Vic Armstrong. The name might not readily come to you and it’s importance even if you consider yourself a die hard film fan. But I guarantee you that you’ll know some of the other names that Mr. Armstrong has gone by.
Indiana Jones. James Bond. Superman. Rick Deckard.
If you visit his Internet Movie Database page you’ll see that he has 115 listings as a stuntman, stunt co-ordinator, second unit director, and director. He’s been involved with far too many movies to list here but to name just a few: Arabesque, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Macbeth, A Bridge Too Far, Flash Gordon, An American Werewolf in London, Dragonslayer, Krull, Dune, Brazil, Rambo III, Total Recall, Rob Roy, Starship Troopers, Gangs of New York, War of the Worlds, I Am Legend, Salt, The Green Hornet, Thor, and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Quite simply Vic Armstrong is the real deal. He is the World’s greatest stuntman and thanks to our friends over at Titan Books I was able to review a copy of the newly updated expanded edition that will be released in stores and digitally on May 29th.
The greatest compliment I can offer to the memoir by Vic Armstrong and Robert Sellers is that you feel like you are just sitting next to Armstrong himself, perhaps just sharing a favorite beverage as he leads you through his career in film, sharing anecdotes about the many film productions, the good and the bad.
Armstrong’s career demands the kind of respect that is proven by the number of people who have penned testimonials about him and his vast talent. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sir Christopher Lee, and Harrison Ford to name a few of those that worked with Armstrong over the years. An excerpt from the book, Martin Scorsese on working with Armstrong during Gangs of New York: “Vic Armstrong is, of course, a legend in the film world, in the tradition of the great Yakima Canutt. I had an extraordinary experience working with Vic as second unit director on Gangs of New York. We worked closely together on the battle scenes, and in order to give him an idea of what I needed I screened a few silent Soviet films by Eisenstein, Dovzhenko and Pudovkin…”
“…Vic is a true filmmaker, and he was invaluable on Gangs of New York. I had a great time working with him, and I could never have made it without him.”
You will absolutely carry away more respect for the profession of stuntmen after reading the book as well as be introduced to films you may not have known of that are worthy of your attention. Armstrong’s memoir introduces you to the extended family of stuntmen and his own flesh and blood that have followed in his large footsteps as he shines the spotlight on their work or humorous pranks, and there are some great pranks from the likes of the crew and actors he has doubled and rubbed elbows with to be sure.
You can pick up a copy of The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman at the Titan Books official site or at Amazon.Com. It’s a captivating memoir filled with moving memories of some of the greatest films and people that shed their blood and sweat for our enjoyment.
To learn more of Vic Armstrong, make sure to visit his official site at http://www.vicarmstrong.com/!