Home > Films > L > The Living Daylights

Tuesday December 11th 2018

The Living Daylights | 1987

The Living Daylights location: Rock of Gibraltar
The Living Daylights location: the training exercise: Rock of Gibraltar | Photograph: iStockphoto / livetalent

First of the more po-faced Bonds, with Timothy Dalton, reacting against the increasingly flip Roger Moore movies.

The opening NATO exercise teaser, infiltrated by the Russians, was filmed on Gibraltar. The rocky southern tip of Spain, Gibraltar has been British territory (and a British naval base) since 1713, and though the native Gibraltarians are happy with this, the Spanish are understandably keen to get it back.

Less than 15 miles from the coast of Morocco, the rocky outcrop was known as one of the two ‘Pillars of Hercules’ – the headlands either side of the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrow neck separating Europe from Africa, which provides the only link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

The rock is inhabited by Barbary apes (which are actually monkeys) – the only monkeys native to Europe. The inevitable legend has it that once the ‘apes’ leave, the British will leave.

The Living Daylights location: Malaysia House, Trafalgar Square, London
The Living Daylights location: 'Universal Exports', MI6 HQ: Malaysia House, Trafalgar Square, London

‘Universal Exports’, Bond’s MI6 HQ in London, is Malaysia House, 57 Trafalgar Square (it's actually the office of Malaysian Tourism) on the south side of the Square.

The Living Daylights location: Volksoper Vienna, Wahringer Strasse, Vienna
The Living Daylights location: Koskov defects from the ‘Bratislava’ theatre: Volksoper Vienna, Wahringer Strasse, Vienna

The ‘Czech' scenes were filmed in Vienna, Austria. The theatre in ‘Bratislava’ (incorrectly labelled 'Bratislavia'), from which General Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) apparently defects during the concert is the Volksoper Vienna, Währinger Strasse 78. About ten minutes from the city centre, the Volksoper stages operettas as well as 18th, 19th and 20th century operas, classic musicals and ballet, during a season which runs from September to July. The opera house is also featured in Liliana Cavani's perverse 1974 drama The Night Porter, with Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling.

The Living Daylights location: Wahringer Strasse, Vienna
The Living Daylights location: Bond covers the sniper as Koskov defects: Wahringer Strasse, Vienna

Bond covers the sniper from above the shop at Währinger Strasse 65 on the corner of Schlagergasse across the street.

The Living Daylights location: Antonigasse at Paulinengasse, Vienna
The Living Daylights location: Kara is detained by the KGB: Antonigasse at Paulinengasse, Vienna

Kara Milovy (Maryam d'Abo) is detained by the KGB on Antonigasse at Paulinengasse.

The Living Daylights location: Antonigasse, Vienna
The Living Daylights location: Kara's apartment in 'Bratislava': Antonigasse, Vienna

Her apartment is nearby at Antonigasse 92.

The Living Daylights location: Stonor House, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
The Living Daylights location: The ‘Bladen’ safe house, from which Koskov is abducted by Necros: Stonor House, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire | Photograph: Wikimedia / Shaun Ferguson

The ‘Bladen’ safe house, from which Koskov is abducted by Necros (Andreas Wisniewski), is Stonor House and Gardens, in a valley in the Chiltern Hills about four miles north of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. One of the oldest family homes still lived in today, it houses a 12th-century private chapel, and its gardens contain the remains of a prehistoric stone circle.

The estate is also seen onscreen in Neil LaBute's 2002 adaptation of AS Byatt's Possession, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart, and the film version of Tom Kempinski's stage success Duet for One, with Julie Andrews and Max Von Sydow. On TV, you might have caught it in Midsomer Murders , Roald Dahl's Danny, Champion Of The World and Hornblower.

Back in Vienna, Bond meets Saunders at the 'Prater Café' (which is a set) in the huge Prater Park, District 2, between the Danube and the Danube Canal (subway: Praterstern). He naturally takes Kara Milovy (Maryam d'Abo) for a spin in the Wiener Riesenrad, the Grand Ferris Wheel, erected in 1896 and restored in 1948 after war damage, which still stands in the Prater. It is, of course, famous for its appearance in Carol Reed’s The Third Man (on which director John Glen had worked as Assistant Sound Editor) and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise.

The Living Daylights location: Riesenrad, Prater, Vienna, Austria
The Living Daylights location: Bond meets Saunders in Vienna: Riesenrad, Prater, Vienna, Austria

Bond and Kara stay at the Hotel Im Palais Schwarzenberg, Schwarzenbergplatz 9, situated in 15 acres of park in the heart of Vienna itself. Built 300 years ago as a palace, it was gutted by the Nazis, and part of it has since been developed as a luxury hotel, though it doesn't currently seem to be open.

The Living Daylights location: Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna
The Living Daylights location: Bond and Kara's hotel: Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna | Photograph: iStockphoto / mariusz_prusaczyk

Bond and Kara ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the grounds of Vienna’s Summer Palace, Schoenbrunn Palace.

The Living Daylights location: Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna
The Living Daylights location: Bond and Kara attend the opera: Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna | Photograph: Wikimedia / C Cossa

It’s in the Palace Theatre, opened in 1747 in the western wing of Schoenbrunn by Empress Maria Theresa, that they attend a performance of Mozart's The Marriage Of Figaro.

The Living Daylights location: Tram Depot, Kreuzgasse, Vienna, Austria
The Living Daylights location: the Tram Depot: Kreuzgasse, Vienna, Austria

The tram depot at Kreuzgasse 72 is no longer used and has been redeveloped as retail space.

The Living Daylights location: Tram Depot, Kreuzgasse, Vienna, Austria
The Living Daylights location: the old gents' toilet at the Tram Depot: Kreuzgasse, Vienna, Austria

Alongside, you can still see the entrance to the Gents' toilet.

The Living Daylights location: Gasometer, Vienna, Austria
The Living Daylights location: Koskov is spirited away via the gasometer: the Gasometer, Vienna, Austria

The gasometer from which Koskov is spirited out of 'Bratislava' is one of four identical gas holders at what is now helpfully called Gasometer (it has its own U-bahn station) in Vienna.

The Living Daylights location: Gasometer, Vienna, Austria
The Living Daylights location: Koskov is spirited away via the gasometer: the interior of the redeveloped Gasometer, Vienna, Austria

The disused buildings have been redeveloped, one now housing a smart shopping mall.

Ouarzazate in Morocco stands in for ‘Afghanistan’ (remember when the Russians were the bad guys and the Taliban were heroic freedom fighters?). The ‘Russian’ airstrip is Ouarzazate Airfield. The striking town of Ait Benhaddou in Ouarzazate is an often-used location – seen in films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator).

The Living Daylights location: Forbes Museum, Palace El Mendoub, Tangier
The Living Daylights location: Whitaker’s militaristic villa: Forbes Museum, Palace El Mendoub, Tangier | Photograph: iStockphoto / Jerry Moorman

The villa of arms dealer Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker) is the Forbes Museum, Palace El Mendoub, rue Shakespeare, Tangier (though, as for many of the film’s scenes, the interior was recreated in the studio at Pinewood). The museum, founded by billionaire – and collector of lead soldiers – Malcolm Forbes, now houses a collection of 115,000 his model fighting men, re-enacting major battles of history from Waterloo to Dien Bien Phû – complete with lighting and sound effects.

Not all of ‘Tangier’, though, is Morocco. It’s partly Suffolk, in England. Take a look at the banquet scene, where General Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies) is seemingly assassinated. You might recognise it as the exotic faux-‘Indian’ interior of Elveden Hall, site of the bizarre orgy in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and the interior of villain Iain Glen’s mansion in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Elveden is a private home and not open to the public).