007, A View to a Kill, California, filming location, James Bond, James Bond location, movie location, San Francisco, USA
Among many interesting filming locations of ‘A View to a Kill’ there are two that belong to the most recognizable in the world: the Eiffel Tower in Paris (‘A View to a Kill’ in Paris) and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. View at the bridge from San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge is presented in photo below.Maks Zorin (Christopher Walken) and May Day (Grace Jones) arrived to San Francisco in the airship. They were looking down at the city and they saw the Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground.In the next scene James Bond arrived to Fisherman’s Wharf in famous San Francisco Cable Car. In the photo below you can see the car number 22, the same number as the one on the car seen in the film. Actress Maud Adams, who played Andrea Anders in “The Man with the Golden Gun” and Octopussy in “Octopussy”, visited the crew while they were filming at Fisherman’s Wharf. She was offered to appear in third Bond film as one of extras.
At one of Fisherman’s Wharf stands James Bond met CIA agent Chuck Lee (David Yip). In photo below you can see the stand similar to the one in the film.James Bond met Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts) who was also againts Max Zorin. They went together to the San Francisco City Hall to find some informations that would help to discover Zorin’s plan (main entrance in photo below).While they were reading documents, Max Zorin and May Day entered the room. The villain shut Bond and Sutton down in an elevator and set fire to the building.
Diane Fennstein who was mayor of San Francisco at the time of filming allowed to set fire to the real City Hall building (photo below). She also gave an instruction that everybody in the City Hall should close their windows. However there was one clerk who had very wet desk the next morning.
The fire scene was filmed by the first unit directed by John Glen. They had giant ground flares and tanks of propane on the roof of the building. Dick Ziker and Karen Price were Roger Moore’s and Tanya Roberts’ stunt doubles. James Bond and Stacey Sutton escaped from the fire. Immediately after that car chase with 007 and Sutton in a fire truck began.
While first unit was working on scenes in the City Hall, the second unit with director Arthur Wooster was filming car chase with fire truck and police cars. They were filming for three weeks from the beginning of October 1984.
James Bond and Stacey Sutton arrived at the mine, which Zorin planned to sink to destroy Silicon Valley. Agent 007 prevented the explosion. Zorin tried to escape in his airship. Bond grabed hold of the airship’s mooring rope. While flying at the end of the rope above the city he nearly crashed at the Transamerica Pyramid (see photo below).
Close-ups with Roger Moore holding the mooring rope were filmed at Pinewood Studios in UK. Shots with the city in background were filmed in San Francisco with stuntman John Arnett.
Filmmakers came to the idea of using an airship in the film while they were visiting San Francisco and saw the airship with Fuji logo above the city. They contacted the company to get a permission to film the airship near the Golden Gate Bridge.
When the airship was flying over the Golden Gate Bridge, 007 tied the mooring rope to the framework of the bridge. The airships stopped and the fight between Bond and Zorin began. About 5 percent of the shots of a fight sequence atop the Golden Gate Bridge was filmed on a real object, while the rest was filmed using replicas of the upper parts of the bridge and the airship built in the Pinewood Studios in UK.
The world premiere of the film took place on May 22, 1985 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco (photos posted below).Sources:
– A View to a Kill Audio Commentary, A View to a Kill Special Edition, Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation, 2006
– Inside „A View to a Kill”. An Original Documentary, reż. John Cork, Danjaq, LCC and United Artists Corporation, 2000
– „James Bond. Szpieg którego kochamy” Michał Grzesiek, Wydawnictwo Bukowy Las 2011
I wondered if the brush with the TransAmerica Pyramid was an in-joke, with TransAmerica having sold United Artists to MGM before the release of this film. Was it just a coincidence (after all, it was the tallest building in San Francisco until very recently) or too good an opportunity to miss for the film makers?