Las Vegas car chase – Downtown Vegas

Las Vegas in 1971

In Diamonds are forever Bond finds himself driving a Mustang along with Tiffany Case in Las Vegas. The car is wanted by the sheriff’s department and when the sheriff spots the car in downtown Las Vegas they get pulled over, right in front of the Golden Nugget Casino. Hotel Fremont and the Pioneer Club are visible in the background. Bond is coming in from N Main Street and turns left into Fremont Street, where they get spotted by the Sheriff.

The Fremont as well as the Golden Nugget are still up and running in Vegas, but the Pioneer Club ceased to operate in 1995 and is now a souvenir store. But the vintage Pioneer cowboy sign, called Vegas Vic, still exists on the exterior of the building.

Bond drives off from the Sheriff and a classic American car chase with screaming tires and sirens begins. But, despite a nice location in downtown Vegas, the chase lacks music and is remarkably unexciting. It ends up with Bond just driving around and, as always, a bunch of police cars getting smashed. The highlight of the chase is of course the ending where Bond drives into a dead end and in order to escape has to do a two-wheel stunt through the alley. This could have been a magnificent finale, but it is ruined by one of the biggest bloopers in the Bond history, where the car goes into the alley on two wheels, only to come out on the other two… This was due to the fact that the scene where the Mustang comes out was filmed at a much later date than the entry and with a different crew. Another less conspicuous blooper is the fact that Bond and Tiffany drive by the Golden Nugget Casino from different directions several times during the chase.

Fremont Street, almost 40 years after Connery

Today this part of Vegas has been transformed to “The Fremont Experience”, a pedestrian mall and attraction that occupies the westernmost five blocks of Fremont Street. The attraction is an overhead roof where different light shows take place. The Fremont Experience was finished in 1995 and the section was closed for car traffic for good, so it is no longer possible to drive the same way as Connery.

The Golden Gate sign, with its turning letters, is also visible in the film. The sign is located at the very beginning of Fremont Street, at the intersection of South and North Main Street. This sign along with Vegas Vic are the only two still existing signs that are recognizable in this area and even though Golden Nugget is located in the same place, the exterior has been changed quite a lot since 1971.

        “-Relax I’ve got a friend named Felix who can fix anything.
               -Is he married?”
                                -Bond and Tiffany in the Mustang-

The film itself is another story, but I’ll make you no secret that I hold it in much less regard than its illustrious predecessors and successors.

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