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Sydney B. "Syd" Cain (16 April 1918 – 21 November 2011) was a British production designer who worked on more than 30 films, including four in the James Bond series in the 1960s and 1970s.
Cain was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire. He survived a plane crash in Rhodesia during World War II, which broke his back, and also later survived being struck by lightning. Cain's name was accidentally missed off the titles for Dr No for creating the 'dragon tank', and the producer Cubby Broccoli instead gave him a solid gold pen as it would have cost too much to re-create the titles. For From Russia with Love, Cain designed a $150,000 set for a chess match which repeated the "chess pawn" motif throughout the room. He worked on a number of James Bond movies creating numerous gadgets including Bond's customized brief case in From Russia With Love, Blofeld's Piz Gloria, Bond's buzz-saw Rolex watch in Live and Let Die and the GoldenEye satellite weapon.
Cain's name appears in documents in several films on which he worked. In Our Man in Havana where he was assistant art director his name features on the blueprints of a vacuum cleaner. Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy features an in joke of a racing form featuring the horse Jon Finch is to bet on is owned by a "Mrs S. Cain".
Cain was married three times and had eight children, three have excelled in the design industry; Maurice Cain as production designer in film and TV, Anthony Cain in illustration, and Leigh Cain in exhibition design.
In 2002 Cain wrote his autobiography "Not Forgetting James Bond" in which he lay down memories of working with hundreds of film directors, actors and crew, and also his interesting sporting family history. HIs father Tom Cain was an all round athlete who played professional football for Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur, and encouraged Fred Perry to switch from playing football to tennis and actually coached him for a while.
In his later years Cain resided at The Charterhouse in London. He died in the nearby University College Hospital on 21 November 2011, aged 93.