28 Jan 2019

Skyfall - Shanghai

When Bond goes to Shanghai in Skyfall he follows the "Swedish" assassin Patrice, played by Ola Rapace, from Pudong Airport (interior scenes actually filmed at the Royal Ascot Racecourse in England) into Shanghai. Bond hides among the other chauffeurs at the airport and follows Patrice in a Mercedes.

At one point, Bond is driving down a main road, with skyscrapers seen in the background. The skyscrapers seen can be found in the Pudong area, Shanghai's business district. However, a few high rise buildings have been digitally added, which is apparent when comparing the pictures below.

Since the skyscraper filmed in the movie, the one that Patrice walks into killing the two guards, is located in London (Broadgate tower), previously covered here, the exterior of this building had to be digitally added in this scene, to illustrate that it is located in Shanghai. In reality, this part of the skyline is empty.

The original Broadgate tower, located in London - with two skyscrapers digitally added on either side in the film

The road where Bond and Partice are driving down is located in Shanghai's central business district, named Century Avenue. The closest subway station is Dongchang road. When you exit this station and walk on to Century Avenue, you will be close to the spot where Bond's car was filmed. The building making it possible to identify the spot is the NCB building located on the left of the road.

"Luckily we still have one or two friends left in the CIA. 
Intel is he is going to be Shanghai in two days time, probably on a job."

The chauffeur driven Mercedes or Maybach is a relatively common car in Shanghai, which makes it an ideal choice for tailing someone around the city. Patrice is travelling in a Volkswagen Passat taxi, which actually is blooper since that VW model is not used in China. They have a Chinese version of the Passat, slightly different from the European version.

14 Aug 2018

Houses of Parliament - Strahov monastery, Prague

In Casino Royale, after Bond has killed Mollaka the Bomb maker at the embassy in Madagascar, M is summoned to appear in front of a committee in the Houses of Parliament. Bond's actions are questioned by the committee and they hold M responsible. M and Villiers are walking through what appears to be the Houses of Parliament after the meeting. 

The scene in the film pictures the Parliament and then cuts to the Committee room where M and Villiers are walking out.

"Christ I miss the cold war!"

The library, however, is not located in London, but in a monastery in Prague. The hall where M and Villiers are walking through is called the Philosophical Hall, and can be found at the Strahov Monastery. The monastery was founded in 1143 and the Philosophical Hall dates back to the late 1700's. The entire hall was totally renovated between 2009-2010.

The Philosophical Hall is open for the public, but only through the main entrance. If you want to walk through the halls you need to call ahead and book a tour. Due to the temperature changes only small groups are allowed in the hall a the same time. The film team probably managed to film there due to the fact that the hall were to be renovated a few years later.

In the adjacent room to the Philosophical Hall, a fake wall with the committee room entrance was put up. It is quite obvious that the walls with the red wallpaper are backdrops. Especially when you look through the room in the background.

Bookshelves from the Theological Hall can be seen in the background 
In the far background you can see a very small part of the the Theological Hall which is another library located parallel to the Philosophical Hall in the monastery.

Theological Hall

"I give Bond 00 status and he celebrates by shooting up an embassy! Is the man deranged?!"

8 Jul 2018

The One & Only Ocean Club - Nassau

Bond drives up in his rental Ford Mondeo to the entrance of the hotel 
In Casino Royale, Bond checks in to The One & Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas. He follows a lead from the terrorist Mollaka, whom he tracked down and killed in Madagascar, which points him to Nassau in the Bahamas. Lucky Bond... The One & Only is a luxury resort, located on the northern shores of Paradise Island, connected to Nassau with two bridges.

All the scenes at the The One & Only were filmed at location at the hotel and the roundabout in front of the entrance still look like in the film. The One & Only is probably one of the most expensive hotels in Nassau but if you have cash like Bond, or the Mi6 bankrolling your visit, it is definitely worth it. The service is excellent and the location itself leaves nothing to be desired.

Bond leaves his car to the valet, leaving the front entrance unsupervised, enabling Bond to pretending to be the valet when two Germans drive up in a Range Rover.

"Hello! Are you going to take this or make me wait?"

As Bond crashes the Range Rover and walks into the hotel, the other guests look chocked towards the car park.

If you arrive by car to the One & Only, you can either leave it to the valet, for about $16 or you can park the car yourself at the same car park free of charge. You might want to leave it for the valet like Bond, but it is still satisfying to drive into the car park yourself. The car park is located quite close to the hotel, so the scenes in the film are quite screen accurate.

Bond arrives in his rental Ford Mondeo

4 Jun 2018

Bond arrives in Nassau - Compass Point

When this is posted, James Bond Locations has reached over one million page views since the blog inaugurations in 2011. This post should perhaps have covered a slightly more celebrated location, but as the summer has arrived, it is time to consider what kind of rental car one should choose for a trip abroad and a reminder of Bond's choice in 2006 felt appropriate.

In Casino Royale, when Bond arrives in Nassau in the Bahamas, he takes a rental car from the airport to the One & Only Ocean Club. On his way to the hotel, located on Paradise Island, he passes a row of houses with colorful rooftops as David Arnold's splendid soundtrack is played in the background. The houses are located on the northern shores of Nassau, at a place called Compass Point.

The entire scene is virtually a phone and car commercial, but it is nonetheless a very nice scene and  Bond is guided by the GPS tracking system in his Sony Ericsson phone as he is listening to Radio Bahamas in the car. He ultimately ends up at the One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island, located on the other side of the island.

The fact that Bond drives past Compass Point after landing with the sea plane is a factual error, since the airfield where Bond disembarks the seaplane is located on Paradise Island, quite close to the Ocean Club where Bond ultimately is heading, which is illustrated in the map below. Compass Point is a seaside resort.

Compass point is located on the north western part of Nassau - far away from Paradise Island

1,000,000 page views and counting! 

James Bond locations will return. 

17 May 2018

Paradise Island Airport - Nassau, Bahamas

In Casino Royale, Bond arrives in Nassau, the Bahamas, in a small seaplane. He gets off at Paradise Island and the iconic Hotel Atlantis is seen in the background. Bond is on his way to the One & Only Ocean Club to track down Mr Dimitrios.

The small airport with a seaplane facility that once was located on Paradise Island is gone today and not a trace remains. But the airport was there at the time of filming in 2006 and the field is still accessible today.

Bond's seaplane lands in the canal in Nassau Harbour, between Paradise Island and Nassau. The opening shot pictures the British Colonial Hilton hotel by the beach as the seaplane flies over.

British Colonial Hilton
The scenes from Casino Royale were filmed in 2006. The airport in Paradise Island mainly operated one airline at the time, namely Chalk's Ocean Airways. Not much information about the airport is available, but Chalk's suspended operations in 2007 after a crash in 2005 and one can imagine that the sea-plane facility stopped being used regularly when Chalk's Ocean Airways ceased operations.  

Chalk's was one the most legendary commuter airlines in America, it billed itself as "The World's Oldest Airline". Chalk's flew seaplanes in south Florida and the Bahamas for over 8 decades. The airfield actually played a small part in the Pierce Brosnan movie After the Sunset with Salma Hayek. As she is about to leave Max Burdett and take the sea plane from the Bahamas, Brosnan stops her before getting on the plane and asks her to marry him.

22 Apr 2018

The Orient Express Station - Sirkeci station

In From Russia With Love, when Bond and Tania arrives on the Orient Express in Belgrade, one of Kerim's sons is waiting for Bond at the platform. All the scenes in the Zagreb, Belgrade and Istanbul train stations were filmed at the same railway station in Istanbul, namely the Sirkeci Station in the Fatih district, from where the Orient Express departs on its journey to Paris.

The Sirkeci station doubled for the other locations in the Balkans, with scenes just shot at different platforms on the station. The building in the background is recognisable from earlier in the film when Bond and Tania arrive at the Istanbul station, catching the Orient Express.

The distinct windows are recognisable from the film and can still be found on location.