James Bond has been a childhood hero for more than one generation of young (and not so young) boys. The glamorous lifestyle full of fast cars, private jets and beautiful girls has provided the perfect escapism for fans around the world. There is another important element of spice to all of the 007 movies, however: Whatever life-or-death situation the different James Bonds have faced they are invariably in a glamorous part of the world, lined with palm trees, yachts and luxury villas.
James Bond Movie Locations
If you’re one of the millions who have admired the backdrops of many a James Bond scene, then you may be surprised to learn that much of the filming has taken place in Jamaica. Remember the famous scene in “Dr. No” where Ursula Andress emerges bikini-clad from the ocean? That was filmed at Laughing Waters, close to Ocho Rios on the north coast of the island. And the mangrove swamp where Bond (Sean Connery) and Honey are captured by the dragon tank? That’s a little west of Ocho Rios.
Ocho Rios also features in “Live and Let Die” with Roger Moore as Bond; it is the location of the voodoo nightclub scene with Baron Samedi. The bus chase that follows, in which an old London bus is used, takes place on the northwest highway between the popular Montego Bay resort and Lucea.
Ian Fleming in Jamaica
So why the fondness for Jamaica as a filming location for these movies? You need look no further than Bond’s creator Ian Fleming to understand why the island is James Bond’s second home. Fleming was so enamored of Jamaica that he built his own home on the island and spent around 20 winters here. It was during this time that he went from being a writer for British newspapers to gaining international fame for his James Bond stories.
The Real James Bond
Even the name of James Bond can be traced back to Fleming’s life in Jamaica. Who was the original Bond? It turns out that he was an ornithologist who lived on Jamaica and whose parents allowed Fleming to stay on their property. The name was chosen as it was considered to be completely ordinary. Little did Fleming (or Bond) realize at that time just how famous it would become.
Photo | EON Productions/Danjaq