photographed in The Garden Suite at Pinewood Studios in 1990.
Syd Cain enjoys
lunch with Graham Rye at Kettner’s in Soho in 2007.
After a short illness,
Production Designer Syd Cain passed away quietly in hospital on November
21st with members of his family at his bedside. He was 93.
Beginning his career in
the British film industry after being demobbed from the RAF at the end of
World War II, Syd was employed by the legendary film producer Albert R.
‘Cubby’ Broccoli (1909-1996) and his then producing partner Irving Allen
(1905-1987) at Warwick Films, where Syd would hone his trade from
draughtsman through to Assistant Art Director. In 1962 when Broccoli and
his new producing partner Harry Saltzman (1915-1994) secured the film
rights to author Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels and formed EON
Productions, Syd was hired as Art Director for the first James Bond film
Dr. No. Unfortunately Syd’s name was absent-mindedly omitted from
the credit titles by main title designer Maurice Binder (1925-1991), who
Syd would always rib mercilessly about the fact whenever they appeared together at any Bond event. As compensation, producer Cubby
Broccoli gave Syd a solid gold fountain pen.
Syd returned as Art Director for the second Bond film, From Russia With
Love (1963) starring Sean Connery, and for the sixth 007 adventure
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) starring George Lazenby as
James Bond, and returned again to the ‘Bond Family’ in 1973 as Supervising
Art Director for the eighth 007 adventure, Live And Let Die,
starring Roger Moore.
I first met Syd in 1982 when he attended one of the James Bond themed
events I was involved in organising. We hit it off immediately and kept in
contact. When I last saw Syd earlier this year, not long after his 93rd
birthday, at The Charterhouse in the City of London (where he lived), he
was noticeably frailer and a little more forgetful, but his wicked sense
of humour still shone through. I shall miss our annual get-togethers.
Syd Cain – Filmography