a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Barry Lyndon: closing down the production


Moving the shoot to Ireland
Ken Adam Artist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

He decided to go to Ireland, and within 24 hours I was in Ireland, and he treated the whole unit like it was Rommel in the desert. We all had to have our VWs, you know, my drawing board was fitted across the back of the VW, and looking for locations. Well, we had Irish locations and that made sense, but it didn't stay there. Then he wanted me to find the German locations in... in Ireland, the French locations, and I was going, and I was driving this bloody Volkswagen all over, with my cameras, and so on, and being chased by what I thought were cows, they were bulls, you know. But I'm not a country man. And then, Stanley was... I mean he was... he enjoyed it, in a way, but we really didn't know what we were shooting every next day, and he was also writing, rewriting pages, because he thought he could shoot Thackeray like it was written, and I told him, you know, I think... and he couldn't shoot Thackeray as it was written, so he was rewriting script pages and he never gave more than a couple of pages to everybody... he was looking around.

And... and also we did... you know, he was so... he remembered some of my photographs on a mountain track, the Comeragh Mountains, and he said, 'Ken, that was fantastic looking. We're going there tomorrow with the unit'. I said, 'Stanley, you know, it's a track, and when you get 40 vehicles or 30 vehicles going up that mountain track, if anything comes the other way we're in trouble'. He said, 'Who gives a shit. Let's do it'. And that was his attitude, you know, and in fact, what happened, we went up that mountain track and on the way back, you know, to... to turn around was a big problem. On the way back, suddenly the sky opened up, with a sort of Goya skyscape, or something. We got the German actor, whose name now escapes me… Harry. Harry Krüger. Yeah, Harry Krüger, out of his car, on to a horse, and we shot the scene there, and it... it is a fantastic looking scene, so you know, how could you argue?

Sir Kenneth Adam (1921-2016), OBE, born Klaus Hugo Adam, was a production designer famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, he trained as an architect in London, but in October 1943, he became one of only two German-born fighter pilots to fly with the RAF in wartime. He joined 609 Squadron where he flew the Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber. After the war, he entered the film industry, initially as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman. His portfolio of work includes Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George; he won an Oscar for both films. Having a close relationship with Stanley Kubrick, he also designed the set for the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove. Sir Ken Adam was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Ireland, Comeragh Mountains, Stanley Kubrick, HarryKrüger

Duration: 3 minutes, 22 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 11 November 2011