Hammer boy, young Imperialist, dandy, Nazi - Simon Ward played all these types of roles in the 1970's. He was a return of the classic British gentleman after the angry young men of the 60's. Charming, handsome, with a gorgeous voice and sparkling eyes, here is a tribute to a 70's Brit, Simon Ward. Please see my Simon Ward Tumblr Blog and also my Simon Ward Pinterest Page.
Simon Ward passed away on July 22nd, 2012. Here is an obituary that was in the Guardian. RIP Brit Boy.
Dark forests, horse-drawn carriages, castles and spooky labs...ah yes, the wonderful world of Hammer Horror! Britain's Hammer Horror was the source of the finest gothic horror films ever put on film. If you are unfamiliar with the world of Hammer Horror please check out some of my links below.
The Hammer Girls tend to get most of the attention aside from the two Kings of Hammer, Cushing and Lee, but the Hammer Boys, the male heroes of Hammer's horro films, are also part of what makes Hammer what it is.
A Hammer Boy has longish shaggy 60's/70's hair, considerable 60's/70's sideburns, is usually dressed in the typical Hammer 1800's costume or a 1970's variation on it (long ruffly sleeves, etc.), of course they have a charming British accent and are usually fine actors.
Simon Ward began his career as a Hammer Boy in what is considered one of the finest of the Peter Cushing Frankenstein films for Hammer, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed which also costars one of the most beloved Hammer Girls, Veronica Carlson.
Simon ward was born in London on October 19, 1941. I don't know too much about Simon's life but I do know that he is a stage actor as well as a film actor. All of Simon's major film roles were in the 1970's. He starred with some of the finest actors and directors of the time and in some of the most prestigious and popular films made during that decade. He hasn't made many movies since the 1970's (he was in Super Girl in the 1980's though, haven't seen it!), although he did have a major role in the Ralph Fiennes version of Wuthering Heights made in the early 1990's and this movie also starred Simon's daughter, Sophie Ward.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
I'm a huge fan of Hammer's Frankenstein films and this is one of the best ones, although the final twenty minutes focus on Frankenstein's monster which is out of step with the rest of film and this somewhat throws the mood but all in all it's an excellent movie. Simon is great in this, he has the most adorable flop of bangs which he keeps brushing back from falling in his eyes. He's as good as Hammer boys get and of course it's fun to watch him act with the incomparable Peter Cushing and the darling Veronica Carlson.
Simon is at his most charming in this movie which is not one of the great film epics but certainly entertaining. The best scenes are those which involve young Churchill's adventures during the war in the Sudan and the Boer war - this is where the film really picks up the pace and gets exciting. Simon is humorous, cute and convincing as the young Winston Churchill. He even gets his voice and mannerisms down perfectly.
Hitler: The Last Ten Days
As much as the subject matter of this film interests me Simon's performance doesn't really stand out. This is Alec Guiness's film completely. Simon is supposed to be the one Nazi that we as the audience can relate to but he doesn't bring any of his usual charm to the role but perhaps that was intentional, I mean, a cute Nazi is one thing but a charming cute Nazi? Simon is stoic and reserved throughout, a mere spectator to the madness around him.
All Creatures Great and Small
A sweet movie, a bit too cutesy at times, but all in all very watchable and entertaining. I was familiar with the BBC TV show and did not even know about this movie until I got it from the library. Simon is absolutely delightful in this as is Anthony Hopkins.
The Three Musketeers
A very popular film which I don't think has been matched since for capturing the intent of the novel. Simon has a very small role as a dandy baddie.
The Four Musketeers
Ditto the above review.
One of those atmospheric, obscure British mystery-horror films from the earlly 1970's that I just adore. This movie was one of Hayley Mills films she made as a young adult trying to break away from her child film roles. She plays a hitchhiker who gets picked up by Simon Ward along a highway on a rainy English night. They travel together for awhile but murders keep happening along their route - who's the killer? Simon or Hayley?
Children of Rage
Very interesting film about Israelis and the Palestinians. Helmut Griem stars as a doctor who wants to visit a Palestinian refugee camp. Simon Ward plays his brother who doesn't understand why Helmut wants to put himself in harm's way. Timeless subject matter and a classy production.
Outstanding, I think it's better than the more popular Michael Caine movie ZULU. This film captures this historical battle perfectly and Simon has a particularly dashing role to play. Everyone is good in this - Michael Jayston, Denholm Elliot and particularly Peter O'Toole.
Simon Ward Movies
- click here to find Simon Ward's films on DVD and VHS.
Websites to Other Hammer Boys
A Ralph Bates Shrine - Dark, Handsome, Sardonic...reigning Hammer Boy of the 70's
Shane Briant Page - Blond, Angelic, but Twisted...the other supreme Hammer Boy of the 70's
Jon Finch Fan Site - like Simon, Jon was a Hammer Boy for just one film. RIP John Finch!
More Hammer Horror Sites
The Peter Cushing Links - Dignified, Charming, the Gentleman of Hammer Horror!
Christopher Lee: Dark Charisma - Mr. Tall, Dark and Gruesome Himself, the King of Hammer Horror!
Hammer Frankenstein Films
Links to some of Simon's non-Hammer co-stars