A FOREWORD BY LEE HUTCHEON
For a good few years now I have totally absorbed myself with the many stories of Johnny's life and his exploits as a Master Safecracker, Escape Artist and War Hero. I have sat with with those of his criminal friends who are still alive today and spoke in depth about Johnny's activities both in and out of prison and of course not to mention his daring missions behind enemy lines. To say that Johnny Ramensky was a remarkable man is an understatement, and I feel extremely proud and honoured to be the person who is now going to be recreating this emotional story for the rest of the world to share via the magical medium of cinema.
Throughout my extensive research I have been approached by many people who have encountered Johnny at some point in his colourful life. From the families of the old women who brought him in and cared for him during his many escapes, to the families of the policemen who captured Johnny whilst on the run. All of the stories have been as wonderful and as humorous as the next but the one thing that has really amazed me about all of these tales is the fact that none of them had a bad word to say about Johnny at all. I find it absolutely amazing that the same man can receive so much admiration and respect from both sides of the law.
I have listened to so many sceptics and critics saying that the telling of the Ramensky tale would require a huge budget to make it happen. I have often smiled when hearing these words knowing that there is so much more to the telling of this mans tale than simply his war years. So many people instantly think that Johnny's story is purely about his second world war missions. Yes of course this does play an important part of our story but there is so much more to this man's life. His childhood growing up in the Gorbals where he first encountered his criminal talents is as fascinating and engrossing as any of the other scenes in the film. His survival and escapes from Britain's toughest prisons will at times leave the audience amazed as to how this could have been humanly possible. To me RAMENSKY is an emotional, down to earth tale depicting a young man's rise through the ranks of the Scottish criminal underworld. It is a heart wrenching story of how one of Scotland's greatest heros was betrayed by his own Government and forced to spend the remainder of his life in jail. His fight for freedom and his life long quest for self justice.
The cinematic portrayal of this true Scottish Legend is now long over due. I very much hope that we can put the wheels of production into motion this next year.