Peter Lamont Obituary Movie

Production designer Peter Lamont, who passed away at the age of 91, has worked on every James Bond film between Goldfinger (1963), the third in the series, and Casino Royale (2006), the 21st official installment. At the time, he was absent only from the film Tomorrow Never Dies, which clashed with James Cameron’s Titanic (also 1997). Lamont’s work on the latter earned him an Oscar, following nominations for Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Bond’s adventure The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and Cameron’s horror sequel Aliens (1986).

As he moved from cartoonist to ladder, appointing a decorator and art director before he was finally named producer of Just for Your Eyes (1981), Lamont became a respected member of the Bond family. “I admire Peter and his colleagues so much,” Roger Moore said in his 2008 autobiography My Word is My Relationship. “They make the impossible possible and unbelievable to believe.” Michael G Wilson, who with Barbara Broccoli took over the production reins from Broccoli’s father, Albert, said: “The first thing we do when we start working on a screenplay is think about locations and whether we can do this or that, whether we call Peter Lamont. “




The scene of the lifeboat from the Titanic (1997), a film for which Peter Lamont won an Oscar for best production design.



The scene of the lifeboat from the Titanic (1997), a film for which Peter Lamont won an Oscar for best production design. Photo: Allstar / 20th Century Fox / Sportsphoto

His responsibilities in the series were broad and unpredictable. At Goldfinger, he was recruited by great production designer Ken Adam to help design Fort Knox. For the Marine Thunderball (1965), he went on a diving course after Adam told him, “You better learn to swim underwater.” For the film, partly shot in the Bahamas, he also had to spend time at RAF Waddington studying the Vulcan bomber in preparation for making a 14-ton replica that then had to be shown sinking at sea.

One of his most challenging tasks was one of the artistic directors in the film The Man with the Golden Rifle (1974). The night before leaving for the Thai island of Khao Phing Khan, production designer Peter Murton told him to be ready to stay for a while.

“I came home seven months later,” he told Matthew Field and Ajay Chowdhury for their Bond encyclopedia Some Kind of Hero (2015). “It was a place that was not developed at that time. Trust me, bonds have always been first in these places. I was the one who ran everything. The phones didn’t work. The telex took three days and a letter – God knows where it went. “




Christopher Lee as Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).  Peter Lamont ordered a gun carrier and taught Lee how to assemble it.



Christopher Lee as Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). Peter Lamont ordered a gun carrier and taught Lee how to assemble it. Photo: Allstar / United Artists

He also taught actor Christopher Lee to assemble a golden pistol that waved his character, the villain Scaramanga, and consisted of everyday objects such as cuffs, lighters and fountain pens. Lamont ordered a prop from London jeweler J Rose, when the one provided by Colibri, a deserving jeweler, proved unusable.

After the high costs of Moonraker (1979), which sided with Star Wars, the series returned to the basics Just for Your Eyes, which is why Lamont stepped into Adam’s shoes. John Glen, the film’s director, said: “He was coming to a stage in his career where we would either promote him to a production designer or he would leave the space and make his own films for someone else because he was so good you couldn’t ignore him anymore. “

Lamont ingeniously produced impressive sets; a ceremonial barge at Octopussy (1983), for example, was made from a pair of abandoned boats he found on the shores of Lake Pichola in the Indian city of Udaipur. He also came to the rescue in 1984 when stage 007 in Pinewood burned down after an accident on the set of Ridley Scott’s fantastic adventure Legend. Within 12 weeks, Lamont oversaw the reconstruction of what is now renamed Scene Albert R Broccoli 007, and divided parts of the latest bond production, A Look at Murder (also 1985), into other phases.

To avoid the bureaucratic complications of filming a tank chase in St. Petersburg for GoldenEye (1995), he proposed building parts of the city in Leavesden studios. Judi Dench, who starred in the film for the first time in the film as the head of intelligence service M, singled out for praise “the apartment that Peter Lamont designed … this beautiful apartment in Canary Wharf”. At Casino Royale, he designed over 40 sets, from casinos private salon to a construction site where a spectacular quest for the film’s parkour is set.




Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a magic car from Ian Fleming’s story, as designed by Peter Lamont, right, for the 1968 film. With him on the left are Amanda Slayton, Michaela Pain and in front Albert Broccoli, the film’s producer.



Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a magic car from Ian Fleming’s story, as designed by Peter Lamont, right, for the 1968 film. With him on the left are Amanda Slayton, Michaela Pain and in front Albert Broccoli, the film’s producer. Photo: Central Press / Getty Images

Lamont was born in London, the son of Mabel (nee Curtis) and Cyril Lamont. His father was a writer who sometimes worked at Denham film studios, in Buckinghamshire, where Lamont visited him regularly and later got a job as a runner. After two years at the RAF, he returned to Denham and worked as a junior cartoonist for more than a decade. He made progress in setting up chests of drawers for films such as Bulldog Breeds (1960) and Lindsay Anderson’s This Sporting Life (1964), and was also assistant artistic director in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

Other merits for artistic direction include Sleuth (1972), starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, and the Nazi-hunting thriller The Boys from Brazil (1978), also starring Olivier. As a production designer, he worked on the war lie Top Secret! (1984), as well as a sequel to a collaboration with Cameron on the action comedy True Lies (1994).

Still, Bond dominated his life, as reflected in the title he chose for his 2016 autobiography, The Man with the Golden Eye: Designing James Bond Movies. In it, he revealed that he did not intend Casino Royale to be his swan song, and met with director Marc Forster in hopes of making the next film in the series, Quantum of Solace (2008). “I felt he was careful to work with someone 40 years older,” Lamont said. “Perhaps more seriously, I think he doubted I would be more sympathetic to the producers than to him.”

In 1952 he married Ann Aldridge; she cheated on him. Lamonta is survived by their daughter Madeline and son Neil, an art director and production designer who has worked with his father on several films, including GoldenEye and Titanic.

Peter Curtis Lamont, set designer, born November 12, 1929; died December 18, 2020

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