AUSTRIA – Vienna, Antonigasse and Sommarugagasse // The Living Daylights (1987)
There is a place where Vienna looks a bit like an old Soviet town – sure the Bond crew had to film there. Almost 30 years later the locations are still recognizable, though calling them “Soviet” won’t do them justice.
Why Bond was here
James Bond (Timothy Dalton) is assigned on a mission in Bratislava. He is supposed to take out a young Soviet sniper – in fact the cellist Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo). Bond soon realizes, Kara is not a professional killer but a mere KGB tool – and a bigger conspiracy unfolds behind her back. Bond secretly follows Kara in a tram to her home. When she gets abducted by the KGB in the tram, Bond takes her left-behind cello case (where he finds her address) and later comes to Karas apartment, where both meet after her interrogation.
The Living Daylights had been produced in the late 1980s – because of that, the crew never went to the Soviet city Bratislava, but looked for likely places in Vienna. They striked a bonanza in Viennas 18th district Währingen – a once noble Gründerzeit quarter in the northwest of the city. The streets Antonigasse, Sommarugagasse and Kreuzgasse had been “sovietized” with some small changes. But luckily for Bond Hunters, many houses are still recognizable. Even the tram line is still running.
Karas apartment is at Antonigasse No. 92. The entry still strongly resembles the movie version from 1987. Only the telephone both in front of it is gone. Also still recognizable: The junction, where the KGB car with the abducted Kara turns from Antonigasse left down into Sommarugagasse.
What changed a lot is the tram depot, where Bond gets off in the movie. It is an old brick stone building along Kreuzgasse that was used as a tram terminal back in the 1980s. Nowadays it is home to offices and a supermarket. Also another building had been erected in front of it – ruining the open space, as it was seen in the movie.
Best – and Bondiest – way to reach the area is with the tram line 42. “Antonigasse” is the final stop, “Sommarugagasse” is the one before. You can either enter the tram at the “Volksoper” stop (where you find another Bond location) or enter at “Schottentor”, that is connected to the U2 metro line.
Good to know
Tram line 42 operates reverse to the movie: The tram starts in the city center and ends at Antonigasse. After a break it heads back and comes along Sommarugagasse.
In The Living Daylights the tour looks a bit different: Kara is already in the tram for some minutes, before the KGB stops the tram and forces her out. Then the tram rides along Karas apartment before finishing its tour at the depot at the junction Sommarugagasse/Kreuzgasse. So if you want to experience the same route, you have to take the tram in its way back to the city.
Though Vienna has upgraded its trams during the last 30 years, some of the old trams are still running around town and in the Währingen district. When we were there, tram line 42 was only operated by modern trains. But maybe you are lucky and an old one runs the circuit like in the movie.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3), © 1987 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2)