Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

The Alpine redoubt of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas), and the revolving mountaintop restaurant in Switzerland that became the shooting location for the fortress, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The movie’s Swiss production liaison, Hubert Fröhlich, suggested the site—perched atop the Schilthorn mountain, it was identical to the fictional fortress described in Ian Fleming’s novel. The restaurant, which had just been completed and had yet to open, was ultimately named after the role it played in the film.

Construction of the revolving restaurant began in 1961 with the help of helicopters, which transported the building materials to the top of the Schilthorn. By Christmas 1967, the structure was finished, as was the cable-car run to the village of Mürren below. Everything was brand new, and plans were being made to furnish the restaurant’s interior, when the James Bond crew arrived. A complicated series of negotiations began the following spring to secure the location for filming. Eon Productions agreed to furnish the interior, as well as to construct, next to the main building, a helicopter landing pad that could be used for rescue missions. In return, the filmmakers were given permission to film throughout the five-story mountaintop complex.

Production designer Syd Cain would be in charge of the operation that would eventually transform the bare restaurant into Blofeld’s exotic allergy institute. It was not an expensive task, costing only 60,000 pounds, compared with the nearly 300,000 needed for Blofeld’s rocket base in You Only Live Twice. The principal cost went to the construction of the heliport, which was accomplished by the Swiss government, working to Cain’s designs.


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