Jamaica, a Bond special forever
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Jamaica, a Bond special forever

Like most Commonwealth countries, Jamaica hasn’t been able to come out of the ‘colonial hangover’, writes Somshuvra Laha.

india Updated: Jun 30, 2013 01:08 IST

Like most Commonwealth countries, Jamaica hasn’t been able to come out of the ‘colonial hangover’. The architecture is still essentially English and it follows the metric system as well.

Despite the United States of America just under a thousand kilometers away, Jamaica adheres to left-hand traffic with the steering wheel on the right side of the car.

But look no beyond than Ian Fleming’s James Bond if we are talking about Jamaica’s connection with England. Fleming, who used to work for the British admiralty, fell in love with Jamaica’s seas and decided to live here and create the famous 007.

“We Jamaicans will always be proud that the first James Bond movie was shot here,” said 56-year-old Henry, a taxi driver. As a sign of gratitude, Jamaica has an airport named after Fleming in Boscobel.

In Kingston, there is ‘The Liguanea’, a club for the elite, that boasts of playing host to Sean Connery during the filming of ‘Dr No’ in 1962. “In fact, the façade of the club is prominently featured in the film,” said the front desk manager of the club.

Fleming even bought an estate in Oracabessa, on the northern coast, and named his house ‘GoldenEye’, a title that was later used for the 17th Bond film with Pierce Brosnan playing the role for the first time. Interestingly, Fleming had lifted the name from ‘Operation Golden Eye’, a World War II offensive he had helped plan for the British forces.

‘GoldenEye’ is adjacent to the James Bond beach, now home to international concerts and festivals. The beach served as a backdrop to that famous scene in ‘Dr No’ where Ursula Andress emerged from the sea in a bikini, a knife tied to her waist.

Since ‘Dr No’, Jamaica had been used as a setting in different Bond novels, including ‘Live and Let Die’, ‘For Your Eyes Only’, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, ‘Octopussy’ and ‘The Living Daylights’.

Though Fleming suddenly died of a heart disease in England, his love for Jamaica was pronounced. For the same reason he had not given up ‘GoldenEye’ even after leaving Jamaica. Who was the next owner of the house? Bob Marley.

First Published: Jun 30, 2013 01:02 IST