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SYD CAIN (April 16th 1918-November 21st 2011)

OHMSS Production Designer Syd Cain photographed in The Garden Suite at Pinewood Studios in 1990.

Syd Cain photographed in The Garden Suite at Pinewood Studios in 1990. PHOTOGRAPH/GRAHAM RYE

Syd Cain enjoys lunch with Graham Rye at Kettner’s in Soho in 2007.

Syd Cain enjoys lunch with Graham Rye at Kettner’s in Soho in 2007. PHOTOGRAPH/ANDREW PILKINGTON

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.

Graham Rye


Syd Cain – Filmography

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0128966

Syd by Syd: Syd Cain was a prolific illustrator and had the remarkable skill of being able to draw with either hand! Syd Cain in his RAF days during World War II.
Probably Syd Cain’s crowning glory in production design of any film he ever worked on: Piz Gloria, Blofeld’s headquarters atop the Schilthorn Mountain in Switzerland for the sixth James Bond adventure, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). Production Designer Syd Cain poses with the model used in the fiery climax of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).

ABOVE: (1) Syd by Syd: Syd Cain was a prolific illustrator and had the remarkable skill of being able to draw with either hand!
(2) Syd in his RAF days during World War II.
(3) Probably Syd’s crowning glory in production design of any film he ever worked on: Piz Gloria, Blofeld’s headquarters atop the Schilthorn Mountain in Switzerland for the sixth James Bond adventure, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
(4) Production Designer Syd Cain poses with the model used in the fiery climax of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).


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