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Exterior shots of Hugo Drax's château, as seen in Moonraker (1979).

The Drax Estate was the fictional Californian residence of billionaire industrialist Hugo Drax. The location, comprising of Drax's French château, private estate grounds and a shuttle-manufacturing complex, appeared in the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker.


Corinne: "[while piloting a helicopter] This is the Drax estate now. Everything you see belongs to Mr. Drax."
James Bond: "He owns a lot, doesn't he?"
Corinne: "What he doesn't own, he doesn't want."
―Bond is shown the Drax Estate from the air.[src]

After a Moonraker space shuttle is stolen in transit from America to Britain, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6) sends James Bond to investigate Hugo Drax's Moonraker manufacturing plant in California. Bond meets with him at his mansion in California, which has been shipped stone-by-stone from France. While there, Drax and Bond go hunting in the estate grounds, where an assassination attempt by one of Drax's men is foiled. At Drax's research facility Bond meets Dr. Goodhead who sets him up in a machine which simulates g forces, although one of Drax's men tries to kill him by making it spin dangerously fast.

Behind the scenes

Drax's mansion, set in California, was actually filmed at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, about 55 kilometres (34 mi) southeast of Paris, for the exteriors and Grand Salon. The remaining interiors, including some of the scenes with Corinne Dufour and the drawing room, were filmed at the Château de Guermantes approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Euro Disneyland.[1]

The interior of the adjoining Moonraker manufacturing plant, where Bond meets Dr. Goodhead, was shot at the Centre Pompidou, on the place Georges Pompidou in Paris. Opened in 1977, it was designed in the style of high-tech architecture by the architectural team of Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, along with Gianfranco Franchini. Along with the use of scale models, the production team used aerial shots filmed at the Rockwell International aircraft plant at Palmdale in Antelope Valley, California (now listed as Air Force Plant 42)  to represent the exterior of the shuttle manufacturing plant.[2]



  1. Inside Moonraker (DVD). MGM.
  2. Moonraker film locations (English) (Website). www.movie-locations.com/.