‘The Guinea Pig Club’ Film on Sir Archibald McIndoe in the Works

‘The Guinea Pig Club’ about Sir Archibald McIndoe, the Kiwi plastic surgeon who gave horribly disfigured WWII pilots a reason to live, is just months away from getting the green light.

Roger Donaldson, who directed The World’s Fastest Indian – a film about the legendary Kiwi racer Burt Munro, is also producing a feature based on Kiwi car builder and champion race car driver Bruce McLaren.

“The pilots used to go into the local pub and drink, and in a state of having a few beers they formed a club called the Guinea Pig Club – the qualification was you had to have had a number of procedures performed by McIndoe,” said screen writer Mike Riddell.

“That club became a lot of fun for them all, but also a means of mutual support, and it continued on after the war.”

“The Dunedin-born surgeon worked out of Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, England, where he used innovative plastic surgery techniques to repair terrible wounds.”

McIndoe also worked with the local community to help them look past the physical defects, which is how East Grinstead became known as “the town that didn’t stare”.

“These were your Cambridge, Oxford, top-of-the-rank good-looking young men, and suddenly their lives were over,” said Riddell.

“In their own eyes they looked like monsters, and McIndoe set about trying to give them hope to live again.”

As part of the research for the film, producer Tim Sanders and his team interviewed a number of the veterans who are still alive, men who he describes as “amazing characters”.

McIndoe, who died in 1960, received honours from several countries.

To find out more about Archibald McIndoe read our Legends story.

Article Source: Stuff.co.nz, Jessy Edwards, March 31, 2016

Image Source: Twitter – DiscoverMedicaLondon


Tags: Archibald McIndoe (Sir)  Bruce McLaren  Burt Munro  Mike Riddell  Roger Donaldson  Stuff.co.nz  The Guinea Pig Club  

  • Margaret mc Wycliffe Morgan - 9:20 pm on November 19th, 2017
    I am from co Kerry Ireland my family bad lime kilns in a little village Lixnaw in 1953 my dad got terribly burnt in an accident in those kilns , there was no hooe of him surviving in Ireland , . His sister who was a nurse and living and married in Plymouth knew of this brilliant plastic surgeon so they got a private plane and flew dad to his hospital he saved his life after some months dad was back home to us and lived to be 64 Dr Archibald was travelling Ireland and actually called to see dad years later at the time he told dads family not to worry about money he would get dad better money didn't matter what a hero of a brilliant man to this day we speak his name and will ever be so grateful to him may they all RIP I’m his daughter Margaret
  • David Golding - 8:09 pm on December 29th, 2016
    I wrote a book in 2015 called Incendo which features the Guinea Pig Club and Kiwi surgeon Dr Archibald McIndoe...available on Amazon and Kindle under author Joseph Randolph Richard
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