Tomorrow Never Dies | 1997
- DIRECTOR |
- Roger Spottiswoode
Media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) is bent on engineering a conflict between Britain and China to create headlines for his global media empire.
The opening teaser sees Bond single-handedly blitzing a terrorist arms bazaar ‘on the Russian border’. The remote location is one of the world’s few high-altitude airfields, Altiport de Peyresourde-Balestas (LFIP) at Peyresourde, in the central French Pyrenees. Followers of the Tour de France will probably recognise the name, as the mountain pass Col de Peyresourde, on the D618 road between Bagnères-de-Luchon and Arreau, is one of the most famous cycling climbs in the Pyrenees.
After the unfeasibly narrow escape, Bond unwinds by learning a new tongue, at New College, Oxford, when he receives the inevitable call from M (Judi Dench).
Although the real MI6 HQ at Vauxhall was seen in GoldenEye, Bond is now driven into the courtyard of Somerset House in the Strand, London WC2 (which, to confuse matters, served as the ‘St Petersburg’ square in the previous film).
This popular filming location can also be seen in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, in historical biopic The Duchess, with Keira Knightley; Billy Wilder’s superb The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (as the ‘Diogenes Club’ where Holmes meets his older brother Mycroft (Christopher Lee); as ‘Buckingham Palace’ in King Ralph; in Shanghai Knights and even as ‘Beverly Hills’ in Bride And Prejudice.
Bond is despatched to Germany, and meets up with Q at Hamburg Airport. Although this is real enough, the extravagant bash, where Bond meets old flame Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher), is closer to the studio.
The ‘Hamburg’ centre of Carver’s media empire is the IBM Building, New Square, Bedfont Lakes, Feltham, south of Heathrow Airport. And Tomorrow’s print works is an amalgamation of two London printers: Harmsworth Quays Printers Ltd, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 and Westferry Printers, 235 Westferry Road, E14, at Millwall Dock (printers of the London Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph).
The exterior of Bond’s German hotel is the Atlantic Hotel Kempinski, An der Alster 72-79 on the banks of the Aussenalster lake in central Hamburg.
But the interior, where he finds Paris Carver dead and faces off against hitman Dr Kaufman (Vincent Schiavelli), is Stoke Park Club, Park Road, Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire. Other films shot here include Bridget Jones’s Diary, Layer Cake, rom-com Wimbledon, Bride and Prejudice and, of course, a previous classic Bond, Goldfinger.
The Atlantic’s garage, from which Bond escapes in the remote-controlled BMW750, is, famously, Level Four of the multi-storey carpark of Brent Cross Shopping Centre in Golders Green, north London. The fire brigade was called out after the stunts produced a little more smoke than anticipated.
The final leap into the fake 'Avis car rental' office, though, is across the eastern end of shopping street Mönckebergstraße at Lange Mühren, just across from Hamburg Hauptbahnhoff.
Despite Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker) sporting floral shirt, the US airbase at ‘Okinawa, in the South China Sea’ is really RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. The sea landing uses the vast tank built for James Cameron’s Titanic at Rosarito Beach in Baja California, Mexico.
Negotiations to film in Vietnam fell through, and the ‘Saigon’ scenes are actually Bangkok, Thailand.
The skyscraper down which Bond and Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) descend on a banner is the Banyan Tree Bangkok, 21/100 South Sathorn Road, Sathorn. The motorbike chase roars along Tannery Row and Mahogany Wharf, Bangkok, before climaxing on a set built at the the old Radlett Aerodrome site in Frogmore, Hertfordshire, which had been converted into Eon Studios.
‘Ha Long Bay’, where Bond and Wai Lin search for Carver’s Stealth boat, is Phang Nga Bay, Thailand, among the limestone towers familiar from The Man With the Golden Gun, an area recovering from the calamitous tsunami of December 2004.