4 Jul 2019

Shanghai elevated highway in Skyfall

When Bond is tailing Patrice through Shanghai, one major road intersection is filmed, before it is cut to Bond's Mercedes and Patrice's taxi.

Bond is driving underneath the Yan'an Elevated Highway, which runs in a west-east direction straight through the center of Shanghai, in the Jing'an district. The particular scene was filmed close to the intersection of Huangpi Rd, with the park Yan Zhong Guang Chang Gong Yuan (Yanzhong Plaza park) located on the right side of the road up ahead.

Bond is tailing Patrice in a Mercedes limousine, which is a natural choice in Shanghai since the city is densely populated with limousines and especially Mercedes. 

The road signs are briefly visible in the film. 

Bond tails Patrice from Shanghai's Pudong Airport which exterior is briefly seen in the film. The interior scenes however, were filmed at Ascot in England.

20 Feb 2019

Kiss Kiss Club - Nassau, Thunderball

Bond is escaping from Largo's men in Thunderball after being taken captive at his hotel. After setting fire to a bottle of rum in the car, Bond escapes through the streets of Nassau. After making his way through the crowd at the Jankanoo, Bond arrives at a club, conveniently called Kiss Kiss Club, where he tries to blend in at the dance floor. Before arriving at the club, Bond runs down a regular street in central Nassau. This location was first identified by Thomas Gleitsmann in 2016.

What makes this location possible to identify is a house with five ground floor windows, actually seen in the film. The remains of this house can still be found in Nassau, more accurately in a part of downtown Nassau very close to Bay Street.

The name "Kiss Kiss Club" is a reference to a phrase which had become very famous in the mid 1960's, namely "Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" which was popularly symbolising James Bond at the time. The use of the phrase is usually attributed to Italy, but according to sources Ian Fleming had actually used the similar phrase 'bang, bang, kiss, kiss' already in the 1950's.

A fictitious sign with Kiss Kiss Club was put up above the side street.
The street Bond runs down is called East Street and intersects with Bay Street, which is the main street that runs through downtown Nassau. Only about 100 meters south along East Street, you find the remains of the house and a small street going east. This is called Miller's Court and is the location where the sign for the Kiss Kiss Club was put up.

John Barry wrote a song called 'Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' which was supposed to be the main theme for the movie which was later changed for 'Thunderball' by Tom Jones, when the producers felt that the movie title needed to be included in the song's lyrics. But John Barry's song was still recorded and was sung both by Dionne Warwick and Shirley Bassey. The instrumental music of this song is also widely used in the film.

In the scene leading up to Kiss Kiss Club, Bond escapes through a crowd on Bay Street. This is actually at the intersection of East Street, so Bond running down the street and arriving at the club is screen accurate.

The location of Kiss Kiss club however, was not filmed close to Bay Street in Nassau but somewhere on a beach in Nassau. There is only one establishing shot of the club in the film and it is obvious that it was not filmed close to where the entrance was filmed. The palm trees and sand indicate that this was shot on some beach, which also was confirmed by Luciana Paluzzi (Fiona Volpe) when we contacted her about the matter.
In the far back a mock-up of the entrance gate has been erected.  

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