22 Aug 2016

The James Bond references in Spectre - part 2

In Spectre, the previous Bond films are referenced in more or less conspicuous ways. The references to the first eight films were covered in a previous post and below I list the references to the next eight films: The Man With the Golden Gun trough Licence to Kill.

The Man With the Golden Gun
In the finale of Spectre, Blofeld has decorated the abandoned Mi6 building with pictures of people from Bond's past, such as Vesper, M and the villains Le Chiffre, Silva and Mr White. Blofeld lures Bond through the corridors of Mi6 and tricks him to shoot at flipping targets, similar to how Nick-Nack and Scaramanga lures Bond through Scaramanga's fun house in The Man With the Golden Gun.

The Man With the Golden Gun, 1974

Even the pattern of the dynamite wires that are covering the ceiling of the entire Mi6 building is slightly reminiscent of the interior design in Scaramanga's fun house. This of course might be a coincidence.

The dynamite wires stretched across Mi6 before the demolition
Scaramanga's fun house in 1974

However, the helicopter stunt from the pre-title sequence in Spectre resembles the famous car stunt from The Man With the Golden Gun, although this roll stunt has never been done with a helicopter in a Bond film before. 

The Spy Who Loved Me
Spectre references The Spy Who Loved Me during the plane/car chase in the Austrian alps. During the chase, Bond flies his plane alongside the car convoy and waves at Hinx travelling in the Range Rover with Madeleine Swan.

A similar scene occurs during the car chase in The Spy Who Loved me when Bond and Major Amasova are driving around in Sardinia. As Naomi chases Bond and agent triple X with a helicopter, she flies up alongside Bond's Lotus and at one point waves at him. Contrary to this film however, in Spectre, Bond is the one flying the aircraft and waves back at the henchman.

The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977

The big fight between Bond and Hinx aboard the Moroccan train could very well be a reference to the train fight between Bond and Donald Grant in From Russia With Love or the fight between Bond and TeeHee in Live and Let Die. But it might also be a reference to the fight between Bond and Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me. Some has suggested that the big barrels, which Bond kicks off the train and ultimately uses to throw Hinx off, might be a reference to the 1975 movie Jaws where big barrels are used to force the big shark up to the surface. Very far-fetched, but still funny.

The fight ends with Bond throwing Hinx off the train, by attaching him to some heavy barrels and kicking them overboard. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Jaws pretty much goes the same way, when Bond kicks him through the window.

The Dia de Muertos parade in Mexico city in the pre-title sequence of Spectre can be considered as an homage to the carnival in Rio, visited by Bond in Moonraker. It is of course also reminiscent of the Jankanoo parade in Thunderball and the Jazz funerals in Live and Let Die.

Mexico City 
Rio de Janeiro 1979

Blofeld's lair in the Moroccan desert is reminiscent of Drax's secret control room in Moonraker. 

During the car chase in Rome, Bond uses a new feature in his Aston Martin in order to escape from Hinx and not ending up in the river Tiber, namely an ejector seat with a parachute. Unlike the ejector seats installed in Bond's previous Aston Martins, this one is located in the driver seat. Bond ejects himself moments before the car crashes into the river and afterwords he lands on the adjacent street. Similarly during the boat chase in Moonraker Bond manages to escape from both Jaws and the largest waterfall in Brasil with a built-in para glider in Q's boat, before landing/crashing in the Brazilian jungle.

For Your Eyes Only 
In the pre-title sequence of both For Your Eyes Only and Spectre Bond is hanging outside of a helicopter, trying to get in control of the aircraft.

In addition, Blofeld's helicopters in both Spectre and For Your Eyes Only fly past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in a similar view.

Furthermore, another For Your Eyes Only reference is the name 'Hildebrand' that appears on the door to the Mi6 safe house in Spectre. Hildebrand is the cover name on a shop in London, selling "prints and rarities", but in reality functioning as a safe house. The title 'The Hildebrand Rarity' is a short story written by Ian Fleming that is included in the book 'For Your Eyes Only' which was published in 1960.

As far as I have made out, there are no obvious visual references to Octopussy (apart from the giant Octopus symbolising the organisation SPECTRE) but a few things from the plot can be considered as similar. For instance, the fathers of both Octopussy and Madeleine Swan kill themselves after a visit from 007.

Furthermore, Kamal Khan, just as several other villains before him, travels around in a Rolls Royce, which might be referenced through the fact that Blofeld also owns a Rolls, that picks up Bond from the desert.

Bond watches Kamal arrive in Octopussy

Bond and Swan arriving to Blofeld's lair in Spectre


A View to a Kill

A View is one of the few films that has no obvious references. If anyone has found anything, please leave a comment below.

The Living Daylights
The fact that Bond visits Tangier in Spectre is a reference to The Living Daylights which also used Tangier as a location.

Tangier in 2015
Tangier in 1987
Furthermore, Bond's outfit in Spectre, a tan suede Jacket and a navy polo shirt is probably inspired by Bond's outfit from 1987, when he visited the city in the guise of Timothy Dalton. Dalton wore a beige blouson and chinos together with a dark blue knit shirt.

Licence to Kill
The reuse of locations from earlier films was also apparent in the pre-title sequence of Spectre when Bond and Estrella takes the elevator up to her hotel room, from where Bond later jumps out the window. This elevator was seen in Licence to Kill when it was located in Bond's hotel, 'Hotel El Presidente'. 

In Licence to Kill Bond and Pam takes the elevator up to Bond's suite where Q is waiting.

In the same film, Q is on vacation and turns up to assist Bond in the field. The same thing happens in Spectre when Q turns up at the Hoffler clinic in Austria.

James Bond Locations will return with the final references in Spectre. 

14 Aug 2016

Queen's Pier, Hong Kong - a lost Bond location

The white building (the two story parking garage) can still be found on location

After "arresting" Bond outside the Bottoms Up club in central Hong Kong, Lieutenant Hip takes Bond down to the docks where a police boat is waiting. Very little is seen as they drive down to the pier and the waiting police boat, but a few details in the background makes it possible to determine the exact location. The police boat is moored right by the short end of the Queen's Pier in the Central district on Hong Kong Island.

The pillars of the Queen's Pier can be seen to the right
The Queen's Pier, named after Queen Victoria, was a public pier in front of City Hall, located in Edinburgh Place on Hong Kong Island. It was not only a public pier but it also served as a major ceremonial arrival and departure point for dignitaries in Hong Kong during the British rule. The official arrival of all of Hong Kong's governors since 1925 has taken place at this pier. What makes it possible to determine the location of the pier in The Man With the Golden Gun is the pillar structure on the pier.

The round BAYER sign is visible on the Hong Kong skyline as Bond and Hip leave the Queen's pier
The location of the pier is a factual error in the film, since the Bottoms Up club in reality was located on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong at the time of filming (that is to say the mainland side of Hong Kong). However, in the film the Bottoms Up is supposed to be located on Hong Kong Island, and that is why Lieutenant Hip says to Bond that they are going to the police station on the Kowloon side. Later on, the Bottoms Up relocated to Hong Kong Island, before it went out of business in the early 2000's.

The Queen's Pier also featured in one episode of the miniseries Noble House, starring Pierce Brosnan. In the third episode, Dunross and Casey take the Tai Pan's boat to Macau. They are being picked up at the Queen's Pier as seen below.

The long Star Ferry Pier is also visible in the background
The same pillars are seen in The Man With the Golden Gun, and as Bond and Hip walk down to the police boat, part of the 'Star Ferry Pier' is also seen in the background (picture below). The Star Ferry Pier still exists today, but not in the same location, as the land has been reclaimed. This part of the Star Ferry Pier is also seen (picture above) as the Tai Pan's boat docks in Noble House

The Star Ferry Pier, the same building as seen in Noble House 

The police boat then leaves the pier on Hong Kong Island and heads for the wreckage of Queen Elizabeth, the half sunken cruise ship in Victoria harbour, where Bond later jumps ship only to find out that he has been taken to Mi6's secret headquarters in Hong Kong. As the police boat sets off, one building in particular can be seen at the skyline of Hong Kong Island, namely the round "Bayer" sign. This building was located right behind the Queen's Pier in 1974.

Seen as part of the skyline right next to the Bayer building is the large Furama Hong Kong Hotel (with green neon letters at the top). This building had been built in 1973 and was thus brand new when the filming of The Man With the Golden Gun was underway. The Furama Hong Kong Hotel was however demolished in 2001 to make way for the new AIA Central office building, which still can be found in that location today.

Picture taken in the early 70's during the construction of the Furama Hotel which is seen in the film
Hong Kong skyline from 1995 - The Furama in its original location but the BAYER building has been demolished
In 2007 the Queen's Pier was closed by the government to enable land reclamation. Before demolishing the Pier, there was fierce opposition from conservationists, who wanted to preserve the landmark. However, despite fierce opposition, the Queen's Pier was sadly demolished in 2008.

This Star Ferry Pier has been rebuilt further out in the water, due to the land reclamation. However, it is still located fairly close to the original location, where it was located during the filming of Golden Gun.
The Star Ferry Pier, at the waterfront just below "Noble House"

As the police boat sails across Victoria Harbour, the Hong Kong skyline is visible in the background.