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Moonraker - Bond lands at Drax's Château

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 transposed 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.

When Bond goes to meets Drax at his château in California, Corinne Dufour points out that the entire château has been shipped stone-by-stone from France and reconstructed there. This indicates Drax's vast wealth and connections. It stands in sharp contrast to both the Californian setting around it, and also Drax's own high tech and sterile looking factories and laboratories nearby. The estate is an oasis, lush and green and wooded, surrounded by an arid landscape. This too suggests Drax's wealth and requires substantial infrastructure and irrigation.

While there, Drax and Bond go game shooting in the estate's grounds, where the former tries to have the latter assassinated, but Bond foils it by shooting his assassin out of the tree he's hiding in while wielding a gun that he's given to try shooting a pheasant.

At Drax's research facility, Bond meets Dr. Goodhead, who sets him up in a Long-Arm Centrifuge (DLR) which simulates G forces, although one of Drax's men, Chang tries to kill Bond 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/.