The thirteenth James Bond production headed to India for a three-week location shoot in September 1982...

Production Notebook - India

12th September 2011

In mid-September 1982, the "Octopussy" production arrived in sweltering Udaipur - the 'City of Sunrise' - to film on location in India for three weeks.

The crew first rolled cameras on 007's arrival and meeting with Vijay - where he had a little trouble with a snake - on September 21st. The following day the crew were at the Shiv Niwas Palace, where a team of models were flown from England to partake in the pool-side shoot. The crew literally had hundreds of volunteers who had shown up to watch the busy street chase. The logistics of organizing crowd control at this complex stunt sequence proved a challenge for the crew. The bicycle rider who broke up the Tuk-Tuk fight was not intended to be in-shot at all; he was merely passing through.

The highlight of this locale is the Monsoon Palace, a striking building on the hillside of Udaipur. The lavish exteriors served the crew perfectly, becoming an eery lair of Prince Kamal Khan. Curiously, the sequence opens with a "classic" establishing shot of India's iconic Taj Mahal, which is actually some 200 miles from Udaipur.

Whilst the crew were on location, the first English language film ever to screen at Udaipur's largest cinema was appropriately enough "Moonraker", the last but one Bond outing.

The Lake Palace Hotel in the centre of Lake Pichola served as Octopussy's exclusive island palace but the interiors and courtyards of the palace were shot back at Pinewood - much to the relief of the stars who were struggling to work in the high temperatures. Due to the heat, Roger Moore required a new shirt and suit-jacket almost every take and his wardrobe and makeup touched up in order to keep James Bond looking cool and collected - with temperatures ranging from 48-65 degrees celsius.

Having spent just over three weeks in India, the "Octopussy" first unit returned to the UK and nobody was more relieved than Moore, who had suffered the entire trip with a stomach infection.

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