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Designing Around the World in 80 Days


Korda forms London Films
Ken Adam Artist
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Kordas brought people over from Europe and they formed London Films and they have some brilliant people there. I mean I can name a few. There was Andrejew, who was a Russian opera designer, Ferdie Bellan, who was a great scenic artist, I mean the greatest of scenic artists, and, of course, within the industry people heard about that, and also saw some of those Korda films were beautiful looking.

And so, Coppola, wanted to have his studio based on London Films, really, and... but it never came... came off, but you could see how he was thinking when he did Apocalypse Now, you know, which in many ways was quite brilliant. I personally didn't like the bit when they arrived in Brando-land, because it became too much like a... like an opera, or something.

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: Korda, Europe, London Films, Apocalypse Now, André Andrejew, Ferdie Bellan, Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 September 2011