1983 was an interesting time for James Bond fans with the release of two films. Sean Connery was back in the role of Bond in the non-Eon release ‘Never Say Never Again‘ twelve years on from his last appearance in ‘Diamonds Are Forever‘ (1971) and Irvin Kirshner of ‘Empire Strikes Back‘ (1983) fame was the director. That came out in the Winter but in the Summer preceding that, there was the Eon produced ‘Octopussy‘ which was the 13th official release.
The Old War Office Building on Whitehall (below) is the MI6 HQ for ‘Octopussy‘ which was directed by John Glen. It appears on 13 minutes and would also be used as MI6 for ‘A View To A Kill‘ (1985) and ‘License To Kill‘ (1989) which he also directed.
The Department of Energy and Climate change at 55 Whitehall is alongside it, and where Bond and Moneypenny talk at the end of ‘Skyfall‘ (2012)
The world-famous Sotheby’s auction house (below) on the aptly named Bond Street at number 53 is where Bond cleverly switches the Faberge egg that was put up for sale. The interior shots were done at Pinewood Studios but the exterior is seen on 23 minutes.
Bonus: Bond goes to Udaipur in India but in true holiday travel programme style he takes one hell of a detour just so that the Taj Mahal (below) can be seen on screen. This ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in Agra, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the same year ‘Octopussy‘ was released, appears on 25 minutes and is actually about 650 kilometres out of the way! I was lucky enough to visit this place back in June 2007.
It’s onto Germany on 82 minutes and Kurfürstendamm in Berlin is the road which 007 is driven down to Checkpoint Charlie (below) as he crosses from West to East at the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point. I last visited this place in January 2011 and happily coughed up the $12 fee to go into the Hause am Checkpoint Charlie museum which was fascinating with photos and exhibits relating to escape attempts from the Eastern side using hot-air balloons, getaway cars, chairlifts, and even a mini-U-Boat. The kind of escapes that James Bond would be proud of himself.
Both the Acrostar BD-5J Jet and the auto rickshaw were on display at the ‘Bond In Motion‘ exhibition which was on display in Covent Garden in 2014. This mini-folding jet was originally owned by Budweiser and can be seen exiting a horse-box. The latter was driven through the streets of Udaipur with Bond as a passenger rather at the controls.
For other London filming locations click on the links below:
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