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Adam, Ken (1921-)


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Designer Ken Adam (born in Berlin on 5 February 1921, in England since 1934) trained as an architect at London University, served as an RAF pilot during World War II, and entered films as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman (d. Tim Whelan, 1948).

He made his name as the man responsible for the witty, inventive, high-gloss look of the Bond films, for which he concocted ever more lavish and eye-catching sets as the success and budgets for the series rocketed. He also had a very productive association with Stanley Kubrick on Dr Strangelove... (1963), with its gleaming and sinister war room, and on the contrastingly mellow Technicolor beauties of Barry Lyndon (1975), for which he won an Oscar.

As well, he is responsible for the design of such impressive and varied films as the sumptuous biopic, The Trials of Oscar Wilde (d. Ken Hughes, 1960), the Cold War thriller The Ipcress File (d. Sidney J.Furie, 1965), the fantasy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (d. Hughes, 1968), and the musical Goodbye, Mr Chips (d. Herbert Ross, 1969). His most recent work has been mostly on American films, including In and Out (US, d. Frank Oz, 1997).

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Thumbnail image of Barry Lyndon (1975)Barry Lyndon (1975)

Stanley Kubrick's visually ravishing reconstruction of the 18th century

Thumbnail image of Diamonds Are Forever (1971)Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

James Bond investigates a plan to hold the world to ransom

Thumbnail image of Dr. No (1962)Dr. No (1962)

James Bond goes on a mission to Jamaica, and a legend is born

Thumbnail image of Goldfinger (1964)Goldfinger (1964)

Sean Connery returns as James Bond in what may be the best of the series

Thumbnail image of Ipcress File, The (1965)Ipcress File, The (1965)

Michael Caine's first outing as Len Deighton's secret agent Harry Palmer

Thumbnail image of Moonraker (1979)Moonraker (1979)

James Bond investigates the disappearance of a space shuttle

Thumbnail image of Night of the Demon (1957)Night of the Demon (1957)

Clever, subtle occult chiller by American director Jacques Tourneur

Thumbnail image of Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977)Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977)

James Bond goes on the trail of a stolen nuclear submarine

Thumbnail image of Thunderball (1965)Thunderball (1965)

James Bond goes to Miami in search of stolen nuclear bombs

Thumbnail image of You Only Live Twice (1967)You Only Live Twice (1967)

James Bond goes to Japan to investigate the theft of spacecraft

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