29 Feb 2016

Menton Motorcycle Chase - Rue Longe

During the motorbike chase in Never Say Never Again, Bond is lured away from his villa in Villefranche-sur-mer by Fatima Blush, after she has killed Bond's ally, Nicole. After chasing Fatima's Renault 5 Turbo down the roads of Villefranche-sur-mer, Bond ends up in the small town of Menton, close to the Italian border. Here, still in pursuit of Blush, Bond speeds down the famous steps of Saint-Michel in the old part of the city.

As Bond is driving down the steps, Blush is seen driving down Rue Longe that runs below the steps and separate the upper part with the last few steps that continues down to the beach road called Quai Bonaparte. Just before the last steps of the upper part reach Rue Longe, Bond jumps down with the motorcycle and continues the chase down Rue Longe. This narrow street will eventually lead to Rue des Logettes and Place du Cap where Blush's henchmen are waiting in two cars to capture Bond.

Blush is driving around in her Renault 5 Turbo. 

These steps are a historic monument, constructed in the mid 1700's. Bond and Blush later come out on a larger square, where Blush's henchmen are waiting in two cars and Bond becomes the hunted. The tunnel where Bond later is captured, but manages to escape, is only a short walk away from this location, along the beach.

After driving around Menton, Bond and Blush again end up in the port of Villefranche-sur-mer, namely Port de la Darse, where the motorbike chase finally ends and Blush is blown to pieces by Algernon's pen.

16 Feb 2016

Hôtel de Paris - Monte Carlo


In Goldeneye during Bond's visit to Casino Monte Carlo, the magnificent Hôtel de Paris is visible in the background as Bond drives up to the casino. The hotel was also briefly visible in Never Say Never Again twelve years earlier as Connery walks into what is called "Casino Royale" in the film. Bond has however never actually stayed in that hotel. The Hôtel de Paris is located in the heart of Monte Carlo, right next to the casino at the convenient address Place du Casino.

Hôtel de Paris was opened in 1863 but is today undergoing a total renovation that is scheduled to continue until 2018. During this renovation, the entire south section of the hotel (the round part of the building as seen in Goldeneye) has been demolished, which is apparent in the picture above.

The Persuaders! 

Although Bond himself has never stayed at the Hôtel de Paris, it was nevertheless the destination for Lord Brett Sinclair and Danny Wilde in the first episode of The Persuaders!. After the iconic car chase from Nice airport where Brett and Danny are speeding along the coastal road, they end up in front of the Hôtel de Paris, just like the invitation from Judge Fulton had stated.

"Please be my guest it's going to be a ball!!!"

Only one actual scene was shot inside the hotel, and that was Roger Moore's entrance when he walks through the lobby. Everything else, sadly, appear to have been shot in studio. The hotel lobby is amazingly beautiful and well worth a visit even if you are not staying in the hotel. Anyway, Le Bar American and the restaurant Le Louis XVI located inside the hotel on each side of the lobby, are probably two of the best establishments in Monaco. A drink in the bar is simply a must.
Roger Moore as Lord Sinclair makes an entrance. 

5 Feb 2016

Blowing up the Russian Consulate - Part 3

After blowing up the Russian consulate and stealing the Lector decoder in From Russia With Love, Bond and Tania escape through Kerim's secret passage underneath the consulate. The building, doubling for the Russian consulate in the film is located in the Şişli district in Istanbul, along Halaskargazi Caddesi number 161.

The house and the surrounding garden still looks the same as it did in 1963 and the surrounding fence and the entrance gate have not been changed although the gate has been given some new paint. This is one of a few fairly untouched locations in Istanbul.

As the firemen rush up to the house, a small part of the path in the garden is visible, as well as the actual building behind the smoke. This path, made up from small round stones is in the style of classic "pebble mosaic", a style that probably originated in ancient Greece and became widespread in the Byzantine Empire. This path can still be found on location today and the house does not appear to have been changed that much either.

During filming, the crew had major problems with crowds that flocked the streets, something that is apparent in several scenes filmed around the consulate and elsewhere in Istanbul. The firetruck during the filming of the burning consulate probably contributed to even more spectators. Thus, a lot of the people seen in the top picture were probably not hired extras.

Bond first arrives at the consulate late in the film, in a taxi. The taxi stops outside the entrance gate at Halaskargazi Caddesi and at the same time, the Şişli  mosque is visible in the far background. More on the long street and the mosque have been covered here in an earlier post.