Having a good time with Julie Christie
I must thank Octane and especially Andrew Roberts for the article ‘The Return of the Fast Lady’ published in issue 151. This was of great interest to me, as my late grandfather Jack Silk was Stanley Baxter’s driving double throughout the film. I remember with great fondness him telling me about the production of the film; having his hair dyed to match Stanley’s hue; how the Bentley was a beast to drive; and how James Robertson Justice was a complete professional and ‘very handy behind the wheel, too’.
The golf course scene was apparently very challenging as bits started to fall off the cars, with the R-Type Continental particularly suffering from the abuse! A great picture to work on, and a joy to work with second unit (action unit) director Don Sharpe, he concluded.
My grandfather was a stunt driver for more than 25 years, starting in the 1950s and retiring in the early 1980s. Alongside his brother Jeff, he worked on many film and television series supplying and driving all manner of cars and motorbikes, including The Devil Rides Out, Robbery, Casino Royale, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, The Sweeney, No Hiding Place and so on. To him it was just a job.
I have a few pictures of my late grandfather with Julie Christie [above], which I believe were taken on the Beaconsfield Studios back lot. STEPHEN FLEISCHER BEDFORDSHIRE
LETTER OF THE MONTH