Murray's many lives

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 February, 2003, 12:00am

Former Hutchison taipan Simon Murray has long been known locally as 'action man'. Now we can see why. A movie based on the leading businessman's bizarre former life as a French Legionnaire finally debuts - recut and scored - in Paris next week.

Shot on a US$4 million (HK$31 million) budget in the Moroccan desert last year, Simon: An English Legionnaire reveals how Murray - broken-hearted at the tender age of 19 - joined the French Foreign Legion and fought in the Algerian War of Independence. 'We finally finished the film last week,' the businessman told SAR. 'It was wonderful to go back to the desert and making the film was huge fun - not just for the artistic aspects, but also the challenge of production.'

Needless to say, the former right-hand man of Li Ka-shing brought the movie in exactly on budget.

The film was made after Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, read Murray's 1975 autobiography Legionnaire and suggested he get in touch with her film producer friend Martin Huberty (Red Corner).

If Murray has any plans for a sequel he will have no shortage of material. Having triumphed in countless boardroom battles to run Hutchison, create British mobile phone company Orange and now chair his own investment company, the 62-year-old businessman still finds time for adventure. Later this year, he plans to trek 1,300km to the South Pole hauling a 114kg pack the whole way.