Image courtesy of www.soliesports.com
The Solie Chronicles
On Location with Gordon Solie
I will never forget the day when my wife, Pam, and I tagged along with Gordon Solie to a couple
of locations where movie scenes were being filmed. Our first stop was a small dirt racetrack
just outside of Tampa, Florida. At the time, I had no idea what the movie was about or what
type of scenes were being shot that day. Gordon simply asked us if we wanted to go along and it
sounded like fun.
It was obvious when we arrived that Gordon was in charge. As the movie’s technical director,
Gordon had stock car drivers and racecars already at the track awaiting his direction. First,
Gordon spoke with the drivers and then checked to make sure that cameras were strategically
placed to catch the action.
Once the preparations were in order, the drivers started their engines and took off around the
track. It wasn’t long before there was a hard collision between two of the cars followed by an
explosion and ensuing flames that engulfed one of the cars. Rescue workers rushed to car with
fire extinguishers and promptly got the fire under control. And, yes, it was all staged for a scene
in the movie. Regardless, it was pretty cool to watch.
Once the fire was out, Gordon said that it was time to leave. He drove us to another racetrack
where the movie crew was about to film some speaking parts. The first thing that Gordon did
was introduce us to the movie’s executive director, a man named Ken Murray. Murray wanted
to get his feet wet in the Florida market and used the low budget movie called “The Daredevil”
to accomplish his goal. He had been well established for decades in the industry for his role in
movie production for films such as “The Greatest Show on Earth” where he worked under Cecil
There was also a unique connection between Ken Murray and the world of professional
wrestling; years earlier, Murray took it upon himself to make movies starring the great Mexican
grappler, El Santo, and released them with El Santo referred to as “Samson.”
The filming began shortly thereafter as Pam and I watched a couple of veteran Hollywood stars
in action. George Montgomery was the lead actor and he was a very familiar face to movie
goers. Montgomery had played across many famous actresses in his career including the likes of
Maureen O’Hara, Ginger Rogers and Betty Grable.
His counterpart in “The Daredevil” was Terry Moore, a well known actress with an impressive
list of both movie and television credits.
After the first scene had been filmed, it was time to eat so box lunches were delivered to the cast
and crew. Pam and I were included and took our lunches out to the track infield and sat down.
George Montgomery joined us and we had a nice conversation during chow time.
I still remember his sense of humor that day as he cracked a joke in Pam’s direction. It was so
hot that day that George stood up and peeled off his shirt. I thought that was a good idea so I
followed suit. Pam blurted out, “I wish I could do that.” George immediately responded with an
enthusiastic “Go ahead!”
Pam is too much of a lady to do that of course and responded with, “Real funny, George!”
Needless to say, we had a great time that day watching all the stock car action and hanging out
with Gordon Solie and the folks from Hollywood.
Pam and I were subsequently invited to the post-production cast party which is described in “The
Solie Chronicles: The Life and Times of Gordon Solie.”
More information about Gordon Solie is available at www.soliesports.com