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The best of Bond

by Laura Gelder | 08 September 2016

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to a Bond film I look forward to seeing the exotic locations just as much as the spectacular action scenes and the man himself.

Here is a run-down of my favourite Bond locations...

Jamaica
Ian Fleming loved Jamaica and wrote many of the Bond books from his estate, Goldeneye. But it was ‘that’ scene in Dr. No which really showed off the island. When the tantalisingly-named Honey Rider (Ursula Andress) emerges from the sea in her white bikini on Crab Key she’s actually in the turquoise waters of Ocho Rios. Other filming locations included the streets of capital Kingston and the mangrove swamps of Falmouth. The car chase where Bond is being pursued by Dr No’s assasins, the Three Blind Mice, is in the Blue Mountains.

Thailand
Perhaps the most pitiable bond villain of all time, the triple-nippled Scaramanga (played by a creepy but debonair Christopher Lee) did make up for his deformity by having a pretty cool lair in the limestone peaks of Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay. Accompanied by his diminutive assistant Nick Nack, he was The Man With the Golden Gun. Some of the action was also filmed in Bangkok, where Roger Moore enjoys a high-speed boat chase through the klongs and past floating markets and takes in a fight at the kick boxing stadium.

Miami
Although much of the action for Goldfinger was shot at Pinewood Studios in the UK or Switzerland, the opening scene where we meet the bullion-obsesed Auric Goldfinger is set in the legendary Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel. It’s here that Bond breaks into his room to discover Goldfinger’s perky mistress, Jill Masterson, helping him cheat at cards with the help of some high-powered binoculars and an earpiece. The white art deco curves of the Fontainebleau also hosted Elvis, Sinatra and the Rat Pack and still evoke 1960s Miami glamour.

Turkey
Skyfall began with an explosive chase sequence, where Daniel Craig pursues hitman Patrice across the roofs of Istanbul’s Grand Bizarre, smashing through the windows and down into its winding alleyways on a motorbike. Bond’s ‘death’ happens when he is shot by his fellow agent and topples off the towering Varda Viaduct near Adana in Southern Turkey. In the next scene he is shown licking his wounds, in female company of course, on Calis Beach in the popular resort of Fethiye.

Brazil
One of the Bond series’ best-loved henchmen, metal-mouthed Jaws, popped up for a second time in Moonraker as assistant to the evil Drax who plans to wipe out human life on earth from space. Rio’s iconic Sugarloaf Mountain is the setting for a fight, as Jaws bites through the cable car’s wires, attempting to kill Roger Moore and his Bond Girl du jour. Their implausible escape, zip-lining down the wire faster than the car, shows off spectacular views of the city. The action extends into the Amazon Jungle with a sneaky cut to Iguazu Falls.

Japan
Cat-stroking Blofeld’s volcano hideout in You Only Live Twice was filmed at Pinewood Studios, but the exterior which Connery and his accomplice Kissy Suzuki scale is the still-smoking Sakurajima volcano, just outside Kagoshima City. Other locations include the tiny fishing village of Akime and the hilltop castle, Himeji. The latter was the setting for the ninja training school where Bond trains for action and disguises himself as a rather dubious Japanese chap.

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