18 Feb 2018

Nambutu embassy - John Watling's Destillery, the Bahamas

After escaping Bond through the construction site, Mollaka ends up at the Nambutu Embassy in Madagascar.

Even the scene where Mollaka runs up to the guards by the entrance gate was filmed on the same location as the rest of the exterior of the embassy action, namely at the John Watling's rum destillery, in Nassau, Bahamas. Formerly known as the Buena Vista estate in central Nassau.

The entrance gate to the Buena Vista estate is located on Delancy Street, only a few hundred meters from downtown Nassau. The gate posts are still the same as in the film even though most of the estate has been renovated and is no longer recognisable. The trees seen in the film in front of the embassy building however, can still be found on location.

10 Feb 2018

Water skiing in Nassau Harbour - Never Say Never Again

In Never Say Never Again Bond travels to the Bahamas to find Maximilian Largo, who Bond believes have stolen the nuclear missiles from NATO. Bond is having a Vodka Martini in the beach bar at his hotel when he notices Fatima Blush who is water-skiing in the harbour.

The bar was located at the same hotel where Bond also is staying in the film - the British Colonial Hotel - near Nassau Harbour. The bar used in the film was part of the British Colonial Hotel until 1999 when it supposedly was destroyed in a hurricane. The hotel is located on the only private beach in Nassau, on the site of the Old Fort of Nassau. The present hotel building was built in 1924 on the location of the former Old Fort of Nassau which had been built to protect the western entrance to Nassau Harbour.

Seen in the background are the cruise ships in Nassau Harbour

Cruise ships still arrive daily in Nassau harbour as seen in the film

"-How reckless of me, I've made you all wet!
         -Yes, but my Martini is still dry... "

The pier where the bar was located can still be found on location. According to some sources, the pier and the bar was built for the film and was then kept by the hotel. I have not yet found confirmation for this information.

A very brief glimpse of part of the British Colonial Hotel, its garden and the beach can be seen behind Bond through the bar

The long house which is seen through the bar, behind Bond in the picture above, is still part of the hotel and can be found on location today. 

The footage in Never is uninspiring and not even Nassau looks exotic or colorful in the film. The film itself is a rush job and one of the few favourable things about the film is the casting of Barbara Carrera as Fatima Blush, the Spectre agent number 12. Blush is water-skiing in Nassau Harbour and then skis up on a ramp into the arms of Bond.

Across the water is Paradise Island visible
The British Colonial Hotel - today known as the British Colonial Hilton Hotel has sadly lost its former glory and is not something that Bond would stay at today. Of course we know that he rather chooses The One and Only Ocean Club when in the Bahamas. However, the hotel has a long history and has been an important institution in Nassau described as "the most elegant and most expensive hotel in town".

The location of the original bar before being destroyed and Paradise Island seen in the background.

30 Jan 2018

Bond and Tracy in Lisbon - Palácio Fronteira, part 2

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, as Bond and Tracy are spending time together in Portugal, a few various sights in and around Lisbon are pictured. One of the first love scenes with Bond and Tracy
was filmed at the Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira just outside of Lisbon.

Bond and Tracy are first walking past the large fountain in the middle of the garden and then continue to the right, walking past a smaller, octagonal fountain where Tracy throws a flower in the water.

The two fountains are actually not located on the same path

The Palace of the Marquesses of Fronteira was built between 1671 and 1672 as a hunting pavilion to Dom João de Mascarenhas, 1st Marquis of Fronteira and is currently owned by the 12th Marquis de Fronteira who also disposes of the house. However, some of the rooms including the library, and the garden, can be visited during opening hours.

Bond is wearing the same double breasted blazer that he wears at M's house later


In an adjacent part of the garden, to the left when facing the palace, is the smaller fountain located where Bond and Tracy are sitting down in an earlier scene. Tracy is holding a cat and Bond is wearing a black tie. This post is covered here.

This scene is supposed to take place in a different park at another time, given their change of clothes, but is consequently filmed at the same location, just a different part of the garden. The Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira is a must visit when in Lisbon, primarily because the location has been nearly untouched since 1969.

21 Jan 2018

Range Rover - the car of choice for the villain

A View to a Kill 
First generation Range Rover - 1983 year model in A view to a kill
Range Rover has played a rather significant part in the later half of the Bond series. Bond has not only himself been seen behind the wheel of Range Rovers (in OctopussyCasino Royale and Quantum of Solace) but Range Rover has been the car of choice for several of the villains in the series. Range Rovers have been useful to the villains' henchmen in not less than six films.

The tradition started with Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken, in A View to a Kill 1985. After having disposed of Bond and his car in the lake near Zorin's chateau outside Paris, Zorin and May Day are picked up by Zorin's men. In the film, the Range Rover that was used is the first generation Range Rover from 1983. This first generation model was produced between 1970 and 1996.

Tomorrow Never Dies

In Tomorrow, Carver sends his men after Bond and Wai Lin, after they both have jumped off his skyscraper in Saigon and escaped on a BMW motorcycle. The chase, with the spectacular motorcycle jump over Carver's helicopter in the finale, supposedly set in Vietnam was actually filmed in Bangkok.

Carver's Range Rover cars feature rather prominently in the film, and consequently this was the second time in the Bond series that the villain had purchased Range Rovers for his henchmen. The assassin in The Living Daylights, who is driving a Land Rover down the rock of Gibraltar does not count as that Land Rover is stolen from the British Army.

Second generation Range Rover - 1995 year model in Tomorrow Never Dies
The Range Rovers chase Bond and Wai Lin through the streets of Saigon crashing into almost everything. This second generation Range Rover was produced between 1994 and 2002 and was replaced by the model seen in Die Another Day.

Die Another Day

Third generation Range Rover - model year 2002 in Die Another Day

When Gustav Graves is being knighted in Die Another Day he is being picked up by his men outside Buckingham Palace in two Range Rover cars of the third generation. The cars are only briefly seen in this scene and Graves is only seen driven off, supposedly through the gates of Buckingham, but the cars can also be seen parked in Iceland later in the film.


Casino Royale
This model was seen again in Casino Royale when Le Chiffre's men are driving a Range Rover Series III from 2005 alongside the Jaguar in Montenegro, parked in the picture below.

Earlier in Casino Royale three Land Rover Defenders model 110 from 2005 are also used by Le Chiffre while he is in Mbale in Africa.

The third generation Range Rover was introduced in 2002 and was produced for ten years. This model was also driven by Bond in Bolivia in Quantum of Solace.

Silva's henchmen in Skyfall have chosen a Range Rover Police car in London, before driving to the inquiry M is attending. The car is a 2011 Land Rover Discovery of the fourth generation. A Land Rover Defender Pick Up was also driven by Eve in the pre-title sequence.


In Spectre, Hinx and his henchmen are kidnapping Dr Swan in the Austrian alps. The henchmen are driving off in two Land Rover Defenders Big Foot and Hinx is riding in a Range Rover of the fourth generation. The model is a Range Rover Sport SVR from 2015. Both models have been customized for an alpine drive. Blofeld himself keeps two Mercedes-Benz AMG models in the Moroccan desert.

The fourth generation Range Rover was introduced in 2012 and is still being produced.


A bit off topic, but even Goldfinger had a Land Rover in Goldfinger 1964, as a 1958 Land Rover is seen parked on the premises of Goldfinger's factory in Switzerland.