Raquel Welch may have grabbed a lot of the headlines (and column inches) that followed the release of Hammer’s One Million Years BC, but she was far from the only eye-catching female actress on show.

For fans were also able to savour another on-screen appearance for Martine Beswick, a striking Jamaican talent who had already wowed audiences in two Bond films (From Russia With Love and Thunderball) and who would also go on to headline the likes of Prehistoric Women and Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde.

With One Million Years BC celebrating its 50th anniversary recently, we were able to fire off a few quick questions to Martine for her memories on that time in her life:

 

MR: I saw a previous interview with you where you revealed you did not even have to audition for the part – could you explain how you came to be involved with the film?

Being a Bond girl opened doors for me and Hammer thought I should join their family.

MR: Obviously the film has little in the way of actual dialogue – what did you get in terms of a script and direction when on set?

We had a few round table discussions to come up with some words for us in Million.  It was taken seriously but there were plenty of laughs.

MR: How did you find the actual filming – apparently it was pretty cold when you were filming in the Canary Islands?

I absolutely loved filming in the Canary Islands – however the problem was we went for sun and warmth and got a lot of rain.

beswick

MR: The male lead in the film was John Richardson, who you clearly got on well with……

John Richardson and I fell madly in love at first sight and were together for 7 years.

MR: As far as the marketing of the film was concerned, Raquel Welch was most definitely front and centre – how did you find working with her?

Raquel and I got on well, especially when we had to do the fight.

MR: Yes, it’s fair to say your fight sequence is pretty memorable – how easy/difficult was that to put together?

We were presented with doubles who were going to do our fight while we were sitting in our chairs. We looked at each other, shook our heads and both insisted that we do it ourselves and eventually got our way.

MR: What are your memories/thoughts on the film now, looking back some 50 years on?

I had no idea that Million Years BC would be such a huge success and continues to gather fans.  Amazing!

jekyll

MR: You are obviously still well known for being a Bond girl (and other roles of course), but for our readers it is your turn in Hammer’s Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde alongside Ralph Bates that is more of interest – what are your memories of that film?

I was still living in LA and was in London for a visit when I was summoned by Michael Carreras to play the part.  At first I laughed at the idea but then I thought it would be interesting to explore the male/ female in us all.  It was great working with Ralph Bates.  We had to share our bodies which was quite challenging and very interesting.

MR: What are you up to now?

I am happily retired.  I do several Autograph Shows every year with my signing family that includes my lovely friend Caroline Munro and we have such fun.  That is really what life is all about for me. Fun!!

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.