7 Apr 2013

Kurfürstendamm - West Berlin

The jewelry sir, is, if you forgive the analogy, only the tip of the tentacle...
U-Bhf Kurfürstendamm and Kaiser Wilhelm Church in the background.

In Octopussy Bond travels from India to West Germany in pursuit of Octopussy's circus. The circus will give its next performance in Karl Marx Stadt and Bond meets with M in West Berlin to get some new ID in order to get into East Germany. In the film they are traveling down the boulevard Kurfürstendamm, the famous shopping street in Berlin and the city's answer to Champs-Élysées. The U-bahn station 'Kurfürstendamm' is seen as Bond and M drive past it in their Mercedes.
Bond and M are driving past the U-Bahn station Kurfürstendamm

"-We've confirmed that Octopussy's circus was in East Berlin when 009 was killed. Karl Marx Stadt is further east."

Seen very briefly in the background, at the end of Kurfürstendamm, is The Kaiser Wilhelm Church. The original church, built in the 1890's, was badly damaged during the war and the present church was built between 1959 and 1963 even though some details of the old church still remain. At the time of my visit in 2012 the church was being renovated and completely covered in scaffolds. It looked more like an office building and was quite easy to miss. The Germans always do things properly. It was only the separate bell tower with the attached chapel that was recognizable.

After driving down Kurfürstendamm they turn right and end up at the border crossing, Checkpoint Charlie. This was probably the most famous border crossing between East and West Berlin. This is of course a factual error since Checkpoint Charlie is located in the opposite direction and on the other side of town. Maybe they had been driving around for a while before ending up at the border...
Kurfürstendamm and the church still looks much like in the film even though the boulevard has seen a lot of new houses. The U-bahn station and the church makes the exact spot of Bond's car possible to determine.

1 comment:

  1. David Marlborough21 March 2014 at 16:22

    The Kufurtstendamm is, sadly, now a pale shadow of its former self and what it would have been like in the 1980’s when it was Berlin’s premier street at the time the city was still divided between East and West. Most of the designer shops and classy hotels have gone, the Unter den Linden (in what would have been located in the former East) is now the city’s “Hauptstrasse” and K’damm has now a faded, tired air. I visited it first in 2004 and then again last May and nothing had changed since your visit a year earlier.