Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> TOM MIX   > BEALE'S CUT

3 Jumps Ahead: Mix Takes Credit for Jumping Beale's Cut.


Webmaster's note.

Whether actor Tom Mix actually jumped Beale's Cut for the John Ford film, "3 Jumps Ahead," has been debated almost since the film was released in 1923. The film is lost, so it can't be examined (although Mix biographer Robert S. Birchard, author of "King Cowboy: Tom Mix and the Movies," tells us he has seven frames of film showing the jump). In this September 1923 news article, Mix takes credit for jumping the cut himself — not once but repeating it five times.

Birchard insists the stunt was performed by Earl Simpson, a horse trainer in Searchlight, Nev. Other candidates over the years have been stuntman Richard Talmadge and Newhall's own Andy Jauregui.

It's possible that more than one version of the story is correct. In addition to the doctored production still showing an out-of-proportion horse and rider, Birchard says three trailers for three releases of the film show different versions of the jump. They may have been shot at different times using different people.

One argument in Mix's favor is that the actor was famous for performing all his own daredevil stunts, especially in his early years, which this was. For Mix to have been doubled would have been scandalous. If word got out, it would have tarnished his reputation, injured his career and hurt the producers and distributors at the box office.



Click to enlarge.

Tom Mix.

All those insurance agents who are clamoring to write accident insurance for Tom Mix, the premier Western screen star, should heed Tom's lament. It seems that the more daring and hazardous the stunt he does, he never receives more than a scratch, but every time he visits the doctor he comes out a cripple.

During the filming of his latest William Fox picture, "3 jumps Ahead," which comes to the Hippo Theatre Saturday, Mix performed more dangerous stunts than he had attempted before. "One Monday," said Tom, "I drove a stage coach and four horses over a 100 foot cliff. All rolled to the bottom but no one was hurt. Tuesday jumped Tony over a twenty foot chasm that spanned a ninety foot drop. To get the best possible angle the stunt was repeated five times but still there were no injuries. Wednesday I rolled down another cliff with Tony and neither of us were scratched. Thursday being a legal holiday, I stayed home with my family. But listen to the next day's program.

"Friday morning I went to see a doctor to be sure that I was in perfect condition. He told me that I need something to tone me up and he gave me a serum injection. The needle ruptured a large vein in my arm, causing it to swell to twice the normal size and nearly resulting in the amputation of my arm. I didn't sleep for four days and nights, and it was only my strong recuperative powers that pulled me through. Now my arm is better and I have gone back to the less hazardous life of providing thrills for the movies."

News story courtesy of Stan Walker.


NEWHALL MIXVILLE

thumbnail

Newhall Mixville

thumbnail

Newhall Mixville?

thumbnail

Tom & Tony 1919

thumbnail

Reckless Driving, Newhall 1920

thumbnail

On Location in Newhall 1922

thumbnail

Studio Cottage


TOM MIX

thumbnail

Tom Mix & Tony

thumbnail

The Man Within 1916

thumbnail

Western Blood 1918

thumbnail

Fighting for Gold 1919

thumbnail

Three Jumps Ahead 1923

thumbnail

Three Jumps Ahead Lobby Card COPY

thumbnail

Ads for 3 Jumps Ahead 1923

thumbnail

Mix Says He Jumped Beale's Cut 1923

thumbnail

1923 Letter: Three Jumps Ahead

thumbnail

Mile-A-Minute Romeo 1923

thumbnail

The Rainbow Trail 1925

thumbnail

Arcade Card

thumbnail

Grauman's Chinese Theatre 12-12-1927

thumbnail

King Cowboy 1928

thumbnail

Pays Back Taxes 1930

thumbnail

Final Ride 1940-1990

thumbnail

No. 1 - Jan 1948

thumbnail

No. 8 - Aug 1948

thumbnail

Modern Portrait

RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ]
SCVHistory.com is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV • Additional copyrights apply