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25. September 2016 15:11
by m

Moonraker and the Mandela Effect

25. September 2016 15:11 by m | 0 Comments

The Mandela Effect is a collective misremembering of a fact or event, a term coined by Fiona Broome, after she became aware that she and many other people seemed to remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s, when obviosuly he did not because he later became president of South Africa, and didn't actually die until 2013. Other examples include lines from famous movies that everyone gets wrong e.g., Humphrey Bogart's saying "Play it again, Sam" in Casablanca, and the many people who swear that Jaw's girlfriend, Dolly, had braces in MoonrakerMoonraker.

I don't recall ever seeing Dolly with braces, but when I first heard this rumor it did make a certain amount of sense - if she had smiled and had metal on her teeth, it would be the one obvious thing they had in common that would make the mutual attraction between them that much more believeable and add a touch more humor to the scene. If I had gone back to the film and found that she had braces, I would not have been surprised in the least.

The first place I went to check was the blu-ray. Obviously, without having a 35mm (or 16mm) print of the film handy, the blu-ray is the highest resolution source available, as it was created from a direct scan of the original negatives. Clearly she doesn't have braces: (source: blu-ray - cropped)

Dolly, no braces Blu-ray

Is it possible they were digitally removed? Of course that is possible, but how likely is that? Why would EON/MGM pay extra for digitally erasing something that only adds to the scene and makes it better? If anything, they would probably digitally ADD the braces. We already know that they didn't remove the reflection of the camera crew in the dressing room mirror during the fight in The Man With The Golden GunThe Man With The Golden Gun, and if they didn't choose to have that fixed, they probably didn't choose to fix anything else: "Just the scan, and a quick digital cleanup, please". As we know, MGM was on the verge of bankruptcy for a long time, which is another good argument against them making any unnecessary digital changes to the films.

Man with the Golden Gun - production crew reflection (Blu-ray):

Man with the Golden Gun, reflection of camera crew in mirror

Just to be certain though, we can go back to the original VHS tape from the early 1980s:

Dolly, no braces VHS

Moonraker early Warner VHS tape

Nope, still no braces.

We only have his word for it, but french Bond fan CJB007FR, says he is a close friend of the actress and he asked her if she had braces in the film, and she said no.  (source:

While it is possible to digitally track and remove braces in 2016, it wasn't so easy back in the early 1980s! Since there are no braces there, it is either just your mind playing tricks on you or you are from a parallel universe. It is also possible that perhaps your memory is mixing up MoonrakerMoonraker with this advert Richard Kiel made for Sampo Mini Visa credit cards, in which the girl behind the desk smiles and has braces.

Update 11/20/2016: We can now do even better than that. A film collector friend of mine has an original 35mm print of MoonrakerMoonraker from 1979, in other words one of the actual films that appeared in movie theaters. The colors are a little faded, like most films of the era, but you can clearly see that Dolly never had braces in the film. Here is the picture he took just two weeks ago while projecting the film:

Perhaps she had braces in the script, perhaps she had them in the novelization, but never in the movie. Case closed.

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