Spectre, the latest James Bond film, killed at the box office this weekend (presumably it had a license to do so), raking in $73 million in its U.S. opening.
That got us to thinking about Bond’s connections with Florida. They’re deeper than one might think.
Ian Fleming had parts of two of his novels set in the state. Live and Let Die(1954) featured an extended sequence in St. Petersburg, which the author describes in both loving and critical terms. In Goldfinger (1959), Fleming set the opening sequence in the Miami area; it is where Bond first encounters the eponymous villain.
As is often the case, things are a little different in the movies. Florida was nowhere to be found in the film version of Live and Let Die (1973) and “movie magic” limited Miami Beach to a cameo in Goldfinger (1964). Exterior shots of the city and its famous Fontainebleau Hotel are featured but the card game between Bond and Goldfinger was actually shot at Pinewood Studios in London. Next time you watch the movie, look closely. Both Sean Connery’s and Gert Frobe’s images definitely appear superimposed against the hotel pool background.
Those two slights aside, Florida has played a notable role in the Bond series. Here are some highlights: