Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery | 1997
The spoof of Swingin’ Sixties spy movies covers such clichéd territory that it has no right to be as funny as it is.
Apart from a couple of stock second-unit shots, there was no filming in England, though a neat process shot manages to place a Bob's Big Boy smack in the middle of London’s Piccadilly Circus. In fact, the ‘London’ scenes were filmed on the Paramount backlot in LA.
The action swiftly moves to Las Vegas proper, where Austin Powers (Mike Myers) and Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley) arrive at the Stardust Resort and Casino, now sadly gone, which stood at 3000 Las Vegas Boulevard South. The casino interiors are also no more. They were filmed in the Riviera Hotel and Casino, 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard South, which closed its door for good in May 2015. The casino had also been featured in Doug Liman’s Go, the original 1960 Ocean’s Eleven and Martin Scorsese’s Casino.
Sixties musical legend Burt Bacharach, who used to score the kind of camp romp being parodied – think the original 60s Casino Royale or What's New, Pussycat? – plays piano on the upper deck of Powers' red double-decker on the glittering Vegas Strip.
Despite appearances, Dr Evil’s ‘Virtucon Worldwide HQ’, where Austin recognises Dr Evil’s pussy, can be found in downtown Los Angeles. It’s the old Unocal Building, now housing the LA Center Studios, 1202 West Fifth Street at Beaudry Street, seen in plenty of films including The X-Files.
The exotic penthouse of Alotta Fagina (Fabiana Udenio) was in the Oriental-themed Imperial Palace, now revamped to become the LINQ Hotel and Casino, 3535 Las Vegas Boulevard South. The LINQ retains what was the Imperial's major attraction, is the world’s largest classic car museum, the Auto Collections (including ‘Eleanor’, the 1967 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback used in the 2000 version of Gone in 60 Seconds, with Nicolas Cage).
The penthouse interiors are a bit less glamorous – they were filmed at a sewage filtration plant in Van Nuys, north of LA in the San Fernando Valley. That’s a bit misleading. It’s actually the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, 6100 Woodley Avenue, which has been landscaped to provide an unexpected and beautiful Japanese Garden – which was previously seen as the campus of ‘Bill & Ted University’ in Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey.
The final escape from Dr Evil’s underground complex was filmed in another Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey location, the 745-acre Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, 10700 West Escondido Canyon Road, near Agua Dulce Springs, California. This outburst of the San Andreas fault, where spurs of rock rear up out of the earth, has been used in hundreds of Westerns and sci-fi movies (including The Flintstones and Apache), pop videos, photoshoots, episodes of the Star Trek TV series and – more recently – in JJ Abrams’ 2009 big-screen revamp of Star Trek.