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Making Gideon's Day


John Ford: 'I'm not the sort of arty-farty director'
Ken Adam Artist
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I was called one morning and... by John Ford. Now, John Ford was one of the greatest American directors, Stage Coach and all these films. And, so he asked me to come and see him. And, the first thing he said, 'I heard a lot about you, Ken, but don't think I'm the sort of arty-farty director who has the camera down, and up the nostrils, or between the legs of the actors. I shoot the script the way I see it and the best way'. So, quite frightening, but, again, he was one who had just arrived, and he was in a towel around his loin, you couldn't really take him very seriously.

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: Stage Coach, John Ford

Duration: 1 minute

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 September 2011