith's ankles (lower calves actually, his ankles are never actually visible). Keep in mind that WS is not a particularly dark-skinned man as we go frame by frame here... 1:17:36 - In this group of frames we see both WS' face and bare calves; this is obviously not a stunt man. The calves are essentially the same color as those we see in the next shot. If they appear minutely darker to you, consider the shadowing in this shot as well as the calves' relative distance from the camera compared to the straight-on lighting and much closer framing of the next shot. 1:17:41 - This is presumably the shot in question. Here we see the bare calves by themselves, with no face visible for identification of their owner. The skin tone is the same as we saw in the last clip, and will see again in a few seconds. [As you look at these few frames and consider the tumbling that the real WS has taken so far in this scene, ask yourself why he would need a stunt man for this more-or-less stationary shot. The idea is plainly illogical. It is also not supported by the copious behind-the-scenes footage of this scene provided on the DVD.] 1:17:51 - Will turns his body around with his face in view and we catch another glimpse of those calves. Again, they are the same color as the previous two shots. If you can get your hands on a copy of this excellent DVD, I encourage you to check out these frames, plus the behind-the-scenes footage, and judge for yourself. Again, it's easy to see how someone could make this incorrect assumption so I don't mean to insult the previous posters, but Will Smith is a very light-skinned black man and the skin tone on those calves is not as Caucasian as they might appear in a passing glance. They are too "ashy" in tone, not as white-pink as you'd expect a white man's calves to be. Add to that the implausibility of a stunt man being used in that shot and you've got yourself a bona fide non-slipup here. Sorry!
28 of 30 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Tiddlyjen writes:
I also have the Special Collectors Edition on dvd and you can watch the tunnel scene from different angles and J's ankles are definitely not white in that!
4 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Peabody writes:
Not a stuntman. Just a trick of lighting and camera distance. On the name issue, IMDB lists the names like this: Tommy Lee Jones .... Kevin Brown/MiB Agent K (Kay) Will Smith .... Officer James Darrel Edwards III/MiB Agent J (Jay) Rip Torn .... MiB Chief Z (Zed) And so on. The animated series info lists them as: Keith Diamond .... Jay Charles Napier .... Zed Gregg Berger .... Kay (#2) By the way, Rip Torn is a stage name. (As if it wasn't obvious) His birth name is Elmore Rual Torn
2 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Delarayne writes:
Nice one! I love the movie, own it, and know it word-for-word but I didn't catch that one!
1 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Scolman writes:
I've got the Special Collectors Edition DVD, and looking at it, I can't see anything that suggests that it is a stunt man. Ron Spiegelhalter is right, it is Will Smith, and it's just the way the light is shining that makes him look white. This slipup has just crashed and burned.
2 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
vonbontee writes:
The character obviously considered the upsidedown chase a white-knuckle ride that soon spread all the way to his ankles #;)
2 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
TheGreatAdini writes:
Okay, this is kinda off the subject, but aren't their names J and K?
8 of 16 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Ashley Comet writes:
Yes, i have the DVD. The directors never point it out as a mistake, and it's not in the scene mess-up section. Although it was featured in Nickolodeon Magazine as a lighter colored man stunt double flub. Now that's where it's confusing. One source tells you one thing, the other one says nothing at all. Go figure. And it is J and K in the movie (When K types in James's new name, it is J on the screen in front of an atom, and on his locker it says J) but in the cartoon it's Jay and Kay. Kind of confusing, but that's what I know.
3 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
jlan writes:
I can tell you right now that it isnt a stunman. If you watch the behind the scenes footage of when they show how the scene was created then you will clearly see the real WS with tommy lee jones in a upside down machine made to look like a car in the blue screen shots.
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Shadow Creature writes:
No, actually it is a stunt man. I read about that slip up in a magazine.
4 of 10 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Diablo writes:
Hey... here's a thought... maybe he's wearing white socks???
0 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Mindy Doll writes:
Adini, your right it is off topic but no their names are Jay and Kay (use CC on the TV show)
1 of 7 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
WaySarcastic writes:
How could anyone not catch this? I saw this right when I first rented it immediately because of my superior genius. ;) Ahh, being conceited is fun.
0 of 20 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes


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