SAS founders life story to be made into a film

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    [quote="The Telegraph] SAS founder's life story to be made into a film

    By Richard Alleyne
    Last Updated: 1:16am GMT 19/02/2007

    Most people who knew Sir David Stirling, the maverick aristocrat who founded the SAS, would agree that he was slightly mad.

    But as Field Marshal Montgomery, his superior, pointed out: "In war there is a place for mad people."

    Now the extraordinary life of the man who coined and lived by the phrase "Who dares wins" is to be made into a film.

    Stirling, who had been thrown out of Cambridge for gambling and drinking, was 26 when he came up with the idea of "special forces" as he served with the Commandos in the Second World War.

    Frustrated and bored with the lack of action he persuaded senior officers to let him assemble a small clandestine force to inflict terror and destruction on the German lines in North Africa.

    Despite numerous setbacks, his rag-tag unit of around 60 misfits went on to destroy more than 400 aircraft, hundreds of vehicles and thousands of tons of fuel and munitions. Not only that but the nature of warfare was changed forever.

    Since then the Special Air Service has taken part in operations in Afghanistan, Vietnam, and the Falklands. Its finest hour in recent history came during the Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980, when 30 soldiers freed 24 hostages.

    Antony Rufus Isaacs, the managing director of HandMade Films, said the budget would be around £50 million.

    He said: "Everyone is familiar with the SAS, but few know of its origins. David Stirling was the driving force behind the clandestine group which set the standard for all special forces.

    "Like Lawrence of Arabia, Stirling was a man of vision and a man of action. He was also a flawed hero."

    The writer Rupert Walters is adapting Alan Hoe's book David Stirling: The Authorised Biography. It is believed that producers are looking for a young British actor such as Tom Hardy, 28, who played Robert Dudley in the BBC series The Virgin Queen.

    Walters said he had been fascinated for many years by Stirling's exploits and achievements. "I am looking forward to bringing the man and his myth to the big screen," he said.

    Stirling, the son of Brig-Gen Archibald Stirling of Keir, was born at his ancestral home, Keir House, in Stirlingshire, in 1915.

    Educated at Ampleforth and Trinity College, Cambridge, from which he was sent down, the 6ft 5in Stirling, whose early ambition was to be a painter, was training for an attempt to climb Mount Everest when war broke out in 1939.

    He joined the Scots Guards and in June 1940 volunteered for the new No 8 Commando.

    The squad was disbanded but Stirling was convinced that a small team of highly trained soldiers with the advantage of surprise could be effective. He went straight to the top with his idea.

    On crutches following a parachuting accident, he sneaked into Middle East headquarters in Cairo in an effort to see the Commander-in-Chief using his crutch as a ladder to get over the fence.

    His audacity succeeded and in 1941 the SAS was formed. Stirling picked the men himself, many of whom were too troublesome to serve in other sections of the army. They included mavericks like Blair Mayne, an Irish rugby international and heavy drinker who had been imprisoned for beating up his commanding officer, and Jock Lewes, a former president of Oxford University Boat Club.

    Stirling equipped his force with supplies he borrowed or stole from other regiments. Emerging from the desert, the squad launched surprise attacks on airfields and depots before disappearing back into the dunes. The team was so effective and secretive that Field Marshal Rommel dubbed Stirling the "Phantom Major". Hitler proclaimed that allied servicemen captured on special operations should be shot rather than taken prisoner and a reward of 100,000 Reichmarks was put on Stirling's head. However, Stirling escaped that fate when captured by the Germans in 1943. He also escaped captivity four times before being sent to Colditz Castle, where he spent the rest of the war.

    Stirling was knighted in 1990 and he died later that year aged 75. A statue in his former home, Doune, Perthshire, stands as his memorial.

  2. Lets hope Hollywood don't get hold of it:

    USMC Lootenant Colonel Dave Stirling, unorthodox but always gets results (Nic Cage) tired of bumbling authority and emotionally repressed Brits forms the (U)SAS. After seeing his former partner killed he doubts if he'll ever go on a mission again, that is until he meets Paddy Maine, the bad boy from Boston (Colin Farrell or Lliam Neeson). They both fall for the same girl (Scarlett Johansson) but realise that the mission is more important.

    Together they take on the Nazis and win the war for Uncle Sam
  3. I think this is the one Eddie Irvine put a few quid into, and is executive producer. Actually, Neeson has been suggested for the role.
  4. Many a true word spoken in jest etc
  5. H Flashman, you beat me to it! Good posting, and possibly not as far from the truth as we would like to think.
  6. Will the members of the cinema audience have their eyes blacked out when they go to see it?
  7. Thank fcuk Lewis Collins is too old to play him.
  8. Oh I don't know....... he could well be suitable for the 'later' years.
  9. But you'd always be looking for a 3 litre Capri.

    And Gordon Jackson hiding somewhere.
  10. I think Sean Bean should play him. He can do any accent you want.

    As long as it's a Sheffield one.
  11. We could always hit a compromise here. Bean 'acts' and Gordon 'speaks' in educated jockinees with Bean lip synching.
  12. I think that might be stretching Mr Bean's capabilities.

    And I do mean Sean.

  13. ...I see aviator sunglasses and a Havana cigar.
  14. It could be a sequel to that Hollywood war film U571, where the two US Navy ships HMS Bulldog and HMS Broadway capture U110 ( U571 ??? ) and rescue the Enigma code books ( and probably Scarlett Whatever her name is )
  15. The spam thing was the first thought I had about this :rofl: