30 Jan 2018

Bond and Tracy in Lisbon - Palácio Fronteira, part 2

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, as Bond and Tracy are spending time together in Portugal, a few various sights in and around Lisbon are pictured. One of the first love scenes with Bond and Tracy
was filmed at the Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira just outside of Lisbon.

Bond and Tracy are first walking past the large fountain in the middle of the garden and then continue to the right, walking past a smaller, octagonal fountain where Tracy throws a flower in the water.

The two fountains are actually not located on the same path

The Palace of the Marquesses of Fronteira was built between 1671 and 1672 as a hunting pavilion to Dom João de Mascarenhas, 1st Marquis of Fronteira and is currently owned by the 12th Marquis de Fronteira who also disposes of the house. However, some of the rooms including the library, and the garden, can be visited during opening hours.

Bond is wearing the same double breasted blazer that he wears at M's house later


In an adjacent part of the garden, to the left when facing the palace, is the smaller fountain located where Bond and Tracy are sitting down in an earlier scene. Tracy is holding a cat and Bond is wearing a black tie. This post is covered here.

This scene is supposed to take place in a different park at another time, given their change of clothes, but is consequently filmed at the same location, just a different part of the garden. The Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira is a must visit when in Lisbon, primarily because the location has been nearly untouched since 1969.

21 Jan 2018

Range Rover - the car of choice for the villain

A View to a Kill 
First generation Range Rover - 1983 year model in A view to a kill
Range Rover has played a rather significant part in the later half of the Bond series. Bond has not only himself been seen behind the wheel of Range Rovers (in OctopussyCasino Royale and Quantum of Solace) but Range Rover has been the car of choice for several of the villains in the series. Range Rovers have been useful to the villains' henchmen in not less than six films.

The tradition started with Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken, in A View to a Kill 1985. After having disposed of Bond and his car in the lake near Zorin's chateau outside Paris, Zorin and May Day are picked up by Zorin's men. In the film, the Range Rover that was used is the first generation Range Rover from 1983. This first generation model was produced between 1970 and 1996.

Tomorrow Never Dies

In Tomorrow, Carver sends his men after Bond and Wai Lin, after they both have jumped off his skyscraper in Saigon and escaped on a BMW motorcycle. The chase, with the spectacular motorcycle jump over Carver's helicopter in the finale, supposedly set in Vietnam was actually filmed in Bangkok.

Carver's Range Rover cars feature rather prominently in the film, and consequently this was the second time in the Bond series that the villain had purchased Range Rovers for his henchmen. The assassin in The Living Daylights, who is driving a Land Rover down the rock of Gibraltar does not count as that Land Rover is stolen from the British Army.

Second generation Range Rover - 1995 year model in Tomorrow Never Dies
The Range Rovers chase Bond and Wai Lin through the streets of Saigon crashing into almost everything. This second generation Range Rover was produced between 1994 and 2002 and was replaced by the model seen in Die Another Day.

Die Another Day

Third generation Range Rover - model year 2002 in Die Another Day

When Gustav Graves is being knighted in Die Another Day he is being picked up by his men outside Buckingham Palace in two Range Rover cars of the third generation. The cars are only briefly seen in this scene and Graves is only seen driven off, supposedly through the gates of Buckingham, but the cars can also be seen parked in Iceland later in the film.


Casino Royale
This model was seen again in Casino Royale when Le Chiffre's men are driving a Range Rover Series III from 2005 alongside the Jaguar in Montenegro, parked in the picture below.

Earlier in Casino Royale three Land Rover Defenders model 110 from 2005 are also used by Le Chiffre while he is in Mbale in Africa.

The third generation Range Rover was introduced in 2002 and was produced for ten years. This model was also driven by Bond in Bolivia in Quantum of Solace.

Silva's henchmen in Skyfall have chosen a Range Rover Police car in London, before driving to the inquiry M is attending. The car is a 2011 Land Rover Discovery of the fourth generation. A Land Rover Defender Pick Up was also driven by Eve in the pre-title sequence.


In Spectre, Hinx and his henchmen are kidnapping Dr Swan in the Austrian alps. The henchmen are driving off in two Land Rover Defenders Big Foot and Hinx is riding in a Range Rover of the fourth generation. The model is a Range Rover Sport SVR from 2015. Both models have been customized for an alpine drive. Blofeld himself keeps two Mercedes-Benz AMG models in the Moroccan desert.

The fourth generation Range Rover was introduced in 2012 and is still being produced.


A bit off topic, but even Goldfinger had a Land Rover in Goldfinger 1964, as a 1958 Land Rover is seen parked on the premises of Goldfinger's factory in Switzerland. 

6 Jan 2018

The Nambutu Embassy in Casino Royale - Nassau, the Bahamas

In the beginning of Casino Royale Bond is sent out to track down the bomb maker and terrorist Mollaka, who is hiding in Madagascar. After chasing Mollaka though a construction site, Mollaka escapes into the embassy of the fictive African country Nambutu.

The two large trees seen in the film still exist and make the location fix fairly obvious.

The action at the Nambutu embassy was filmed in the Bahamas, like all other action that was supposed to take place in Madagascar. The embassy building, being a former hotel, does no exist in its original form, since it was renovated after Casino Royale. Not much of the original building seen in the film can be recognised but the features of the building is still recongisable and the trees, entrance gate and the street outside the property are still the same.

Nambutu is supposedly some form of former French colony with an embassy in Madagascar and which coat of arms bears a strong resemblance to the coat of arms of Kenya. The road that leads from the house towards the main entrance gate has been moved so it is not possible to drive up to the house anymore and a roundabout has been put in.

Many scenes in the film were filmed in the Bahamas which was also the home of Dimitrios, the villain who works in collaboration with Le Chiffre to blow up the Skyfleet prototype at Miami airport.

The house today is belongs to the Bahamian rum maker named John Watling's and houses their rum distillery, showroom and shop. Shortly after the scenes were filmed in 2006, the estate was sold to the National Insurance Board and in 2013, after sitting derelict for many years and undergoing a major restoration, the Buena Vista Estate opened as the home to John Watling’s Distillery.

The scene where Bond jumps over the fence into the garden was also filmed on location.

A small sign in the garden makes visitors aware of the estate's significance in the Bond history.

In reality, the wall Bond jumps over is not very high, only about 1.5 m.
Besides being part of the Bond history, the distillery is located on an historic estate which history goes back to 1789. The estate is called the Buena Vista Estate and has served as both the residence of the British colonial secretary in the 19th century and numerous other dignitaries as well as a famous hotel from the 1920's, called the Buena Vista Hotel.

The history of the estate is most interesting and can be found on the homepage for John Watling's.