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Kubrick’s skill for revealing the set


The war room: the best set that ever designed – Spielberg
Ken Adam Artist
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After Stanley had died, the Motion Picture Association in... in Hollywood decided to pay tribute to him, and I was invited also to make a small speech, and so on. And after the speech, Spielberg came up to me and said, ‘Ken, I want you to know that as far as I’m concerned, the war room is the best set that you have ever designed, and not only that, I think it’s the best set that ever has been designed’. So, you know, I was very flattered, obviously, about it.

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: Motion Picture Association, Hollywood, Steven Spielberg, StanleyKubrick

Duration: 49 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 October 2011