Mechanical Chess Set - Pinewood Studios

The giant computer-controlled chess board in 'Deadlier than the Male' was designed by Alex Vetchinsky (1904–1980).
The gifted British Production Designer and Art Director ('A Night to Remember') created a truly artful and ingenious Set. 
A special toy in the castle headquarter of Master Criminal Carl Petersen (Nigel Green).
The stylish Set was built on a platform on a stage at the Pinewood Studios.
The uplifted Set was necessary to have enough space for the enormous chess figures and their elevator mechanics.
We bow in deep gratitude for the visual sense of its designers and set decorators.

How cool is that! Life-sized chess figures appear on the huge board.
A movie Set of great visual splendour.

The Techniscope camera films the ascent of the seven-foot high chess men as they take their positions on the 
mechanical chess board.
Chang (Milton Reid), the powerful butler of Carl Petersen, can be seen in the far background.
The comparatively light weight (hollow) chess figures were made of fiberglass.
An ingenious concept and design! Fascinating.
A splendid photo of Director Ralph Thomas and Ernest Steward enjoying a ride with the elevator.
Ralph Thomas (left) and DOP Ernest Steward (1910–1990) line up a shot at Pinewood.
The huge seven-foot high chess men move up and down mechanically.
Scenes with a great visual style.
A few of the impressive chess figures were spotted years later in a run-down condition, on the Pinewood backlot, 
standing around like huge garden gnomes.
Are they still there? If not, where are the figures today?
The Studio Set was not much higher than what you see here.
Hugh Drummond (Richard Johnson) versus Carl Petersen (Nigel Green).
Hugh Drummond, holding the computer microphone, tries to put the chess figures in the right position for an attack.
The evil owner of the castle, Petersen, is surrounded by an army of hot killer babes and his faithful butler Chang (Milton Reid).
Drummond must first get rid of the vicious butler.
Drummond is as agile as a monkey, he wins this round.
Chang, Carl Petersen's Oriental bodyguard, lies dead on the chess board with his own Kir in his belly. Ouch!
There follows the dance with the king of the castle. 
Checkmate! Switched off by his own oversized chess figures!
When the chess figures make their computer-controlled moves, we always see only the upper part of the moving figure.
They used flat platform trolleys for the smooth movements.
Richard Johnson (Drummond) holding two miniature chess figures - Promotion photo.
A common practice, in the beginning of a production, models of the sets are created to gain an impression of the 
later sets (full-sized), to plan scenes and to discuss details and changes.
And it is always very helpful, if you have something to present to the producers and the press people.
The splendid giant mechanical chess game Set in 'Deadlier than the Male' is a stylish piece of art.
Optical impression, design and implementation, simply outstanding and quite spectacular!
If I had a free wish, mmh, Emma Peel appears on the chessboard, in a bright red catsuit to help our Hugh Drummond.
More of 'Deadlier than the Male' can be found here: Mrs Peel, we're needed!