This is mostly for ENZAM, and those who may also be confused.
The Stunt Man is one of my favorite films of all time. I've seen it many times and perhaps I can explain the scene he presented as an example of a 'silly contivance'. In the scene with the original stunt man on the bridge, he stops NOT to give Cameron a ride, but to get ready for a stunt. He then kicks him out when he realizes that Cameron has gotten into the car. He guns the car and turns around NOT to run over Cameron, but to do the stunt.
This scene is a perfect example of why the film works so well. Everything that happens in this scene is seen from Cameron's point of view. Cameron's somewhat paranoid view. Only after this scene plays out are we, along with Cameron, shown the rest of the crew making the movie. And as the film goes on we learn more insight about this scene. The original stunt man, Burt, was so hopped up, to do this dangerous stunt, we understand why he acted the way he did.
The Stunt Man is one of those films that you will have the best experience with on your first viewing. As the audience, you take this ride along with Cameron, finding out what's going on as he does. And the twists and turns are wonderful. This is a GREAT script. It reveals its secrets little by little until, by the end of the film, we understand what's going on, why people have done what they've done, and it's a wonderful payoff.
As for the acting, EVERYONE does a GREAT job in their rolls. Steve Railsback is not 'sleepwalking through the movie'. He's playing a haunted character who doesn't see a place for himself in this world, and he plays it great with all of the cynicism, anger, and frustration of a defeated man.
This film has drama, action, romance and is extremely entertaining, but it's also the kind of movie that will make you think and work to figure out....