New Orleans

Map of New Orleans

New Orleans

One of my dreams has always been to travel along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, crossing Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee, ending up in Memphis. When the time had finally come to make this trip I was well prepared to delve deep into the history of Bond filming in Louisiana, more specifically the New Orleans area. In October 1972, on Friday the 13th, principal filming began for Roger Moore's first outing as her Majesty's most loyal spy. One of Ian Fleming's earlier Bond novels, Live and Let Die, had been chosen as the basis for a new story written by Tom Mankiewicz.

Below is part of the full story The Harlem Connection, as featured in the travel guide.
The storyline for Live and Let Die was written around Fleming's main characters, a bad guy named Mr. Big and a leading lady named Solitaire. Writer Tom Mankiewicz was determined to make Solitaire black as well, but United Artists, who financed the Bond films, objected strongly and made EON hire beautiful-but-white Jane Seymour for the part, much to Mankiewicz dislike. While other filming locations included New York and exotic Jamaica, New Orleans and its surrounding area also played an important part in the story and the Louisiana bayous fitted in nicely with Jamaican swamp scenes. This can be seen for instance in the Alligator Farm scene. The farm was located in Jamaica and when Bond escapes, we see him jump into a motorboat. We then see him speed by, which was filmed around New Orleans. Location jumps like these make it all the more interesting to see what can be retraced of this boat chase.

When 007 arrived in New Orleans, he landed on what is now Louis Armstrong International Airport, in the Kenner district. Together with Solitaire we see him leave the airport departure hall. Obviously this location has totally changed over the years, as the demand for flights, both national and international, has dramatically increased. The tube shaped hall can still be seen in the back, but you really need a screen shot of the scene to recognise anything at all. Time to move on!
The French Quarter, or Vieux Carré in French, was originally laid out by the French and after a fire in 1788 almost totally destroyed. Several fires later a new building style emerged, more fire proof and in a more Spanish style. The Quarter is the place where most tourists spend most of their time in New Orleans, its most notorious street being Bourbon Street, home to many blues bars and strip joints. The heart of the Quarter is Jackson Square, another example of Spanish architecture, with a nice park, bordered by elegant colonial buildings and a church. During the day the park and surrounding streets are filled with street artists, painters and musicians, creating a very friendly atmosphere.

In the French Quarter we can also find the first location seen in Live and Let Die: MI6 agent Hamilton carefully watching the Fillet of Soul restaurant from across the street. We all know the rest.. A Jazz funeral suddenly appears and while Hamilton is wondering whose funeral it is he is stabbed to death, answering his question. Although the streets in the Quarter all look very similar, the location is not so hard to find. In the back of one scene we can clearly see a "Dumaine" street sign and a careful eye can even spot a house number in the back.

The scenes were filmed on the corner of Dumaine and Chartres Streets. Standing on the corner you will be very glad the Quarter is an official historic district and hasn't changed at all. Okay, the cars are different, we're in a different time, but the corner still looks so much like it did in 1972..! When you lean against the lamp post and look into the direction Hamilton did, there's the Fillet of Soul, on Chartres Street. Not a laundry, as said in other sources, but next to the laundry. The three arched windows are still there, so it still wouldn't take much to dress it up like the Fillet of Soul again today.
The corner of Chartres and Dumaine played an important part in Live And Let Die (1973)
When you walk past the former Fillet of Soul and look into the first street on the left, you'll see another location. It was Madison Street where Bond and Leiter parked their car later on in the film, when they were about to visit the restaurant / bar. In the back, where the street starts, you'll see the famous Café du Monde, located in the French Market. It's the market's oldest tenant and is said to never close. Hop in for quick cup of coffee and some waffles!


This and much more can be found in the chapter 'The Harlem Connection' in ON THE TRACKS OF 007

Connected hotels:

There are no Bond hotels connected to this destination
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