27 Feb 2012

Eastern funeral - Hong Kong Island

"Our man in Hong Kong is working on it now..."

In  the pre-title sequence of You only live twice 1967, Bond, working on a case in Hong Kong is suddenly "killed" in bed by two gunmen. The first scene after the main title is an establishing shot over Hong Kong. The camera pans over Hong Kong Island and the Victoria Harbour, where Bond is buried from a British warship, the HMS Tenby.

It is not an understatement to say that Hong Kong has changed for the past 45 years. The biggest change of course being that Hong Kong no longer is a Crown Colony under British rule. The lack of space has also caused demand for denser constructions and that is why Hong Kong today has the famous skyline that was not apparent in 1967. I think it is rather safe to say that not a single house can be identified from the film. It is only the mountain that gives away the location. The backlight in the picture above does not make the magnificent view justice, but the viewpoint can be found when walking along the avenue of stars in the Tsim Tsa Tsui district in Kowloon.

The British warships lie just off the pier on the Kowloon side. It is not clear, whether one of the ships visible in the first shot is suppose to be the one where Bond is buried from, even though it would seem natural since an enemy agent can watch the funeral from land.

"At least he died on the job..."

"We therefore commit his body to the deep"

An enemy agent watches the funeral from the Hong Kong Yacht Club, with a newspaper about James Bond's death on the table. However, the funeral itself was not at all filmed in Hong Kong. It was filmed on the British warship HMS Tenby off the coast of Gibraltar. It is apparent that this is not Hong Kong when you see the open seas in the last picture. The real location for the funeral is impossible to determine.

"Present! FIRE!"

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