When Pierce Brosnan made his James Bond debut in Goldeneye (1995) it was with an extraordinary stunt; a 220-metre bungee jump from the top of a dam that allowed 007 to infiltrate an illicit Soviet chemical weapons facility.
The jump, which was voted the best movie stunt of all time by Sky Movies in 2002, was performed by Wayne Michaels from the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland from a specially built platform designed to prevent him from brushing the dam wall during the jump. After setting up six cameras by dropping weights, the jump was filmed in a single take.
Verzasca Dam is close to Locarno and Ticino, where the influence is distinctly Italian. Also known as Contra Dam or Locarno Dam, it was constructed between 1960 and 1965, taking 18 months to pour the concrete alone. It is the fourth tallest dam in Switzerland and, as part of the Verzasca Hydroelectric Complex, was designed to drive three 35 MW turbines.
Following the movie’s release, the owners of the dam allowed a commercial bungee jump operation to lease access to the top of the dam to allow members of the public to make the jump; according to the operator, more than 10,000 people have done so.
The Goldeneye bungee jump is available during the afternoon between April and October. Please check the operator website (below) for more details and pricing.