26 September 2021

Berlin, Germany

In OCTOPUSSY, the thirteenth James Bond film and the sixth with Roger Moore as 007, James Bond meets the mysterious Octopussy (Maud Adams). She owns a palace in India where only women are allowed. Besides India, filming took place in England, Germany and the United States.
Octopussy, 1:10:37
Filming started on 10 August 1982 and ended on 25 January 1983. The first day of shooting was in West Berlin. At that time, the city was still divided by the Berlin Wall and the Cold War was in full swing. To travel to Karl Marx Stadt, now Chemnitz, James Bond is dropped off by M (Robert Brown) at Checkpoint Charlie. This was the most famous of nine checkpoints in the Wall. However, it was not possible to film in East Berlin.
The film shows the Mercedes driving from West Berlin to 'no man's land', the area before entering East Berlin. The camera stopped filming, the car turned around and drove back, to the surprise of the border guards.

The first image of Berlin is an establishing shot of the Kurfürstendamm. In the background of this shopping boulevard the ruin of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church can be seen. In 1943, the church was heavily damaged during a bombing raid. The original plan was to demolish the building and replace it with a new church. In the end it was decided to build only a new church hall and bell tower next to the old church. To prevent further decay, the remains of the Memorial Church were restored in 2010.

Octopussy, 1:21:16
Kurfürstendamm, Berlin, 30 June 2019

The area around Checkpoint Charlie has changed completely since the fall of the Wall. All buildings seem to have been replaced. A small part of the white fence has remained. Tourists can have their picture taken with dressed-up soldiers for a fee. I did not like the atmosphere, what once was a sad symbol of the separation between West and East Germany is now a cheap tourist attraction.

Octopussy, 1:22:04
Friedrichstraße, Berlijn, 4 July 2019
Octopussy, 1:22:10
Friedrichstraße, Berlijn, 4 July 2019

Checkpoint Charlie is located on Friedrichstraße, at number 207/208 you will find Back-Factory. This café once had a small photo exhibition of the movie (see the website 007 travellers), and a scale model of the small plane with the folding wings from the movie's prologue. The photos were gone when I visited the café but the plane was still there.

Octopussy, 0:05:16
Octopussy, 0:07:25
Back-Factory, Berlin, 4 July 2019
Screenshots © EON Productions