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
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
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.