Jamaica is the birthplace of James Bond 007 | James Bond films shot in Jamaica
The allure and intrigue of James Bond, the fictional British Secret Service intelligence officer created by Ian Fleming, spanned over 60 years. This is due to the success of the books and all other derivative products including 25 Bond films, the latest “No Time To Die” starring Daniel Craig. With the code name 007, James Bond, who has a “license to kill” to accomplish any mission, has crisscrossed the world, saving mankind from all types of evil, always acting in a gentle, suave and gentle manner. sophisticated. But did you know that while the character is uniquely British, Jamaica is the birthplace of James Bond 007? Below I give an overview.
James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Photo: © IanFleming.com.
The James Bond Books by Ian Fleming
James Bond, a fictional MI6 secret agent, and its creator Ian Fleming, a British naval intelligence officer during World War II, are inextricably linked to the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Fleming first visited Jamaica in 1943 on a mission to investigate submarine activities in the Caribbean. He fell in love with the island and immediately decided that he would come back and make it his home.
After leaving the military, Ian Fleming returned to Jamaica in 1946, purchasing 15 acres of land previously a donkey racetrack. Just 20 minutes from Ocho Rios, a popular resort town, the land overlooked a small cove in Oracabessa, and he built a three-bedroom villa on a cliff with a private beach at the bottom.
It was in this Jamaican house he named Goldeneye that Ian Fleming wrote his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. Fleming began writing Casino Royale on February 17, 1952, and it was published on April 13, 1953.
With the success of Casino Royale, he went on to write and publish 13 more books chronicling the adventures of James Bond 007. Written over 14 years during the winters spent at Goldeneye, the fourteen James Bond books by Ian Fleming by publication order include:
- Casino Royale (1953)
- Live and Let Die (1954)
- Moonraker (1955)
- Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
- From Russia, With Love (1957)
- Doctor No (1958)
- Golden finger (1959)
- For Your Eyes Only (1959)
- Thunderclap (1961)
- The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963)
- You Only Live Twice (1964)
- The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
- Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)
Ian Fleming wrote 14 James Bond books from 1953 to 1966. Photo: © JackMsell via Ebay.com.
Not only is Jamaica the place where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond books, but the island features prominently in several of his books, including Live and Let Die (1954), Doctor No (1958), The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) and Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966). Ian Fleming’s fourteen James Bond books were made into feature films from Dr. No, released in 1962.
It should be noted that after the death of Ian Fleming in 1964, with the approval of his estate and his publisher, over 30 more James Bond books were written by other authors including Christopher Wood, Jonathan Cape , Raymond Benson, Anthony Horowitz, etc. fourteen, however, written by Ian Fleming solidify Jamaica as the undisputed birthplace of James Bond.
Fun fact: Ian Fleming named his beloved main character James Bond after American ornithologist and Caribbean bird expert James Bond, who wrote the definitive Birds of the West Indies field guide, first published in 1936. Fleming, an avid bird watcher, wanted a name that was “as ordinary as possible”, and James Bond (now iconic) did the trick.
Ian Fleming pays homage to the original James Bond by referring to his work in his book Doctor No (1958), where he mentions a large bird sanctuary in the Bahamas. In the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan, who plays James Bond, walks through a copy of Birds of the West Indies in a first scene in Havana, Cuba. Additionally, in a promotional photo on set, for the 2015 Bond film Specter, there was a copy of Birds of the West Indies; however, this did not appear in the published version.
James Bond films shot in Jamaica
In the 1950s, Jamaica was known more for its agriculture, mainly sugar and banana products, than as a tourist attraction. Over time, perhaps in part because of the popularity of Ian Flemings’ books and James Bond films, more and more tourists became aware of Fleming’s island paradise. That said, three James Bond films have scenes shot in Jamaica. These include Dr. No (1962), Live And Let Die (1973), and No Time To Die (2021).
Dr. No filming locations in Jamaica
Jamaica featured prominently in the first James Bond film Dr. No, shot in 1961 and released on October 5, 1962. Jamaica filming locations for Dr. No, which was the sixth book in James Book, includes the capital from Kingston and Crab Cay.
Well-known places in Kingston include Kings House, the residence of the Governor General of Jamaica, and the Grand Port Royal Hotel. As for Crab Cay, since it was a fictional island off the coast, scenes were filmed at the Reynold Pier in Ocho Rios, which is part of the facilities of the Ocho Rios cruise ship. Additionally, the dry Falmouth Marsh in Trelawney was the filming location for the desolate and barren swamp scenes of Crab Cay.
One of the most iconic Dr. No scenes shot in Jamaica is where Honey Rider, played by Ursula Andress, emerges from the sea with a bikini and a slide at Laughing Waters Beach. Dunn’s River Falls, one of Jamaica’s most popular tourist attractions, was featured in the movie Dr. No.
Live And Let Die Filming Locations in Jamaica
Jamaica was featured again in the eighth James Bond film Live and Let Die, based on Ian Fleming’s second book. Released on June 27, 1973, Live and Let Die was filmed in several locations in Jamaica, including on the grounds of Rosehall Great House, an 18th-century Georgian plantation house, now run as a historic house museum.
A few hotels in Jamaica have been featured in Live and Let Die, including one of my favorite Half Moon Jamaica where James Bond slept Rosie Carver in bungalow 9, room 52. Another Jamaican hotel briefly featured in Live and Let Die, as well as Dr. No, it was Couples Sans Souci, formerly Sans Souci Hotel, in Ocho Rios. Roger Moore, who played James Bond, stayed at Couples Sans Souci while filming Live and Let Die, and his room is now the Roger Moore Suite (D-20).
Another Jamaican location featured in the Live and Let Die movie is Green Grotto Caves, a maze of limestone caves located in Falmouth, between the resorts of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Now a major tourist attraction, the Green Grotto Caves were known as the Runaway Bay Caves in the 18th century, as they were used for African slaves to hide before bidding for freedom.
No Time To Die Filming Locations in Jamaica
The third James Bond film to feature Jamaica is No Time to Die, the 25th in the series to release September 30, 2021. We see James Bond returning to his hometown after a life of active and murderous service. Attempting to enjoy a leisurely lifestyle, Jamaican locations featured in No Time To Die include locations near Port Antonio and Kingston Harbor. We see Bond relaxing at home in his quaint seaside villa, the local market, and even a dancehall nightclub. Interestingly, Jamaica also doubled for Santiago, Cuba later in the movie.
Common Goldeneye in Jamaica
Goldeneye in Jamaica was built by Ian Fleming, who named the estate after a war mission he had worked on. Fleming spent many winters in Goldeneye, Jamaica, and it was here that he wrote all of his James Bond novels. It was also a place visited by an impressive cast of celebrities, including Errol Flynn, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, James Mason and Laurence Olivier.
Goldeneye also has ties to Jamaica’s most famous export, Bob Marley, who almost bought the estate after Ian Fleming’s death. Instead, it was bought in 1976 by former Marley manager Chris Blackwell. Blackwell, who founded independent label Island Records in 1959, is credited with releasing reggae music from Kingston studios and bringing his captivating rhythms to the rest of the world. He produced Bob Marley and the Wailers, and later Grace Jones and Irish band U2.
Goldeneye House: Main living area. Photo: © TheFlemingVilla.com.
Only Ian Fleming’s villa was built on the 15-acre Goldeneye Estate which Chris Blackwell purchased in 1976. Since then the estate has grown to a 52-acre estate. Located in the peaceful rural town of Oracabessa in the Parish of Saint Mary, the Goldeneye Estate is now dotted with several villas next to the original home of Ian Fleming.
In his living room, visitors will see photos of celebrities like Alec Guinness and former James Bond actor Sean Connery playing in the pool. Ian Fleming’s office, where many books have been written, remains in the house with some of his other belongings.
Goldeneye House: Ian Fleming’s office where he wrote the 14 James Bond novels. Photo: © TheFlemingVilla.com.
Outside are the mango tree planted by fellow Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, the lime tree planted by Harrison Ford, and the royal palms planted by former United States President Bill Clinton and his family. The restaurant overlooks the serene, crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, giving an image of the idyllic bliss that captured Fleming’s heart decades ago.
Goldeneye in Jamaica is now a luxury boutique hotel, part of Chris Blackwell’s Island Outpost group. It warmly welcomes James Bond enthusiasts or curious visitors for a night or two.
Top photo: Ian Flemings Goldeneye House in Oracabessa, Jamaica. Photo: © TheFlemingVilla.com.
NOTE: Originally posted December 18, 2014, this article was updated September 2021.
Like this post?