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Sean Connery's slap

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Woman of Straw
Ken Adam Artist
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After Strangelove I was offered a film, which I think I’m right, Basil Dearden directed, called Woman of Straw, with [Gina] Lollobrigida, and Sean [Connery], and we shot it – or shot a lot of it – in... in Spain, in Majorca, and it was Sir Ralph Richardson who... I built a very big set at Shepperton, it was... at Pinewood, for the sort of… I always did want to build a sort of baronial hall type of set for Ralph Richardson who had this big country seat, and that was fun, and also to see how Pinewood reacted to a set which almost filled the whole stage. And it wasn't that expensive. I mean, obviously costs started to go up. And it was again right for this rather spooky atmosphere in the country house of Sir Ralph Richardson, and the locations were nice, in Majorca.

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: Spain, Majorca, Pinewood Studios, Woman of Straw, Basil Dearden, Gina Lollobrigida, Sean Connery, Sir Ralph Richardson

Duration: 1 minute, 48 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 October 2011