Tag Archives: Daniel Craig

Iconic James Bond Locations Around the World That You Can Visit

James Bond is everyone’s favourite British spy. Since the first film in 1962 Dr. No was aired, the Bond fandom has grown year on year. Now with the release of the 25th film looming and the franchise approaching 60 years of production – we have come to expect a certain level of danger and glamour when it comes to James Bond, including his gambling ways. If you want to be more like Bond, you can find plenty of games to play online at Paddy Power https://games.paddypower.com/

Throughout the years we have seen Bond in numerous glamorous location across the world. From a very long list we have handpicked some of our favourites all around the globe. You can visit these locations and even holiday in some, so be sure to consider them when choosing your next destination!

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Thunderball

The locations for the 1965 film are heavily varied, you’ll find some scenes shot in the heart of Buckinghamshire, England and then others in The Bahamas. As one of the first James Bond films, Thunderball has all the glamour and luxury you would expect. 

Head over the Atlantic to the Caribbean where you can take a James Bond Wrecks dive package to discover the remains of Thunderball’s Avro Vulcan Bomber. Be sure to check out Clifton Pier in Nassau Harbour, you can find stunning views from the likes of Largo’s Palmyra Lair. 

Live and Let Die

Another Caribbean location but this time for the 1973 film, Live and Let Die. This time Roger Moore was the man who would get to film in such stunning locations. You can actually stay in the Couples San Souci in Ocho Rios which was a hotel and nightclub in the film. While you holiday in luxury you can explore the other locations on the island including the Green Grotto Caves where Bond took out Doctor Kananga or visit the Louisiana crocodile farm known as Jamaica Swamp Safari Village, where the first owner ran across the top of the crocs for the film’s unforgettable stunt.

For Your Eyes Only

This time the Bond adventures remain in Europe for the 1981 film, For Your Eyes Only. In Corfu, just off the shore of mainland Greece we can find the Achilleion Palace. The casino which is located on the top floor of the palace is in the scenes where Bond intends to meet up with Kristatos and play a game of chemmy, we also see Bond playing Baccarat here against Bunky before dinner. You can visit the Palace via many different organised tours or head to the town of Gastouri and explore it for yourself.

License to Kill 

Timothy Dalton stars as James Bond in this 1989 film, it is one of his two appearances as the British spy. In Key West, Florida, USA we find Dalton filming scenes in the Ernest Hemingway home and museum. Possibly one of the most famous scenes of Dalton’s career is when his character Bond is told his license to kill has been revoked. 

The building was named a historic US landmark in 1968, but to this day still accepts visitors from all around the world. Here you can book weddings and tours or even just discover more about the man himself. Book ahead or simply turn up, the surrounding areas are stunning so there is plenty to do in the local area as well.

The World Is Not Enough

In the more recent film of 1999 we see Pierce Brosnan play James Bond in the 21st film of the franchise. This film has one of the most iconic London scenes in it where we see Bond in a high speed boat chase. If you head to the O2 Arena in London you can stand next to the Thames and witness where the chase took place, as well as ride a cable cart over the river. If you really want to check out the views in London you can book in advance and walk over the O2 Arena.

Skyfall

One of the most recent films with possibly the most personal storyline Bond has ever had is Skyfall. The film reaches into the past of James Bond, with his family and childhood home. Daniel Craig, who plays Bond, travels all over the world in this film, from Macau and Shanghai to the highlands of Scotland.

The Scottish highlands are where we see the depiction of the Bond family home, Skyfall Lodge, although the house and church were actually built for the purpose of the film in Elstead, Surrey England. Much of the films scenic shots were filmed in Scotland, especially that iconic scene with Bond driving up to his family mansion through the valleys of Glencoe. The stunning scenery is the perfect backdrop for the haunting scenes of M dying and Bond reminiscing on the memories of his childhood.

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Introducing James Bond: Skyfall (2012)

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Thus far in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond, we’ve had one good and one not-quite-as-good film. Skyfall, the penultimate film thus far, is for me, the moment where the Daniel Craig Bond finally hit his stride. No more awkwardness, no immaturity, THIS is the Bond we’ve come to know and love over the decades.

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Skyfall begins with another mission in progress: Bond is in Istanbul accompanied by a female agent (and there’s a good reason we don’t know her name yet). The end of this scene (being the pre-credits) features Bond accidentally shot and presumed dead in the aftermath.

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In reality, Bond is alive and well, he decided to use his presumed death as a way to take some much needed time away, but it doesn’t last. Back in London, M (Judi Dench) is facing considerable pressure from Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) over the continued existence of MI6 in the 21st century and she is being pushed to retire. Out of nowhere, the MI6 servers are hacked and the building is bombed, prompting Bond to return to the city.Bond is up against his most dangerous opponent yet, and not everyone is going to make it out alive.

Unlike the previous two Bond films, I was unable to catch Skyfall in the theater (something I deeply regretted once I did see the movie). If Goldfinger is the perfect classic Bond film, then Skyfall is the perfect Bond film of the new era, I can’t think of any flaws.

Ben Whishaw is PERFECT as the new Q by the way, I didn’t think anyone could ever replace Desmond Llewelyn in that role, but he is perfect (and Bond’s line during their introduction “You’ve still got spots!” always makes me laugh)

*warning: spoilers for the ending of Skyfall follow*

I did not see (or I didn’t want to see) the death of Judi Dench’s M coming, but I also understood her reasons for leaving (she had been playing the role since 1995 after all). Without a doubt, the series won’t be the same without her, but Ralph Fiennes makes a pretty great M too. And speaking of the new M, this is the first time in the cinematic Bond universe that we actually know M’s real name (Gareth Mallory). M’s real name IS mentioned in the books, but that’s a separate thing from the movies.

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And before I get to the music, I have to talk about that final scene, where Bond properly gets introduced to Eve Moneypenny (aka that female agent from the pre-title sequence): that was perfect!! I had this overwhelming feeling of: finally, everything is right with the Bond universe again (it just didn’t feel right without Q and Moneypenny, and both were reintroduced in this film). And the last scene where Bond faces the new M in his office, just that moment alone was an homage to classic Bond with the design of the office, Bond’s suit, M’s suit, the painting behind M’s head (go back to the Connery films and check out M’s office, you’ll see what I mean). And for the first time in a long time, when the screen went black, I instantly wanted more!

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Now on to the music! For the first time in quite a while, David Arnold did NOT return to compose the score to Skyfall; instead the score was written by Thomas Newman (a great film composer in his own right and a frequent collaborator with director Sam Mendes). (It should be noted that Arnold was also busy composing the music for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.) Newman’s score won the BAFTA for Best Film Music. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score (only the second Bond film score to be so honored).

Thomas Newman talks Skyfall (2012)

 Thomas Newman’s score contributed more than a little to the success of this film. In this short making-of segment, Newman talks about how the score was put together, along with a little behind-the-scenes action.

Skyfall Title Sequence (2012)

While the score for Skyfall was well-received, the title song turned the world upside down. “Skyfall” was performed by Adele and received instant critical acclaim from everyone, and is now considered one of the greatest Bond songs ever created. The song was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (the first Bond song to win an Oscar) and it also won a Brit Award for Best British Single (as well as a Critic’s Choice Award and a Golden Globe AND a Grammy Award.)

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Credit to Art of the Title

I seriously doubt that any film will top Skyfall for quite some time, but Spectre certainly tried to (but more on that next time).

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Up next: Spectre (2015)

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Introducing James Bond: Quantum of Solace (2008)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Like many, I was excited to hear that Quantum of Solace would be coming out only two years after Casino Royale (2006). After the success of the first film in the rebooted series, everyone was excited to see where this new Bond would go next. Well…about that….

 

Quantum of Solace is (to my knowledge) a first for the Bond series. It is the only Bond film I know of to pick up exactly where the previous film left off. Think about it, with the exception of For Your Eyes Only (1981) which references Bond’s wife (as seen in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) (and a very small reference to Dr. No in From Russia With Love (1963)), no other Bond film refers to any of its predecessors, they can all be viewed in pretty much any order you like. This changes with Craig’s Bond; unlike all the others before him, this series of films retains the consequences of what happens in earlier films. A good case in point would be Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), Bond’s one-time love interest. Even though she (spoiler alert) dies in Casino Royale, her presence lingers all the way through Spectre (2015) in one form or another.

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The unusual title of the film comes from one of Fleming’s short stories collected under the umbrella title “For Your Eyes Only.” According to Fleming, the term “quantum” refers to the absolute minimum. Therefore, a “quantum of solace” would be the smallest amount of solace (read: consolation) that a person could feel. I believe this refers to Bond’s feelings regarding Vesper’s death and the circumstances behind it (he becomes obsessed tracking down the Quantum organization). Now on to the story…

The characters of Q and Moneypenny are still absent. As the film opens, we find Bond in the midst of a high-speed pursuit with a certain Mr. White (first seen in Casino Royale) unceremoniously tied up in his trunk, after Bond located him at the conclusion of the previous film. (This is the same Mr. White who later appears in Spectre). Bond successfully eludes or destroys his pursuers, and brings White in to M. But before they can question him, M’s bodyguard reveals he is a double agent and helps White to escape before Bond kills him in retaliation. It turns out this agent had a contact in Haiti, a hitman who is now contracted to kill the girlfriend of Dominic Greene, a known environmentalist entrepreneuer.

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Through a series of events, Bond realizes that Greene is actually working for the elusive “Quantum” organization, the unnamed group that employed Le Chiffre in the previous movie. Before the studio could reacquire the rights to the “Spectre” name, I believe “Quantum” was supposed to be a sort of replacement, the new arch-villain, as it were. But then he rights to SPECTRE were re-acquired and the point became moot (I could be wrong, but that’s my take on the situation).

Bond is obsessed with vengeance for a good portion of the film (even if he denies it), and wreaks bloody mayhem through a lot of the film (there are 250 distinct acts of violence in the film; by contrast Dr. No has only 109, making this the bloodiest film in the Bond series). I think partially because of the violence, and also because the plot was a little…blah…this film wasn’t as well-received as others, the reviews were decidedly mixed. Craig’s performance was praised, but the supporting details…not so much (I’m not saying ecology is unimportant, it’s just not the first thing you think of for a James Bond plot).

Before I get to the title sequence, I need to talk about my favorite musical sequence in this film. An important moment takes place at the Bregenzer Festspiele in Bregenz, Austria. The festival site features a floating stage on the shores of Lake Constance. During filming, the open-air amphitheatre was host to a performance of Tosca (an opera that centers around a plot of revenge, much like Quantum of Solace)

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Quantum of Solace “Tosca” scene

I love how the music of the opera interweaves with the plot of the story in this scene; it is (for me) very much a predecessor of the opera scene in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

For Quantum of Solace, the music was again composed by David Arnold, his fifth entry in the series. As in Casino Royale, the classic “James Bond” theme is kept to a minimum (which really bugs me, because, I know this is a “new” Bond, but the theme partially defines the character as a whole, if you don’t have it, is he “really” Bond?)

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Quantum of Solace Title Sequence (2008)

The song performed for the title sequence is a first: “Another Way to Die” is the first duet in the history of the Bond franchise, and features the voices of Jack White and Alicia Keys. The song was nominated for a Grammy, a Critics’ Choice Award and it won a Satellite Award for Best Original Song. That being said, reception was still mixed. On its own, the song is considered to be good. As a James Bond theme however…not so much (think of the arguments that came up when “Writing on the Wall” was announced as the Spectre theme).

To conclude, I think of the four Craig Bond films, this one is the weakest, especially when you look at what followed (Skyfall and Spectre).

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Credit to Art of the Title

Random trivia: Agent Strawberry Fields (yes that is really her name) death is a direct homage to Jill’s death as seen in Goldfinger (1964).

That’s all for Quantum of Solace, next time: Skyfall (2012), arguably the best Bond film ever made. Until then!

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*the poster and images are property of Eon Productions