USA – Florida Keys, Overseas Highway No.1 // Licence to Kill (1989)
The Overseas Highway in Florida combines 40 islands along the Key. Two of them were featured in an adrenaline pumped scene combining airspace, underwater and asphalt action – with the latter on the highways most famous tarmac.
Why Bond was here
The Overseas Highway between Florida and Key West has been used for the pre title action scene of Licence to Kill. Bond (Timothy Dalton) accompanies his best friend Felix Leiter (David Hedison) to his wedding at a beautiful little church on Key West. Just minutes to the ceremony, they learn about a rare sighting of vicious drug baron Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) at the close-by Bahamas. Both jump into a helicopter, to catch the villain – literally catch, as Bond puts a steel rope around Sanchez’ plane and thus reeling him in. But the joy doesn’t last long: While now married Leiter cuts the wedding cake, Sanchez escapes as he is transferred to a prison.
Different locations help out for both the catch and the escape. Bond and Felix board the helicopter at Vaca Key just at the beginning of the famous 7 Mile Bridge part of the Overseas highway (our location marker is set there). The more southward area of Sugarloaf Key is then used as a double to the Bahamian island, Sanchez was on. Leiters team and Sanchez henchmen have a little shoot-out in the mangroves there, while Sanchez himself tries to escape with a plane from this sandy tarmac. His catch was filmed up in the air. For his later escape they go back on the ground. A bribed US agent drives the police truck Sanchez is in into the ocean at the part of 7 Mile Bridge between Pidgeon Key and Vaca Key.
Best way to visit the Highway places, is to rent a car up in Florida and drive south to Key West. Other options, but with lesser possibilities to move around freely, are to join a one day bus trip or board a boat. Both car rental or trip booking can be easily organized from Miami, best at the hotel you stay in. The bus trips are between 60 to 80 US-Dollar per person.
Good to know
There is public transportation as well – and is costs you nothing more than four bucks for a day-pass. Local busses connect Florida City with Marathon and then Marathon with Key West. Schedules change from time to time, so check the Key West Department of Transit for the latest updates. If you have some money to spend and want to see the movie locations from above, Key West International Airport might be an option as well. Flights connect US’ southern most tip with Miami, Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa in Florida same as Atlanta in Georgia and New Orleans in Louisiana. Well, and the latter is a good option to Live and Let Die.
If you have time definitely rent a car and go down the highway on your own – but don’t forget your international driver license. Some people might scare you with the horrible traffic on Route 1 but going early helps to avoid traffic and to enjoy the ride. If you’re a party animal go by boat and enjoy the sunrise on your way back to Miami in the early morning.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3), © 1989 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq, LLC. (2)