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The Kentucky Stud farm set
Ken Adam Artist
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I had to build some other big sets, which were the stud... stud farm, and there was a Kentucky stud farm, exterior and interior – the interior being what the Americans call a rumpus room, where all the tackle of the horses are. But my problem was that that rumpus room had to become a gas chamber, in which Goldfinger gets rid of all his gangster friends. So all the walls – I built it, designed it such a way that the... the open walls folded down, and in, and even a big stainless steel fireplace came down, so there was no source of air from outside, and... and a model of Fort Knox came out of the floor. And Goldfinger was still briefing people and then suddenly all this came down, and... he got rid of all his gangster friends that way. So it was an interesting set, but it also... I never felt quite happy with it, but purely because I knew what the Germans had done in the Second World War, in the concentration camps, and so on.

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: Goldfinger, Fort Knox

Duration: 1 minute, 48 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 October 2011