10 Aug 2019

Parliament and Rawson Square, Nassau - Thunderball

An old governmental building is visible behind Bond at Rawson Square

In Thunderball, Bond is meeting up with Leiter, Pinder and Paula in Nassau, before going to Pinder's secret warehouse where Q is waiting. They meet in downtown Nassau, right by Parliament square in front of the Churchill Building. Leiter is looking at some trinkets at a market held on the square.

The market is housed in a building enclosed by columns in pairs on the facade. In the background one old governmental building is visible. These flamingo colored buildings are excellent examples of the colonial architecture of old Nassau.

The building where the market is can still be found on location, in the middle of Rawson Square, although the building has received walls since 1965.

Bond and Paula are heading for Pinder's warehouse in the harbour. The iconic two paired column building is seen to their left

After meeting up at the square, they follow Pinder to his warehouse in the harbour. The building with the columns in pairs can also be seen in Never Say Never Again when Bond meets with Small-Fawcett, covered here earlier. Thus, Connery is back at the same location 18 years after Thunderball when he returned as 007 in the unofficial film.

3 Aug 2019

Chateau d'Anet - Thunderball

In the pre-title of Thunderball Bond is attending the funeral of a Spectre agent named Jacques Bouvar outside of Paris. The private funeral, with only a French general and a few other guests in attendance takes place at a small chapel, supposedly located in the French countryside. 

"-The coffin, it has your initials. JB.
         -At this moment rather him than me.
                -Mademoiselle La Porte and Bond-

Bond and Mademoiselle La Porte observe the funeral from the balcony in the small chapel. The interior has not changed at all since 1965 and all details can be found on location. The balcony can be found in- and outside above the entrance to the chapel. 

-At least you saved the effort of removing him. Colonel Bouvar passed away in his sleep so they tell me. You sound disappointed you did not kill him yourself?
         - I am... Jacques Bouvar murdered two of my colleagues.

We are supposed to believe that the chapel is located far from the château, where Bond later catches up with colonel Bouvar, but in fact, the chapel sits right next to the château in front of the main building. The château is seen through the entrance of the chapel. 

The widow's limousine and the hearse are parked outside the chapel and Bond's Aston Martin is visible in the lower corner. 

Jacques Bouvar is given a catholic funeral. The chapel can be found on the domains of Château d'Anet which is located near Dreux, in the Eure-et-Loir department an hour outside of Paris.

The chateau was built in the mid 1500's as a gift from King Henry II of France to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers.

The end credits of Thunderball state that the "widow" of Jacques Bouvar (played by Rose Alba), is named Madame Boitier in the film, thus not having the same last name as her deceased husband. The name Boitier (and not Bouvar) could be a reference to the original owner of the château, Diane de Poitiers. The role of colonel Bouvar during the fight with Bond in the château later was played by the famous stunt man Bob Simmons.

4 Jul 2019

Shanghai elevated highway in Skyfall

When Bond is tailing Patrice through Shanghai, one major road intersection is filmed, before it is cut to Bond's Mercedes and Patrice's taxi.

Bond is driving underneath the Yan'an Elevated Highway, which runs in a west-east direction straight through the center of Shanghai, in the Jing'an district. The particular scene was filmed close to the intersection of Huangpi Rd, with the park Yan Zhong Guang Chang Gong Yuan (Yanzhong Plaza park) located on the right side of the road up ahead.

Bond is tailing Patrice in a Mercedes limousine, which is a natural choice in Shanghai since the city is densely populated with limousines and especially Mercedes. 

The road signs are briefly visible in the film. 

Bond tails Patrice from Shanghai's Pudong Airport which exterior is briefly seen in the film. The interior scenes however, were filmed at Ascot in England.

20 Feb 2019

Kiss Kiss Club - Nassau, Thunderball

Bond is escaping from Largo's men in Thunderball after being taken captive at his hotel. After setting fire to a bottle of rum in the car, Bond escapes through the streets of Nassau. After making his way through the crowd at the Jankanoo, Bond arrives at a club, conveniently called Kiss Kiss Club, where he tries to blend in at the dance floor. Before arriving at the club, Bond runs down a regular street in central Nassau. This location was first identified by Thomas Gleitsmann in 2016.

What makes this location possible to identify is a house with five ground floor windows, actually seen in the film. The remains of this house can still be found in Nassau, more accurately in a part of downtown Nassau very close to Bay Street.

The name "Kiss Kiss Club" is a reference to a phrase which had become very famous in the mid 1960's, namely "Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" which was popularly symbolising James Bond at the time. The use of the phrase is usually attributed to Italy, but according to sources Ian Fleming had actually used the similar phrase 'bang, bang, kiss, kiss' already in the 1950's.

A fictitious sign with Kiss Kiss Club was put up above the side street.
The street Bond runs down is called East Street and intersects with Bay Street, which is the main street that runs through downtown Nassau. Only about 100 meters south along East Street, you find the remains of the house and a small street going east. This is called Miller's Court and is the location where the sign for the Kiss Kiss Club was put up.

John Barry wrote a song called 'Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' which was supposed to be the main theme for the movie which was later changed for 'Thunderball' by Tom Jones, when the producers felt that the movie title needed to be included in the song's lyrics. But John Barry's song was still recorded and was sung both by Dionne Warwick and Shirley Bassey. The instrumental music of this song is also widely used in the film.

In the scene leading up to Kiss Kiss Club, Bond escapes through a crowd on Bay Street. This is actually at the intersection of East Street, so Bond running down the street and arriving at the club is screen accurate.

The location of Kiss Kiss club however, was not filmed close to Bay Street in Nassau but somewhere on a beach in Nassau. There is only one establishing shot of the club in the film and it is obvious that it was not filmed close to where the entrance was filmed. The palm trees and sand indicate that this was shot on some beach, which also was confirmed by Luciana Paluzzi (Fiona Volpe) when we contacted her about the matter.
In the far back a mock-up of the entrance gate has been erected.  

28 Jan 2019

Skyfall - Shanghai

When Bond goes to Shanghai in Skyfall he follows the "Swedish" assassin Patrice, played by Ola Rapace, from Pudong Airport (interior scenes actually filmed at the Royal Ascot Racecourse in England) into Shanghai. Bond hides among the other chauffeurs at the airport and follows Patrice in a Mercedes.

At one point, Bond is driving down a main road, with skyscrapers seen in the background. The skyscrapers seen can be found in the Pudong area, Shanghai's business district. However, a few high rise buildings have been digitally added, which is apparent when comparing the pictures below.

Since the skyscraper filmed in the movie, the one that Patrice walks into killing the two guards, is located in London (Broadgate tower), previously covered here, the exterior of this building had to be digitally added in this scene, to illustrate that it is located in Shanghai. In reality, this part of the skyline is empty.

The original Broadgate tower, located in London - with two skyscrapers digitally added on either side in the film

The road where Bond and Partice are driving down is located in Shanghai's central business district, named Century Avenue. The closest subway station is Dongchang road. When you exit this station and walk on to Century Avenue, you will be close to the spot where Bond's car was filmed. The building making it possible to identify the spot is the NCB building located on the left of the road.

"Luckily we still have one or two friends left in the CIA. 
Intel is he is going to be Shanghai in two days time, probably on a job."

The chauffeur driven Mercedes or Maybach is a relatively common car in Shanghai, which makes it an ideal choice for tailing someone around the city. Patrice is travelling in a Volkswagen Passat taxi, which actually is blooper since that VW model is not used in China. They have a Chinese version of the Passat, slightly different from the European version.