Octopussy
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Octopussy can be found here.

All of the James Bond movies are based, in some part, upon novels by British author Ian Fleming [1908-1964]. The title Octopussy comes from Fleming's posthumous collection of short stories in Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966). However, very little of the short story "Octopussy" is featured in the film. The short story "Octopussy" deals with Bond and a character called Major Dexter-Smythe. This character turns out to be the father of the Octopussy character (Maud Adams) in the film who, in one scene, recaps the events of the original short story to Bond. The scenes where Bond is bidding on the Faberg egg at auction are taken from "Property of a Lady." This title is referenced in the catalogue announcing the sale of the egg. The remainder of the film is an original story crafted by the screenwriters although some elements, such as Gobinda (Kabir Bedi)'s crushing of the dice, are clearly inspired by events in earlier Bond films.

Who sings the title song?

Unlike most previous Bond movies, Octopussy does not have a true title song. The song that plays during the opening and closing credits is All Time High, sung by American singer, Rita Coolidge. However, a phrase from the song, "...we're two of a kind..." is used in the movie when Octopussy tells Bond that she and he are "two of a kind" and Bond agrees.

Following the death of Bernard Lee, who played the role of M in previous Bond movies, Robert Brown took over the role for Octopussy. Some fans have speculated that Brown is playing a different character, promoted to the position of M...perhaps Admiral Hargreaves, the character Brown played in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). M is the head of British intelligence in Fleming's novels (a reference to the real-life chief of the Secret Intelligence Service who is known as C, short for Cumming, as in Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the first chief of SIS). M's full name is Admiral Sir Miles Messervey, K.C.M.G. Author Gary Giblin (James Bond's London) interviewed Octopussy director John Glen who confirmed that Brown was playing Lee's character M, not someone promoted to the position of M, and that only he and Brown would have remembered the character of Admiral Hargreaves anyway!

The movie opens in an undisclosed Latin American country (presumably Cuba) where Bond is finishing a mission that has no relation to the rest of the movie. Bond is next seen in London where he is being briefed in the death of 009 in East Berlin. 009 stumbled into the palace of the British Ambassador to East Berlin and, in his dying moment, handed over a Faberg egg that turned out to be fake. The real Faberg egg is subsequently auctioned off at Sotheby's London Art Auction House and sold to an exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan). Bond, bidding against Khan in order to drive up the price, secretly swipes the fake egg for the real one, and Kamal winds up paying 500,000 for the fake egg. Because M suspects Russian involvement in both the death of 009 and the sale of the Faberg egg, Bond is ordered to follow Kamal to Delhi, India in order to find out why he wants the egg so badly. When Bond hears through a microphone that Orlov and Kamal are planning to meet at Karl-Marx-Stadt in East Berlin, it's off to Germany. In the finale, Bond returns to India just in time to save Octopussy.

As Bond describes it, a Faberg egg is "one of the jeweled eggs made by Carl Faberg as an Easter gift for the Russian royal family. They're priceless and very rare." Each year between 1885 and 1894, Russian jeweler Carl Faberg [1846-1920] fashioned a jeweled egg for Czar Alexander III to give to his wife, the Empress Maria. The practice continued with the next Czar, Nicholas II, who ordered two eggs each year, one for his mother and one for his wife Alexandra, until his abdication in 1917. All totaled, Faberg fashioned 105 eggs, of which only 69 are known to still exist. Examples of Faberg eggs can be seen here, here, and here.

Kamal is a cog in a network that smuggles priceless treasures out of Russia. He employs jewelers that create well-crafted replications of the pieces. The thefts of the real items are accomplished by General Orlov (Steven Berkoff), a renegade Soviet officer, who steals the items from the Soviet Fine Art Repository and then replaces them with the fakes. Orlov does not know that 009 managed to get the fake egg to the British ambassador and believes that it was lost when 009 fell into a river, so now there is no replacement egg for the real one about to be auctioned. With no time to fashion another replacement before a scheduled inventory of the Repository, Orlov orders Kamal to buy back the real egg at any price.

The path of the eggs goes like this: 009 steals the fake egg and is killed for it, but, before he dies, he gets the fake egg to the British ambassador in East Berlin who sends it on to MI6. The real egg goes on auction at Sotheby's, where Bond switches the fake egg for the real one, causing Kamal to unknowingly buy the fake egg. Bond follows Kamal to Delhi, taking the real egg with him and using it for security in a game of Backgammon with Kamal. Kamal's accomplice, Magda (Kristina Wayborn), steals back the real egg from Bond. Of course, Bond knows that she has stolen the real egg, but he says nothing because he Q installed a homing device in it. Magda returns it to Kamal, who is now in possession of both the fake and the real egg. Kamal then gives the real egg to Orlov who smashes it, believing it to be a fake.

Thinking that it is the fake egg, Orlov smashes the real Faberg, as evidenced by the homing chip that falls out of it.

Although she makes a brief appearance (her back only) in the first half of the movie, Octopussy's face isn't seen until the second half. Octopussy is one of Kamal's accomplices. She owns a traveling international circus, and she uses it to help Kamal smuggle various jewels and treasures across the Soviet border into the Western world. She lives on a floating palace in Delhi. No one knows her real name. She got the name Octopussy from her father, Major Dexter-Smythe, who studied octopi. She uses a picture of a blue-ringed octopus as the icon for her Order of the Octopus and as tattoos on the women she employs as bandits, smugglers, and guards.

Bond was responsible for the capture of her father, Smythe, 20 years ago, after he was suspected of stealing a cache of Chinese gold and killing his partner. However, Bond gave Smythe 24 hours to settle his affairs. Smythe used those 24 hours to commit suicide and avoid the disgrace of a court martial. Instead of revenge when she finally meets Bond, Octopussy thanks him for giving her father an honorable way out of his predicament.

How does the movie end?

Among much fanfare, the circus train arrives at U.S. Air Force base in Feldstadt, West Germany at 2:20 and sets up for a show. The nuclear bomb in the Human Cannonball's cannon is set to go off at 3:45. Bond hitches a ride to the nearest town, then steals a car, and, with the politzei in hot pursuit, makes it to the base at 3:15, passing Kamal and Gobinda going in the opposite direction. With 5 minutes to spare, Bond dons a clown suit and walks into the main tent where the Human Cannonball's act is being announced. With 90 seconds to spare, he tries to convince the U.S. General that there is a bomb in the cannon, but the General just laughs, thinking that it's part of the act. Bond grabs an axe and tries to break the lock on the bomb, but the polizei overpower him. With 14 seconds to go, Octopussy suddenly steps forward and shoots off the lock. Bond is able to disarm the bomb just as it reaches 0. Shortly thereafter, back in India, Octopussy and Magda plot to avenge Kamal's betrayal, his having left them to die in the explosion. Octopussy's Octopus girls raid the Monsoon Palace, while Octopussy confronts Kamal. He tries to tell her that he was betrayed by Orlov and didn't know anything about the bomb. He then knocks out her down. She tries to escape but is knocked unconscious by Gobinda. When she regains consciousness, she is in Kamal's private plane. Having joined the raid in Q's hot air balloon, Bond follows the airplane and manages, while on horseback, to leap onto the tail just as the plane takes off. With the plane airborne, Bond inches forward on top the plane, Kamal all the while trying to knock him off by flying in rolls and loops. When Bond knocks out one of the plane's two engines, Kamal sends Gobinda out to kill Bond, but Bond knocks Gobinda to his death. He then gets into the cabin. Kamal begins to lose control of the plane and tries to land. As the plane skids along the ground, Bond and Octopussy jump off, just as the plane goes over a cliff and crashes. In the final scenes, Soviet General Gogol (Walter Gotell) asks M for the return of the Romanov star, while Bond recuperates in bed with Octopussy on her barge.

They are the forgers Kamal used to create the fake Romanov jewels. Bond overhears Orlov say "Can you trust them?" and Khan says he can assure Orlov of their silence (it's very quiet). They are followed off screen by Gobinda, who killed them or had them killed and hung them in the freezer. In the morning, they are thrown into a ditch for the tigers to dispose of them (though Bond takes the place of one).

Including Octopussy, Moore made seven movies in which he played James Bond: Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985).

Page last updated by myturn21, 7 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: bj_kuehl, beauclerc, !!!deleted!!! (2721437), myturn21, J. Spurlin

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