June 18, 2007

James Bond in Vegas

Diamonds Are Forever was the 7th film in the James Bond series and the sixth and final to star Sean Connery. Much of the film takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, and some of the locations used are still there, and some are not. Shooting was done in 1971, which also happens to be the same year Hunter S. Thompson was in Las Vegas to cover the 4th annual Mint 400 motocross race for Sports Illustrated, as well as a narcotics law-enforcement convention for Rolling Stone. Of course, his Vegas experiences became the novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. What are the odds the two things were happening at the same time? Would it be something like 1 in 60 (figuring that Thompson was there for around 4-6 days total, out of a total of 365 days)?

Jill St. John (wearing a black wig) co-starred with Connery as Bond Girl Tiffany Case. She was an excellent Bond Girl. I'd rank her way up there in the top three (the other two being Daniela Bianchi, who played Tatiana Romanova in 1963's From Russia with Love and Diana Rigg, who was Tracy Di Vicenzo in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service). Not only was she a Bond Girl, she was a Sinatra girl as well. I'd rank her up there with Ava Gardner and Natalie Wood as far as being a Sinatra girl...

...but this post is supposed to be about locations, not femmes fatales.

The Tropicana Hotel and Casino (where James Bond stays in Las Vegas)

Whyte House Hotel (actually the Las Vegas Hilton, formerly the International Hotel)

The Riviera Hotel and Casino (casino interiors - James Bond meets Plenty O'Toole and wins $50, 000)

Circus Circus (James Bond and Tiffany Case at casino with trapeze artists)

Several scenes were shot on Las Vegas Boulevard South and Hwy. 10:

Freemont Street (now an "Experience") was featured during the film's Vegas car chase. Filming had to have taken place in the wee small hours of the morning. It would be impossible to shoot those same scenes today. Frequently serving as the action's backdrops were the Golden Nugget, the old Mint (which was absorbed by Binion's Horseshoe in 1989), and the iconic cowboy of the Pioneer Club:

I wish I could have seen it like that!

The Landmark Hotel (now demolished) was used for exterior elevator scenes.

Have I mentioned that Jill St. John plays Bond Girl Tiffany Case yet?

If you liked this post, you might also like the one I did about the original Ocean's 11, Eee-O-Eleven.

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Shantell said...

Great work.

Chris said...

Thank you! I appreciate that.

Las Vegas Hotels said...

Nice post, I enjoyed to read! I'm coming next month first time to vacation in Las Vegas and I'm very excited:) I would like to see by myself all the places in Vegas, which I saw before only in the movies:)