Almost 60 years since the first 007 film was shot, #25 Bond – title still to be confirmed – returns to the famous winter home of Ian Fleming, the man behind the books.
The 007 books and films are brimming with an abundance of Jamaican landmarks, particularly in the three stories set on the island: Dr No, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun – no it wasn’t set in Phuket – but there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to Bond’s connection to Jamaica.
In preparation for the forthcoming 007 blockbuster which is being shot on the island this year and released in April 2020, fans can travel to the locations frequented by the author and his characters. Whether it’s staying at the Half Moon resort where Bond spent a night with Rosie Carver, relaxing on Laughing Waters Beach where Ursula Andress emerged from the water or touring the lesser-known locations where Dr. No and Live and Let Die were filmed, Jamaica will captivate holidaymakers looking to step into 007’s shoes.
15 things you never knew about 007 and Jamaica
- Two James Bond films were made near the town Oracabessa where the 12 original James Bond novels were written. Dr. No and Live and Let Die.
- The famous scene with Ursula Andress meeting James Bond for the first time was filmed at the private beach called Laughing Waters in Ocho Rios. Other scenes were filmed at the world-famous Dunns River Falls.
- Several Jamaican hotels have been used as film locations in James Bond films. What is now Cottage 10 at the Half Moon resort is the bedroom where Bond spent the night with Rosie Carver.
- The iconic voodoo dance scene in Live and Let Die was shot in a restaurant in Ocho Rios in 1973.
- Bob Marley nearly bought Goldeneye, the home of Ian Fleming, back in the 1960s before it was eventually bought by Chris Blackwell.
- The home of Jamaica’s Governor General, today called King’s House, was used in Dr. No as the Government House where Bond met UK intelligence at the beginning of his mission.
- The Grand Port Royal Hotel, (formerly Morgan’s Harbour Hotel) in Kingston was a film location in Dr. No and features in several scenes of the film.
- Iconic Jamaican soca band, the Dragonnaires led by Byron Lee, recorded and performed, ‘Jump Up’ in the Dr. No film and are on the first Bond soundtrack.
- The grounds at Rosehall Great House, an 18th century plantation house in Montego Bay were used in the filming of Live and Let Die. A makeshift graveyard was built in the grounds and the scene of the poppy field was shot in the hills behind the house.
- Ian Fleming was a keen bird-watcher and appropriated the name James Bond from a leading American ornithologist. The real James Bond turned up with his wife at Goldeneye in 1964. Fleming said he was, “terribly amused by the whole thing.”
- The first ever Bond girl from the books, Vesper Lynd of Casino Royale, was named after a cocktail Ian had been given in Jamaica, a mix of frozen rum, fruit and herbs.
- Two of Ian Fleming’s famous heroines, Solitaire from Live and Let Die and Domino, from Thunderball are named after rare Jamaican birds.
The very first Bond girl “villain” was Jamaican beauty queen Marguerite Lewars. She played Annabel Chung the photographer sent to follow Bond. Her sister Barbara Lewars married Jamaica’s three-time Prime Minister, Michael Manley.
- The Green Grotto Caves, a tourist attraction on the North coast of Jamaica is the location of many of the subterranean scenes in James Bond, Live and Let Die.
- Record mogul and founder of Island Records music empire, Chris Blackwell, worked as a location scout on the original Dr. No.
Further tourist information
For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the Jamaica Tourist Board’s website at www.visitjamaica.com.
Accommodation in and Flights to Jamaica
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Mark Bibby Jackson
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