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Projects that never made it to the screen

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An Oscar nomination for The Adams Family Values
Ken Adam Artist
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I got another Oscar nomination for a film I did which I also enjoyed enormously, which was The Addams Family Values, and I loved his cartoons in The New Yorker, you know, and so I tried to do the settings very much like the cartoons, and you know, he was a brilliant cartoonist, but my sets were all, you know, like expressionistic things, and I had to have very, very good assistants who – while I was... sketching a youngster, he was only 18 years old – used to build little cardboard models as I was sketching to see that, you know, that the floorboards going up that way, the ceiling was coming down the other way, and it was very, very successful.

We used three Hollywood studios to... to do the film, and I had, you know, three different construction crews working, but it was a very successful picture and it worked.

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: The Addams Family Values, New Yorker, Hollywood

Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 18 November 2011