In Defense of A View To A Kill (Part 1 of 3)

A View To A Kill is underrated. There`s no other way to put it. The time is right for a reappraisal. So why has it taken this long?

Reappraisals aren`t unheard of inthe Bond series. On Her Majesty`s Secret Service is probably the most famous instance, and it`s now regarded as one of the best Bond films. So why not A View To A Kill?

I admit it`s flawed. It`s overloaded and at times careless. The filmmakers seem to have been in a rush to pack as much into the film as possible, and then some. It`s an incredibly busy film, which is both a virtue and a flaw. It`s ambitious and unusually complicated in more ways than just the story. The filmmakers were trying something new so anything less than a sequence-by-sequence analysis does the film less than full justice.

The film opens on the Russian helicopter zig-zagging like a bumblebee. A great human touch follows – probably overlooked – backed up by John Barry`s sensitive, pain-ridden flute music: Bond opens a heart-shaped pendant and sees a photo of the dead man`s wife – girlfriend? – and baby. A throwaway moment, but crucial in Bond films. Bond flips the picture over and you can still see the woman and child`s image from behind, a subtle reminder that though 003 is dead, they live on, their grief is real. (Such touches prove that the Bond filmmakers are incredibly intelligent.) The microchip holds them down, a clever reminder of what took 003 from them. (It`s nice that the filmmakers had Bond bring the pendant back on board the submersible, but its dramatic weight is lost on Bond.) This is what people should look for in Bond films. Not whether he has his back to a window in Tomorrow Never Dies, an asinine, pointless observation.

The opening ski chase is great – perhaps the best in the series? New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael complained that the stunts were too crowded and didn`t give us the time to get that giddy tingle Bond stunts normally give us, and I felt that way about the ski-chase, but perhaps this is a clue to its superiority. Being so compressed, it stands the test of time like any great, complex work. It throws so much up at us that repeat viewings are required.

The great action theme by John Barry is very reminiscent of his OHMSS title song. If not as innovative, this version is more stylish, as befitting an older composer. The beautiful photography, those enticing colours, the intoxicating reds, blues, and whites are gorgeous and special. The Beach Boys music is just right – Bond is meant to be humorous; I`ve never understood why the 60`s Bond cultists get so uptight about broad humour in the series. There are other great touches: Bond`s unintentional somersault after he skis down a steep cliff; he hops on the skidoo, kicking off his one remaining ski; he steps off the makeshift surfboard and has to keep running; and after the fun and games, there`s that beautiful, menacing shot of the helicopter, this time gliding steadily through the air after Bond, with its single-minded purpose – cat and mouse – supported by John Barry`s driving music. The helicopter swirls through the air, spewing pinkish smoke, and, after it`s crashed, the shot of the raging black-tinged fire against the seemingly dirty snow and alps is intoxicating.

Maurice Binder`s credits feature wonderful neon images, and it`s one of his best. Alan Hume and Binder get beautiful accompanying images during their credits: that beautiful shot of people skiing down the mountain, the man flipping head over heals, the woman turning delicately, and the couple doing a slow motion synchronized twirl (unfortunately the return to regular motion is jerky). It`s beautiful, especially since it occurs during a heartfelt part of the song. I`m surprised that at least two books (Kiss-Kiss-Bang-Bang and The Bond Files) hated it. They`re wrong, of course. 🙂

Richard Maibaum and Michael Wilson`s script is both deft and annoying. Parts don`t connect. Bond is supposed to find out how Zorin`s anti-pulse computer chip wound up in Siberia, yet he investigates Zorin`s horses. (A link suggesting the two were somehow related would have helped. “003 had been investigating Zorin`s horses and the trail took him to Siberia.”) The plot twist – a double catalyst, quite common in the Maibaum/Wilson collaborations – is shoe-horned and doesn`t flow. The horse sub-plot doesn`t add up, but it`s an appropriate homage to Fleming`s novels (by way of John Gardner`s Licence Renewed). Like Fleming`s villains, Zorin cheats without any real motive, except his love of winning (how much money could a multi-millionaire make winning races?). When Zorin races Bond, there`s no real advantage; he intends to capture and kill Bond anyway. He cheats just for the sake of cheating.

The Ascot horse scene is visually delightful and the timing is razor-sharp, though perhaps it`s too precise and wears the audience down (Pauline Kael said something similar about the single-shot opening in Brian de Palma`s film The Bonfire Of The Vanities – another underrated film). The film is visually inventive: Moneypenny shouts at the horses: “Move your a–” then turning, asking about one of the horses, the camera pans to Bond and M who are faced the wrong way. Fast on the heels is another ingenious detail that most people probably overlook. Look behind M when he tells Bond that Zorin “speaks at least five languages”. The woman behind them looks around, wondering what they`re going on about, concerned she`s missing something, then deciding it`s nothing, turns back – the timing is perfect, the placement delicate, as though the director John Glen is saying, “Look, if you catch this, good for you, but if you don`t, no big loss.” The dialogue here, and in the following chateau scene, is perfect and casual enough to have an air of being improvised: “Who`s there with him under the hat, in the red dress?”

Elsewhere I discuss the insect motif tying the various strands together in the visually inventive Eiffel Tower sequence, but there are other gems. Aubergine: “I`m pleased you approve since you`re paying the bill.” He looks up and around as the waiter walks around him. Flighty as ever, Aubergine nods his head at the dancing butterflies, his head back, emphasizing his double-chin, struggling to focus on anything that close. “Perhaps we should add this butterfly to our collection, non?” Bond`s reaction, his polite smile, is skilled acting. Bond and Moore`s intelligence shine. May Day knocks the other black-sheathed person out. The butterfly girl, in the middle of her routine, looks over – her posture the epitome of professional confusion – half her mind is still on her routine (you`ll have to freeze-frame on her to fully appreciate this) – while Aubergine blathers on oblivious to his impending doom. (I can`t imagine anything that complicated or busy in The Living Daylights.) The photography inside the restaurant, and the chateau scenes are sumptuous and the last touch of real Bondian elegance until Pierce Brosnan and Tomorrow Never Dies. Peter Lamont isn`t my favourite Bond production designer – what is it with all those sculpted heads? – but his work here is perfect and it`s one of the best designed Bond films. (Trivia note: the music heard during the Eiffel Tower establishing shot comes from John Barry`s score for his 1984 film Until September.)

Pauline Kael complained that the stunts were too crowded, but that`s partially why the brilliant car chase works so well. Each shot has a new piece of information; compare it to the slightly limp pre-credit chase in The Living Daylights, which consists of the same shot over and over, back and forth. The gliding, graceful, practically slow-motion shot of the car driving onto the ramp, flying onto the bus, then off onto the ground, contrasts perfectly with that brutal smash cut as the pole shears the car`s top off. Though easily overlooked, that shot of Moore, grimacing and ducking in his seat tops it off. It`s obvious when the stuntman doubles for Moore – it verges on parody – especially immediately before and after the car is shorn in half (Moore`s eyes open in shock anticipating it, then he closes them and braces himself – this is excellent and without which, the stunt would have been impersonal) but the film is photographed in sharp clear colours. After Octopussy, shot in oily, washed-out colours, AVTAK is one of the best looking in the series. The gorgeous ski-chase, the Paris cafe and estate scenes, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge fight are especially appealing; the film has some of the best location sense of the entire series. Only towards the end, down in the mine, does the film look hazy. I criticize John Barry`s action cues elsewhere, but here the Bond theme and the dixieland version of the theme song have just the right playful touch.

A View To . . . A View To A Kill’s Premiere

They started gathering at the dome of San Francisco’s famed Palace of Fine Arts early in the afternoon on May 22, 1985. By six o’clock–the planned beginning to the end of then Mayor Diane Feinstein’s officially proclaimed “James Bond Day”–hundreds were pressed against police barricades, many even spilling onto the access ramp of the Golden Gate Bridge. While they came in every size and shape, all had come to witness an event major even by California standards: The opening of A View to a Kill, the first 007 film in history to break with tradition by premiering outside London.

Scheduled to start at seven, the film was preceded by a ninety-minute champagne reception benefitting the Mayor’s Youth Fund. Champagne–offered from sterling trays by white-jacketed waiters– was not alone on the menu, naturally; no less than four open bars were equally spaced about the reception hall while mylar “hills” crowned by silver, helium-filled stars erupted from the floor, each covered in exotic cheeses, sliced fruit, imported crackers, or shrimp cocktail. The largest and center-most of these hills bore an ‘80s City favorite: Gourmet popcorn. Guests preferring something more substantial could take their pick from the buffets adjacent to each bar or from the hibachi staffed by kimono-clad chefs just off room-center. Grouped throughout the room were café tables draped in red (matching the hall itself), surrounded by white, slat-seat folding chairs.

Sharply contrasting the decor were free-standing posters and stills randomly distributed around the room as well as scatterings of Sharper Image catalogs and Whopper and Skittles candy dispensers, these three featuring …View…-based tie-ins or contests. Also on display–near the massive (and all too warm for May, even in San Francisco) stonework fireplace: A mountain of Bollinger, ranging from simple splits at the base to a massive Nebuchadnezzar at the top.

Dispersed throughout, of course, were the guests themselves. Clad primarily in classic black-tie or nostalgic prom gowns (neither worn exclusively by either sex; this was, after all, San Francisco), the crowd was surprisingly young, spurred, no doubt, by the presence of Duran Duran members John Taylor and–no relation–Andy Taylor

While the Fab Five performers were the evening’s biggest hit–their slightest action eliciting near-hysterical screams–they were not the only celebrities present, of course. Because he was easily recognized, newspapers the following day would report that former Avengers star Patrick MacNee was the first to arrive. Bond aficionados knew, however, that producer Albert R. Broccoli, step-son Michael G. Wilson, and screenwriter Richard Maibaum had been in attendance for some time. They were followed in quick succession by mammoth Walter Gotel–minus General Gogol’s Russian accent–director John Glen–looking extremely anxious–and an agitated Tanya Roberts.

With the exception of Ms. Roberts, all moved through the nearly one-thousand celebrants largely unhindered, though responded graciously to autograph seekers, MacNee being the most casually conversational of the lot. Former Charlie’s Angel star Roberts would later explain her brusque behavior as a reaction to the overwhelming crush of media and fan attention for which she was bewilderingly unprepared.

At one corner of the hall, a seriously overgrown ghetto-blaster continuously issued 007 title tracks until finally blaring the James Bond theme itself, thus heralding a belated start to the actual screening. With room lights strobing to the staccato beat, film-goers made for the adjoining theatre.

With the wide, shallow auditorium almost full, Mayor Feinstein appeared on stage to demonstrate her lack of either fashion sense (Feinstein’s dowdy, Queen Elizabeth-like wardrobe make the entire affair seem all that more authentic) or crowd control. Several minutes after the Taylors, Gotell, Roberts, and Glen as well as MacNee, diva-turned-actress Grace Jones, and the ever-eerie Christopher Walken had joined her en masse, Feinstein finally established some degree of order. Even then, however, the Mayor’s introduction of the players and their roles was repeatedly interrupted by squealing, prepubescent Double D fans. (Jones only abetted them by silently mocking Senator Feinstein’s schoolmarm admonishment of the audience.) Following the amenities, Roger Moore–absent thus far–appeared just long enough to say “Let’s roll the film” and made for his place alongside Broccoli, et al, who earlier took bows from their seats.

The movie itself was met by raucous applause and laughter, particularly those sequences highlighted by the afore-mentioned bridge and City Hall.

Audience members who slipped-out as the credits rolled stripped the reception hall of souvenirs: balloons, stand-up cutouts, and stacks of free posters. Those less fortunate were immediately set-upon by droves of television reporters–present from the start–asking that inevitable question, “So, is this the best James Bond movie ever?”

By now it was nearly eleven o’clock and time for the festivities to begin in earnest. While film stars and City luminaries alike headed for a cast party at Hard Rock Café*, others opted for the less exclusive–though still by invitation–birthday observation for Grace Jones (age undisclosed) at the members-only disco, Trocadero, long home to Jones the singer/performance artist.

Both parties were well-attended–some nine-hundred danced away the night at Trocadero–though neither drew the crowds of onlookers present for the premier. Jones appeared at both functions, making her Trocadero entrance around two a.m. on the arm of then boy-toy Dolph Lundgren, with whom she shared screen-time in …View… and “much more” on the pages of Playboy’s July ‘85 issue.

At dawn, time had come to crawl home, hang the Berns-Martin holster alongside the tuxedo, and resume the routine–the end of a day-long 007 celebration but, as we all know, James Bond would return …

*Curiously, neither of the day’s two major cast parties–Her Honor hosted a lunch at the prestigious Maxwell’s Plum on Fisherman’s Wharf–took place at locales original to San Francisco.

06/15/85 Review in “Magill`s Survey of Cinema” – a view to little irony

One of the least ironic in the James Bond series, A VIEW TO A KILL takes 007 (Roger Moore) from Ascot, Paris, and Chantilly to San Francisco as he pursues Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), a villainous international microchip industrialist, and his fierce bodyguard, May Day (Grace Jones). Having survived several near-fatal encounters with Zorin`s henchmen, Bond succeeds in obstructing the industrialist`s plan to dynamite the San Andreas fault and flood Silicon Valley so that he can gain control over the world`s microchip production. In a suspenseful finale which takes place at the Golden Gate Bridge, Bond blasts Zorin in his zeppelin.

Summary: The pleasure which viewers take in familiar forms is the very basis of a genre film`s survival, yet the most interesting among them– Westerns and musicals, for example–are also characterized by their capacity to reflect cultural shifts and social changes. In comparison, the James Bond films are defined by a carefully synthesized and carefully protected formula; nothing about them changes. Deciding who best embodies the mythic essence of Fleming`s hero, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, or Roger Moore, has been only one of two major sources of variation that the Bond films have offered since the series began with DR. NO (1962). The other variation has been a shift in tone: from straight and serious to parodic and absurd. The tone in A VIEW TO A KILL, however, is serious. In keeping with this mode, the prologue finds 007 (Roger Moore), in a display of bravado, skiing on an Alaskan snowfield, a squadron of Soviet soldiers to snatch an innocent-looking locket from the neck of an unknown corpse. Reminiscent of the opening sequence of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977), the last-second rescue comes from an ice floe that pops open to reveal a Union Jack flying submarine, navigated by a captain in white mink overalls. No matter how predictable, even this opening sequence rewards the audience immediately with its impeccable editing (the film`s director, John Glen, has edited several earlier Bonds) and with its striking use of color against a white background (a common visual heritage from the pop-graphic style of the 1960`s).

Following the prologue, viewers find themselves in the London headquarters of Secret Service, where M (Robert Brown) and his staff fill one another in on a new superchip that was found in the locket of that corpse, which as it turns out was the body of a Russian. Everything indicates that this new technological miracle comes from the hands of a mysterious industrialist of international origins, one Max Zorin (Christopher Walken). Much to the regret of Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell), only James Bond can find Zorin`s chips.

The search begins at the Ascot horse races, where the abnormally blond Zorin is sighted along with his right-hand woman, the stunning and ferocious May Day (Grace Jones), a black martial arts and logistics expert who sports leather-hooded outfits and six-inch heels. Then in Paris, while Bond is having dinner with the unpleasant Inspector Aubergine (Jean Rougerie), in an elegant restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, May Day attacks. Dressed in wasp-patterned yellow and black leotards, she uses a fishing rod of sorts, impaling on its fly Bond` s dinner partner, who is lecherously watching a woman perform a butterfly dance onstage. Like a spider, May Day then vanishes down the tower and escapes with the help of a parachute glider, which crashes onto a wedding party aboard a bateau-mouche in the middle of the Seine. It is in sequences such as these that the Bond films are at their most engaging: The insect motif (the fly casting, wasp, butterfly, and so on), insignificant as it may be for the film`s overall structure, tightens up the little episode; the gags are exotic in an inventive way, built more on wit than violence (pace Inspector Aubergine), and the stunts, carried out in the middle of Paris, make one admire not only their performers but also the film`s producer, Albert Broccoli, who managed to arrange all of this. Later on, the San Francisco City Hall and the Golden Gate Bridge, notoriously off-limits for commercial filming, are similarly granted this “location-as-star” treatment, lending almost the old-fashioned authenticity of a travelogue to this high-tech fairy tale.

The search for Zorin`s chips leads from Paris to an exquisite Chantilly chateau, where the villain is auctioning off some of his supernormal race horses. Here, Bond, succeeds in penetrating Zorin`s secret stable- laboratory and discovers that the superchip, with its ability to enhance the performances of living organisms to the capacity of a robot, is part of a worldwide biotechnological conspiracy. In the process of his search, Bond arouses Zorin`s suspicion, and even Bond`s strategically motivated seduction of May Day does not prevent a subsequent manhunt on horseback, at the end of which he is almost killed. As is customary for the Bond megavillain, Zorin`s monstrously perfect features make it clear that he is essentially nonhuman, a creature representing not simply an opposing political system but a threat to mankind. A child produced by Nazi genetic engineering experiments during World War II and bred to perfection in the U.S.S.R., Zorin has broken loose from his ideological commitments to his KGB supervisors and is now preparing to attack and monopolize the world`s microchip industry. Traveling in a zeppelin, Zorin, May Day, and their evil crew move on to San Francisco. Bond catches up with them, first competing with, and later helped by, the beautiful geologist and heiress Stacy Sutton (Tanya Roberts).

Surviving a suction pipe accident under a Zorin oil rig in the San Francisco Bay and then a spectacular city hall fire, Bond and Stacy uncover, just in time, Zorin`s demonic plan to reactivate the San Andreas fault through a series of enormous explosions. This, in turn, would devastate and flood the Silicon Valley industries and guarantee Zorin, Inc., complete control of the world`s microchip output. The mandatory large-scale showdown follows, taking place in a labyrinthine old silver mine located below the San Andreas lake, which is also Stacy`s beloved ancestral home. The sequence carries allusions to Fritz Lang`s subterranean masterpiece METROPOLIS (1927) and to the wild mine rides in Steven Spielberg`s INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984). When May Day finally realizes the magnitude of Zorin`s diabolical plot, as well as his completely cynical attitude toward her, she shifts allegiance and throws her considerable body power behind Bond and Stacy`s efforts to prevent the catastrophe, sacrificing her life in the process. Zorin and his skeleton crew flee again in the blimp, taking Stacy as hostage, but Bond hangs on to one of the mooring ropes (metaphorically keeping taut the suspenseful plot line). The aircraft becomes trapped in the structure of the Golden Gate Bridge, and Bond not only saves Stacy but also rids the world of yet another megalomaniac when, cleverly relying on some basic laws of physics, he brings about the explosion of the high-tech wizard and his zeppelin.

Per the film`s formula, Bond proceeds to shun delightfully his civic responsibilities by hiding out in Stacy`s shower, avoiding not only M`s phone congratulations but also the KGB`s (which is grateful to Bond for having preserved Silicon Valley intact for yet another generation of Soviet industrial espionage). The main attraction of A VIEW TO A KILL is undoubtedly the irresistible Grace Jones. Graceful, fast, resourceful, and a little perverse, May Day finally seems to be the female alter ego Bond has been looking for since the death of his wife in ON HER MAJESTY`S SECRET SERVICE (1969); like her, she, too, must die so as to allow 007 to proceed unhindered to further adventures. It is typical that Bond`s love interest here has a degree in a hard science, but she remains as incompetent and witless as she is cute. A VIEW TO A KILL signals where the next major hurdle for 007 will emerge. The technology in which villains such as Zorin deal to achieve world control is so utterly impersonal that Bond`s old-fashioned craftiness and general education (even when amplified by Q`s special gadgets) may soon become obsolete. As long as he can count on encountering his enemies in falling elevators or burning ships, Bond is all right. In a world of data banks, video screens, and artificial intelligence, Bond will either have to “upgrade” to a full-time science-fiction hero or else withdraw to the sidelines, watching it all, amused, over a dry martini.

Review in 06/10/85 “Macleans”: A view to a kill!

MACLEANS June 10th, 1985
Directed by John Glen

Of all the modern formulas in the movie industry, the James Bond series is among the most pleasurable and durable. Lavish with their budgets, the producers also bring a great deal of craft, wit and a sense of fun to the films. Agent 007 is like an old friend whom an audience meets for drinks every two years or so; he regales them with tall tales, winking all the time. The 15th and newest Bond epic, A View to a Kill, is an especially satisfying encounter.

As Bond, Roger Moore takes on a brilliant but psychotic Russian named Zorin (Christopher Walken) and his lethal assistant, May Day, played by the astonishingly muscular and sleek Grace Jones. The villain`s plan, as in most Bond films, is nothing less ambitious than the takeover of the world, which he plans to do by controlling the international microchip market. Because 80 percent of the world`s microchip production comes from California`s silicon valley, Zorin simply has to close up the San Andreas fault with an explosion and bury the valley under a massive flood. Opening with a breathtaking ski chase in Siberia.

A View to a Kill is the fastest Bond picture yet. Its pace has the precision of a Swiss watch and the momentum of a greyhound on the track. There is a spectacular chase up and down the Eiffel Tower and through Paris streets, which Bond finishes in a severed car on just two wheels. But none of the action prepares the viewer for the heart-stopping climax with Zorin`s dirigible tangled in the cables on top of San Francisco`s Golden Gate Bridge. For all its similarities to earlier episode – deadly villains and gorgeous women – A View to a Kill is a little different.

It is less gadget-ridden, and Bond relies more on old-fashioned know-how: trapped underwater in a car, he escapes and breathes through the tire valve while waiting for his would-be assassins to leave. The world`s technological advances have caught up with Bond, but they never render him obsolete. The Bond movies operate on a level much deeper than their dazzling surfaces: they represent assurance in a world laden with global anxiety. And not only does goodness win out, it does so with style and humour. The movies are fantasies of idealism in which even the hero`s sins are turned into delicious double entendres. “Did you sleep well?” asks Zorin. “A little restlessly,” replies Bond after a night in May Day`s arms. “But I finally got off.”

Their comic-book characters, the good ones that is, are especially alluring – dashing, talented and impervious to danger. Most of all, Bond is a gentleman – a chivalrous knight who has time-travelled. When he saves the “good girl” of A View to a Kill and holds her in his arms on top of the Golden Gate, it is a sublime romantic gesture. It is true that Roger Moore is showing his age (57) in the role, but there are plenty of tunes left in his violin. James Bond is still a virtuoso, with a licence to thrill. -LAWRENCE O`TOOLE

AVTAK Review: 06/03/85 Review in “New Yorker”

NEW YORKER June 3, 1985 Pauline Kael THE James Bond series has had its bummers, but nothing before in the class of “A View to a Kill.”

You go to a Bond picture expecting some style or, at least, some flash, some lift; you don`t expect the dumb police-car crashes you get here. You do see some ingenious daredevil feats, but they`re crowded together and, the way they`re set up, they don`t give you the irresponsible, giddy tingle you`re hoping for. The movie is set mostly in Chantilly, Paris, and San Francisco, and it`s full of bodies and vehicles diving, exploding, going up in flames.

Christopher Walken is the chief villain; the ultra-blond psychopathic product of a Nazi doctor`s experiments, he mows people down casually, his expression jaded. And the director, John Glen, stages the slaughter scenes so apathetically that the picture itself seems dissociated. (I don`t think I`ve ever seen another movie in which race horses were mistreated and the director failed to work up any indignation. If Glen has any emotions about what he puts on the screen, he keeps them to himself.) All that keeps “A View to a Kill” going is that it needs to reach a certain heft to fit into the series.

As the villainess, Grace Jones, of the flat-top haircut and the stylized look of African sculpture, is indifferently good-humoured the way Jane Russell used to be, and much too flaccid, and as the Bond heroine Tanya Roberts (who has a disconcerting resemblance to Isabelle Adjani) is totally lacking in intensity – she goes from one life-threatening situation to another looking vaguely put out.

About the most that can be said for Roger Moore, in his seventh go-round as Bond, is that he keeps his nose to the grindstone, permitting himself no expression except a faint bemusement. It used to be that we could count on Bond to deliver a few zingers, but this time the script (by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson) barely manages a little facetiousness.

The film does come up with one visual zinger: in the small role of Jenny Flex, a stunning young model named Alison Doody comes up with a curvy walk that`s like sex on wheels.

A View To A Review: 05/24/85 Review in “Washington Post”

At the finale of “A View to a Kill,” James Bond (Roger Moore) dangles from a blimp, an almost painfully appropriate metaphor for the adventure series that is now bloated, slow moving and at the end of its rope. It`s not double-oh-seven anymore, but double-oh-seventy, the best argument yet for the mandatory retirement age. Bond`s adversary here is Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), a renegade KGB agent turned billionaire industrialist, who, in league with his lover/bodyguard May Day (Grace Jones), is plotting to corner the microchip market by destroying Silicon Valley.

Why is Zorin so evil, you ask? It turns out that he was “created” in the Nazi concentration camps by a Mengele figure experimenting with steroids on pregnant women. Most of the children died; those who didn`t survived with extraordinary intelligence and more than a touch of psychopathy. Bond first grows suspicious when one of Zorin`s horses, despite its inferior bloodlines, wins a major race at Ascot. Masquerading as James St. John Smythe, he attends a horse auction at Zorin`s Versailles-like estate, where he meets Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), an heiress fallen victim to Zorin`s aggressive mergers and acquisitions practices.

“A View to a Kill” is nothing if not thorough – it rolls nazism, communism and merger mania into one. In between, the movie follows the usual Bond formula, except the gadgets are a cut less ingenious, the women a notch below stunning, the puns and double-entendres something besides clever. “I`m happiest in the saddle,” says Zorin. “A fellow sportsman,” says Bond. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. There is some magnificent stunt work, which only underscores how inadequate Moore has become.

Moore isn`t just long in the tooth – he`s got tusks, and what looks like an eye job has given him the pie-eyed blankness of a zombie. He`s not believable anymore in the action sequences, even less so in the romantic scenes – it`s like watching women fall all over Gabby Hayes. And unlike “Never Say Never Again,” which made a theme out of Sean Connery`s over-the-hilleries, “A View to a Kill” never acknowledges Moore`s age.

We`re just supposed to take him at face value, and once again, the pound has declined. Jones looks terrific – with her powerful spindly limbs and hard polished skull, she`s a large, splendid driver ant – but the minute she opens her mouth, all the air goes out of her performance. She`s an icon, not an actress. And Roberts is an absolute howl as Stacey. When Bond fills her in on Zorin`s plans, she brays, “dat`s incredibewee dangerous!” and flounces off in a pink nightie. She is, by the way, an expert geologist. Walken wears a blond wig, a formidable contraption that lifts from his baldness in a simian sweep – he looks like Dr Zaius and talks like Joey Bishop. He`s trying to send up the material, but at this late date, Bond has moved beyond camp into irrelevance.

AVTAK 05/22/85 Review in “Variety”

May 22nd VARIETY A VIEW TO A KILL (BRITISH-COLOR) Lackluster 007 epic should earn okay b.o. Hollywood, May 21.

There is hardly a red-blooded American boy whose pulse isn`t quicker by the familiar strains of the James Bond theme and the first sight of the hero cocking a gun at any enemy coming his way. Unfortunately, A View to a Kill,” the 16th outing for the Ian Fleming characters, doesn`t keep the adrenaline pumping, exposing the inherent weaknesses of the genre.

Trading on the Bond name, outlook is good for initial business, but momentum is likely to falter, just as the production does. The potential for cinematic thrills and chills, what with glamourous locations, beautiful women and exotic locations, is still there, but in “A View to a Kill” it`s the execution that`s lacking. A traditionally big Bond opening, this time a daring chase through the Alps, gets the film off to a promising start but proves one of the film`s few highlights as it slowly slips into tedium. Basic problem is on the script level with the intricate plot never offering the mindless menace necessary to propel the plot.

First third of the pic is devoted to introduction of characters in a horse-fixing subplot that has no real bearing on the main action. Bond`s adversary this time is the international industrialist Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) and his love-hate interest, May Day (Grace Jones). Bond tangles with them at their regal horse sale and uncovers a profitable scheme in which microchips are surgically implanted in the horse to assure an easy victory. Horse business is moderately entertaining, particularly when Patrick Macnee is on screen as Bond`s chauffeur accomplice.

Action, however, jumps abruptly to San Francisco to reveal Zorin`s true motives. He`s hatching some master plan to pump water from the sea into the San Andreas fault causing a major earthquake, destroying the Silicon Valley and leaving him with the world`s microchip monopoly. Film sags badly in the San Francisco section when it should be soaring, partially due to Bond`s joining forces with American geologist Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts). Try as you might to believe it, Roberts has little credibility as a woman of science.

Her delivery of lines like “I`d sell everything and live in a tent before I`d give,” makes the obvious laughable. While Bond pics have always traded heavily on the camp value of its characters, “A View to a Kill” almost attacks the humor, practically winking at the audience with every move. Director John Glen, who previously directed “For Your Eyes Only,” has not found the right balance between action and humor to make the production dangerous fun. Walken, too, the product of a mad Nazi scientist`s genetic experiments, is a bit wimpy by Bond villain standards. With hair colored an unnaturally yellow he seems more effete than deadly.

As his assistant, Grace Jones is a successful updating of the Jaws-type villain. Jones just oozes `80s style and gets to parade in a number of sensation outfits (designed by Emma Porteous) giving a hard but alluring edge to her character. As for Roger Moore, making his seventh appearance as Bond, he is right about half the time, he still has the suave and cool for the part, but on occasion he looks a bit old for the part and his coy womanizing seems dated when he does. Other instances when the film strives to stake its claim to the rock video audience backfire and miscalculate the appeal of the material.

Opening credit sequence in MTV style is downright bizarre and title song by Duran Duran will certainly not go down as one of the classic Bond tunes. [Hmmm…Editors.] With all of its limitations, production still remains a sumptuous feast to look at. Shot in Panavision by Alan Hume, exotic locations such as the Eiffel Tower, San Francisco Bay and Zorin`s French chateau are rendered beautifully. Climax hanging over the Golden Gate Bridge is chillingly real thanks to the miniature artists and effects people (supervised by John Richardson). Production design by Peter Lamont is first rate.

Roulette, Mister Bond?

American and European versions of roulette use the same rules. The difference between the two versions is that the American machines have a zero and double zero for 38 compartments, and the European machines have only the single zero for 37 compartments.

Each player is given his own colored set of chips (except in France, where some problems arise since all players use the same colored chips). The chips have no face value; each player tells the croupier the value of his chips when he purchases them. The croupier keeps track of the value of each set of chips by putting a small check chip with this value on the stack of chips.

Half the 36 numbers for the compartments are red and the others black. The zero and double zero are neutral colors (usually green).

The croupier asks the players to place their bets. A player does not have to sit at the table to place a bet. Once all bets are down, the croupier spins the wheel clockwise and then flips the ball counterclockwise around the rim of the wheel. Eventually, the ball lands in one of the compartments and the bets are paid off.

The simplest bet is to place chips on a single number. This is betting Straight Up (Plein); if the ball lands in this numbered compartment, the player is paid off at a ratio of 35 to 1.

Chips can be placed to cover several numbers at once. The diagrams on this page show the American and European roulette tables. The chip marked A touches “14” and “17”; this is called Split Numbers (Cheval). If either of these numbers wins, the player is paid off at a ratio of17 to 1. The chip marked B is placed on the corners of 26, 27, 29 and 30; this is called a Corner (Carre) and pays off at 8 to 1.

A Trio (Traversale Plein) bet is on the three numbers in a particular row (chip C in the diagram is betting on 28, 29, and 30); this bet pays off at 11 to 1. On the American version only, a Five Numbers bet can be made (chip D in the diagram covers 0, 00, 1 ,2, and 3); this bet pays off at 6 to 1. A Six Numbers (Traversale Simple) bet covers two rows (chip E in the diagram covers 10, 11, 12 , 13, 14, and 15); this bet pays off at 5 to 1.

A Column Bet (Colonne) covers 12 numbers (chip F in the diagram) in a column, and pays off at 2 to 1. The European tables allow a Split Column (Colonne a Cheval) that covers two columns (24 numbers); it pays off at 1 to 2. A Dozen (Douzaine) bet covers 12 numbers (chip G in the diagram covers 1 through 12); it pays off at 2 to 1. The European tables allow a Split Double (Douzaine a Cheval) where a chip covers 24 numbers; this bet pays off at 1 to 2.

Players can make Even Chance (Chances Simples) bets where the number that will come up will be red (Rouge) or black (Noir), odd (Impair), or even (Pair) or low (Manque; low numbers 1 to 18) or high (passe; high numbers 19 to 36.) These bets pay off even money.

In the American version, if the number that comes up is a 0 or 00, only single bets made on those numbers win. All Even Chance bets are lost in this case. In the European version, a 0 means the croupier “imprisons” the chips (that is, the chips stay on that bet until the next roll) but the chips lose half their value.

Craps He`s Played, Just Once

Craps are played with two six sided dice. The player rolling the dice stands at one end of the table and must throw the dice so they bounce off the other edge of the table. There are usually three or more casino employees at a craps table, keeping track of the numerous bets that can be placed by as many players as can reach the table.

If the player rolling the dice, the shooter, gets a 7 or11 (a natural), on the first roll, he wins automatically. If the gets a 2, 3 or 12 (craps), he loses, Any other number that is rolled is called the “point”; if the shooter rolls this number a second time before rolling a 7, he wins, but if a 7 is rolled before the number, the shooter loses. The shooter continues to throw the dice until he loses on a 7, at which time the dice are passed to the player on his left. The shooter can bet against himself if he wishes.

The craps table is divided into a number of areas where bets are placed (see the diagram at the bottom of this section). Chip A is placed on the “Pass Line” on the table. in this case, the player making this bet thinks the shooter will either get a 7 or 11 or make his point; if the shooter wins, the bettor is paid even money. Chip B is in the “Don`t Pass” box; the player betting assumes the shooter will either get craps (except on a 12, which is a stand off and nobody wins) or not make his point.

Chip C is in the “Come” area. This bet is placed after the shooter has his “point” to make. If the shooter gets a 7 or 11, the bettor wins; on a craps result, the bettor loses. Also, if another number is rolled, the bettor has a “come point” and he will win if the shooter hits this point before rolling a 7. The “Don`t Come” area is played just the opposite; the bettor wins on a craps result and loses on a 7 or 11, or he wins if the shooter gets a 7 before hitting the “come point.”. Both these bets win even money.

A “Field” bet is made on one roll of the dice. If the dice result is a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11, the bettor wins at even money, and if the result is a 2 or 12 the bettor is paid off double. The bettor loses on a result of 5, 6, 7, or 8 (the points that are most likely to be rolled). Chip D is in the “Big 6/8” box; and the bettor wins even money on a 6 or 8 and loses on a 7.

A bettor can choose to get number the “Hard Way”. If the bettor thinks that two 2`s or two 5`s will be rolled and bets on this, he wins at 7 to 1 (he loses if a 7 is rolled or if his number bet comes up in another combination). Likewise, the player can bid on double 3`s or double 4`s at 9 to 1 odds.

There are a number of other one roll bets. Chip E is in the “7” box, and the bet wins if the next roll is a 7 (payoff is 4 to 1). Other boxes are provided for “11” (paying off 15 to 1), “3 Craps” (paying off 15 to 1 that the next roll will be 3), “2 Craps” (paying off 30 to 1 on a roll of 2), “12 Craps” (also paying off 30 to 1 on a roll of 12) and “Any Craps” (paying off 7 to 1 on a roll of 2, 3, or 12). The bettor loses on any of these bets if the dice result is a number other than the one(s) he bet.

A bettor can also play “The Odds”. After a “point” or “come point” is made, a bettor can go for the Odds, betting that the specific point will be rolled before a 7 is rolled. The payoff is 2 to 1 if the point is 4 or 10; 3 to 2 if the point is 9 or 5; and 6 to 5 if the point is 6 or 8. A bettor can also play against the “point” or “come point”; payoff is 1 to 2 on a point of 4 or 10, 2 to 3 on a 5 or 9 point, and 6 to 5 on a 6 or 8 point. A bettor can withdraw an Odds bet before the dice are thrown.

Also, a bettor can make “Place Bets” by putting chips on the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10.The shooter must hit one of these numbers before rolling a 7 for the bettor to win. (any other result is a stand off). The bets are paid off at 9 to 5 for a 4 an d10, at 7 to 5 for a 5 and 9, and at 7 to 6 for a 6 and 8.

Blackjack or “Vingt-et-un”

This game is also known as “Twenty One” and, in Europe, as “Vingt-et-un”. The house dealer asks for bets and then gives out one card face up to each player plus one for himself. Then he deals a second card face up to the players and himself. (Note that the dealing of cards face up or down varies from casino to casino) The object of the game is to reach 21 or come as close as possible without going over. The players can elect to take extra cards to get closer to 21.

An Ace in this game is worth either 1 or 11 (at the players choice); face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) are worth 10; and the other cards are worth their face value. Thus, a combination of an Ace and a 10 equals 21 (this is called a “natural” blackjack and automatically wins, unless the dealer also has a natural blackjack in which case the player neither wins nor loses his bet).

If a player`s first two cards equal less than 21, he may continue to have the dealer give him extra cards (“hits”) one at a time until he elects to stand or goes over 21 (in which case he automatically loses). After all players have taken their extra cards, the dealer must give himself an extra card if his first two cards total 16 or less and he must stand if his total is 17 or more.

Any player who has a natural blackjack wins at the rate of 3 to 2 (unless the dealer also has a natural blackjack, in which case there is a tie). Any player whose card total is higher than the dealer`s wins at even odds. Any player who ties the dealer`s card total is in a tie and neither wins nor loses his bet. All hands that are less than the dealer`s total or that go over 21 lose.

There are several variations that may occur during a hand. A Split Pair occurs when a player`s first two cards are of the same value ( a pair of 9`s for example) or are both worth 10 ( a 10 and a Queen, or a Jack and a King). The player in this case can split the cards and play them as if they are two hands. Play proceeds as described above and the player can bet on both hands. If the player gets another pair, he can split up those cards for new hands, up to a maximum of 5 splits. The use of Split Pairs varies from casino to casino.

There are some limitations on Split Pairs. If Aces are split, the player receives only one card on each Ace. Also, if a player has an Ace and a 10 or picture card with a split pair, he does not have a “natural” blackjack` instead, the cards are worth 21 and if he wins, the payoff is at even money. These variations in Split Pairs differ from casino to casino.

A second variation is Double Down. When a player`s first two cards equal 9, 10, or 11, he can double his bet. In this case, he receives only one more card (the exception being that if his first total is 9 and he draws a 2, he can be given one more card).

A player may also place an Insurance bet if the dealer drew an Ace on his first card. Before anyone receives a second card, a player may bet up to half his original bet that the deal will get a natural blackjack with his second card. If the dealer does indeed get a natural blackjack, the player is paid off at 2 to 1; if the dealer does not make a natural blackjack, the player loses his Insurance bet.

Backgammon, Kamal Khan!

Backgammon is a game for two players, played on a board consisting of twenty-four narrow triangles called points. The triangles alternate in color and are grouped into four quadrants of six triangles each. The quadrants are referred to as a player`s home board and outer board, and the opponent`s home board and outer board. The home and outer boards are separated from each other by a ridge down the center of the board called the bar.

The points are numbered for either player starting in that player`s home board. The outermost point is the twenty-four point, which is also the opponent`s one point. Each player has fifteen checkers of his own color. The initial arrangement of checkers is: two on each player`s twenty-four point, five on each player`s thirteen point, three on each player`s eight point, and five on each player`s six point.

Both players have their own pair of dice and a dice cup used for shaking. A doubling cube, with the numerals 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 on its faces, is used to keep track of the current stake of the game.

The object of the game is for a player to move all of his checkers into his own home board and then bear them off. The first player to bear off all of his checkers wins the game.

To start the game, each player throws a single die. This determines both the player to go first and the numbers to be played. If equal numbers come up, then both players roll again until they roll different numbers. The player throwing the higher number now moves his checkers according to the numbers showing on both dice. After the first roll, the players throw two dice and alternate turns.

The roll of the dice indicates how many points, or pips, the player is to move his checkers. The checkers are always moved forward, to a lower-numbered point. The following rules apply:

To start the game, each player throws a single die. This determines both the player to go first and the numbers to be played. If equal numbers come up, then both players roll again until they roll different numbers. The player throwing the higher number now moves his checkers according to the numbers showing on both dice. After the first roll, the players throw two dice and alternate turns.

The roll of the dice indicates how many points, or pips, the player is to move his checkers. The checkers are always moved forward, to a lower-numbered point. The following rules apply:

1. A checker may be moved only to an open point, one that is not occupied by two or more opposing checkers.

2. The numbers on the two dice constitute separate moves. For example, if a player rolls 5 and 3, he may move one checker five spaces to an open point and another checker three spaces to an open point, or he may move the one checker a total of eight spaces to an open point, but only if the intermediate point (either three or five spaces from the starting point) is also open.

3. A player who rolls doubles plays the numbers shown on the dice twice. A roll of 6 and 6 means that the player has four sixes to use, and he may move any combination of checkers he feels appropriate to complete this requirement.

A player must use both numbers of a roll if this is legally possible (or all four numbers of a double). When only one number can be played, the player must play that number. Or if either number can be played but not both, the player must play the larger one. When neither number can be used, the player loses his turn. In the case of doubles, when all four numbers cannot be played, the player must play as many numbers as he can.

Hitting and Entering

A point occupied by a single checker of either color is called a blot. If an opposing checker lands on a blot, the blot is hit and placed on the bar.

Any time a player has one or more checkers on the bar, his first obligation is to enter those checker(s) into the opposing home board. A checker is entered by moving it to an open point corresponding to one of the numbers on the rolled dice.

For example, if a player rolls 4 and 6, he may enter a checker onto either the opponent`s four point or six point, so long as the prospective point is not occupied by two or more of the opponent`s checkers.

If neither of the points is open, the player loses his turn. If a player is able to enter some but not all of his checkers, he must enter as many as he can and then forfeit the remainder of his turn.

After the last of a player`s checkers has been entered, any unused numbers on the dice must be played, by moving either the checker that was entered or a different checker

Once a player has moved all of his fifteen checkers into his home board, he may commence bearing off. A player bears off a checker by rolling a number that corresponds to the point on which the checker resides, and then removing that checker from the board. Thus, rolling a 6 permits the player to remove a checker from the six point.

If there is no checker on the point indicated by the roll, the player must make a legal move using a checker on a higher-numbered point. If there are no checkers on higher-numbered points, the player is permitted (and required) to remove a checker from the highest point on which one of his checkers resides. A player is under no obligation to bear off if he can make an otherwise legal move.

Backgammon is played for an agreed stake per point. Each game starts at one point. During the course of the game, a player who feels he has a sufficient advantage may propose doubling the stakes. He may do this only at the start of his own turn and before he has rolled the dice.

A player who is offered a double may refuse, in which case he concedes the game and pays one point. Otherwise, he must accept the double and play on for the new higher stakes. A player who accepts a double becomes the owner of the cube and only he may make the next double.

Subsequent doubles in the same game are called redoubles. If a player refuses a redouble, he must pay the number of points that were at stake prior to the redouble. Otherwise, he becomes the new owner of the cube and the game continues at twice the previous stakes. There is no limit to the number of redoubles in a game. At the end of the game, if the losing player has borne off at least one checker, he loses only the value showing on the doubling cube (one point, if there have been no doubles). However, if the loser has not borne off any of his checkers, he is gammoned and loses twice the value of the doubling cube. Or, worse, if the loser has not borne off any of his checkers and still has a checker on the bar or in the winner`s home board, he is backgammoned and loses three times the value of the doubling cube.

The following optional rules are in widespread use.

Beavers. When a player is doubled, he may immediately redouble (beaver) while retaining possession of the cube. The original doubler has the option of accepting or refusing as with a normal double.

Automatic doubles. If identical numbers are thrown on the first roll, the stakes are doubled. The doubling cube is turned to 2 and remains in the middle. Players usually agree to limit the number of automatic doubles to one per game

The Jacoby Rule. Gammons and backgammons count only as a single game if neither player has offered a double during the course of the game. This rule speeds up play by eliminating situations where a player avoids doubling so he can play on for a gammon.


The dice must be rolled together and land flat on the surface of the right-hand section of the board. The player must reroll both dice if a die lands outside the right-hand board, or lands on a checker, or does not land flat.

A turn is completed when the player picks up his dice. If the play is incomplete or otherwise illegal, the opponent has the option of accepting the play as made or of requiring the player to make a legal play. A play is deemed to have been accepted as made when the opponent rolls his dice or offers a double to start his own turn.

If a player rolls before his opponent has completed his turn by picking up the dice, the player`s roll is voided. This rule is generally waived any time a play is forced or when there is no further contact between the opposing forces.

The Thrills of baccarat

Before his assignment to investigate Dr.No, Bond was challenged by Sylvia Trench. While playing chemin de fer at his favorite London casino, he enjoyed a startling run of good luck as the banker. Trench seemed determined to break Bond`s bank and called “Banco” over and over. It soon became obvious to the people around the table that this private battle had implications beyond baccarat.

After rescuing the Countess Tracy di Vicenzo, the daughter of Marc Ange Draco, from an apparent suicide attempt and then a kidnapping, Bond came to her salvation against at the Casino in Estoril, Portugal. Tracy had called “Banco” at chemin de fer and did not have the money to cover her bet when she lost. Bond gallantly stepped forward to cover her bet, which eventually led to their short but loving marriage.

At a casino on the island of Corfu, Bond was controlling the shoe at chemin de fer and playing against a perspiring gentleman named Bunky. After losing a number of times to Bond, the man decided to match only half the bank…that is until his nerve was questioned by the Countess Lisl Von Schlaf. He then matched the whole bank…and lost. (Lisl was schillng for the house.)

In the Casino de Monte Carlo (pictured left), James Bond plays a game of Baccarat against evil villainesses Xenia Onatopp. After losing the first hand, Bond battles back to overtake Xenia on the second hand, thus earning her eternal wrath.

Baccarat and “Chemin De Fer”

Both games are similar and are often mistaken for one another. Chemin de fer offers more choice to the gambler, while baccarat has strict rules as to when a card must be taken or not (in some European casinos it is known as Punto Banco) Both games are akin to blackjack. Chemin de fer will be described first and baccarat next.

In chemin de fer, gamblers are pitted against one another. One gambler puts up a certain amount of money ahead of time in order to control the deal, or bids against the other gamblers for the privilege. He deals until his bank is broken or he withdraws. Six 52 card decks are shuffled together and placed in a device called “shoe”, from which the cards are slid out one at a time. The player dealing is called the “banker” and the other players are called “punters”. The banker tests the shoe by drawing several cards, showing them to the players and discarding them.

The players, starting with the first to the right of the banker, then place bets against the bank. The next player to the right places his bet against the bank, and so on around the table until the amount in the bank is covered or all players have placed bets. Any player may call “Banco” indicating the wishes to bet against the entire bank; should two or more players call “Banco” the first player to the right of the banker has the privilege. The banker is responsible only for the money in the bank, never for any bets that go higher than this amount.

Only two hands are dealt: the banker`s and one hand for all players. The player with the highest bet plays the hand (or the player nearest the right hand of the banker in case of a tie). The banker deals one card face-down to the player and one to himself, and then deals a second card to each hand. After the first two cards are drawn, the punter can choose to draw (carte) or pass (pas de carte); the third card is dealt face-up.

The object of the game is to come as close to 9 as possible, but not 10 (called Baccarat) or more. The face values of the cards are counted together and any 10 in the sum is ignored. Thus, a 7 and 6 equals 3 (6 + 7=13; the 10 is ignored so the value is 3) and an 8 and a 9 equals 7 (17 minus the 10 is 7). If the first two cards add up to 8 or 9, the hand is considered a “natural” (similar to blackjack). A natural 9 beats a natural 8. If the player`s hand is the winner, each of the players receives a portion of the bank equal to what he bet. If the banker wins, he takes the players` money.

In baccarat, there are strict rules as to when a card must be taken and when a player must stand. On a 0 up to 4 count, the punter must draw a card. On 5, he may stand or pass, and on a 6 or 7, he must stand. If he has an 8 or a 9 (a natural), he turns over his hands and shows it to the banker (he does not draw another card). The banker then reveals his hand and, depending on the total, draws or stands. The high hand is the winner. If the card totals are equal, the hand is thrown in and a new hand is dealt, with the punters again placing their bets against the bank. The banker may turn over the shoe to the next player at any time, saying “le banque pass.” No player is forced to be the banker. The house gets 2.5 percent of the winnings from each hand.

Baccarat does not pit one gambler against another. Instead, everyone, including the dealer, bets on the banks hand or the player hand. There is no bank; gamblers` bets are limited solely by the table minimum and maximum. Usually there are two croupiers at the table to oversee the action. They announce the cards and whether a card must be taken or not. There is really very little for the gambler to decide except of the size of the bet.

Baccarat can also be played on a table with a double layout (a deux tableaux). In this case, the banker deals out two hands, one to the left and the other to his right, as well as his own hand. Bets, which pay off even money, can be placed against either player hand or both (a cheval); precedence of who will play against the hands are from the right of the banker or frh the right hand, and to the left of the banker for the left hand.

The bankers deals out the two cards to the player`s hands before dealing his own hand. In both chemin de fer and baccarat, another card must be drawn if the first two cards are 0 through 4; a card may be drawn or not on a 5; and the hand must stand on a 6 through 9. These decisions are predetermined and all players must abide by the rules.

The banker faces certain advantages and disadvantages by playing against two hands. If one of the player`s hands is a natural and 8 or 9, the banker must observe the rules of draw for the other hand. If neither player`s hand is a natural and one asks for a draw while the other stand, the banker can draw or not. And if both players` hand are naturals, the banker must stand. The winning hand is determined as for chemin de fer.

A player who has bet on both hands wins the equivalent of his bet if both punters` hands win. He wins half his bet if one punter`s hand wins, and he loses his bet if the banker`s hand wins.

Q: The Wizard

Attache Case (From Russia With Love) Contains 50 Gold Sovreigns, 40 rounds of ammunition, infrared telescopic sight, AR-7 folding stock survival rifle, and a can of tear gas designed to look like talcum powder. The canister will explode if the case is opened inappropriately. 007 used this case to help defeat Red Grant.

Cigarette Rocket (You Only Live Twice) Demonstrated by Tiger Tanaka and his secret service, this nifty little invention miniaturizes a rocket and places it inside of a cigarette. It is ignited by lighting the cigarette. A fuse embedded in the tobacco triggers the rocket out of the lit end. 007 used this gadget to set in motion a chain of events that would help him escape from Blofeld and his underground volcano lair.

Cell Phone (Tomorrow Never Dies) Q Branch, in conjunction with Ericsson Mobile Cellular Phones and BMV, has created one of the most memorable and inventive gadgets. Open the cell phone, tap twice on the pad and the ignition to the BMW750il starts up. Trace your finger around the pad to steer the car. Microcameras placed in the front of the car beam back images to a minituare television display on the cell phone. The combination of pressing 3, Recall, Send will cause a bolt of electricity to jump from the phone. It also comes equipped with a fingerprint scanner. Other features found in the BMW750il are also controlled by the phone, such as reinflating tires, wire cutters, and missle launchers.Bond used this phone to escape Stamper and his men in Hamburg, Germany.

Key Chain (The Living Daylights) A whistle activated key chain. By whistling “God Save The Queen” the chain emits a stun gas capable of knocking out more normal people withing a 5 ft range. A wolf whistle activates a highly charged explosive compound. Bond used this keychain twice; Once to escape a Russian jailor and another time to destroy Brad Whitaker

Pens (Mightier Than The Sword!):

Acid (Octopussy) Comes in two styles: Ball Point and Fountain. Each pen is pressurized with an inert gas designed to emit a 1 inch stream of fluid acid. The Ball Point pen holds 2 cc`s of acid; the Fountain 4 cc`s. It will cut through all metals. This Q Branch invention was used to help 007 escape from Kamal Kahn`s Monsson Palace.

Grenade (Goldeneye) Class 4 grenade; 3 clicks arms the 4 second fuse and another 3 clicks disarms it

Pick (Moonraker) The pen`s head is pressurized to release a 6 inch knife/pick when triggered. 007 used this gadget to kill a Python.

Peton Belt (Goldeneye) 75 foot rapelling cord built into the buckle; fire and out shoots a peton and a high tensile wire designed to support the weight of one man.


Detonator (Moonraker) Pressing twice on the watch face releases a 16 foot long strand of ultrathin wire and 2 blasting caps. Plastique explosives are embedded in the wristband. 007 used this Q Branch invention to help himself, and Holly Goodhead, escape from the impending blast of a Moonraker Shuttle liftoff.

Garrote (From Russia With Love) The time setting stem can also be used to pull out a long strand of ultrathin wire used to strangle advesaries. Red Grant used this watch.

Laser This Q Branch invention contains a particle laser capable of burning through wrought iron steel or 3 inch armor plating. Laser beam has a shelf life of 60 seconds before diffusing. 007 has used this gadget to escape from Maximillian Largo`s North African fortress in Never Say Never Again and to escape from 006`s death train in Goldeneye.

Magnetic A counter clockwise turn of the watch facing creates a magnetic field strong enough to attract metal objects from as far away as 25 feet and up to 50 lbs. 007 used this Q Branch invention to eliminate Kananga in Live and Let Die.

Printer / Receiver (The Spy Who Loved Me) Contains a shortwave receiver, paper punch,enough paper for a message of 128 characters, and a RAM microchip which stores the message received.

Radar (Octopussy) A miniaturized radar unit packed into the facing of most standard Q Branch watches. They are capable of picking up 4 different types of homing devices. 007 used this watch to monitor the comings and goings of Kamal Kahn at The Monsoon Palace.

Rotary Saw (Live and Let Die) A miniaturized saw and motor are triggered by subtle pressure points in the watch casing. The saw has the capabilities of cutting through steel at the rate of a half inch per minute. The life of the motor is 10 minutes. 007 used the saw to free himself and Solitaire from Dr.Kananga`s roped clutches.

Television (Octopussy) This Seiko/Q Branch invention contains a 1 inch liquid crystal television monitor that displays live images from any remote camera beaming a signal into it. As usual, the watch has all the other basics, such as time settings and alarm bells. 007 used this gadget to locate Octopussy`s position after being kidnapped by Kamal Kahn.


Avram (Thunderball) Lightweight tracer that can be placed on someone else or swallowed in the form of a pill. Range is 3 miles and broadcasts for 3 hours upon activation.

Davey (Goldfinger) Distinguishing characteristic of this tracer is that it is indestructable. Has a 6 hour broadcasting life and a 3 mile range of detection.

Echo (Octopussy) Transmits only in response to certain broadcast frequencies. Radar tracking units, typically found in Q Branch watches, can only home in on the signal from the tracer and cannot be used to track anything else.

X Ray Safecracker (Moonraker) The Safecracker is disguised as either a pocket calculator or cigarette case. A plate swings out to form a viewing screen similar to a flouroscope. A burst battery with an extremely short shelf life generates the needed electricity to operate the safecracker. The life of the battery is less than 60 seconds. This Q Branch invention was used to remove sensitive documents from the safe of Hugo Drax that connected him to a nerve gas facility in Venice, Italy.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Ride With 007!

Aerospatiale HH-65A Dolphin
Bond used this helicopter, with help from CIA/DEA agent Felix Leiter, to reel in drug lord Franz Sanchez` light airplane in License To Kill. Background on the Dolphin: –Uses the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System as its primary long range navigational aid. –Powered by 2 Lycoming LTS101-750A-1 turbo shafts, its maximum speed is 257 kph and has an endurance of 4 hours –Length 13.46 meters, rotor diameter 11.93 meters and height 3.51 meters –7.62mm M60 machine guns can be mounted in the doors for suppressing fire in hostile areas, but most missions are flown without armament to save weight and increase endurance

Aston Martin DB-V
The classic. The one car that all others are inevitably compared to. It has appeared in Goldfinger, Thunderball and GoldenEye. It comes equipped from Q Branch with machine guns, smoke screen, oil spray, ejector seat, radar tracking, rear bulletproof screen, Level 3 armor, retractable tire shredders and a small wine chiller underneath the arm rest. It seats 2 people (at times) is 190 inches long, 4000 pounds (2 tons), generates 375 horsepower, and can go from 0-60 in 5.7 seconds.

Aston Martin Volante
The Aston Martin made a triumphant, updated, modernized return during 007`s “The Living Daylights” mission. 007 and Kara used it to escape from Czech soldiers. Refinements, courtesy of Q Branch, include: lasers that emit from the hubcaps, rocket turbo booster, outriggers, stinger missiles from the headlights and a self destruct mechanism. Other specifications include: –Front Engine / RWD –15 foot in length –6 foot width –Nearly 5 ft. in height –5 speed manual transmission –Top Speed 255 kph / 159 mph –0-60 (mph) in 6.0 sec –355 Horsepower @ 5300 rpm

Bede Ministar Acrojet
This lightweight, one person mini-jet is able to reach top speeds of 250 mph and perform maneuvers in spaces with a width of less than four feet. Bond used this jet to escape the heat seeking missile Colonel Toro launched against 007 in “Octopussy”, and instead, turned the situation against the Colonel that eventually led to his death. There are only two of these jets in the world. Bond first wanted to use these jets for himself and Holly Goodhead on their “Moonraker” mission, but circumstances negated that possibility.

The C-130 Hercules
The Hercules was used in The Living Daylights even though the producers tried to disguise it is as a Russian transport plane. In the film, Necros and 007 fight to the death on a bale of heroin that dangles precariously outside of the airplane. Later, 007 and Kara jettison the plane via a parachute rigged jeep found in the cargo hold. A little background info on the C-130: It can accommodate 92 combat troops or 64 fully equipped paratroopers. Paratroopers exit the aircraft through two doors on either side of the aircraft behind the landing-gear fairings or off the rear ramp for airdrops. It contains four engines, each capable of 4,300 horsepower. It`s 97 feet (29.3 meters) in length; 38 feet and 3 inches in height (11.4 meters); its wingspan is 132 feet and 7 inches (39.7 meters); top speeds reach 374 mph at 20,000 feet; maximum altitude is 33,000 ft and holds a crew of 5.

The C-141 Starlifter
The Starlifter was used by Anton Murik as a command post to initiate Operation: Meltdown in the John Gardner 007 thriller “License Renewed”. It was here, in the cargo bay doors, that 007 and Caber had a fight to the death. A few features of the C-141 Starlifter include in-flight refueling capability and 2,171 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The C-141 has a changeable cargo compartment and can transition itself from rollers on the floor for palletized cargo to a smooth floor for wheeled vehicles, aft facing seats found in commercialized airplanes or sidewall canvas seating for passengers. More characteristics include 20,250 pounds of thrust in each of its four engines; a wingspan of 160 feet (48.7 meters); a length of 168 feet and 4 inches (51 meters); a height of 139 feet and 3 inches (11.9 meters); achievable speeds of nearly 500 mph. (Mach .66) at 25,000 ft. altitude; unlimited range with in-flight refueling; can hold up to 200 troops; has a crew of 2 pilots, 2 flight engineers, and 1 loadmaster.

Citroen 2CV
After having his own car rendered useless in “For Your Eyes Only”, 007 hitches a ride with Melina Havelock in her Citroën 2CV. Sometimes you have to make do with what you have, and 007 certainly made the best of a bad situation. The Citroën 2CV is not Lotus Turbo Esprit, but it gets the job done.

Jaguar XK8
The Jaguar normally has a V8 four-valve-per-cylinder engine with an output of 290 horsepower. Q Branch and its Special Vehicles Operations Unit improved upon the Jag`s performance and added a few, actually a lot, of extra goodies. Those extra modifications include: –Chobam armor plating; a “reactive skin”. If the car is shot at, the bullet is deflected back at an opposite and equal force. –Self-healing metal via vicious fluids. –Electrically sensitive pigments in the paint that can change colors like a chameleon; also comes with interchangeable license plates for use in foreign countries as well. –GPS (Global Positioning Satellites) navigation with a self driving mechanism. –Heat seeking rockets and cruise missiles –A flying scout that is launched from underneath the car, flies up and over the car, surveys the territory, and sends back pictures and data of targets ahead of you Can emit holographic projections from the headlights and taillights, as well as inside the car, giving the impression someone is in the car when they are not. James Bond used this car to escape danger in the novel “The Facts Of Death”.

Lotus Turbo Esprit
Possibly the second most famous 007 car after the Aston Martin DB5. It has been seen in The Spy Who Loved Me, and For Your Eyes Only. It comes equipped with rear oil slick spray, surface to air missile, and can be converted into an underwater submersible capable of depths not greater than 16 feet. It`s submarine capabilities are only good for up to 15 miles before the batteries need to be recharged. The Esprit is 130 inches long, with the engine in the middle, thereby cutting down the length of the car. It can reach 160 horsepower, go from 0 to 60 in 8.4 seconds and seats 2. It also contains a self-destruct anti theft device: if anyone unauthorized tries to break into it, it will automatically explode. Take that, would be carjackers!

Lunar Roving Vehicle
Initial contractor the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) was Boeing with GM Delco making the electronics. Whyte Technology made improvements on the LRV design that was first used on the Apollo 15 mission. 007 stole the LRV during a training session at the White Technology Center on his “Diamonds Are Forever” mission. Other LRV facts: –The chassis was made of aluminum. –It can carry equipment, astronauts, and a payload of up to 1100 lbs , more than twice its own weight. –Power is supplied by 2 silver-zinc batteries, each 36v, 121 amp-hours per battery, encased in magnesium, then enclosed by thermal blankets and dust covers. –The LRV had an inertial navigation device that always pointed toward the LEM (bearing and distance), so the astronauts would not have to guess where they were in the lunar environment Lunar rover data and quotes are from “The Lunar Roving Vehicle: A Historical Perspective” by Saverio F. Morea, Director, Research and Technology Office, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama.

Moonraker Shuttles
This shuttle can transport cargo and humans into near Earth orbit 100 to 217 miles above the Earth. The cargo — or payload — is carried in a bay 15 feet in diameter and 60 ft long. The orbiter and the two solid rocket boosters are reusable. Other features of the Moonraker: –Can carry a total of 10 persons –Launched from an upright position, with thrust provided by the three Moonraker engines and the two Solid Rocket Boosters. –After 2 minutes, the two boosters are spent and are separated from the external tank. They fall into the ocean at predetermined points and are recovered for reuse. –The Moonraker`s main engines continue firing for about 8 minutes. They shut down just before the craft goes into orbit. The external tank is then separated from the orbiter. It follows a predetermined trajectory into a remote area of the ocean but is not recovered. James Bond and Holly Goodhead used Moonraker 6 to get to Drax`s space station, and then used Drax’s personal Moonraker shuttle to escape.

The Neptune
The Neptune is a two person, “wet sub”, which means that it becomes partially filled with water. Melina Havelock and James Bond used the Neptune to recover the ATAC and fend off Kristatos’ men on Bond`s “For Your Eyes Only”

Polaris Indy 600
Seen only in A View To A Kill. The Polaris has front and rear suspension, liquid cooled disc brakes, and can reach speeds in excess of 100 mph. It seats two.

Riva 2000 Boat Glider
Bond`s most technologically advanced speedboat ever. He used this boat to escape Jaws on the Tapuraki River, in Brazil, during his “Moonraker” mission. The boat comes equipped with, courtesy of Q Branch: Self guiding torpedoes that are launched from the taillights and follow the wake of the target’s boat floating mines launched from a retractable tray Rear bulletproof shield Roof converts into a hang glider for quick and easy getaways.

Rocket Belt
Originally designed in 1953 by Bell Aerosystems Engineer Wendell F. Moore, the rocket belt was part of an American Army project to create a “small rocket lifting device” that could improve soldier mobility and maneuverability. Q Branch improved upon the idea with a version that included fuel tanks, handlebars, a control throttle and a pair of rocket nozzles. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) fuel was fed over silver mesh, which in turn produced 1,400-degree steam. The steam , then forced through nozzles, unleashed 330 pounds of thrust and 135 decibels of sound. The biggest obstacle to overcome was limited fuel capacity. The belt’s oxygen tanks could only hold enough H2O2 for a 23-second flight. 007 used this device to escape from Jack Bouvard`s French Chateau in Thunderball.

T-55 Battle Tank
The Battle Tank was used by 007 to escape from a Russian interrogation center and to chase down Ourumov, who had kidnapped Natalya, in GoldenEye. The tank holds up to 4 crew members and is armed with the following: 100 mm Main Gun; 7.62 mm Coaxial Machine Gun; 7.62 mm Machine Gun. Ammunition includes 34 -100 mm shells, 500-12.7mm shells, and 3000-7.62 mm shells. It`s 6.45 meters long, 3.27 meters wide, 2.4 meters in height and weighs nearly 5 tons.. It has a 520 horsepower, V-12 Water Cooled Diesel Engine that can run at top speeds of 48 kph. It`s protected by 203 mm of Steel Armor and comes with Infra-Red Night Scopes.

Spain, Vietnam and China – bond movie locations

Spain: Was once an original location shoot for Tomorrow Never Dies but was scrapped just prior to filming. The film was behind schedule and this may have been the reason. Spain and the Guggenheim made it back into the next film, The World Is Not Enough.

Vietnam: The producers wanted to actually film the relevant scenes of Tomorrow Never Dies in Vietnam where part of the film is set. Apparently the Communist factions of either China or Vietnam didn`t approve and took away Bond`s permit to film there. Thailand was then used as a substitute. EON will tell you though that they backed out of Vietnam, not the other way around. Why China would crush this production is a mystery, since the script is very complementary of them. Speaking of China…

China: Was one of the original locations for Licence To Kill. Locations had been scouted as early as December of 1987 in preparation for a summer 1988 filming date. What happened to the China angle? The primary reason is that EON wanted to be the first major Western film production to use China as a backdrop. “Empire Of The Sun” beat them to it. And it would`ve been more expensive to film in China as well and EON found a good place to film with Cherubusco Studios in Mexico City.

Bond and morocco

Tangier and Quarzazate served as two of the international backdrops for “The Living Daylights”. Morocco is located in the far Northwest corner of Africa. It`s boundaries are primarily made up of The Atlantic Ocean, The Meditteranean Sea, and The Atlas Mountain range.

Tangier For Brad Whitaker`s villa in “The Living Daylights”, the producers made use of the esate of Albert Broccoli`s good friend, Malcolm Forbes. The interiors were filmed at Pinewood , but extensive exterior footage was shot around the sprawling sea side estate, including use of the pool, gardens, and sea side terraces. The crew filmed exteriors in the early part of October `86 during the day. And it shows. For while the climactic fight between Whitaker and 007 was supposed to be in the evening, the bright shining light of the sun in closeups of 007 infiltrating Whitaker`s compound clearly show that this sequence was not filmed in the evening.

Though production in Tangier did run smoothly overall, there were a few holdups. The cherry red `57 Chevy Impala Liz and Ava use to drive 007 to Felix`s yacht kept stalling out so many times that the director had two men get behind the car and push it for closeups of the car coming to a stop. Luckily, the car did manage to start long enough to get one good wide shot of it pulling in front of Leiter`s yacht. In addition to that little problem, the $5 million dollar yacht, on loan to the producers , pulled in to the marina several hours late, thus holding up filming that day.

On a side note….prostitution is everywhere in Tangier. Discos, restaurants, street markets, shopping centers, etc… It`s very obvious and not hidden. So it`s not a stretch to understand why Ava and Liz went undercover as prostitutes to lure 007 to Leiter`s hideout. General Pushkin and his wife stayed at the Hotel Ile De France which is a real hotel in Tangier. The Convention Center where the North African Trade Confernce takes place is real as well, but the interiors were shot in an assembly hall in England.

Quarzazate This small town deep in the heart of Morocco was planned and built to be the next big Casablanca. It failed and is instead mostly a ghost town, with hotel occupancy rarely at full capacity. The producers used Quarzazate to double for Afghanistan. With it`s barren ranges, and snow capped mountains, it was the perfect location to simulate then war torn Russian occupied Afghanistan. Quarzazate`s airport and runway were converted and remodeled to resemble General Fedor`s basecamp.

Useful Facts:

Full country name: Kingdom of Morocco

Area: 447,000 sq km

Population: 29 million

Capital city: Rabat

People: 55% Arab, 44% Berber, 0.7% foreign immigrants, 0.2% Jewish

Chief Religion: Islam

Government: Constitutional Monarchy

Head of State: King Hassan II

Language: Apart from classical Arabic, the everyday language in Morocco is a dialectal Arabic, as well as Tamazight (Berber) spoken in the Rif, the Atlas and the Souss and varies according to region. Most Moroccans speak French and many speak Spanish and English.

Dress: Appropriate attire for women is a customary courtesy for the Moroccan tradition, mostly in the South where shorts and very provocative attire on women is discouraged.

Money: The Moroccan currency is the Dirham (DH) divided into 100 centimes. You can only obtain Dirhams in Morocco.

–Special assistance with this story courtesy of The Department of Ministry and Tourism For The Kingdom Of Morocco

goldeneye – never say never again – casino royale ’67 – Monaco!


Monaco is often described as the jewel of the Cote d`Azur. As one of the smallest countries in the world, it is in the heart of the Riviera at just over 13 square miles in diameter. Monaco was designed with the rich and famous in mind, and it`s easy to see why James Bond frequented this beautiful area of land in both film and book.

Monte Carlo is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and has something for everyone. Whether you want to sunbathe, swim, golf, shop, or go to the opera, Monte Carlo can accommodate you.

While in Monte Carlo, spy out the royal palace of the Grimaldi`s on the Place du Palais. Or if you are in to sports, check out the Monte Carlo Golf Club. The course, at 2600 ft. above sea level, is short but challenging. From it`s tenth and thirteenth holes players can gaze at the beauty of the Mediterranean, the Alps, distant Italian towns and even St. Tropez. The adjoining Monte Carlo Country Club offers superb tennis facilities. From September through December, the Monte Carlo Symphony offers Sunday concerts in the auditorium of the Convention Centre. The best troupers from around the world are invited to perform in the International Circus Festival in December. The arrival of spring is celebrated with the Bal de Rose, whit one hundred violinists playing in a ball room decorated with 12,000 roses, where, it is said, champagne flows like water.

The Casino de Monte Carlo

Monaco boasts of having the largest and the most famous gambling establishment in the world-the Casino de Monte Carlo. Since it first opened it`s doors in 1863, the Casino has welcomed statesmen, royalty, international celebrities and her majesty`s most sophisticated secret agent, James Bond 007.

The Casino and its neighboring counterpart, the Hotel de Paris, are both owned and operated by the Societe des Bains de Mer (Society of Sea Bathers). In 1863, one of it`s members, Francois Blanc was asked to take over the financially troubled casino. Blanc is credited with turning the “Rock” as Monte Carlo was known in those days, into the fashionable and sumptuous resort visitors enjoy today.

Today, the S.B.M is a privately-owned company, regulated by the government. The taxes paid by the SBM go towards public works and supporting the principality.

In Monte Carlo, as anywhere where gambling is a major industry, superstition and legends flourish. The most interesting of these stories concern people who have “broke the bank”. One could never break the Casino itself, but, in the old days, each roulette table was assigned a fixed reserve of money. If a player won a table`s entire reserve, the “bank” at that table was considered broken and the table was covered with a symbolic mourning cloth until the bank was replenished.

In the summer of 1891, an Englishman named Charles Wells broke the bank not once but several times. In three days he turned 10,000 gold francs into a million. When he returned to England he found he was a national hero. Wells later returned to the Casino in November of that year and started winning all over again. The Casino management naturally wanted to make sure that Wells was not cheating and hired private detectives to watch Wells and the Casino staff for any signs of collusion. They found nothing. Unfortunately Wells squandered his forunte and tried his hand again the next year. But his streak of luck had ended, and he died in poverty and disgrace. No one has ever figured out the number combination that was the source of Well`s initial good fortune. There have been a number of theories: a coat check number, a room or restaurant table number, a specific date or a child`s age.

The American Room

In April 1979, the American Room opened in the Casino. Since that time it has been welcoming visitors from North American with comparable style gambling and an English speaking staff. (The staff members are sent to an intensive training course in Las Vegas) An ornate skylight allows daylight to filter into the room and the eight chandeliers of Bohemian crystal (each weighing over 300 pounds) provide nighttime illumination.

Gambling in the American Room is played with American rules. For example, the American roulette wheel displays both a double zero and a single zero. Each player is given different colored chips and players fix the value of the chip themselves. Minimum and maximum bets on other games are 25 and 2500 francs for blackjack and craps. In addition to the 4 roulette wheels, the room also features 12 blackjack tables, 3 crap tables, a baccarra table and 150 slot machines. The American Room is open daily (except the evening of May 1st which is Labor Day in France). The slot machines can be played from 10 am to 4 am. You must be 21 and over to gamble.

The European Rooms

For spies who prefer a more traditional form of European elegance, the Casino offers the European Rooms. The Salles Touzet (named after the rooms designer) and the Salon Prive (also called the Salle Medecin after its renovator) are open daily. The Salon Super-Prive is a small, ultra-exclusive room that is available only by appointment.

The Touzet rooms were built in 1889 and share three arches. The most striking feature of these rooms are the stained glass windows which portray the most famous society women of the late 19th century. The paintings that hang upon the walls of the Touzet are called “Folly” and “Fortune”. The Salles Touzet is open from 10 am until 4 am. It contains four European roulette tables, a trente-et-quarante table, and a punto banco/baccara table.

The Salle Blanche (White Room) is reserved for overflow crowds from the American Room. It is sometimes used as a salle prive for high-stakes games where the participants desire quiet and privacy. The Salon Prive (Private Room) was decorated in gold and silver in “Empire” style by Francois Medecin in 1909. A formal dining room connects with the Salon Prive, which is open from 3pm to 4 am. The Salon Super Prive is an exclusive room that has the rich look of natural leather and mahagony. It contains a single baccara table with a double layout. The Salle Prive offers five European roulette tables, two trent-et-quarante, five baccara/chemin de fer tables, and one banque a tout ba table. The dress code is formal (the American Room is casual) and the games are European versions (roulette does not have the double zero and the chips are all the same color). There are no slot machines the the European rooms.

Monaco Grand Prix

There are two major car races each year in Monaco: the Monte Carlo car rally in January and the Grand Prix in May.For over 50 years the Monaco Grand Prix has been regarded as the most prestigious motor race in the world. With the Principality of Monaco as the backdrop it is no surprise. The seductiveness of Monte-Carlo during the Grand Prix of Monaco week is like no other. Monaco is where the high rollers come to experience motor racing.

The Grimaldi family has ruled Monaco for over 700 years, ever since Francois Grimaldi delivered her from the Genoese. Seven centuries ago, Francois Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, gained admittance to their castle. Once inside, he drew his sword and opened the gates, letting in Monegasque soldiers who seized the castle and freed Monaco.

The population of the Principality consists of 29,972 people , 5,070 of whom are Monégasques, 12,047 French and 5,000 Italian

The Principality is divided into five areas :

1) Monaco-Ville on the Rock, the old fortified town, with the Prince`s Palace, the ramparts, the gardens, the Cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum

2) The Condamine, the harbor area

3) Monte Carlo, created in 1866, in the reign of Prince Charles III who gave it its name, with its internationally famous Casino, its great hotels and leisure facilities, some created recently : Larvotto beach, the Monte Carlo Sporting Club, the Boulingrins Gardens

4) Fontvieille, a great technical achievement with the filling-in with rock of 40 meters of water to produce a platform of 22 hectares supporting an urban, tourist and sports complex adjoining a yachting harbor and a pollution-free industrial zone

5) Moneghetti, the Révoires and the Exotic Gardens (on the western border with Cap d`Ail)


By air :
The Nice РC̫te d`Azur International Airport is located 22 kilometers away from Monaco. Helicopter and bus services, taxis and hire cars provide permanent links between the airport and the Principality.

By helicopter (scheduled services or on request), the duration of the flight is 7 minutes.

By train :
The Monaco-Monte Carlo (SNCF) railway station is a stop for many international trains. The railway is a rapid means of communication between the Principality and all the localities of the Côte d`Azur from Cannes to Menton. By road :
The A8 motorway, which connects with the whole of European motorway system, serves the Principality by means of easy access roads (an exit A8 – RN7 coming from Nice, la Turbie going to or coming from Nice, Roquebrune going to or coming from Italy).

By sea :
The two harbors of the Principality, the Condamine (Hercule harbor) and Fontvieille, are equipped to handle yachts of all tonnages while intercontinental liners are able to anchor in the bay of Monaco.

Daytrips from Monte Carlo:
Roquebrune village : mediaeval castle, 6 km
La Turbie : Tower of Augustus, 8 km
Eze village : the Eagle`s Nest of the Côte d`Azur, 9 km
Menton : the Cocteau Museum, 10 km
Beaulieu : the Greek villa Kerylos, 11 km
Villefranche sur Mer : Jean Cocteau Chapel and Citadel, 11 km
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat : Ile de France Museum, 12 km
Saint Paul de Vence : the Maeght Foundation, 38 km
Antibes : Picasso Museum, 40 km
Vence : Matisse Chapel, 42 km
Biot : Fernand Léger Museum, 42 km.

–Some information provided by Thrilling Locations (Victory Games) and by Monte Carlo Online

Disneyland France’s 007 Adventure

Lights…Camera…James Bond Action!

A new James Bond stunts show is featured live on stage at the Walt Disney Studios’ French theme park.

Did you miss Paris and the banks of the Seine during Summer ’84 when Remy Julienne and his stuntmen were shooting that infamous AVTAK car chase sequence?

Fear not: With brand new motor stunts show conceived by Remy Julienne, you’ll be able to see in front of you Bond-related stunts from A View To A Kill. Set in a large arena (like the Indiana Jones Florida stunt show M.G.M. Studio), attendees are invited to the “shooting of an action movie”.

The large set describes a Mediterranean town, complete with shops, bridge and even a canal (which suspiciously reminds me of Remy’s involvement in the Jean Claude VanDamme movie, Double Team). The “assistant directors” brief the audience–our hero has just got his hands on some top-secret documents, and he must escape!

The festival of stunts includes Bond driving a bright red Opel (too bad Aston-Martin couldn’t be involved) as our man 007 is chased by four black sedans. With amazing skill, the hero manages in the nick of time to avoid collision with his various pursuers, departs his car for a nearby building–from which he comes out again on a motocycle moving right through a large bay window shop (as in For Your Eyes Only) and a new chase begins with the villains changing vehicles as well.

I won’t make a listing of all the stunts here but there is a car cut in half by an explosion, a biker rolling under a Tanker on fire which is engulfed in flame, a car jumps from one truck to another, and a radio-controlled car, and …a surprise Disney guest-star car arrives for a grand finale…

As a French entertainment critic, I was fortunate to sit with Remy Julienne at a restaurant just before the premiere show, and he was quite thrilled to see most of his memorable works finally being recognised by Cinema-goers. This is a superb show designed by one of the top auto stunt directors anywhere!

–Kevin Collette

Visit Walt Disney Studios
“Disneyland Resort Paris”
Highway A4 – Exit 14, France

bond’s Canary Islands, Hong Kong and Iran

Sunset over ancient city of Yazd, Iran

The Canary Islands: Broccoli and Saltzman took a look at these islands for possible use in You Only Live Twice. Japan was picked instead.

Hong Kong: Was an original location for the film Tomorrow Never Dies. The original script also involved the Chinese takeover of the territory as a backdrop to the plot. Concerned about what might happen when the Chinese actually did take over Hong Kong, then studio President John Calley called advisor Henry Kissinger (yes, *THE* Henry Kissinger) to get his perspective on what to expect when Hong Kong reverted back to the Chinese. Kissinger predicted riots. Calley got nervous. The script got changed. Hong Kong got the boot.

Iran was to have been a location for the film The Man With The Golden Gun. Broccoli, Saltzman, Guy Hamilton and Tom Mankiewicz took a scouting trip out there. However, Mankiewicz and Hamilton had a falling out, Mankiewicz left the production, Richard Maibaum came on, and they decided to go for the far east. Also, the delay between The Man With The Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me was in part caused by Harry Saltzman apparently using EON as a guarantor for his risky commerical ventures. Apparently there was an attempted takeover.