Friday, March 16, 2018

RIP Angelo Ragusa

Angelo Ragusa has died, goodbye to the stuntman of 'Specter' and 'Quel maledetto treno blindato'

He was 65 years old.  The memory of Daniele Vicari who worked with him in various films including 'Diaz'.  Castellari: "I will never forget you, thanks Caccolè".

March 15, 2018

Angelo Ragusa died March 14, 2018 in Rome, a stunt coordinator and stuntman himself since the seventies when he was a double for Franco Nero and Fabio Testi.  Over the years he has worked on a hundreds films from Fratello Sole and Sister Luna di Zeffirelli up to the television production of the Medici passing through Specter of the James Bond saga and the TV series of Romanzo criminale.  He was 65 years old.  The funeral will be held on Saturday at 11 am at the Church of S. Anastasio in Rome.

The memory of Daniele Vicari.

Angelo Ragusa, a profession Stunt-man was a great man of cinema.  When his brother-in-law Fabio called me last night to tell me he had not made it, I was about to answer him: impossible.  Because for Angelo there was nothing that could not be done on the set.  Even at almost sixty I saw him work for five days and five nights without ever sleeping and without losing a shred of lucidity and tranquility.  Most of Diaz's scenes, with hundreds of extras and dozens of actors at the same time, who receive "real" repetitions, without detachment, have studied them in detail, understanding something that is sometimes difficult to do on set: the extreme realism that I was looking for in the staging.  In some ways it's easier to blow up a car that "beating" an actor credibly without hurting him.  Angelo knew how to work with the actors, giving them extreme peace of mind.  His passion for staging the action bordered on poetry.  For a director, a stunt like him is a priceless fortune.  When Elio Germano, "disobeying" his prescriptions, during a scene in which he took many hits wounded his head against a radiator, Angelo bent over him and Elio told him: "I know Angelo, you told me."  And Angelo gave him a caress like a father: "Yes, you were wrong, but do not be impressed by the blood, it's nothing".

A spring afternoon a few years ago, with my daughter at the age of twelve, we went to visit him in his riding school.  Margaret was intimidated by this man with the face hard as the stone, tall and massive as a grizzly, but after five minutes he found himself with him on a horse, and when the horse crashed on the ground making "pretend" to be dead, not he was frightened, because Angelo caressed the horse and that suddenly got up nibbling.  An unforgettable day for her and especially for me that I find it hard to entrust my daughter to the doctor.  Angelo was apparently rude but very sweet.  His love for horses was matched only by his love for cinema and his family.  A simple family, very numerous and very noisy.

A true stuntman is like a dancer when he is on stage and is like a choreographer when he coordinates the scene.  Enzo Castellari knows something of it, entrusting Angelo with most of his "action", making him jump down from buildings, overwhelm racing cars, blow up bombs, crashing into cars, trucks, and running trains.  Exceptional actors such as Fabio Testi, Tomas Milian and Franco Nero owe to him much of the heroic aura that characterized them.  And from La freccia nera to Romanzo Criminale also the TV which did not make him happy.

When I met him, I knew perfectly well who he was because Angelo (Caccola for his friends), was a living myth not just for me.  Tony Smart, the stuntman of films like James Bond, The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones (and a thousand others), he considered it exactly like that.  It was discovered by Walter di Francesco, another great stunt who rightly considers himself a pupil of Angelo, when he began the preparation of Ben Hur and spoke of Angelo to the English coordinator of the film, he asked Tony Scott what he thought and Scott looked at him amazed: "Angelo Ragusa is a myth".

RAGUSA, Angelo
Born: 9/10/1952, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Died: 3/14/2018, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Angelo Rausa’s westerns – actor, stuntman:
Keoma – 1976 (Caldwell henchman) [stunt double for Franco Nero]
California – 1977 [stunts]
Buddy Goes West – 1981 (Slim henchman) [stunts]

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