Absolute Evel: The Evel Knievel Story Editorial Reviews From humble beginnings in Butte to iconic status and everything in between Evel Knievel candidly shares every aspect of his life.
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC Language: English Region: All Regions Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Number of discs: 1 Rated: NR (Not Rated) Studio: A&E Home Video DVD Release Date: June 13, 2005 Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Knievel ended high school after his sophomore year and got a job in the copper mines with the Anaconda Mining Company as a diamond drill operator. He was then promoted to surface duty where he drove a large earth mover. Knievel was dismissed when he made the earth mover do a motorcycle-type wheelie and drove it into Butte's main power line. The incident left the city without electricity for several hours. Idle, Knievel began to find himself in more and more trouble around Butte. After a police chase in 1956 in which he crashed his motorcycle, Knievel was taken to jail on a charge of reckless driving. When the night jailer came around to check the roll, he noted Robert Knievel in one cell and William Knofel in the other. Knofel was well known as "Awful Knofel" ("awful" rhyming with "Knofel") so Knievel began to be referred to as Evel Knievel ("Evel" rhyming with "Knievel"). He chose this misspelling because of his last name and because he didn't want to be considered "evil".
Shortly after getting married, Knievel started the Butte Bombers, a semi-pro hockey team.. To help promote his team and earn some money, he convinced the 1960 Olympic Czechoslovakian hockey team to play the Butte Bombers in a warm-up game to the Olympics. Knievel was ejected from the game minutes into the third period and left the stadium. When the Czechoslovakian officials went to the box office to collect the expense money the team was promised, workers discovered the game receipts had been stolen. The United States Olympic Committee wound up paying the Czechoslovakian team's expenses to avoid an international incident.After the birth of his first son, Kelly, Knievel realized that he needed to come up with a new way to support his family financially. Using the hunting and fishing skills his grandfather had taught him, Knievel started the Sur-Kill Guide Service. He guaranteed that if a hunter employed his service and paid his fee, they would get the big game animal they wanted or he would refund their money. Business was very good until game wardens realized that Knievel was taking his clients into Yellowstone National Park to find prey. The Park Service ordered Knievel to cease and desist this poaching.
After returning home from Washington, Knievel decided to stop committing crime. He joined the motocross circuit and had moderate success, but he still couldn't make enough money to support his family. During 1962, Knievel broke his collarbone and shoulder in a motocross accident. The doctors said he couldn't race for at least six months. To help support his family, he switched careers and sold insurance for the Combined Insurance Company of America, working for W. Clement Stone. Stone suggested that Knievel read Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, a book that Stone wrote with Napoleon Hill. Knievel credited much of his success to Stone and his book.
Evel Knievel jumps his cycle between two ramps, 100 feet apart, to open a Sports Cycle Exhibition at the Civic Center, Nov. 23, 1967, in San Francisco, Calif.
The Associated Press/File photo, 1967
Always looking for new thrills and challenges, Knievel participated in local professional rodeos and ski jumping events, including winning the Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Class A Men's ski jumping championship in 1959. During the late 1950s, Knievel joined the United States Army. His athletic ability allowed him to join the track team where he was a pole vaulter. After his army stint, Knievel returned to Butte where he met and married his first wife, Linda Joan Bork.
More than a daredevil, Evel Knievel combined sportsmanship and
show business to become one of the most famous performers in
America. The perils of his sport-making a motorcycle "fly" over a
row of vehicles-clearly were not for the average rider. Many of his
jumps were successful; but in some spectacular crashes, Knievel
fractured 35 to 40 bones. His visually stunning, suspenseful
performances were perfectly suited to television and were especially
exciting because of the chance that he might crash. Knievel's shows
were a celebration of America's love affair with motor vehicles. His
pre-jump show featured motorcycle "wheelies" and off-beat
vehicles, and he jumped almost exclusively over rows of
automobiles, trucks, and buses. By performing at stadiums and
coliseums, Knievel perpetuated the tradition of live thrill shows for
local audiences. But national and international media coverage of his
jumps placed him in a league with some of the world's best-known
entertainers. Knievel rode this motorcycle during some of his most
spectacular jumps. By carefully coordinating his angle, thrust, and
speed, which reached 90 to 100 miles per hour at takeoff, he
remained in the air for as far as 165 feet. He chose (and
customized) this motorcycle, a 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750,
because it was a light, dependable racing machine. Made of steel,
aluminum, and fiberglass, it weighs approximately 300 pounds. Evel
Knievel's Harley-Davidson XR-750
REVIEW: Evel Kneivel is awesome April 3, 2008 By William Jewell I loved evel kneivel, I think absolute evel is the best documentary yet about the famous daredevil. It goes into great detail about his life, his jumps, and his failures. I have watched it over and over, I do not think I will ever get tired of watching a great program like this. I even had a evel kneivel bike that I got for christmas one year. I was the only kid in my small town that had one, and oh boy I got hurt on it a few times. I love Evel, Harley Davidson motorcycles and this fine video from the history channel.
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