25 May 2015

Furka Pass, Switzerland

The third James Bond-film, GOLDFINGER, deals with a gold smuggler who plans to attack Fort Knox. Bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) is the main suspect and James Bond (Sean Connery) is assigned to investigate the case.

Goldfinger, 0:36:16
Goldfinger and his assistant Oddjob (Harold Sakata) arrive from Miami Beach in Switzerland where he travels in his Rolls Royce. James Bond follows him in his Aston Martin DB5 and it soon turns out that Goldfinger is also being chased by Tilly Masterson (Tania Mallet). In the film it looks as if the car chase is near Geneva but in real life these scenes were filmed at the Furka Pass, a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps with many hairpin turns.

The filming on location in Switzerland was the film’s final shoot and was completed on July 11, 1964. Since then not much has changed, the road has been broadened at various places. The road where James Bond gets out of his car to watch the car of Goldfinger is still the same, including the small brick bollards that mark the narrow road. During our visit it was very busy and traffic was fast which made it impossible for us to stop and take pictures. Fortunately other places had better opportunities.

The black and yellow Rolls Royce drives from the village of Andermatt up the mountain towards the crossing with the Grimsel pass and passes the hotel Belvédère which opened its doors in 1882. The Rhône Glacier, seen in the movie in the background, has become much shorter in the years that have passed. The second hotel that Goldfinger and Oddjob pass is Galenstock. This hotel dates from 1890 and is only open between June and September.

Goldfinger, 0:34:30
Hotel Belvédère, Furka Pass, 3 July 2014
Goldfinger, 0:34:48
Hotel Galenstock, Furka Pass, 3 July 2014

In the meantime James Bond is just leaving a small village called Realp. The road has since been changed and a parking lot was added but the contours of the village are still recognizable, as are the mountains.

Goldfinger, 0:34:37
Realp, 3 July 2014

To promote the exhibition ‘Designing 007 - 50 years of Bond style’, which was on display at the Rotterdam Kunsthal from October 2014 until February 2015, a portrait of Sean Connery from Goldfinger was used. He is standing next to the Aston Martin at the Furka Pass. At the exhibition this scene was recreated with a wax statue of Sean Connery, posing next to the Aston Martin. The licence plate BMT 216A is the same as in the movie but the car is not, this model  was used for GoldenEye and Skyfall. The exhibition travels around the world and can be seen in Madrid, Spain, until Augustus 30, 2015.

Designing 007, poster
Designing 007, Kunsthal Rotterdam, 11 January 2015

Screenshots © EON Productions Ltd