The James Bond franchise has been captivating audiences for decades with its thrilling action sequences, daring stunts, and breathtaking locations. One of the most memorable moments in the franchise comes from the 1973 film Live and Let Die, where James Bond, played by Roger Moore, steps across a row of crocodiles in a daring escape scene. Many have wondered if this iconic scene was real or just a special effect. The truth is, it was real, and it was achieved by a brave and experienced crocodile farm owner, Ross Katanga.
Ross Katanga’s father had been killed by a crocodile, but that didn’t stop him from working with these dangerous creatures. He had been working at St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida, USA, and had already performed several stunts with crocodiles before being approached by the film’s production team. The scene required Bond to escape from a group of villains by walking across a row of crocodiles, and Ross Katanga was the perfect person to make it happen.
The stunt was not easy to execute. Crocodiles are known for their powerful jaws, and their bite can easily crush bones. To ensure Katanga’s safety, the crocodiles were tied down by their bodies, so only the head and tail could move. This technique was used to immobilize the animals and prevent them from biting Katanga while he walked across them. Despite the precautions, the stunt was still extremely dangerous and required precise timing and skill.
In the end, Katanga succeeded on his fifth attempt. The scene in the film lasts only a few seconds, but it remains one of the most iconic moments in the entire James Bond franchise. Katanga’s bravery and expertise in handling crocodiles were instrumental in making this scene a reality.
However, it’s important to note that such a stunt would not be possible in today’s film industry. Animal rights organizations and laws have since been implemented to protect animals from harm in the film industry. The use of live animals in stunts is now highly regulated and restricted, and it’s unlikely that a similar scene could be replicated in modern times.
In conclusion, the moment in Live and Let Die where James Bond steps across a row of crocodiles was real, and it was achieved by a brave and experienced crocodile farm owner, Ross Katanga. The stunt was a testament to his skill and the advancements in filmmaking at the time. While the use of live animals in stunts is no longer acceptable, this iconic moment will always be remembered as a true testament to the daring spirit of the James Bond franchise.
Behind the scenes during the famous crocodile jump in LIVE AND LET DIE (1973).
Crocodile farm owner Ross Katanga (whose own father had been eaten by a crocodile) did the stunt. He succeeded on his 5th attempt, only after receiving 193 stitches.
— James Leighton (@JamesL1927) March 28, 2023