Location Guide - Octopussy


007 is on an undercover mission as Colonel Toro, a high ranking Cuban airforce official. Bond is in the process of planting a bomb on a high-security airbase when his cover is blown and is taken prisoner by the real Toro. With the able assistance of local ally Bianca, Bond escapes captivity and makes off in the light Acrostar. The mission is an all-round success when the missile which the villains launch to take out the Acrostar meets with 007's original target.



Bond returns to Britain to discover that 009 has been discovered dead in Berlin. Bond is briefed at the Whitehall headquarters about forged Faberge and other Kremlin antiquity being smuggled across Germany and is tasked with completing his fellow double-o's mission. At New Bond Street and Sotheby's famous auction house, Bond bids on the faux Faberge, "The Property of a Lady", just to get under the skin of the reclusive Kamal Kahn. Kahn, having won the egg (which he believes is a fake) jets back to India.



Udaipur, India
Bond is met by Vijay, one of Station I's best agents. 007 is checked into the Hotel Shiv Niwas Palace before meeting Kahn at the Backgammon table and dining with the alluring Magda. That night Bond is captured by Gobinda and treated to a meal at Kahn's Monsoon palace. The next day he is on the move but Kahn and a party of hunters are close behind the scampering agent. Bond finally comes face to face with Octopussy herself and the entrepreneurial smuggler keeps 007 as her guest until it is time for her circus to tour Berlin. Later, Bond is back to battle Kahn preventing the villain's escape.



Karl Marxstadt, Feldstadt and Berlin, Germany
M drops 007 at Checkpoint Charlie, tasked with putting an stop to Kahn, as he is now known to be involved with the corrupt General Orlov. 007 has trouble catching a train whilst Orlov has a lot of trouble at the checkpoint. Bond faces 009's assassins in the Prussian woods before catching a lift to the circus in Feldstadt. Bond infiltrates the Octopussy troupe and discovers Orlov has planted a nuclear bomb onto a US air base where the circus is performing. Bond races to convince the US officials of the danger. With the bomb nuteralised and the daring Octopussy on his side, Bond pursues Kahn to India.


Shooting Octopussy
John Glen and Roger Moore united for a second outing in August 1982. The first scenes of "Octopussy" were shot on location at the bleak Checkpoint Charlie - where West Berlin meets East and few can cross between Russian and American controlled territory. The location proves to be a harsh reminder of some of the serious concerns behind the fun of this secret agent extravaganza.

Above: With the mission in Latin America a success, Bond is back in London with a new and pressing assignment...

The crew shot in Berlin for six days and were back at their usual residence of Pinewood Studios by mid-August. British locations for this film included Wansford in Cambridgeshire, which serviced some of the Octopussy train sequence and Peterborough tunnel where Bond infiltrates the train and faces off against Orlov - the same location would double for Russia 12 years later when director Martin Campbell filmed the train vs tank sequence from "GoldenEye" at the very same spot. The area is part of a museum of locomotives and is comprised of a six-mile private track - perfect for the number of detailed stunts the "Octopussy" second unit would need to perform.

The crew then proceeded to RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, where a huge circus was genuinely staged and set decorations struck to make the British airbase double for an American one. The final British location was another Royal Air Force local, this time RAF Northolt which would double for the Cuban airbase 007 infiltrates in the pre-title sequence.

Above: James Bond is deployed 4,148 miles to the exotic city of Udaipur, India to plug the smugglers' leak...

By mid-September 1982, the production was in sweltering Udaipur - city of sunsets. The crew rolled cameras on their first location sequence, 007's arrival and meeting with Vijay - where the champion tennis player 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'd shown up to watch the busy street chase. The logistics of organising 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 genuine Monsoon Palace, a striking building on the hillside of Udaipur. The lavish exteriors of this served the crew perfectly, becoming an eery lair of the 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 every 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, Moore would require 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.

Above: 007 accompanies the lovely Octopussy on her latest circus tour to Berlin, Germany, before returning to India to dispatch with the manic Kahn...

Having spent just over three weeks in India, the "Octopussy" first unit return to the UK to shot the remaining interiors (including some soundstage work doubling for India) right through to Christmas Eve. Shooting stopped for the bare minimum of two weeks over Christmas and New Years, before concluding work in January 1983. Whilst the first unit were completing work in the UK, the aerial stunt crew - which included Bond veterans Jake Lombard and B J Worth - were working in Utah to can the final confrontation between Gobinda and Bond. The shots of the Acrostar in mid-flight were also filmed in US airspace.