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Bond in the Alps

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Book 1963 Pontresina Switzerland
Film 1969 Murren, Stecklebergand Switzerland


In Flemings' novel the Swiss Alps are featured quite heavily. The main action takes place at Piz Gloria, a name that originated in the novel as the mountain-top hideout of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Blofeld's lair is in the Languard range, above Pontresina in the Engadine region, where the Swiss language Romansh is spoken — piz is a Romansh term for a mountain peak.


In the film, the plot is similar to the book. Bond is played by George Lazenby, his one and done outing. The location of Blofeld's lair was a partly constructed restaurant on the Schilthorn above Murren in the Bernese Oberland, where Romansh is not spoken. The movie production team found the restaurant and contributed financially to its completion in return for exclusive use in the movie. After filming was completed, the restaurant retained the Piz Gloria name and today still trades on the movie with a James Bond exhibition called 007 Walk of Fame.

Filming of the movie took place at various locations with much of it taking place around Grindelwald. OHMSS was filmed during spring and the snow coverage wasn't that great - the bobsleigh run - which was also built for the film, required ice blocks to be brought in to make the walls. The avalanche scene in the film was made up of two-staged avalanches, the first turned out to be not dramatic enough and was merged with a second along with some stock footage. The car chase where Blofeld's car was to spin off was filmed at Stecklebergand and needed five lorry loads of snow to be brought in.

Piz Gloria