If your pulse has been raised by some dangerous-looking stunts in the great action movies of the modern era, the chances are that you’ve been looking at Vic Armstrong. It’s him taking the licks for Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, and doing similar duty for a variety of James Bonds. And if you thought that you’ve always been looking at Christopher Reeve as in flight or in action as Superman in some of the more energetic scenes, the man in the blue tights and red cape is – yes — Vic Armstrong. But Armstrong is celebrated (by those in the know) not only as a top-notch stuntman, but as one of the greatest stunt coordinators since such legendary film industry figures as Yakima Canutt. Even without the impressive list of encomiums on the jacket of this fascinating memoir (how many books can boast blurbs by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford and Sir Christopher Lee?), the time for a fact-filled and highly entertaining series of reminiscences such as World’s Greatest Stuntman was long overdue.. Whether or not the average cineaste will simply consume it at a sitting (difficult not to do), or use it as a reference book after watching individual films (there is a helpful index), it’s both a highly enjoyable read and a salutary lesson in not believing what we are seeing.
World’s Greatest Stuntman by Vic Armstrong is published by Titan Books