Vic Armstrong may or may not be a name that you know, but chances are if you’re a movie fan, you’ve seen him in action. Vic is a stuntman. He’s been the Fall Guy for the likes of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones as well as making Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby look good playing James Bond. He even pulled on tights and donned a cape to make Superman more super for Chris Reeves in Superman 1, 2 and 3.
Standing six foot tall, Armstrong bears a striking resemblance to Harrison Ford. He was sometimes mistaken for the Fedora wearing star on the set of the Indy movies and replaced Ford during crucial shots after he herniated his back during the fight with the Thuggee assassin in Temple of Doom. Ford wrote to Armstrong on a photo, “If you learn to talk, I’m in deep trouble!”
Enjoying a long history of stunt work, Armstrong has also distinguished himself as a stunt coordinator and has tried his hand at directing. He wrote a memoir called My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Action Heroes: The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman published in 2011.
Here are a few of some of the greatest stunts ever performed by Vic Armstrong:
Tanks a Lot – The Last Crusade (1989)
Vic Armstrong jumps from a horse onto a tank during this scene. In 2002, a panel of experts and Sky TV viewers voted this one of the top 10 movie stunts of all time.
Truck, What Truck? (1981)
I personally consider this one of the best action and stunt sequences ever committed to film. The scene contains so much coordinated action and humor, it’s mind blowing even after 30 years. It still makes me feel 12 years old watching it.
Two Ski, One Ski, We All Love to Ski (1969)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is one of my favorite Bond movies ever and I’ve always enjoyed this ski scene where Bond is forced to ski on one leg.
My Kingdom for a Horse (1983)
The next stunt is a bit controversial nowadays with all the protection that is properly afforded animals in Hollywood today, but it’s still a great jump by Vic Armstrong and the horse, frankly. This scene occurs in the James Bond reprisal role for Sean Connery, Never Say Never Again (to a HUGE paycheck apparently).
Nick Nunziata wrote a great piece on the mistreatment of horses specifically in movies BTW called Wild Kingdom: Hollywood’s Over The Top Animal Scenes.
Stick It To Me (1988)
Vic Armstrong was a stunt coordinator in 1988’s Rambo 3. The movie is pretty terrible overall, but there’s one terrific scene at the beginning of the movie where Rambo faces off against his opponent with Thai fighting sticks to win money for the monks.
Want more? You can find a montage of examples of Vic’s stunts and stunt arrangements below: