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 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Ken Adam's

magnificently monumental

"You Only Live Twice"



 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 2:41 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

Ken Adam is the best, and that incredible volcano set still ranks as one of the greatest ever. This is a tough one, neo, because there are a handful I can think of at the moment that I'd like to mention. For now I must say that I've always thought that William Creber & Jack Martin Smith's "Ape City" from 1968's Planet Of The Apes was, and still remains, a masterpiece of great design and execution. And among the interior sets, the courtroom is my favorite.
Wish I could do the picture thing like you, neo (hint, hint, nudge, nudge). smile

 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 3:14 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

My all time favorite set (indoors in a studio) has got to be the amazing, gargantuan, set that Jerry Lewis built for "Ladies Man". You can get lost looking in the nooks and crannies and shelves when you watch the film on DVD. If this ever makes it to blu it'll be gorgeous!

I should add the following credits -- I assume these artists were also involved in the design and construction of the massive set. The costumes by Ms. Head are also eyepopping in this film and "dress" the set as much as the actual props:

Art Direction by
Ross Bellah
Hal Pereira

Set Decoration by
Sam Comer
James W. Payne (as James Payne)

Costume Design by
Edith Head

 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 3:22 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

Production Designer Elliot Scott's set for The Temple of Doom from the second Indiana Jones adventure.

 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 4:15 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

Another candidate: Dante Ferretti's incredible train station for Martin Scorcese's Hugo.

 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 4:27 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

In Our Best Great Scot Connery Brogue- smile "O, The Things Wee Dew 4 FSM" big grin Department:

For John: "The Ladies Man" set.

Und fer Chris - da daaa ... Ape City!

 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 4:38 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

My good friend neo...I KNEW I could count on you!

 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 4:47 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Director Yasuzo Masumura's 1969 MOJU (BLIND BEAST):

 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 4:56 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Very impressive stuf!

I knew I could coun't on you for something eye-popping Mr. Tone. Another film set that comes to mind is the wondrous designs in PlayTime - directed by Jacques Tati.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, although a lot of that may be matte paintings. Still.

 Posted:   May 28, 2013 - 5:30 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Director Yasuzo Masumura's 1969 MOJU (BLIND BEAST)

Mako Midori made any set more glamorous.

 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 2:00 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

In Our Best Great Scot Connery Brogue- smile "O, The Things Wee Dew 4 FSM" big grin Department:

For John: "The Ladies Man" set.

Many years ago---around 1959, I'd say---I was a film student at UCLA, and about 15 of us from one of the classes were invited to go to Paramount and visit with Jerry Lewis for the day.

He was then shooting LADIES MAN on a giant stage at Paramount, with the set (shown in these photos) built at least 4 stories high---right up to the grid that held the roof of the stage.

Lewis was ever the technical geek, and this film was one of his first uses of video on the set, for camera rehearsals, and to follow exactly what the operator was seeing through the camera as he directed the film.

The set, itself, was an amazing technical piece, too. Each room and hallway in the set was individually lit for camera, and pre-wired for control of the individual lighting units from the stage floor area. Each room and hallway was covered with individual permanent microphone placements, again dialed up and down from the main floor. Thus, a dialog scene could start in one room on one floor, traverse down the stairs to a hallway, then into another room, down stairs again, and finally to the main floor---all covered in a single shot by a camera on a huge boom reaching all the way to the top and then to the bottom. As I recall, we were there the day George Raft did his dancing scene in the film---and it was a historic moment for me to see Raft in person---someone I'd watched on film for many years by that time.

At the end of the day Lewis went off to his dressing room to shower and change, but he had his crew set up a portable projector and screen and we were able to view the previous day's rushes, as well as the blooper reel shots which had accumulated by then. That occupied us for 30-40 minutes.

Then Lewis came back on the set, and we had a question-and-answer session with him. There's no doubt about Mr. Lewis' ego, but he was extremely kind to us, answered all of our questions about filming, direction, art direction, cutting, etc. I was truly impressed with his vast knowledge and ability to express the details of filmmaking in a concise and accurate and complete manner---and his graciousness.

At some point, our university chaperone told Lewis that we should call it a day---it was nearing 8:30 or so and we hadn't eaten anything since lunch. Lewis looked stunned about that and went over to one of his production people and spoke to him quickly.

He then came back to our questions and continued answering them, and we were thrilled that perhaps he had also ordered sandwiches from the commissary for us! But no sandwiches arrived from the commissary, which was only a few stages away, so, by that time, we were hungry AND disappointed.

Then, about 10 o'clock the big soundstage door rolled up, and in drove about 3 white 1/2 ton step-vans. When they parked in the stage open area, a large number of helpers in white chefs outfits and hats jumped out, pulled folding tables from the vans, laid them out on the stage floor with folding chairs, put linen tablecloths and napkins on the tables, and set them with china, crystal glassware and sterling silver.

At 10:15 that night we were treated to a fabulous hot meal, with wine, served in the best Hollywood manner, direct from the legendary Chasen's Restaurant in Beverly Hills, and paid for by Mr. Lewis!

It was a day---and evening---I'll long remember, not only for the fun of visiting that famous set, but also for the tremendously positive impression Lewis made on me. He may have had his back-and-forth moods with others at other times, but on that day he was a true gentleman.

 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 2:13 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Space jockey set from Alien

 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 2:23 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Great story, Manderley! Thanks for posting it.

I've long marvelled at the giant house set in The Ladies Man. How did they light each room at once, and so forth. It's amazing. Must have cost a fortune.

 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 4:12 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Not to mention the simple but horredously oppressive chamber in Doctor No where Professor Dent collects the caged spider, and the glittering interior of Fort Knox a couple of films later.

1960s spy culture meets 1920s German impressionism.

I sneaked onto the 007 sound stage in 1999 and was disappointed by the relative busy- and ordinary-ness of the underground tunnel set in comparison with the "classic" sets of the esarlier era. The attempt at realism seemed to introduce mundanity.


 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 4:13 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Yes, Manders - great reminiscence. Where's that book?!


 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 10:41 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Who SEZ Spectacular cool Sir M cool Ain't Inna Konsummate Klass By Himself? Department:

And Holly-est's gobsmacked golden expression perfectly echoes our reaction each und ev'ry tyme we read and admiringly marvel at one of his royal recollections.

We've said it once (twice, even Trinity-thrice): NOBODY doth dew it Better - Evah!!!

cool smile

 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

Thank you Neo for the photos.

Manderley, that is such an amazing story. Thank you as always for sharing. I must've watched "Ladies Man" close to 50 times by now -- it always makes me laugh hysterically, and I usually get lost in the set design and rich colors of the film and have to pause the image multiple times to savour details. Plus there's Helen Traubel, George Raft, Jerry in drag, the mysterious all white apartment with the slinky dame in black, and most of all the fabulous Kathleen Freeman. A film of endless delights, for me at least. smile

 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)




smile TeeGee Department.


 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 4:01 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

Also of honorable mention if not at the top of some lists would be "Rear Window" -- the "Rope" and "Under Capricorn" sets that Hitchcock had built also were quite intricate to allow for the seamless camera tracking and crane shots. Amazing outdoor sets would, for me, include "55 Days in Peking" "The Fall of the Roman Empire" "Ben Hur" "Cleopatra" "Red Beard" and many of the silent epics like "Intolerance". The Japanese film "Kwaidan" is also exquisitely designed interior set-wise.

 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 8:01 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)



(Despite the occasional view beyond the set, of Spanish countryside, when it should have been the urban sprawl that was Rome in the 2nd Century A.D....)

All they needed was a few matte shots.

And, upon reading about this gargantuan edifice, I understand each of the buildings had magnificent interiors, which were never even filmed....!

I also love the Babylon set for D.W.Griffith's INTOLERANCE... In fact, the present-day Kodak Center has built hommages to several elements of it. (Though, as I recall, today's Kodak Center stands on the original site of the Babylon set, which, due to Griffiths financial woes, actually stood until around 1930, when the Fire Dept. deemed it a fire hazard, and burned it.)

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