6 Dec 2017

Noble House: Man Mo temple - Hong Kong

In the second episode of Noble House, the renowned Bond actor Burt Kwok (appearing in both Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice) plays Philip Chen, compradore to the Tai Pan. After the kidnapping of his son, Philip is delivering the ransom money to the kidnappers for the return of his son. They have instructed him that the handover shall take place at the Man Mo temple at nine o'clock.

The mentioning of the Man Mo temple is accurate, since this is the location where Philip Chen actually is dropped off by the taxi in the episode. Philip walks across the street and down the steps as instructed by the kidnappers. The Man Mo temple can be found in the middle of Hong Kong, namely at 124-126 Hollywood Road in Tai Ping Shan, west of Soho.

Why the Man Mo temple would be chosen by the kidnappers for the handing over of the ransom money is a bit unclear since this is a very central location with the police headquarters close by. Even though there are a lot of people for the kidnappers to blend in with, one would think that a more remote location would have been more appropriate.

2 Dec 2017

Coral Harbour Hotel - Nassau, Bahamas

In Thunderball, Bond is staying at a the Coral Harbour Hotel in Nassau. After escaping Largo's men and swimming ashore Bond is picked up on the road back to Nassau by Fiona Volpe in her light blue Ford Mustang, not knowing that she is a Spectre agent working for Largo. After a high speed drive on the Nassau roads, Bond and Fiona Volpe end up at his hotel, where she, coincidentally, also is staying. The Coral Harbour was a real hotel that was located on the southern part of Nassau in 1965.

The Coral Harbour Hotel has been out of business for decades. However, the original building still exist on location. It is now the only rest of this, probably once quite famous, hotel. The southern part of Nassau was probably a regularly visited tourist location in the 1950's and 60's but has since the 1970's fallen out of favour with tourists as Paradise Island on the northern part were more and more developed. Both the Ocean Club and the Atlantis complex are located on Paradise Island.

The lobby of the hotel was probably re-created in the studio at Pinewood, but a brief glimpse can be seen in the film through the entrance door behind Bond and Fiona Volpe. The stone wall seen behind Bond can sill be found inside the house.

The lonely hotel building is today part of the Royal Bahamian Defence Force Base and is used as a training facility and class room. The entire area have undergone vast renovations and the old pool area in the back of the hotel, where Bond and Domino are having lunch in the film, is gone forever. Hopefully, the original hotel building will be left untouched during the future renovations. Sadly, the entrance is the only recognisable part from the film today.

The entrance to the hotel is seen again later in the film when Bond is dropped off by Pinder after escaping the sharks in Largo's pool.

"- You look pale Mr Bond, I hope I didn't frighten you? 
                - You see I've always been a nervous passenger. 
  - Some men just doesn't like to be driven. 
                - No, some men don't like to be taken for a ride..."
                               - Fiona Volpe and Bond - 

As the building is located inside the military base it is not accessible for tourists and special admittance is necessary. The most interesting fact about this location is that the unfinished hotel structure used for the parkour chase in Casino Royale also is located on this military base!

2 Nov 2017

Splitting the gondola

During the Gondola chase in Moonraker, Bond speeds past another gondola, followed by two baddies in a speed boat. As Bond manages to speed past the gondola, the speedboat cuts the gondola in half.

Rio di Santa Caterina

The entire gondola chase was filmed on several different locations throughout Venice. This small action scene was filmed in the Cannaregio district, very close to the place where Bond meets with Dr Goodhead, covered in the last post. The gondola that gets split in half is coming out from the Rio di Santa Caterina as Bond and the two henchmen are coming in from the north on the canal.

Bond speeds up as he watches the gondola coming out from Rio di Santa Caterina 

This location can be found near the north margin of the city, at the intersections of Rio della Sensa and the confluence of Rio di Noale and Rio di San Falice. Another small part was filmed by the Squero di San Trovaso boat yard located in the opposite part of town.

As the gondola gets split in half, the front drifts away across the canal, towards Rio della Sensa, with the loving couple still kissing in the gondola.

Scuola vecchia della Misericordia
In the background you can see the Scuola vecchia della Misericordia prominently in the middle and a small white church to the right. The white church is the Chiesa dell'Abbazia della Misericordia, founded in the 10th century. The Scoula is a former charity building erected in 1310.

23 Sep 2017

Bond and Dr Goodhead in Venice

In Moonraker, Bond follows a lead from California to the glass manufacturer Venini Glass in Venice. In the factory he spots Dr. Goodhead in a group of tourists. He follows her along the canal named 'Rio della Misericordia'. After catching up with Dr. Goodhead at Fondamenta Misericordia, covered earlier, Bond desperately tries to invite Dr. Goodhead for a dinner or drinks. Seen behind Dr Goodhead during the conversation is the canal 'Rio di Noale'.

                "-You're staying at the Danieli aren't you?"

Hotel Danieli, where Dr. Goodhead is staying and where Bond later surprises her in her bedroom, is a luxury hotel and one of the finest in Venice. One night is about €500.

After brushing off Bond's invitation for drinks, Dr. Goodhead walks away along Fondamenta Misericordia and crosses the bridge over Rio di Noale. As seen in the picture below, the green park or garden seen in the background as Dr. Goodhead walks away, has disappeared since 1979.

This brief scene was filmed only a stone's throw away from where the gondola is cut in half later in the film, during the gondola chase.

11 Sep 2017

Bond tails Pushkin through Tangier

As general Pushkin drives off in his limousine from the trade conference, Bond tails him through the streets of Tangier. The particular street where Bond is tailing Pushkin is located adjacent to where the trade conference scenes were filmed. This is namely the street you have to drive down when leaving the trade conference building.

The narrow street is named Rue Riad Sultan and runs along the north wall surrounding the Kasbah.

The scene is actually screen accurate, since Rue Riad Sultan runs all the way from the square where Bond has parked, along the stone wall and up to the location in the top picture.

Pushkin drives off towards the camera and continues up the road. 

18 Aug 2017

Hotel Splendide Lobby

In Casino Royale, Bond is having dinner with Vesper at the Hotel Splendide after winning the poker game against Le Chiffre. Vesper is called away by a text message, apparently from Mathis, but Bond gets suspicious and runs after her through the hotel lobby ending up on the hotel parking lot, only to watch Vesper being abducted by Le Chiffre's men.

The lobby lounge seen in the film 
The Montenegro scenes in Casino Royale were all shot in the Czech town of Karlovy Vary, where the Grandhotel Pupp was used as the Hotel Splendide. A lot of the interior scenes were actually filmed on location inside the hotel, as well as the exterior action scenes, i.a. when Bond runs to his car in pursuit of Le Chiffre.

The lobby lounge in 2010

27 Jul 2017

Tangier rooftops - Bond escapes

After "assassinating" general Pushkin at the trade conference in Tangier, Bond escapes over the rooftops. A very brief scene includes Bond jumping over the rooftop of an open courtyard, a sahn, where he is observed by some surprised ladies lounging in the courtyard. Whether this is a Harem, a bathhouse or some kind of hotel is not clear.

This scene was filmed at the same location as the trade conference. The courtyard can be found inside the Kasbah Museum, Musée de la Kasbah, which exterior was used as the exterior of the trade conference building in the previous scene. The museum is housed in the old sultan's palace (Dar el Makhzen) in the Kasbah. As a Bond location, the interior of the museum is only interesting for this brief scene, but since it has been untouched since 1987 it is well worth a visit. The Kasbah shouldn't be missed anyway since you can find so many nice Bond locations here.

The entrance to the museum, found in the alley to the left, was actually used in a deleted scene where Bond gains entry to the trade conference using his press ID.

An obvious blooper is the fact that Bond jumps across the corner of the courtyard only to end up on a balcony on the outside of a house. It is obvious when you examine the scene that the balcony is located somewhere else. Furthermore, when Bond runs across the rooftops in the following scene the courtyard is nowhere to be seen.