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Bond in Motion at the London Film Museum

Now on view at the London Film Museum is Bond in Motion, a must-see permanent exhibition that traces the history of the franchise through the many vehicles (cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds, jets, helicopter and more) that James Bond used over the years.

I’m a huge Bond fan, but I hadn’t heard about this exhibition until I spotted an ad at a tube station in London in August, 2015. It didn’t disappoint.

As you walk into the museum, you can’t miss a helicopter hanging from the ceiling. My first thought was that it was the same one from which Major Onatopp, one of the villains in GoldenEye (1995), rappelled down to catch James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) in a chokehold. But I found out that it was from Skyfall (2012).

Also on the upper mezzanine are concept art and storyboards which have never been seen before. It was exciting to see each frame of this scene in From Russia with Love (1963) one of my favorites, detailed on paper. 

Bond in Motion
Storyboard, From Russia with Love 1963
Bond in Motion Concept art, Moonraker
Concept art, Moonraker 1979

Down the stairs (you can also take an elevator) to the lower level are the vehicles – 50 of them. If you love cars, this is the place to go.

It was thrilling to see Auric Goldfinger’s classic 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, Goldfinger (1964). It’s as clean as a whistle as if Oddjob, his henchman or some other underling, had just finished detailing it.

Bond in Motion 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III Goldfinger
1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, Goldfinger 1964

Tracy (Diana Rigg) and James escaped Ernst Stavros Blofeld, head of SPECTRE, in this red Mercury in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). This is the only film that starred George Lazenby (not my favorite Bond) and the only time Bond got married. Sadly, Tracy was killed just after the wedding. 

Mercury Cougar, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969
Mercury Cougar, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969

Halle Berry (Jinx) emerging from the sea in Die Another Day referenced Ursula Andress (Honey Ryder) in Dr. No, the first Bond movie (which was filmed in Jamaica, where Ian Fleming escaped to write the Bond stories) but the cars were unmistakably modern, even a bit futuristic.  

Jaguar XKR, Die Another Day
Jaguar XKR, Die Another Day 2002

Except for Skyfall and the latest, Spectre, I’ve seen each Bond film at least 50 times – they never get old. But I felt an adrenalin rush when I saw this car, the Aston Martin that Daniel Craig (my other favorite Bond) crashed so spectacularly (the car rolled seven times!) in Casino Royale (2006). With Skyfall, Craig convinced skeptical fans who’d never seen a blond Bond, that he was Bond. 

Aston Martin, Casino Royale 2006
Aston Martin DB5, Casino Royale 2006
Casino Royale, 2006
Casino Royale, 2006 – James’ bloodied suit in the background

Some of the other vehicles you’ll see at Bond in Motion: Little Nellie, You Only Live Twice (1967), the Ford Mustang Mach I, Diamonds are Forever (1971), the AMC Hornet Hatchback, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), the Lotus Esprit S1, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Citroen 2CV, For Your Eyes Only (1981), and the Q Boat from The World in Not Enough (1999).  

All the vehicles in Bond in Motion are originals that were used for filming. The majority of them are on loan from the EON Production archives and the Ian Fleming Foundation, which located and restored many of them.

I remember this scene at Valentin Zukovsky’s Caviar Factory in the World is Not Enough (1999). And thanks to the plaque on the model, now I know how they did it.

Bond in Motion
Miniature model of the Caviar Factory, The World is Not Enough, 1999

The Art Department created the model “so that production could work out how to construct the real set and perform the scene. It has little red dotted lines to indicate where the breakaways are for the helicopter blades.”  

If you want to be Bond for a minute, there’s a photo studio in the back of the museum where you can don the classic suit and take your photo.

Bond in Motion - Being Bond
Be Bond for a Minute

There’s also a museum shop in the back of the lower level where you can buy licensed Bond memorabilia and Bond in Motion souvenirs. 

The Cars of Spectre at Bond in Motion

Visitors to Bond in Motion will be in for a rare treat as a new exhibition, The Cars of Spectre, opens on November 18th.  This exhibition will feature never before seen vehicles, props, models and costumes from Spectre, the latest Bond movie, which opens today in US. According to the website, the exhibition will include the Hero Aston Martin DB10 and a stunt- damaged Jaguar C-X75.

Travel Essentials – Bond in Motion

Hours: Everyday 10 a.m. to 6:00 pm except Saturday 10 a.m. to 7:00 pm. The last entry an hour before closing
Tickets: Adult £14.50, Children (5-15) £12.50, Family £38.00 (includes admission to The Cars of Spectre)
Photography (no flash) allowed 

London Film Museum
45 Wellington St
Covent Gardens

This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday Link-up hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox, Budget Travel Talk, Tanama Tales, and Rachel’s Ruminations.

James Bond and Jamaica Mark 50 Years

James Bond, the British super agent with a licence to kill, was introduced to the world, in 1962, in the now classic thriller, Dr. No. Bond, the brainchild of the British author, Ian Fleming, was ‘born’ in Jamaica. Fleming had visited Jamaica and fallen in love with the island. In 1946, he purchased a property and built Goldeneye, his Jamaica home. It is here that he escaped, every January and February, to write the Bond books. He has been quoted as saying he doubted the books would have been written had he not been on the island.

James Bond, Dr. No



Dr. No, the first of the books to be adapted to the screen, was also set in Jamaica, and was filmed entirely on location on the island.

As you might imagine, the filming of the first James Bond movie was a big deal in Jamaica at the time. There were almost daily reports in the local paper, The Gleaner, of movie-related news, for example the arrivals of the stars, Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, the location where filming would take place, etc.

Several locals, including the men who played Three Blind Mice, the photographer, Freelance (Miss Jamaica 1961, Marguerite LeWars), as well as the band, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, appeared in the movie but the real “star” was the island. Filming took place at different locations in Kingston, Port Royal and Ocho Rios, most notably:

  • Palisadoes Airport: James Bond makes his first appearance in Jamaica at Palisadoes, which is now known as the Norman Manley International Airport.
  • King’s House: In the movie, Bond goes to Government House though he actually went to King’s House, the residence of the Governor General, the Queen’s representative in Jamaica.
  • Morgan’s Harbor Hotel: Byron Lee and the Dragonaires are seen playing that infectious number, Jump Up, Jump Up, at Morgan’s Harbor Hotel, which is still located on the airport road.
  • Dunn’s River Falls: James Bond and Quarrel hide from Dr. No’s machine near Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios.
  • Laughing Waters: Probably one of the most eye catching scenes in the movie is when Urusla Andress walks out of the sea at Laughing Waters near Ocho Rios
  • Reynold’s Bauxite Terminal: Dr. No’s lair at Crab Key is actually Reynold’s Bauxite terminal in Ocho Rios

Filming on the island wrapped after about six weeks with the remaining scenes done in Pinewood Studios, London. Several months later, on August 6, 1962, Jamaica went from British colony to an independent country (More on Jamaica’s anniversary in a later post).

Dr. No was released on October 5, 1962 but didn’t have its premiere in Jamaica until September 17, 1963, it was till playing a year later.

Live and Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun both have scenes that were in Jamaica, however Live and Let Die was the only other James Bond movie to be filmed here.

Fifty years later, Bond is as popular as ever. In November, the franchise will release its latest installment, Skyfall. I cannot wait!

Set Your DVRs!

Now, if you are as passionate about James Bond movies as I am, I’m happy to report that on July 1, Encore is marking the 50th anniversary with an all day marathon of James Bond films. It’ll start at 7:00 a.m. with Dr. No and end with Never Say Never Again. Following the marathon, every Thursday nights in July, beginning at 8:00 p.m. they’ll show other Bond films uncut and commercial-free. Set your DVRs!

Other Bond Events

‘Designing 007 – Fifty Years of Bond Style’ opens on July 6. Tickets cost £12.


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Why an Airport in Jamaica is Named for Ian Fleming

Most people are puzzled when they learn that an airport in Jamaica is named after Ian Fleming.

The airport, formerly known as Boscobel Aerodrome, is located in the parish of St. Mary where Fleming, a Naval Intelligence Officer lived and created the British spy, James Bond.

Ian Fleming, photo from the Internet
Ian Fleming, photo from the Internet

Fleming fell in love with Jamaica on his first visit in 1943. The Jamaica of Fleming’s time was the playground for the rich and famous. Katharine Hepburn, Noël Coward, Errol Flynn and others were regular visitors to the island. Coward, Fleming’s neighbor was best man at his marriage to Anne, at the town hall in Port Maria, St. Mary.

Fleming loved Jamaica and for nearly twenty years, retreated to the island where he wrote the 12 novels and short stories that feature Bond. The island became the backdrop in several of his books – Dr. NoThe Man With the Golden GunLive and Let Die and Octopussy are largely or partly set in Jamaica.

He might have also borrowed the name of his fictional character from a famous ornithologist, James Bond, on whose family estate in Jamaica he was allowed to write.

Two of the Bond movies, Dr. No and Live and Let Die were also filmed in Jamaica. The car chase in Dr. No was filmed on the Palisados road that links the Norman Manley International Airport to Kingston. Ursula Andress (Honey Ryder) emerged from the sea at Laughing Waters Beach in St. Ann, and other scenes were shot at the aptly named James Bond Beach, in the same parish.

Bond returned to St. Ann where several locations including the Green Grotto Caves were featured in Live and Let Die.

Speaking at the opening at the Ian Fleming International Airport on January 12, 2011, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding addressed critics who thought the airport should have been named for a prominent Jamaican noting that Fleming gave the island “an image much larger than it otherwise would have had.”

Ian Fleming died in England on August 12, 1964 and was buried in Kent.

The Places Bond Has Taken Me

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.

James Bond Beach, Jamaica

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.

Sean Connery

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

Roger Moore

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.

Timothy Dalton

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!

George Lazenby

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!

Pierce Brosnan

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.

Daniel Craig

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.