How James Bond’s Moonraker Spurred a Strange Dental Legend

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Dolly, Jaw’s girlfriend in the James Bond film, Moonraker, had braces on her teeth.

The 1979 James Bond film, Moonraker, is one of the most notable Bond films for a few reasons. First off, at the time, it was THE most successful Bond film of all-time, grossing $210 worldwide ($70 million in its initial 1979 release, but then another $140 over a series of re-releases, which was much more common back in the days before VHS and streaming services became common. There was still high demand to see films that you could otherwise not see in any other form, except if you happened to catch it when it aired on television perhaps), a record it held up throughout the 1980s and all the way through the release of Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond film, GoldenEye, 16 years later. However, with its space theme (almost assuredly a reference ot the insanely high box office results of Star Wars a couple of years earlier), it was also the most over-the-top James Bond film to date (it was Roger Moore’s fourth Bond film). There are literal sequences with the heroes and villains firing lasers at each other in space. It’s kind of crazy. Moore’s precursor as Bond, Sean Connery, said at the time, “I went in London to see Moonraker with Roger and I think it’s departed so much from any sort of credence from the reality that we had [in my six films].” It was SO over-the-top that despite its success, producer Albert Broccoli decided to go in a completely different direction for the next Bond film, 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, likely correctly noting that if you keep going over the top, there is a limit to where you can go (See also: The decision to go back to the basics with a Bond reboot after the similarly way-over-the-top Die Another Day).

The film is also notable for the return of a villainous henchman. Villains like Blofeld would recur, but henchmen typically did not, but after fighting against Bond in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, Richard Kiel’s Jaws character, a mighty brute of a man with powerful metal teeth, returned to fight Bond again in this film.

However, Jaws had proven so popular as a bad guy that the producers decided to give Jaws a redemption arc in this second film. The decision was to have Jaws fall in love with a woman, and have that love force him to reform.

As it turned out, however, that romance redemption arc would also lead to a persistent legend that ties in with the so-called “Mandella Effect.”

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Quoting from MedicalNewsToday, here is the definition for the Mandela Effect, “The Mandela effect is a type of false memory that occurs when many different people incorrectly remember the same thing. It refers to a widespread false memory that Nelson Mandela, South African human rights activist and eventual president, died in prison in the 1980s.”

As you might imagine, this often comes up with legends, but not as often as you might think. Honestly, in a lot of ways, I think that the term “Mandela Effect” is overreaching, as there often really isn’t an “effect” so much as just simple, common mistakes being made by many people. For instance, there has been a good deal of confusion over the years as the name of the popular children’s book series by Stan and Jan Berenstain called The Berenstain Bears. People remember those books as being the BerenSTEIN Bears, not the BerenSTAIN Bears. That, though, to me, is not a shared false memory but rather that STEIN is more common than STAIN as a last name, so little kids just assumed that it was BerenSTEIN and that’s what they assumed that the books were called. That’s not really a “false memory” but rather just a common spelling mistake that people make. Like when people can’t remember the correct color scheme of the FedEx logo, that’s not a “false memory,” it is simply that people don’t remember the specific color schemes of logos, because our brains have not placed any importance on remembering that information (that brain space is dedicated to remembering every member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, of course).

However, there definitely are some instances of “false memories” that likely come from people being influenced by others or people mixing up memories, and that has led to a few legends over the years, like the legend of the alternate ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark, or people who insist that they saw “A New Hope” appear in the opening crawl of Star Wars (it didn’t). In the Star Wars case, people are conflating their memories of seeing the edited re-released version of the film in the early 1980s that added “A New Hope” to the crawl. I have no idea why so many people have false memories about the Raiders of the Lost Ark ending.

So, what was the “Mandela Effect” with Jaws?

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The big joke about Jaws’ romance in Moonraker is that his girlfriend, Dolly, is barely five feet tall, thus Jaws towers over her (Jaws actor Richard Kiel was married to a short woman, as well, so it’s not that unusual). However, people also remember ANOTHER joke about their relationship, that Dolly wore braces, thus having a mouth full of metal just like Jaws.

That’s not the case. Dolly did not have braces…

But boy, people sure do seem to REMEMBER that she does. Here’s an amusing YouTube bit of special effects editing showing Dolly’s introduction with the braces that people have given her in their memories…

The top comment on the video is interesting, too, as it is someone discussing their own false memory of the whole “Dolly has braces” deal.”

Fascinating stuff.

The legend is…


Be sure to check out my archive of Movie Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of film. Click here for more legends specifically about James Bond films.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is


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