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Adapting Pennies from Heaven for the big screen


The MGM studios
Ken Adam Artist
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You know, I heard... had heard a lot about the MGM studios and so on, so it was incredible for me to be in a studio in which Billy Wilder was shooting a film. At the same time Bob Aldrich was... was shooting another film, and two or three other directors. Cary Grant came to... to watch us filming, and it was a fantastic experience, quite apart from the fact that I had a house in Malibu, and driving along the PCH – the Pacific Coast Highway – to MGM and back with the ocean view was something I will never forget, and it wasn't supposed to be quite that way.

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: MGM, Malibu, Pacific Coast Highway, Billy Wilder, Robert Aldrich, Cary Grant

Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 18 November 2011