James Bond in Paris: Following 007 in the City of Light

   1960    2
James Bond in Paris: Following 007 in the City of Light
When the new James Bond movie was titled No Time to Die, unsuspecting producers could scarcely have imagined that governments would suddenly take exactly that stance, closing down cinemas across the globe in order to save lives from the coronavirus pandemic. “Never Say Never Again!” bemoaned the world’s film buffs in unison, as they awaited a new winter date for the premiere they’d been promised. Yet tragically, as everyone’s eyes were peeled for the next installment in the adventures of Bond, one of the most legendary actors ever to play his role passed away: Sean Connery. The 90-year-old, who had starred in seven of the movies, lost his fight for life during Halloween 2020. Yet on screen, of course, he remains immortal. The Bond character has made an entrance in many locations over the decades. One example is at the Monte Carlo casino where the reckless lady’s man opted to forego $267,000 worth of winnings – the price of an entire house in many parts of France – to instead settle for the dubious privilege of just “one dance with Domino.” However in honor of the late Connery’s life and legacy, combined with our love for the City of Light, let’s focus on the Parisian exploits of the fictional Bond – plus Connery and Roger Moore, two actors that bore his name – by covering solely locations in or around Paris. courtesy of Le Fouquet’s In the literary version of A View to a Kill – readable in author Ian Flemings’ 1960 book For Your Eyes Only, we learn of Bond’s devotion to Fouquet’s, where he liked to sit beneath the crimson awnings, sipping on an Americano. He was a decidedly tough customer, declaring that he hadn’t had a single day of pleasure in the city since the start of the Second World War, but Fouquet’s was one of the few places to meet with his elusive approval. Originally opening just before the turn of the 20th century and taking pride of place on the bustling Champs-Elysées, a mere stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe, it has been a classically Parisian brasserie since the moment of its conception. It has also always been a place of action. For instance, merely a few years before the film version of A View to a Kill was released, a group of French female journalists would reportedly cause a stir by storming its designated ‘Men Only’ bar in defiance of its segregation rules. They refused to leave – and soon afterwards the ‘Men Only’ section ceased to exist. The venue is equally dramatic these days, annually hosting a gala dinner to mark the cinematic César Awards – the French equivalent of the Oscars. From feminist history to movie magic and even political prestige – for instance, Nicolas Sarkozy held a party to celebrate his election win there – Fouquet’s has long been a storied venue. It even saw the type of miserable days that Bond complained of, when it was set ablaze by gilets jaunes protestors in 2019. It defiantly and triumphantly opened its doors again on Bastille Day of the same year, only to then fall prey to coronavirus the following year. Despite its ups and downs, it will always be a public favorite, though many are unaware that it was Bond’s brasserie of choice back in the day too.
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Lead photo credit : Sean_Connery in the Bond years. Photo credit © Rob Mieremet, Wikimedia Commons

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Chloe Govan is an award-winning writer and channel-hopping Francophile with a penchant for Parisian life. After achieving degrees in Psychology and Magazine Journalism and working as a travel editor and columnist, she developed her freelance career, during which she authored 11 books. Whether she is sleeping in a bubble under the stars in the forests around Marseille or horse-back riding with the chateaux of the Loire Valley as a backdrop, her heart can often be found somewhere in France.

Comments

  • Nancy Beck
    2020-12-12 06:21:44
    Nancy Beck
    We live in Paris 3 months of every year and now with covid we are living through the eyes of Bonjour Paris. Merci

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