Actor and regular Oldie contributor Trader Faulkner, ninety, has won a historic victory over Hollywood – and Martin Amis.
In his 1997 novel, Night Train, Amis called the chief murder suspect Trader Faulkner. The name had stuck in Amis’s mind since he acted, aged fifteen, opposite Trader in the 1965 film A High Wind in Jamaica. Trader played a pirate in Alexander Mackendrick’s film version of Richard Hughes’s novel. Amis played a child on a ship taken over by the pirates.
When Night Train came out, Trader wrote to the Guardian, objecting to Amis’s use of his unique name. Christened Ronald Faulkner, he had been nicknamed Trader by his father in 1934. Trader had found his dad’s bootleg whisky in the bath in Sydney, and traded it at school, aged seven, for marbles.
On discovering that a film of Night Train was being made – under the name Out of Blue – Trader wrote to the film company, Independent, objecting to the use of his name.
He says, ‘I am pleased to say that I have now received a letter from the film’s director and screenwriter, Carol Morley, in which she agrees to change the character name Trader Faulkner to Duncan Reynolds. So Trader Faulkner can now continue to live and work with his identity unchallenged and intact.’ The Old Un congratulates him on his Tinseltown triumph!