Morgunblaðið 10th June 1978

Suspicious men and cold/hard [expressionless] faces

– Watching the shooting of a spy movie in Reykjavík

Desmond Bagley's Running Blind Icelandic media article from Visir 10th June 1978.

As previously reported in Morgunblaðið Desmond Bagley’s spy story Út í óvissuna [Running Blind], is being filmed in Iceland this summer by BBC Scotland and the actress Ragnheiður Steindórsdóttir will play the female lead in the three-part television series.

Morgunblaðið‘s journalist and photographer followed the work of film crew yesterday as they filmed scenes taking place in Reykjavík at the beginning of the film.

The reporter approached Ragnheiður and asked how things were progressing.

– It’s going well. Work on the film began in Scotland in early May and I flew there for two days to take part in the final scene of the film. Filming began here on 29 May and will continue until mid July. The weather has been a bit inconvenient for us from time to time, but with minor changes we have still managed to keep to the schedule.

– Is it a lot of hard work?

 – We usually start at eight in the morning until six, so this is quite rigorous. The production crew are very grateful for how helpful people have been, which has really helped speed up the process.

– What scene are you filming now?

– It’s a scene early in the film where the main character notices a suspicious person in a car parked outside the home of his Icelandic fiancée.

– Now, you play this Icelandic fiancée. Who plays the ‘hero’?

– His name is Stuart Wilson, he’s acted in a lot of theatre productions in the UK as well as acting in one movie and the BBC television series Anna Karenina.

Whilst the reporter and photographer watched, twenty-five people were busy working on the scene. The scene in question had to be filmed from different angles and the utmost precision was taken to ensure consistency between film clips. Thus, Stuart Wilson had to be careful to always have a half-smoked cigarette in his mouth and a reasonably full glass of wine in his hand during the filming because, as we know, both cigarettes and alcohol are as essential as a gun in this type of film.

It raised a lot of laughter all round as the camera was directed at the suspicious car. Since, as the actor in question could not drive, four men had to push the suspicious car along the street and the cameraman had to make sure they were not visible in the shot, instead focussing just on the cold/hard [expressionless] face of the driver and the front of the car.

When the reporters from Morgunblaðið left the filming, they still had to complete the scene and the make up lady was beginning to prepare Ragnheiður for her next scene on the schedule with the British hero and his Icelandic fiancé, which was to take place in the couple’s bed.

Image titles:

Top: The suspicious man is pushed past the hero’s apartment.

Middle: Ragnheiður Stenindórsdóttir and Stuart Wilson, the main actors in the film.

Bottom: Director Bill Brayne (far right) giving the crew advice during filming of the mysterious scene.

Images: RAX (Ragnar Axelsson)

Next article


  1. ‘Grunsamlegir menn og kuldaleg andlit’: Morgunblaðið, 10 June 1978, p. 10; © / Árvakur hf.