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John Ford: 'I'm not the sort of arty-farty director'


Night of the Demon: making monsters
Ken Adam Artist
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One of the earlier, and rather important picture, was Night of the Demon, which French-American Director, Jacques Tourneur directed, with Dana Andrews. And it was really a sort of horror story with a monster.

And, I got on very well with Jacques Tourneur and... and we didn't want to show the monster, we just wanted to show the footprints of the monster, but Hal E Chester, who was the American Producer, said he needed to see the monster, so I had to come up with a design for this Medieval monster.

And much to my surprise and everybody else's surprise, when... several years after the picture had come out, everybody talked about this picture, it also had a different title. And when I had my exhibition, my first exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries in... 2000, the picture was shown as a cult picture I had made, and so I also had to design the monster, which I did, you know, like a, I don't know, like a... like a period, you know, monster.

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: Night of the Demon, Serpentine Galleries, 2000, Jacques Tourneur, Dana Andrews, Hal E Chester

Duration: 1 minute, 55 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 September 2011