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'One of the great dance numbers of all time'

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Projects that never made it to the screen
Ken Adam Artist
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Some of the pictures I worked on, which happens so often in Hollywood, that they were never made, you know. You design them, we even start building and then, because they can't get the star or something, the film is cancelled.

One of them was... was Harrison Ford, and it would have been a very interesting picture. But it was very expensive because it dealt with the Pullman Strike during the '30s, you know, when the Pullman personnel who were working on trains and something went on strike, and it was a very good story but terribly expensive, because I had, you know, whereas I could design all the train carriages and so on, but the locomotives had to be shipped, and it would have been very expensive but… and then they decided to use Harrison Ford for another picture, then it was cancelled, you know, so these sort of things happened quite often.

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: Harrison Ford

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 18 November 2011