Memorable Movie Stunts with Ladders

Memorable Movie Stunts with Ladders

02nd December 2019

Ladders have been used to add interesting moments to movies for the last century or so. Take a look at these amazing scenes where the actors used ladders in ways that we had never thought of before. 


Cops, 1922
Possibly the first and most famous on-screen use of a ladder came when Buster Keaton silently struggles with a ladder that ends up perched on a fence. It is a cleverly done series of comedy moves, as cops on each side of the fence try to pull down the ladder out hero is on. 
During the film, Keaton is a man who unwittingly gets into a series of scrapes and stumbles his way out of them. This short movie is an excellent example of how a ladder can be used to great comedic effect in the right hands.


Police Story 4: First Strike, 1996
When Jackie Chan goes into a building that is being renovated, karate-based mayhem ensues. After climbing up a set of scaffolding to an upper floor, he proceeds to completely ignore the current health and safety regulations by brandishing a ladder as a weapon.
It is a brilliantly choreographed sequence that played its part in helping this action movie to win a series of awards. These prizes were given out at the 1997 Hong Kong Film Awards and the 1996 Golden Horse Film Festival.


Nerve, 2016
If you saw this move then you are unlikely to have forgotten the tense ladder scene. This is when Sydney is at a party and accepts a dare to cross over the next building. The only problem is that she has to walk across a ladder in high heels to do it. 
With no safety precautions such as a hard hat or a step unit, this isn’t exactly standard ladder use. However, it does makes for a memorably exciting moment as she tries to make it across to the other side.     


Mary Poppins Returns, 2018
Sadly, the magical nanny doesn’t get up to any tricks on ladders. However, Jack and his gang of lamplighters scale Big Ben to help turn back the clock, as the Banks family race against time to get to the bank before midnight.  
It is an exciting scene, as the gang place one ladder on top of another to finally reach the clock-face. Of course, the scene would have been a lot shorter and less dramatic if Mary had just effortlessly flown up there at the start, instead of waiting to the last minute.


The Lone Ranger, 2013
The end of this action movie sees Tonto, played by Johnny Depp, make rather unorthodox use of a ladder. This happens in the climatic fight scene on the train and it is perfectly timed as well as neatly executed.
There are plenty of other movies over the years that have used ladders to great effect, whether it is for action, comedy or drama purposes. It seems likely that writers and directors will keep on turning this highly versatile object whenever they need to spice up a scene.