One of the things I love about Bond is seeing the locations where the stories are set. So as I watched one film after another in the Bond marathon on Sleuth this weekend, I began compiling a list of places Bond’s taken me over the years. And it’s a pretty impressive list. (I got Wikipedia’s help in confirming some of the places of interest as well.)
Dr. No (1962) I was still in diapers when this Bond, the first in the series was, was filmed in Jamaica. The story was set in Kingston, with the beach scenes filmed at and around the Dunn’s River Falls area in Ocho Rios.
Note: Ian Fleming wrote twelve of his James Bond novels at Goldeneye, his home in St. Mary, Jamaica. There’s a James Bond beach and the newly named Ian Fleming International Airport in St. Mary.
From Russia with Love (1963) I knew what I wanted to do in life after I saw this movie in my twenties: I wanted to traipse around the world watching James make his Bond films. From Russia with Love took me to London, Zagreb, Belgrade, Istanbul and Venice.
Goldfinger (1964) James sent me a special invitation to watch filming in England, Geneva, parts of the U.S. and Mexico. The highlight, for me, was going to Fort Knox. I hated when Goldfinger’s henchman painted Goldfinger’s assistant with gold paint.
Thunderball (1965) I stayed in one of the rooms while James stayed at the spa in England, then went with him to France, Paradise Island (Bahamas) and the U.S.
You Only Live Twice (1967) I watched James disguise himself as a Japanese man and get married in Japan. I also followed him to Hong Kong.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service(1969) The first
time Sean Connery did not play Bond but nevertheless, I followed him to Portugal and Switzerland. If you look behind Moneypenny, you can just see the hat I was wearing at James’ (real) wedding to the countess. Sadly, she was killed on their way to the honeymoon.
Diamonds are Forever (1971) I was one floor above when James killed Peter Franks in the elevator in Amsterdam. I knew James would win but I was so nervous, I couldn’t watch. I also flew to Tokyo, Cairo, Southern France, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Baja.
Live and Let Die (1973) The first Bond with Roger Moore and the first time Bond went uptown to Harlem. By the time I realized he was there and ran down to where they were filming, they were gone – to Jamaica and New Orleans.
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) I’d never been to Beirut, so I was excited to have Bond take me along with him. We also dropped in to Bangkok, Macau and China and returned to Hong Kong. That Scaramanga was an evil man!
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) I’ve never worried about the villains because I know James can hold his own. But I was worried for him when I saw Jaws. Man, he was scary! Apart from the locations, the best part of this film, was the car that could go underwater. I was one of the extras on the beach but when the camera panned in my direction, I was so excited by the car, my eyes almost popped out of my head. They had to cut me out. I still have my memories of being in the Alps, Scotland, Cairo, Luxor, sailing down the Nile, and Costa Smeralda.
Moonraker (1979) I’ll follow Bond anywhere but I didn’t think he’d take me to outer space. Yes, that’s where we went in this film. We also went to France, Venice, Rio and the Amazon.
For Your Eyes Only (1981) I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful location than Greece. I had a lot of fun with the rest of the crew in Meteora and Corfu, in Madrid, and Cortina d’Ambezzo in Italy.
Octopussy (1983) From Jag Mandir in India, we flew to West Berlin, East Berlin and Feldstadt. India was a blast!
A View to a Kill (1985) My heart was almost in my throat as I watched the Grace Jones’ character fly off the Eiffel Tower with James in hot pursuit. Zorin’s chateau (Chateau de Chantilly) was like being in the lap of luxury. Great to see Ascot before the races and the crowd, Serbia and San Francisco.
The Living Daylights (1987) Timothy Dalton joins the franchise as the new Bond. I tagged along to Bratislavia (Slovakia), Tangier, Vienna and Baluchistan (Pakistan). The highlight, for me, was watching the filming with the muhajadeen in the desert in Afghanistan.
License to Kill (1989) Key West was the setting for the beautiful wedding that opens this installment of Bond. Again, I was among the guests celebrating then followed James to Bimini.
GoldenEye (1995) Pierce Brosnan takes over as Bond, Judi Dench became M and I continued following Bond. This time, to Monte Carlo, St. Petersburg and Puerto Rico.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) I went with James to Hamburg (Germany), the South China Seas (China) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
The World is Not Enough (1999) I never tire of following James around. This time, it was to Bilbao, Spain, Istanbul and Baku in Azerbaijan.
Die Another Day (2002) I was in North Korea when James posed as an arms dealer. Sadly, he was captured but as soon as he was released, I was with him in Havana, London and Iceland.
Casino Royale (2006) Connery as Bond set the standard that, to my mind, only Daniel Craig can surpass. That long chase scene sent my blood pressure through the roof. Prague, Lahore (Pakistan) Mbale (Uganda), Nassau, Miami, Montenegro, Venice and Lake Como (Italy).
Quantum of Solace (2008) James is still mourning the death of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. I was in Siena when he brought Mr. White in for interrogation. I had just stepped out of the room when all hell broke loose. The chase and my travels continued in London, Haiti, Bregenz (Austria), Talamone (Italy) Bolivia and finally Kazen in Russia.
The next Bond is due to be released in 2012. Watch for me in one of the scenes.
Photo credits: Connery bondambitions, Moore amazon, Lazenby themoviecorner, Dalton cinemaretro; Brosnan howstuffworks; Craig flicksandbits.