Ken Adam
This article is to honor Ken Adam. With his phantasy he built many terrific filmsets and he didn't do this only for Bond films. So we'll take a small look at his work for James Bond. You 'll find a complete list of hid films and a short biography at the end of this article.

Dr. No

Ken Adam worked first for James Bond as production designer for the first Bond film Dr. No. Because of the complete budget was only xxx, he got only a budget of 14.000 xxx. But this money wasn't enough for his sets so the producers Saltzman and Broccoli gave him another 6.000 xxx. In the beginning of the shooting in Jamaica Ken Adam had no exact idea about the sets, which should rise in about 6 weeks at 3 production halls at the Pinewood Studios. He wanted to create a new look for this genre a "larger-than-life-atmosphere" which you can still find in the most Bond films. Ken Adam designed sets with simple clear lines for the film. He worked with copper, brass, stell and plastic- materials which wasn't used often in films at this time. His favorite set was the room were professor Dent get the xxx that should kill James Bond. It was the last set which he had to build and he was out of money. So he used a very simple design for the set a large room with smooth walls. In the xxx a round opening with a xxx lattice that cast a spooky shadow in the room. The only furnitures in this room were a chair and a table with the deadly xxx in a cage on it. Together with John Stears xxx Ken Adam created the first gadgets for the James Bond films. was für alle nachfolgenden Filme wegweisend war. Among other things Ken Adam created for Dr. No. the fire spouting dragon, a swamp buggy fitted out with a xxx and headlights as eyes. As a gag Ken adam placed Goyas portrait of th Duke of Wellington in Dr. Nos appartment. The original was stolen from the National Gallery in London a few weeks before. Of course they used a copy in the film.


The most part of Thunderball plays under or above water, so Ken Adam created a lot of underwter vehicles. For the theft of the bombs Adams built an original model of a Vulca-Bomber and sank it in the ocean by the Bahamas. Ken Adam even created M's conferenceroom, a large hall kept in a classical style. By pressing a button the tapestries disappeared in the ceilling and you can see the large maps that were hid behind them. In contrast to this room, Largos headqurter was furnished totally modern

Diamonds Are Forever

For Diamonds Are Forever Adams created Willard Whyte's penthouse. One side of the set existed of a windowfront, from where you had a complete overlook of Las Vegas. The part of Willard Whyte was angelehnt an Howard Hughes. Cubby Broccoli, a friend of Howard Hughes, told Adam that Hughes handeled a lot of buisness on the toilette. So Ken Adam created a toilett set with all kind of electrical gadgets like telephone and so on and with the correspending luxury. The wedding room at Cesar's Palace was totaly kept white.


After Ken Adam finished his work on From Russia With Love and Dr. Strangelove xx he worked for Goldfinger. The most important set of Goldfinger was of course the interior of Fort Knox. Ken Adam wasn't allowed to visit Fort Knox, so he could or he had to create the interior by his own ideas. But nevertheless he did a great job. Ken Adam visited the Bank of England there he learned that gold because of its weigth can't pile up higher than about 70 cm. But he would reach a better effect for the audience, so he decided to pile up the gold in Fort Knox higher than 70 cm (more than xxx metres). The sets outside was an exact copy of Fort Knox.
Another highlight was Goldfingers appartment. It could be changed into a "War Room" by pressing just a button. Th billiard table changed into a control panel and a model of Fort Knox came out of the floor. By sealing the windows the room could be changed into a gas chamber where Goldfinger murdered his partners.

You Only Live Twice

During a xxx above Kyushi, a small island in xxx, Lewis Gilbert (regisseur), Broccoloi (producer) and Adam had the idea to place Blofelds headquarter inside a volcano crater. Ken Adam drew at once the landing platform, the monorail train and the xxx. Until this moment they didn't have a script, so the new script author Roald Dahl who came for xxx had to write a story around the volcano set. This wasn't the last time were a script author had to write a story around a film sets or stunning stunts.
This set was the biggest that ever was built (until this moment) for a film. The volcano set had a height about 140 metres and the crater had a diameter about 20 metres. The set was built with 700 tons of steel and an enourmous amount of concrete.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Ken Adams took part at the firt preparations of the film, but he retired when shootings delayed.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Ken Adam didn't work for Live And Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun but he came back for The Spy Who Loved Me, another great James Bond project. Although they had no complete script, the mainset - the xxxsupertnaker Liparus - was already fixed. The set should put up 3 12metres long Polaris submarines. Ken Adams couldn't find a suitable stage, so Cubby Broccoli gave him the instructions to build one. And before shooting, Ken Adam buildt the legendary "007 stage" at the Pinewood Studios, with a length of 114 metres a breath of 49 and a height of 15 meters which extended over the whole length. The costs amouted to 50.000 xxx. To bring the submarines to their place, the must be reduced to 5/8 of their height. They brang the submarines by rail in the stage.


The films are listed chronlogical in the way Ken Adam worked on them. xxxAbweichungen gegenüber first screening sind deshalb Zwangsläufig

1. This was a Woman (Draftsman / GB 1948)
2. The Brass Monkey (Draftsman / GB 1948)
3. The Queen of Spades (Draftsman / GB 1948)
4. [World Premiere] Ken Adam desinged some models for the film but the film with Marlene Dietrich was cancelled
5. Third Time Lucky (Draftsman / GB 1949)
6. Dick Barton Strikes Back (Assistant Art Director / GB 1949)
7. Three Men and a Girl (Draftsman / GB 1952)
8. Obsession (Assistant Art Director / GB 1949)
9. Your Witness (Assistant Art Director / GB 1950)
10. Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (Assistant Art Director / GB 1950)
11. The Crimson Pirate (Associate Art Director / GB 1952)
12. The Master of Ballantrae (Associate Art Director / GB 1952)
13. [Ah non, Cherie] A script from Ken Adam and Peter Martin sold to the filmproduction Group Three. The film was not realized.
14. The Intruder (Assistant Art Director / GB 1953)
15. Star of India (Assistant Art Director / GB/IT 1954)
16. Helen of Troy (Assistant Art Director / USA 1955)
17. The Devil's Pass (Art Director / GB 1957)
18. Ben Hur xxxKen Adam worked on der Kostenschätzung and the first planings of the film im Früjahr 1955 USA 1959
19. Land of Pharaos (Laetizia Adam / Assistant Costumes / USA 1955)
20. Soho Incident (Art Director / GB 1956)
21. Around the World in Eighty Days (Assistant Art Director / USA 1956)
22. Child in the House (Art Director / GB 1956)
23. John Paul Jones Ken Adam worked on the pre-production (USA 1959)
24. Battle of the V-1 (Production Design / GB 1958)
25. Gideon's Day (Art Director / GB 1958)
26. Night of the Demon (Production Design / GB 1957)
27. Ten Seconds to Hell (Production Design / GB/USA 1958)
28. The Angry Hills (Production Design / GB 1959)
29. Beyond this Place (Art Director / GB 1959)
30. The Rough and the Smooth (Production Designer / GB 1959)
31. The Long Ships (Ken Adams looked for the original locations of the film / GB/Y 1963)
32. The Hellions(Ken Adam was worked on the pre-production / GB1961)
33. In the Nick (Production Designer / GB 1959)
34. Let's Get Married (Production Designer / GB 1960)
35. The Trials of Oscar Wilde (Production Designer / GB 1960)
36. [xxxRegieprojekt]xxx
37. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone xxxGB 1961
38. Sodoma e Gomorra (Production Designer / IT/F 1961)
39. Dr. No (Production Designer / GB 1962)
40. In the Cool of the Day (Art Director / GB 1962)
41. Dr. Stranglelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Production Designer / British Academy Award / GB 1963)
42. Woman of Straw (Production Designer / GB 1964)
43. Goldfinger (Production Designer / nomination for the British Academy Award / GB 1964)
44. The Icepress File (Production Designer / British Academy Award / GB 1965)
45. Thunderball (Production Designer / GB 1965)
46. The Bells of hell Go Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling (Production Designer / xxxThe film was cancelled a few weeks after beginning of the shooting / GB 1966)
47. Funeral in Berlin (Production Designer / GB 1966)
48. You Only Live Twice (Production Designer / GB 1967)
49. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Production Designer / GB 1968)
50. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Production Designer / GB 1969)
51. [Peter Pan]This film was never realized
52. [Project]xxx
53. On Her Majesty's Secret Service xxx GB 1969)
54. The Owl and the Pussycat (Designer / xxx USA 1970)
55. Diamonds Are Forever (Production Designer / GB 1971)
56. Sleuth (Production Designer / nomination for the British Academy Award / GB 1972)
57. Last of Sheila (Production Designer / USA 1973)
58. Barry London (Production Designer / Oscar / GB 1975)
59. Salon Kitty (Production Designer / IT/BRD/F 1976)
60. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (Production Designer / USA 1976)
61. The Spy Who Loved Me (Production Designer / nomination for the British Academy Award / GB 1977)
62. Moonraker (Production Designer / GB 1979)
63. [Destinies]This film was never realized
64. [The Aquarius Mission]This film was never realized
65. [Dress Grey]This film was never realized
66. Special Project for 20th Century Foxxxx
67. Pennies from Heaven (Associate Producer/Visual Consultant / New York Independent Film Critics Award / USA 1981)
68. [The Fantasticks]This film was never realized
69. [Mermaid]This film was never realized
70. King David (Production Designer / USA 1985)
71. The Last Emperor xxxIT/China 1987
72. Agnes of God (Production Designer / USA 1985)
73. [Zobra]This film was not realized
74. Crimes of the Heart (Production Designer / USA 1986)
75. [Conquering Horse]xxx
76. The Deceivers (Production Designer / GB 1988)
77. Dead Bang (Production Designer / USA 1989)
78. The Freshman (Production Designer / USA 1990)
79. Company Business (Production Designer / USA/GER 1991)
80. Doctor (Production Designer / USA 1991)
81. [Night Ride Down]xxx
82. Undercover Blues (Production Designer / USA 1993)
83. The Addams Family Values (Production Designer / USA 1993)
84. The Madness of King George (Production Designer /1994)
85. Boys on the Side (Production Designer /1995)
86. Bogus (Production Designer /1996)
87. In & Out (Production Designer /1997)
88. The Out-of-Towners (Production Designer /1999)
89. Taking Sides (Production Designer /2001)