: It's impossible to direct yourself in a movie.
Stanley Baker was unusual star material to emerge during the Fifties - when impossibly handsome and engagingly romantic leading men were almost de rigueur. Baker was forged from a rougher mould. His was good-looking, but his features were angular, taut, austere and unwelcoming.
His screen persona was taciturn, even surly, and the young actor displayed a predilection for introspection and blunt speaking, and was almost wilfully unromantic.
For the times a potential leading actor cast heavily against the grain. Baker immediately proved a unique screen presence - tough, gritty, combustible - and possessing an aura of dark, even menacing power.
Baker came from rugged Welsh mining stock - and as a lad was unruly, quick to flare, and first to fight.
Like his compatriot and friend Richard Burton, the young Baker was rescued from a gruelling life of coal mining by a local teacherwho recognized in the proud and self-willed lad a potent combination of a fine speaking voice, a smouldering intensity, and a strong spirit.