2 Jun 2013

Pan American to Royale-les-Eaux

In Casino Royale 1967, Peter Sellers plays the Baccarat expert Evelyn Tremble, who is hired by Mi6 to play Baccarat against Le Chiffre. Conveniently he receives the name James Bond 007, like all other agents in the film, to confuse the enemy. (Not the only thing that was confusing in that film!) Just like Connery in Dr No and From Russia with love, James Bond, a.k.a. Evelyn Tremble, a.k.a. Peter Sellers is flying Pan American when on a mission for Mi6. Tremble is supposedly flying from London to the fictional town Royale-les-Eaux in northern France where he will meet Le Chiffre at the Baccarat table.

The plane is a DC-8, one of 25 airplanes that Pan Am ordered from the Douglas company in 1955. The Pan Am airplanes that featured in the official Bond films during the Connery era were Boeing 707s.

Royale-les-Eaux features in both Ian Fleming novels Casino Royale and On Her Majesty's secret Service where it is a seaside resort somewhere on the north-western coast of France. Formerly a fishing village but more of a fashionable tourist destination in the novels it is supposedly located just south of Le Touquet. At least according to Fleming's description in chapter 2 in On Her Majesty's secret service.
It is a little unclear where this scene was filmed, but one possibility, given the background is the Nice Côte d'Azur airport. It is not very likely that Pan Am would use a DC-8 only to cross the English channel and land in northern France given the fact that it was a long range aircraft, but nothing made sense in that movie anyway so...
A stewardess is briefly visible behind Sellers when he arrives at the customs/immigration counter at the airport. The uniform resembles the uniform Pan Am used during the 60's but the front is a little different.

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