“The Poppy is also a Flower”: Danish theatrical poster (1966)

The somewhat obscure 1966 feature film "The Poppy is also a Flower" is of special interest for James Bond completists as the screenplay was based on an original idea by Ian Fleming hatched before his death in August 1964.

Fleming's participation was due to the film's director, Terence Young. As production of "The Poppy is also a Flower" was about to commence in 1965, Young left the post-production on "Thunderball" to his editor Peter Hunt.

"The Poppy is also a Flower" is an anti-drug spy thriller which highlights UN's campaigns against the world-wide opium trade. United Nations initiated the production which was financed by Xerox Corporation for showings on American TV although the film was released as a theatrical feature in other countries. In Denmark it was called "Operation Opium" and premiered on October 14, 1966. The release poster, pictured below, does its best to accentuate the James Bond/Agent 007 connections.

Harold Sakata (Oddjob in "Goldfinger") is the only actor from the EON Bond series to appear in the star-studded cast of "The Poppy is also a Flower". All of the actors waived their fees for a token payment of one dollar. Many of the male French and Italian actors in the film were dubbed by Robert Rietty who also voiced, among others, Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) in "Thunderball" and appeared on-camera in "Never Say Never Again" (1983).

"Operation Opium" was universally panned at the time of release. The film is available on German DVD and Blu-ray (Region 2) as "Mohn ist auch eine Blume" issued by the label Filmjuwelen .

Operation Opium - Danish theatrical posterThanks to movieposter.dk.

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