Stunt mag­net

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - REAL ESTATE - FELI­CIA FON­SECA and TERRY TANG

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — At the end of the 1991 movie Thelma & Louise, the two lead­ing ladies — fugi­tives cor­nered by au­thor­i­ties in the Grand Canyon — de­cide against sur­ren­der­ing and in­stead drive their 1966 Ford Thun­der­bird off a cliff.

One of cinema’s most iconic end­ings wasn’t ac­tu­ally filmed in the na­tional park in Ari­zona — but not for lack of try­ing.

“We didn’t want to en­cour­age peo­ple com­ing into the canyon do­ing what was done in the movie, so we de­clined it,” said Mau­reen Ol­trogge, a long­time spokes­woman for the na­tional park, who re­tired in 2014.

Nev­er­the­less, Ol­trogge said at least two peo­ple took their own lives by driv­ing over the rim of the Grand Canyon af­ter the movie was re­leased, think­ing it was filmed there.

The land­scape in and around one of the world’s seven nat­u­ral won­ders has a long his­tory of stunts be­ing staged — or turned down.

An ac­ro­bat, a ma­gi­cian and over­all daredevils are among those who have ap­proached Grand Canyon Na­tional Park over the years with vi­sions of a made-for-TV mo­ment.

The lat­est came Sept. 25, when ac­tor Will Smith cel­e­brated his 50th birth­day by bungee jump­ing from a he­li­copter. Al­though billed as a leap “in the heart of the Grand Canyon,” it ac­tu­ally took place over a smaller gorge on the Navajo Na­tion, a tribe whose reser­va­tion bor­ders the east rim of the na­tional park.

Manus de­clined to com­ment on Smith’s jump.

Smith teamed up with charity web­site Omaze to make his bungee jump a fundraiser.


Su­san Saran­don and Geena Davis’s famed drive over the rim of the Grand Canyon in Thelma and Louise was not what it seemed.

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