Creator Backlash: Roger Moore hated the final scene with Margaret Thatcher. He felt it didn't suit the serious tone of the rest of the film. He also didn't like getting a clue about the ATAC from a parrot. Moore thought it the type of silliness his Bond films were usually criticized for being.
Lynn-Holly Johnson, 22 when the movie came out, plays the underaged (16, according to some sources) Bibi Dahl. Contrast Carole Bouquet, only a year older, whose character seems to be in her late twenties.
Inverted with Kristatos, who is supposed to be a WWII veteran, yet Julian Glover was born in 1935.
Roger Moore himself. Already older at the time of his first film than many Bond actors were when they left the role, this movie officially made him the oldest actor to play Bond, at 54 years old when it premiered.note Sean Connery was 53 when he returned for Never Say Never Again after leaving the role at 37 and again at 41; everyone else who played 007 more than once filmed their last Bond movie in their mid-to-late 40s.
The first involved a scene on the Havelock's boat just before Bond starts working with Melina on the case. Melina tells Bond that she tried to call him at his hotel room, to which he replied that he didn't make it back last night. His sex life is mentioned by both characters before Bond asks that they work together. Director John Glen cut the scene as he felt it did not fit Melina's character.
The second major cut was to the ice hockey fight sequence. The action was originally longer, featuring more stunts and Bond taking control of a Zamboni ice rink machine. The scene in the final film ends at the third period buzzer, but extra shots were filmed of Bond dumping snow from the machine on the three goons trapped in the net, and a final reveal shot of actor Charles Dance as one of the skaters.
English actor Julian Glover, French Actress Carole Bouquet and Israeli actor Haim Topol all play Greeks (half-Greek half-British in Carole Bouquet's case).
German hitman Eric Kriegler is played by British actor John Wyman, Cuban hitman Hector Gonzales is played by Indian-Trinidadian actor Stefan Kalipha, and Belgian hitman Emile Leopold Locque is played by English actor Michael Gothard.
Recurring character Russian General Gogol is played by the German character actor Walter Gotell.
English actress Jill Bennett plays the Germanic/Scandanavian skating coach Jacoba Brink.
The real kicker is the famous lampshade-hanging scene with the Austrian Countess von Schlaff who turns out to be from Liverpool (played by the late Australian actress Cassandra Harris, wife of Pierce Brosnan until she died in 1991).
Fatal Method Acting: Stuntman Paolo Rigonu became the first fatality on a James Bond movie when he was killed when the bobsled he was driving overturned while shooting a chase scene.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Bernard Lee, the original M actor, sadly died before production started. Out of respect to his memory, the producers and filmmakers chose not to recast the role of M right then and there, so they established early in the film by way of Ms. Moneypenny that M was "on leave" (vacation) to explain his absence, and the scenes that would have normally featured him were rewritten with other government official characters acting in his place carrying out his usual tasks. M would return in Octopussy played by Robert Brown, but it's never established if Brown is meant to be the same character simply played by a different actor (as Bond usually is across his many recasts) or if he is meant to be a new character replacing the previous M (possibly even Admiral Hargreaves, Brown's character from The Spy Who Loved Me).
Recycled Script: The whole film is strongly reminiscent of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In both films Bond is with a Countess, on a beach, threatened by mooks, kicks a gun out of a mook's hand, and he's wearing a tuxedo sans jacket. Both films show Bond at a casino with the aforementioned Countess. Both times the women are losing at baccarat. The opening teaser sequence shows Tracy Bond's grave and Blofeld in a neck-brace. Also the fact in this film Melina is Half-English, Half-Greek. In OHMSS Tracy was Half-English, Half-Italian. Both films have Bond allied with a crime syndicate figure who doesn't sell drugs. Bond also escapes in both films by riding in the car of the female lead who does the majority of the driving. Both films have a wedding scene and Bond riding in a helicopter piloted by someone else. Both films have Bond speaking with a "priest" at some point. Both films are set in the Alps at one point, show a Bond Girl on ice,have Bond on skis getting shot at, and have a bobsled track fight/battle sequence. Mountain climbers are shown in both at some point. Both films have a Germanic female character who is in charge of a girl/girls. Finally, in both films Bond and his crime syndicate ally assault a mountaintop lair.
Wag the Director: Attempted, but failed by Roger Moore, who disliked the scene where Bond kicks Locque's car over the edge of the cliff. He suggested that the scene be changed to depict the added weight of Locque's "calling card" that Bond throws in causing the car to fall over the cliff by itself, but director John Glen said that his suggestion was the type of silly stuff they were trying to get away from.
Director John Glen stated that there had been some discussion of bringing back Jaws for a third time, but eventually the idea was rejected as it they felt he did not fit the film's more serious tone.
The assassination of Melina Havelock's parents was first intended as part of the pre-credits sequence. The reaction shot of the murder was intended to cut to a close-up on her face whereby the look of anger and revenge in her eyes would then segue into the main titles.
In an original draft, Melina would have been 006's girlfriend, who would have been murdered early in the film.
In earlier drafts of the script, the chase sequence in the snow had James Bond pursued by bad guys in snowmobiles rather than on motorcycles.
Written-In Absence: Because Bernard Lee had died before production started, M is explained as being on leave. Cubby Broccoli refused to recast the role out of respect, so his lines were given to Tanner. The scene with Q in the confessional was originally M (indeed, the scene makes far more sense if you imagine Bond is talking to his boss rather than the guy who makes his gadgets).