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Operation Kid Brother

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  • Operation Kid Brother

    Having watched Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery), I’ve been unable to identify the two airports/airfields that appear in the film. The first three images are Aeroclub Monte Carlo in the film, but no such place exists. This is where Lois Maxwell is helpless as the remote controlled Studebaker (complete with bomb) collides with the taxiing light plane and then explodes.

    Images four, five and six are another airport/airfield that has Kanderstec Fluchafen in lettering on the control tower, which could actually be two places. This is where Dr Neil Connery and Maya arrive by light plane and find his Scottish archery buddies are already there waiting for them. This is a more mountainous area, possibly near to Feris in Italy close to the border with Switzerland, and it was here that the castle 20 miles from Munich location was filmed at Feris Castle.

    Pre publicity for the film indicated that location filming would take place in Monte Carlo, Malaga in Spain and Tetuan in Morocco and sure enough there is location filming done there. However, the press releases also claimed that footage would be undertaken at San Remo and Turin in Italy and in Barcelona, Spain and these three missing locations could be where the airport/airfield material was shot. As usual with my spy film location research all assistance will be gratefully accepted.

    Last edited by Mikey; 25th April 2017, 06:38 PM.

  • #2
    Seeing that shot of a Short Skyvan (pretty much unmistakable), I put the plane and the registration into Google - and it turns out that IMPDB had got there first! - give all the aircraft in the film, and every single one is Italian registered.

    However, the Skyvan was operated by a company that flew out of 'Cortina d’Ampezzo, Belluno, Asiago from Venice and Milan'. Since those first two are in the Italian Alps, it might be one of those two, but Milan is the most likely.

    There seems to be more than one airfield (hence the two different looking control towers), which is standard for films being shot at various locations, but while 'Kanderstec Fluchafen' doesn't seem to exist, Kandersteg certainly does, being apparently an international Scout centre, etc . Fluchafen doesn't seem to be an actual word, but Flughafen does, which seems to mean 'airport'. The problem with that is that there doesn't seem to be an airport there

    Its likely that Milan is one of the airfields, but which one? There is Milan Malpensa and there is Linate. I'm betting its Malpensa, simply because:

    By the early 1960s, however, major European carriers such as British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and Alitalia had moved the majority of their services to Linate Airport, which was just 11 km east of Milan's city centre, making it much easier for passengers to reach central Milan. This left Malpensa with just a handful of intercontinental links, charter flights and cargo operations. Malpensa suffered a decline in commercial traffic, with passenger numbers dropping from 525,000 in 1960 to just 331,000 by 1965. It was destined to play second fiddle to Linate Airport for another 20 years.
    In other words, always look for the cheapest location, because film companies like that, and this doesn't seem to be an especially expensive film! Plus the fact that filming around planes means you can get in the way, and a sleepy airfield is easier to work in. Can't find any evidence to support that, or any photos of the control tower, but its not a bad guess.

    I can't find any evidence of an airfield at Kanderstag, so its perfectly possible they just found somewhere else and just made up a name on a sign.
    On the other hand, that Skyvan operator specialised in STOL flights into posh places, including Cortina d’Ampezzo, and the company used the plane as a prop in Milan, and then flew into another airfield and used that, or redressed somewhere in the Italian Tyrol. Since all those planes are little ones, a small airfield in Italy or Switzerland is highly likely for at least one location. Cortina d'Ampezzo used to have an airstrip, which was closed, but its not impossible thats one of the locations

    The control tower is usually a key feature, but they get rebuilt all the time, and since its 50 years ago, thats a tough one.


    • #3
      Okay, put the first two images in again after they disappeared and hopefully as I have used photobucket, this time they will remain.


      Many thanks for coming back on this and doing so much research. I have had a look at every disused Italian airport on the website you mentioned and have to admit that Cortina d'Ampezzo looks the most likely. It even has evidence that this was one of the few airports where the Short Skywagon was flown to and from. However, looking at Neil Connery’s ally Juan standing watching the plane land with the control tower in the background, shows a different outline of hills in the background and I have been on Google Maps to check this out and unfortunately it is completely different. Turning around and looking in the opposite direction the hills are more like those seem in the movie, but now the large concrete apron is in the wrong place. If this is the place then the control tower and hanger seen in the movie have long since gone. The airport was closed in 1976 after a fatal crash that killed six people. This airport was apparently notorious for dangerous wind conditions when landing and taking off and there had been previous fatalities.

      I checked out the other three airports, both the Milan ones are too big and Belluno is a grass landing strip, so we can exclude that one.

      I agree that images one to three are somewhere different and from the small palm trees I would have to go with somewhere more south near the Mediterranean. Having done a little more research since posting, I have found some Sanremo footage. This comes when Maya convinces the female crew that there are plans to blow up the vessel with them on board, resulting in them taking over the sailing yacht after a mass brawl with the male members of the crew. This was shot on board the Xarifa 163 foot sailing yacht, which at the time was moored offshore from Sanremo.
      Last edited by Mikey; 25th April 2017, 11:12 PM.


      • #4
        I’ve been looking at this again and come up with another option for the Italian airport/airfield and that is the Corrado Gex Airport, in the Aosta Valley, close to the border with Switzerland, which is near to the Fenis Castle that was also used as a filming location in the movie.

        Spent all day yesterday on google maps searching this down and looking at Tangiers in Morocco, which unfortunately does not have streetview and did not make much headway there, except being able to recognise the harbour area. I do not have Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery) on DVD, having been watching the copies on You Tube and wondered if anyone does have a copy on DVD and if they would mind sending me a few screengrabs, as there are still a few locations that I am looking for.

        As always thanks in advance.


        • #5
          Okay, here I go again with some larger screengrabs from the 1967 Italian spy movie Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery). Can anybody confirm that this sequence was filmed at what was Cortina d'Ampezzo airport?

          This was basically a James Bond film without James Bond, but the lead character was played by Sean Connery’s younger brother Neil.

          For: Connery’s archery buddies get out of a Shorts Skyvan flown by the Aeralpi airline and Cortina d'Ampezzo was one of the places they flew from.

          Against: The structure with the three arched windows seen over the shoulder of the Italian actor Franco Giacobini. I cannot find this on Google Maps.

          If this was not filmed at Cortina d'Ampezzo, then it could possibly be the Aosta Valley Airport formerly Corrado Gex Airport, which would fit in with location filming at the Fenis Castle, which is also in this region.

          Last edited by Mikey; 20th May 2017, 05:03 PM.


          • #6


            • #7

              It's the Aosta Valley Airport in northern Italy formerly known as Corrado Gex Airport during the sixties. One down two to go.


              • #8
                Here are some more images taken from the 1967 spy film Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery). Actress Lois Maxwell watches a light plane, a Ambrosini S.1001, coming into land and then the Studebaker behind her begins to move under remote control form the villain’s lair. Maxwell realises that something is wrong and drawing an automatic pistol she begins firing at the vehicle as it intercepts the taxiing aircraft and collides with it. There is an almighty explosion that wrecks both the car and the plane, although the actual impact appears to take place somewhere else within the confines of the airfield and not on the runway. This was followed by the arrival of the airport firefighters who retrieve the pilot, but then they inform Maxwell that he has been killed.

                Once again I’m attempting to identify the actual location, which appears to be much further south from the Oaster Valley, as indicated by the palm trees in from the control tower building. In the movie this is supposed to be the Monte Carlo Aero Club, but there is no such place. I have searched around the Monte Carlo area in France and across the border around Sanremo in Italy for a small airport where the filming took place, but I have been unable to discover anywhere that looks like this. The film had location footage filmed in both Monte Carlo and Sanremo, plus publicity reports of the time announced that footage would also be undertaken in Turin, Italy and so I have checked the airports there, but again I have been unable to find a match. Further to this I have also looked at airports in the Tuscany region of Italy without success. As far as I know the Italian built Ambrosini S.1001 was only ever sold to the home market, so I am favouring Italy and to reinforce that the film was financed by the Italian Titanus company and the interiors were filmed in Rome.

                The screengrab showing the car heading off across the grass towards the plane, has a large structure in the background, which I take (I could be wrong) to be a flour mill.


                • #9


                  • #10
                    Great work Mikey


                    • #11
                      Thanks jno

                      Finally common sense and logic have cut in and if I were making a film where the interiors were being filmed in Rome and needed to shoot at a small airport then logically I would choose a local one. There are three in Rome, but two of them cater for airliners and only one for light planes. Took a look on Google Mpas and found the control tower building, which is still in use although not as the control tower for the airport as a new one was built sometiem ago. This is Rome Urbe Airport and as you can see from the photograph the palm trees and shrubery have grown somewhat during the past 50 plus years.


                      • #12
                        Well done!
                        I have to admit that I got a bit obsessed with finding the locations just after a couple of hours one evening, even though this is a film I've never seen, probably can't be bothered to see, and wasn't probably all that good even at the time.

                        Its the completeness of the thing....


                        • #13

                          I found Mallaga Airport in the film last weekend without posting any images. I have another half dozen locations to find for this movie, although I fear that some of them will prove impossible to locate. The three airports were always going to be the easiest to discover.

                          If you like sixties spy movies than I'd say give Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery) a go, there are a couple of copies on You Tube. However, despite it's strong Bond connections do not expect something similar in standard to a sixties James Bond movie.


                          • #14
                            I might give it a go sometimes, but since I've only just finished watch Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which has been on the PVR for two years, its going to be a while!

                            Locations do bug the life out of you - its a challenge to just get the set.


                            • #15

                              Locations do indeed bug me. Yesterday I spent lots of time looking for a stretch of coastline in Spain, because the scene featured the same performers who were on location at Malaga Airport, but failed to find it. Another option could be that the same location is used in another film and someone has gone to the trouble of identifying it there and if I can make the connection, then it is a shortcut to finding it.
                              Last edited by Nick Dando; 29th May 2017, 11:02 AM.