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.
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