30 Apr 2017

Noble House: Tin Hau Temple - Repulse Bay

In the brilliant mini series Noble House from 1988, covered earlier on this blog, Pierce Brosnan plays Ian Struan Dunross, the Tai Pan of one of the largest shipping companies in Hong Kong. When the Tai Pan finds himself in financial difficulties, he contacts the opium smuggler Four-finger Wu to ask him for a loan. They meet secretly at what appears to be an old Chinese temple on an island outside of Hong Kong. Four-finger arrives on a boat from his home in Aberdeen.

The Tai Pan meets with Four-finger Wu at the temple

The location however, can be found in Repulse Bay on the south side of Hong Kong Island. The temple is called Tin Hau Temple and even though you get the impression that the temple is located far from the city, you can find it right next to the beach in Repulse Bay. Today, there are condos and a large mall built right behind the temple.

The location however, is still very recognisable today although the fish seen to the left has been painted yellow. During our visit people desperately threw coins into the mouth of the fish, trying to get them to stay there (supposedly for good luck).

Repulse Bay is just a short bus ride from the Central district. The bay is spectacularly located framed by the mountains overgrown with high end condominiums and town houses. The symbolic for having the Tai Pan meeting Four-finger Wu at this location probably has to do with the history of Repulse Bay being an old pirate refuge, later "repulsed" by the British, hence its name.

The temple is named after one of Hong Kong's beloved gods, Tin Hau. Tin Hau is the Goddess of the Sea, overseeing and protecting fishermen and a large statue of Tin Hau can be found here.

Also seen in the film is an inscription on a stone plate, stating:

"Each time you cross this bridge your life will be prolonged 3 days"

This stone plate is placed on a bridge next to the temple, and can still be found on location today, on the same bridge. This is the Longevity Bridge which you must cross to add three days to your life.

27 Apr 2017

St Mark's Square and Piazzetta dei leoncini - Venice

Bond standing by St Mark's Square entering the smaller Piazzetta dei Leoncini 

In Moonraker, Bond, in the guise of Roger Moore, walks across St Marc's square on his way to Venini Glass, following a lead from California. A marble lion statue is seen to the right of Bond as he looks at his photos in front of Venini Glass. Venini is located by a small square called Piazzetta dei Leoncini, right next to St Mark's square.

Small steps leads up to Piazzetta dei Leoncini and Venini Glass

Piazzetta dei Leoncini is located on the north side of the St Mark's Basilica, immediately east of St Mark's square. 

On the morning after, Bond has called in M and the minister of Defense and alerted the local police about of Drax's secret laboratory and

Earlier in the film, Bond drives across St Mark's square for another jolt, this time in his gondola-turned-hovercraft, one of the most stupid scenes in the Bond series.

14 Apr 2017

Bond as gondolier - Venice

In Moonraker Bond is breaking into Drax's secret laboratory in Venice. Bond, disguised as a gondolier arrives in his gondola on the Grand Canal. Bond appears to enter a small door which probably is located on the facade of Casa de Uscoli, right next to Palazzetto Pisani. This location is fairly accurate since the following scenes with Bond breaking in and sneaking across the courtyard was filmed on the courtyard of Palazzetto Pisani.

The palazzo where Bond parks his gondola is located in the San Marco district. Seen in the background is the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the most southern Dorsoduro district.

The interior of Drax's laboratory was filmed at Ca' Rezzonico. The same part of the Grand Canal, filmed from the other side right by the basilica, was also seen in one of the last scenes in From Russia With Love

8 Apr 2017

Bond looking for a party

In The Living Daylights, Bond fakes an assassination of the Soviet general Pushkin during a trade conference in Tangier and escapes over the rooftops. Bond is offered a lift with two girls in the Medina, asking him if he is looking for a party. In order to escape the Moroccan security guards Bond jumps in, not knowing that they actually are CIA agents who are sent out to bring him in for a meeting with Felix Leiter.

On their way to Leiter, they drive down a wide street in Tangier. This is the large Avenue Mohamed VI which runs alongside the beach in central Tangier. The building that makes this location possible to identify is Hotel Rif, which is seen on the right side of the avenue as Bond and the CIA agents drive past.

The hotel with its rounded corner is located on number 152 Avenue Mohamed VI.

The entrance to Hotel Rif is seen through the wind screen
The two CIA agents Ava and Liz, who allegedly are sent out to help Bond escape or just bring him to Leiter, pick up Bond in their Chevrolet Impala in the Medina, which actually is located quite far from the location for the trade conference. The location where they pick up Bond will be covered later.

- Hey, are you looking for a party?

29 Mar 2017

Bond references in Spectre - part three

In Spectre, almost all the previous Bond films are referenced in more or less conspicuous ways. The references to the first sixteen films have been covered in two previous posts, here and here, and below I list the references to the last seven films in the series, GoldenEye trough Skyfall.


Pevsner Commerzbank, GmbH
In Spectre, Q is staying at a hotel called 'The Pevsner' in the Austrian alps. Bond and Dr Swan are meeting Q in room 12. The reference to Pevsner was previously made in GoldenEye when a bank called Pevsner Commerzbank was seen on one of Alec Trevelyan's computers. Pevsner is a name that is well connected to the Bond series. Tom Pevsner worked as an associate and then executive producer on every James Bond film from For Your Eyes Only to GoldenEye. He died in 2014.

Q is staying at The Pevsner, room 12

Further, in GoldenEye, Bond changes the timer from six minutes to three during the pre-title sequence when 006 is captured by the Russians. As a favor later in the film, Alec gives Bond three minutes to escape from the missile train before it explodes.

Just as in GoldenEye, Blofeld gives Bond three minutes in Spectre to find Dr Swan and escape from Mi6 before it explodes.

Tomorrow Never Dies 

I have not yet found any obvious references to Tomorrow in Spectre, other than the fact that Monica Belluci originally was considered for the role of Paris Carver, but was turned down by the producers, called "those fools", by Brosnan.

The World is Not Enough 

The Worlds is Not Enough is referenced on at least two different occasions in Spectre. 

When Bond is trying to kill Renard he is protected by bullet proof glass in the elevator in The World is Not Enough.  

In the same way, Bond is trying to shoot Blofeld but the bullet is stopped as Blofeld is hiding behind bullet proof glass.

A boat chase on the Thames, past the Houses of Parliament, is not something new to the Bond series either. Already in 1999, in The World is Not Enough, we saw Bond riding down the Thames in Q's boat similar to the scene in Spectre

Bond chasing the 'Cigar girl' in The World is Not Enough

Die Another Day

There are no obvious references to Die Another Day in Spectre other than the fact that Die Another Day, as the 40th anniversary film, also referenced the previous Bond films. 

Casino Royale 

Obviously, all the Craig Bond films are more or less referenced as Spectre shows that Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall are threaded more closely together than suspected. Images of familiar faces like Vepser Lynd, Silva and Le Chiffre pop up at Mi6. However, a few conspicuous references can also be spotted. 

In the pre-title sequence of Casino Royale Bond is waiting for the section chief in Prague, Dryden, to assassinate him as part of becoming a 00 agent. When Dryden tries to shoot Bond first, Bond has removed the clip from the gun. 

The bullet-removal bluff is repeated in Spectre when M is facing C. 

Another reference is the smart blood injected by Q in Bond's arm. This scene in Spectre is practically identical to the scene in Casino Royale where M has a microchip implanted in Bond's arm.

Quantum of Solace

Just as in Quantum of Solace, we find Bond in yet another boat chase in Spectre, this time also involving the leading lady who also is given the wheel. 


M's death in Skyfall is referenced in Spectre with her making a cameo from the grave, in a prerecorded message to Bond, giving him one final assignment - to kill Sciarra. Jack the bulldog, M's desk ornament which ultimately is left to Bond in M's will, also make a reappearance in Spectre when it is seen in Bond's living room on the table. This reference was known already before the release of the film as the first teaser picture released by the filmmakers was a picture of Jack and a movie clapper stating the shooting of the very first take in the film.