Thursday, 11 October 2012

What Do Diane de Poitiers and James Bond Have in Common?

James Bond is celebrating his 50th anniversary, with the 23rd film due to be released in November 2012. What better time to look at Diane’s connection!

            Actually, there are two. In 1956 Roger Moore, one of the six actors to play James Bond, played Henri in “Diane,” opposite Lana Turner. See the blog entry for January 12, 2012:

            Diane’s other connection to James Bond is the film “Thunderball.” The pre-title sequence was shot at Anet on February 18-19, 1965 and was inserted into the final draft a month before principal production.

Sean Connery and Maryse Guy Mitsouko at Anet
In the sequence, James Bond (Sean Connery) attends the funeral of Jacques Boitier, who had murdered two British agents. The scene is filmed in the chateau’s chapel. Notice how Boitier rhymes with Poitiers?

The balcony and courtyard of the Chapel

When Bond realizes that the “widow” is Boitier in disguise, he follows him back to his home. This home is the main chateau, a stone's throw from the chapel, although we are to believe it was a limousine ride away.  We see Boitier enter Anet and ascend the staircase. He then enters a room where Bond is waiting for him, and a fight ensues. The valuable antiques were replaced by replicas, but watch carefully for the HD emblem! 

Bond is chased to the rooftop where his jetpack awaits. He escapes to the tune of the 007 theme, while we are treated to some beautiful shots of Anet’s main entrance!

As of the date of this writing, the following YouTube video of the opening sequence is available:

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