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DateOriginal Topic
28th August 2005J. R. M. Chard and Stanley Baker
By Barbara Grant
Hope you'll not mind this inquiry from a Yank cousin...but I wonder if anyone knows what motivated Stanley Baker to produce "Zulu" and to play J. R. M. Chard. It's intersting to me that both Baker and Chard died at age 49 (young, in my view) and both from cancer; and I'm wondering if Sir Stanley had any deep feelings on the subject of Rorke's Drift in general, and Chard in particular, before producing his excellent film.
28th August 2005Robert Jones
Stanley Baker was a Welshman and extremely proud of it---Rorke,s Drift was and still is a very famous incident in the history of Wales.
The Welsh are very proud of their heritage and Stanley Baker saw the opportunity to put this on screen.
I must say it certainly made a lot of people sit up and think!
It,s a shame, Barbara, that you don,t live a little nearer, then you could visit the RRW Museum in Brecon to really understand what I mean---I,m sure Martin would be only too happy to show you around.
28th August 2005Tony Jones
Dear Babara,
if you buy the DVD 'Zulu' the commentary by Lady Helen Baker in the 'extras' section is very informative and provides a good insight into the life of Sir Stanley Baker.If you look at the photo of Sir Stanley at Chard's grave on this site you will see in the face of the man that he is moved.
Irregardless of the negative press that Chard has attracted recently,or any other actions he was involved in whilst on 'active service',the man proved his true character on the day,and that testimony to his true worth will stand forever,unlike the recent sensationalistic claims which have now been relegated to 'fish and chip wrapping paper' section.The Welsh are a very proud people and perhaps it was Chard's true character that impressed Sir Stanley to motivate him to produce the film.

28th August 2005Henry Hammond
Are Welsh people proud of Stanley Baker, or of the film Zulu, or what?
The film is presented as if a 'Welsh' story, with many features of the battle and key personalities in it being trivialised for cinema purposes.
But the historical version of events is hardly a 'Welsh' story as has been debated endlessly on this site.
Baker also trifles with the main characters in ways that demean many of them - Lt Bromhead for example, Pte Hook. To an objective person his portrayal of some 'Welsh' characters is also patronising. And, he has launched the nonsensical myth of the singing of Men of Harlech (in English) during the battle by a large group of soldiers, most of whom would not even have known the words!
HL de V H.
28th August 2005Paul Cubbin
Trust me, we are grateful for any positive press. Cheesy accents are just something that comes with the 'Daffodills and Sheep' image abroad and are mostly accepted with good grace.
29th August 2005Trevor
Hello Yank Cousin.
You must remember Stanley Baker was a very clever man. He new a winner when he saw it! Although no "superstar" He new his trade. I remember him in HELL DRIVERS. Really cheaply made film. But with top quality actors, and ahead of it's time british action film. Never saw him in a bad film! He would have made a great Bond in his prime. You yanks appreciated Richard Burton i believe? Well, Stanley was as good an actor in my opinion. But he was a better buisness man than Burton. Tragic loss to the british film industry!
31st August 2005Sheldon Hall
Just a reminder that Stanley Baker did not make the film on his own, nor was it his idea to make it in the first place. There was also a writer, John Prebble, and a director/co-producer/co-writer, Cy Endfield (also the director of HELL DRIVERS and four other Baker vehicles - no pun intended). They were involved in setting up the project before it was brought to Stanley and had a lot more say than he did in matters of characterisation, etc - though undoubtedly the actor's Welshness was an influence on the story's treatment as well as on his interest in getting it made. BTW, it's Ellen, Lady Baker, not Lasy Helen Baker.
31st August 2005Tom Grant
Actually, as the widow of a knight, it's just "Lady Baker".

It would be Lady Ellen Baker if there was reasonable scope for confusion with another "Lady Baker", also the wife or widow of a knight or baronet.

Ellen, Lady Baker is another thing entirely. See

And enjoy!
Tom Grant
31st August 2005Norman Moggs
He's basically right. It would only (normally) be E, Lady B had Lady B been divorced from Sir Whoever B.
Because under English,and Scots,practice the guiding principle is that the wife draws her statius and titles from her husband (with some specific variations) then had Lady B re-married, she would effectively 'start again' and would no longer be referred to by any title resulting from the former marriage or divorce.
Fortunately these circumstances do not apply to the much liked and respected Lady Baker.
Norman Moggs
31st August 2005Sheldon Hall
Yes, my point was that Lady Ellen B is wrong, and that the correct form of address is Lady B or Ellen, Lady B, if one wants to refer to her by her Christian name as well. If my perusal of your Debretts link is correct, I don't think it contradicts me on the latter point! At least, I assume it's okay to include the Christian name even if she isn't divorced... (My own source of info on this, BTW, is John Prebble's widow, a former journalist who remarked to me on the inappropriate use of Lady EB as a caption in the ZULU DVD docu - not my doing!)

Who's basically right? Me or Tom??