James Bond’s Legacy

October 17, 2011 by

Free Things to Do, Sightseeing, Suggested Itineraries

Montego Bay is one of the Jamaican settings for the James Bond series

To some, Goldeneye is the secret satellite created by the Russians and used by Alec Trevelyn in a threat against civilization in the film of the same name starring Pierce Brosnan; but few know that Ian Fleming actually had a villa in Oracabessa, Jamaica, where he would escape the British winters and work on his now-iconic series. The name of the villa: Goldeneye.

James Bond – the original one – was an American ornithologist (a.k.a. studied birds) who wrote a book called A Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies, which Fleming happened to see on his neighbor’s bookshelf, so the story goes, while he was trying to think up a name for his protagonist.

Fleming supposedly wrote over a dozen of the Bond books while chilling out in Goldeneye. The island influenced both his locations and plots; Live and Let Die is set there (Mr. Kananga’s evil lair was shot in the Green Grotto caves in Runaway Bay; the alligator scene was shot in Falmouth, near Montego Bay), and The Man With the Golden Gun and Octopussy both send 007 back again. It’s even rumored the original title of Dr. No was Commander Jamaica.

Everyone (especially men) remembers when bikini-clad Ursala Andress/Honey Ryder saunters out of the waves on the beach in Dr. No… it was shot on Laughing Waters Beach in Ocho Rios! A visit to the ethereal “James Bond Beach” is a must, and you’ll be rewarded with stellar mountain scenery as well as a pass by Ian Fleming’s villa if you go the water sport route. You yourself can even chill out Fleming-style with a drink at the Moonraker bar!

- Natalie Grant

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