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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Country: Scotland
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    The James Bond production designer / art director of 60s and early 70s James Bond films has died aged 93 in London where he lived at the Charterhouse Care Home.

    As a draughtsman, he worked at Two Cities in the late 1940s and graduated to asst art director t Warwick Films on Cockleshell Heroes, working in that capacity for four John Gilling films,Our Man in Havana (1959), The World of Suzie Wong (1960) and Lolita (1962) before becoming a fully fledged art director on The Road to Hong Kong. He served as art director on another Bob Hope film, Call Me Bwana, on which he worked with Eva Monley who also passed away recently, another Broccoli-Saltzman production following on from some work on Dr No (1962) leading to art director credit on From Russia with Love (1963).

    I had recently located his contact address in preparation for a possible interview for Hot Enough for June (1964) as part of suggestion I made to VCI but VCI did not get back to me.

    He would later work with Truffaut (Fahrenheit 451), Hitchcock (Frenzy) and Russell (Billion Dollar Brain). He served as production designer on the biggest budgeted action films of the 70s and 80s including Gold (1974), The Wild Geese (1978), Shout at the Devil (1976), Sea Wolves (1981) and Who Dares (1983) as well as finding time to work on The New Avengers television series.
    Last edited by JamesM; 22-11-11 at 10:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK Flare Players's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    What a loss: This guy created the signature Bond villain HQ look which influenced most spy thrillers and near future science fiction thereafter. If you read the novel of "Dr. No" and compare it to how Cain brought the description of No's hideout to the screen you can see what a brilliant job he did.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    RIP Syd, a charming chap.



  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England mrs_emma_peel's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    What very sad news ... Syd Cain was one of very best production and set designers in film history ...
    Here are two examples of his pure sublime artistry ... the meticulous, incredible film design of the beautiful look of On Her Majesty�s Secret Service (1969) ...

    RIP Syd

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    From the Guardian

    Syd Cain | Film | The Guardian


    Syd Cain
    Production designer behind the deadly gadgets used by James Bond – and his foes
    Kim Newman, Thursday 1 December 2011 18.29 GMT

    The production designer Syd Cain, who has died aged 93, was one of many behind-the-scenes professionals elevated to something like prominence by the worldwide interest in the James Bond films. An industry veteran who began work in British cinema as a draughtsman in 1947, contributing to the look of the gothic melodrama Uncle Silas, Cain is credited on a range of film and television projects, but remains best known for his work in various design capacities on the 007 series, from Dr No in 1962 to GoldenEye in 1995.

    Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, Cain served in the armed forces in the second world war, surviving a plane crash and recovering from a broken back. Working at Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire in the 1940s and 50s, he moved up from uncredited draughtsman (on Adam and Evelyne, The Interrupted Journey, You Know What Sailors Are and Up to His Neck) to assistant art director (for The Gamma People, Fire Down Below, Interpol, How to Murder a Rich Uncle and The World of Suzie Wong). During this time, he developed a habit of slipping his name on to the screen among documents provided as props. In Carol Reed's Our Man in Havana (1959), where the blueprints for a vacuum cleaner are mistaken for rocket secrets, he is listed on the papers as the designer of the device. His first credit as art director was on The Road to Hong Kong (1962), the British-produced last gasp of the series of Bob Hope/Bing Crosby comedies. Cain also worked on the Hope vehicle Call Me Bwana (1963), best remembered because of an in-joke reference to it in From Russia With Love, where a sniper is concealed behind a billboard advertising the film.

    Having worked as a draughtsman on Hell Below Zero (1954) and assistant art director on The Cockleshell Heroes (1956), both produced by Albert R Broccoli, he was chosen by Broccoli to work on the Bond films. Though uncredited, he worked with the production designer Ken Adam – in whose shadow he modestly remained for much of his career – on Dr No, taking over as art director when Adam was not available for the immediate follow-up, From Russia With Love (1963). This was the film that introduced the character of Q (Desmond Llewelyn). Cain was responsible for the design of the gadgets issued to Sean Connery's Bond, notably the briefcase with concealed sniper rifle and tear-gas talcum tin. For the villains, Cain also provided Rosa Klebb's shoes, with poison-tipped blade, and the chess-themed decor of Blofeld's lair.

    Later, he was production designer for On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). With a new Bond (George Lazenby) and a move away from the gadgets and vast sets of Connery and Adam's later work, Thunderball and Goldfinger, this tried to seem less fantastical – the only contraption issued to Bond is a photocopier. Cain was the supervising art director on Roger Moore's first Bond film, Live and Let Die (1973), then left the series, eventually returning as a storyboard artist for Pierce Brosnan's 007 debut, GoldenEye.

    Arguably more impressive than his Bond associations, Cain worked with a number of notable film-makers throughout the 1960s and 70s, as assistant art director for Stanley Kubrick (Lolita, 1962), art director for Ronald Neame (Mister Moses, 1965) and Fran�ois Truffaut (Fahrenheit 451, 1966), executive art director for Richard Lester (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 1966) and production designer for Ken Russell (Billion Dollar Brain, 1967), Alfred Hitchcock (Frenzy, 1972) and Jack Gold (Aces High, 1976).

    Contributing to lasting British pop-culture artefacts, he was also art director on the Cliff Richard vehicle Summer Holiday (1963) and production designer of the revival series The New Avengers (1976). After the popular, action-oriented Alistair Maclean adventure Fear Is the Key (1973), Cain became associated with a brand of high adventure that grew out of the Bond films, working with Peter R Hunt (director of On Her Majesty's Secret Service) on the Moore movies Gold (1974) and Shout at the Devil (1976), both set in Africa, and with the producer Euan Lloyd on a series of boozy, British macho epics – The Wild Geese (1978), The Sea Wolves (1980) and Who Dares Wins (1982).

    Cain retired as a production designer after Tusks (1988), but contributed storyboards to a select run of high-profile films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). His final credit was on the Michael Caine boxing movie Shiner (2000). In retirement, he illustrated children's books, wrote an autobiography (Not Forgetting James Bond: The Autobiography of James Bond Production Designer Syd Cain, 2002) and was a well-liked guest at Bond-themed fan events.

    Cain was married twice. His five sons and three daughters survive him.

    • Sidney Cain, production designer, art director and illustrator, born 16 April 1918; died 21 November 2011

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