The Living Daylights (1987)


John Glen


visit the film locations


Flights: Gibraltar Airport

Visit: Gibraltar


Vienna: Flights: Vienna International Airport

Visit: the Schoenbrunn Palace

Catch a performance at: the Volksoper Vienna, Wahringer Strasse 78 (tel: +43/1/514.44.3670)


Getting there: flights to Ibn Batouta International Airport (Tangier); Menara (Marrakech) or Mohammed V (Casablanca)

Tourist info: Tourism in Morocco

Forbes Museum, Palace El Mendoub, , rue Shakespeare, Tangier (tel:


Stonor House and Gardens, about five miles north of Henley-on-Thames (rail: Henley-on-Thames)


Although killed off in this film, Joe Don Baker crops up again, as CIA operative Jack Wade in GoldenEye.

The Living Daylights location: Rock of Gibraltar

The Living Daylights location: the training exercise: Rock of Gibraltar

Photograph: iStockphoto/David Ciemny

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.

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

The Living Daylights location: Volksoper Vienna, Wahringer Strasse 78, Vienna

The Living Daylights location: Koskov defects from the ‘Bratislava’ theatre: Volksoper Vienna, Wahringer Strasse 78, Vienna

Photograph: Anna Reg

The ‘Czech' scenes were filmed in Vienna, Austria. The theatre in ‘Bratislava’, from which General Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) apparently defects during the concert is the Volksoper Vienna, Wahringer 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. The season, consisting of around 300 performances, runs from September to July.

The ‘Bladen’ safe house, from which Koskov is abducted by Necros (Andreas Wisniewski), is Stonor House and Gardens, about five miles north of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

Bond meets Saunders at the Prater Café in Vienna’s 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 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 (which director John Glen had worked on 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 since redeveloped as a four-star hotel. It’s currently closed for major renovations until 2010.

The Living Daylights location: Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna

The Living Daylights location: Bond and Kara attend the opera: Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna

Photograph: iStockphoto/Jeremy Voisey

Bond and Kara ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the grounds of Vienna’s Summer Palace, Schoenbrunn Palace. It’s in the Palace Theatre, opened in 1747 in the western wing of Schoenbrunn by Empress Maria Theresa, that they attend the opera.

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).

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