“We were filming the scene from a helicopter, where Tom and Elisabeth are riding horses along the beach,” Bennett writes in his post. “After a couple takes, the pilot would land the helicopter on the beach, and Tom and Elisabeth would come over to watch the shot recordings and get notes from the director. The only monitor was at my operating position in the left front seat of the helicopter.”
Bennett explains that the tail rotor at the back of the helicopter appears invisible as it spins, adding, “If you walk into it, it will kill you instantly.” After Cruise and Shue watched playback of a scene on the monitor, Shue “took off suddenly, running towards the back of the helicopter.
“Tom is a pilot, rated in both airplanes and helicopters, and instantly saw the danger,” the camera operator continues. “He lunged after her, but only was able to grab her legs, tackling her to the ground…At that point she turned white, and he pulled her back towards the front of the helicopter and they walked away. All of us in the helicopter, we’re quite shaken up by the close call, but there was nothing to be said. Tom had, in that instant, truly saved her life.”
Note: I hate posting this much text to start a blog, but they worded this story as lengthy as humanly possible.
Tom Cruise is quite possibly Hollywood's most famous stuntman. It doesn't matter if you ask him to climb up a helicopter in mid-air, drive a motorcycle off a cliff, or LITERALLY go to space (which he is doing soon. No, like, actually he really is), he is always game. However, I do feel like his stunt life is something that we only have really come to appreciate over the past decade, so seeing that he somehow managed to save someone from being Nazi-In-Indiana-Jones'd on the set of fucking COCKTAIL somehow makes no sense and perfect sense at the same time.
If this had gone down, it may have been a wrap for choppers in movies. Only 5 years before COCKTAIL was filmed, a chopper famously crashed into Vic Morrow on the set of the Twilight Zone movie, decapitating him and another child actor while crushing another. Also, If Cruise had never saved Shue, we may have never gotten the iconically gross milk scenes from THE BOYS
Talk about a Butterfly Effect (Yes I'm definitly using that term correctly)