28 Mar 2014

Schönbrunn Palace - Part 3

 As Bond and Kara pass the Schönbrunn Palace they witness a dancing competition or a demonstration of the Viennese Waltz to the tunes of Johann Strauss Jr's waltz Op. 333 titled "Wine, women and song". This piece of music was composed by Strauss Jr. in 1869 and the title was drawn from the old adage: "Who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long". This adage is probably a subtle nod to Bond who has enjoyed all three on numerous occasions over the years.

They ride through the garden in front of the palace only to arrive at their hotel located in another part of Vienna in the next scene. In the film the orchestra was located on the balcony above the dance floor. You can still recognize the characteristic green window shutters on the palace. The palace is of course open to the public and you can expect a great number tourists in the garden. 

The dance floor was created right in front of the palace facing the garden. Bond and Kara arrive from Obeliskenalle and continue down Lichte Allee in front of the palace. It is a shame that the outdoor scenes at Schönbrunn only last a minute or two. The full exterior of the rear side of the palace is never shown. During the end credits, the front exterior is pictured. Bond is visiting the palace on two further occasions in the film. He and Kara are attending the opera in the Schlossteater, and later Bond secretly attends Kara's ending performance in the same venue.

Seen on the other side of the palace garden, on a hill, is the Gloriette. This 18th century structure was erected during the reign of Emperor Joseph II and Empress Maria Theresa and functioned as a lookout point for the garden as well as a dining hall.

The Gloriette was built in 1775 and as well as being a festival hall it was the breakfast room for Emperor Franz Joseph I. The dining room, located in the middle of the gloriette, today houses a café. On the roof is an observation floor overlooking the garden and the city of Vienna. The view over the Palace and the garden is spectacular. Needless to say, if you are visiting Schönbrunn the Gloriette is a perfect place to stop for lunch.

21 Mar 2014

Schönbrunn Palace, part 2 - The Palace Garden

In The Living Daylights Bond and Kara ride through Vienna in a horse carriage. On the way to their hotel, Im Palais Schwarzenberg, they pass the former summer palace of the Austrian Imperial family and the most famous tourist attraction in Vienna, the Schönbrunn Palace. Even though you never see the full exterior of the back side of the palace when they ride past it, the front exterior is pictured during the end credits.


Bond's horse carriage arrive through the Obeliskenallee in the garden and continue on the Lichte Allee in front of the palace. Bond and Kara would return to Schönbrunn later the same evening to attend the opera performance of Le Nozze di Figaro which was filmed at the Schönbrunn Palace theater, the 'Schlossteater'. 

Schönbrunn Palace is definitely one of the most beautiful Bond locations in Vienna and a memorable experience. You have the best view over the palace and garden from the hill where the 'Gloriette' is located. Schönbrunn is one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria and apparently the palace and garden illustrate the tastes, interests and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. Needless to say, a visit is a must when you travel to Vienna.

Today is Timothy Dalton's birthday and different sources claim that he was born either in 1944 or 1946. Why his birth year is unknown is not clear to me. 

Regardless of the fact that you do not want to be associated with the role, The Living Daylights is a solid Bond film that certainly belongs in the top ten list. Either way,
Happy Birthday Timothy

13 Mar 2014

Noble House: Macau

In the third episode of Noble House, starring Pierce Brosnan, Ian Dunross and Miss Casey make a trip to Macau when Dunross needs to speak with Lando Mata, a Portuguese born in Macau who controls the gambling concession. Lando sends his Rolls Royce to pick up Dunross and Casey. They pass a few famous landmarks in the city of Macau on the way to Lando's home.

Briefly seen is the ruin of St. Paul's, a 17th century Portuguese cathedral located in one of the oldest parts of Macau. The ruin was once part of a 16th century complex including of what was originally St. Paul's college and the cathedral. Finished in 1602 St. Paul's was one of the biggest catholic churches in Asia. The cathedral was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in 1835 and the facade was the only thing that survived.

The Rolls Royce is also driving past Casino Lisboa in the center of Macau. Casey thinks she's in Las Vegas and Dunross points out that the gentlemen in Las Vegas probably could learn a thing or two from Macau. The Casino Lisboa is one of the most famous hotel casinos in Macau and the round hotel tower seen in Noble House was built in the 1970's by Stanley Ho. In competition with Wynn Macau, a big extension was added to Casino Lisboa in 2006, the Grand Lisboa.

Lando Mata's house was not located in Macau, these scenes were filmed on the south side of Hong Kong Island. But an interesting Bond reference in Noble House is the fact that Dunross and Casey visit the floating Macau Palace casino. The same casino Bond visits in The Man with the Golden Gun. 

The Grand Lisboa and the original Casino Lisboa from Noble House to the right.

Macau was the last remaining European colony in Asia when Portugal handed it over to the Peoples Republic of China in 1999. Dunross tells Casey that the Portuguese had tried to give Macau back already in 1974 but that the Peoples Republic had refused to accept it then.

6 Mar 2014

A street in Bratislava

In The Living Daylights Kara takes the tram back home from the conservatoire after her afternoon practice concert. The tram is passing a street crossing somewhere in "Bratislava". Bond watches her on the tram before they arrive at Kara's apartment, where she is abducted by the KGB.

This establishing shot was filmed along the tram track 9 in Vienna. The particular street crossing can be found at the intersection between Hormayrgasse and Leopold Ernst-Gasse in the western part of Vienna. In the film, the tram number 9 is briefly visible. The tram line 9 is still running past this location today. Not much else can be said about this place except that it is still very recognisable.

A ''Einbahn'' (one way) sign can be seen to the right and it gives away this location not to be set in Bratislava.