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"Octopussy" is really peculiar in the series. Because, for example, we
see Bond dressed like a clown or keeping a plaster; there's an exotic
and romantic atmosphere -which reminds us of some adventure books (like
Emilio Salgari's "Sandokan" and "The count of Monte-Cristo"...) Here
007 has to travel between India and Germany for stopping a catastrophic
plan of Soviet General Orlov and Afghan prince Khamal Khan.
With a little more parody than in the previous film "For your eyes only", "Octopussy" continues in the line of more down to earth Bond adventures.
Roger Moore's performance is good as usual, the cast is also remarkable -Louis Jourdan is one of the French actors who built a good Hollywood career, starring in films like Hitchcock's "The Paradine case" and Vincente Minnelli's "Gigi". He's Kamal Khan, a very charming and sophisticated villain -he's the criminal equivalent of Bond. Jourdan brings a special touch of glamour -you see he's an actor of the golden years of Hollywood!
Maud Adams is the only actress who played twice a Bond girl -she was Andrea in "The man with the golden gun".
Steven Berkoff is an established English actor, mainly for theater, but he played also in Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon".
Kabir Bedi is an Indian actor very popular in the second half of the Seventies -he was "Sandokan" in a famous TV film made by RAI, Italian public TV.
John Glen directs the film with a lot of fun and assures a great show. The film doesn't disappoint.
"Octopussy" is the last great Roger Moore movie as Bond, and maybe the last BIG Bond of the series as well -because it's original, lavish, acrobatic, romantic and pompous.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Octopussy' begins at an East German circus, where 'a man in a clown
suit' is chased through a dark wood by two circus knife-throwing
The clown eventually gets a dagger in his back, but survives
long enough to drop a fake Fabergé Easter Egg at the feet of the
The clown is actually 009 in disguise, who is investigating a smuggling ring that uses carnivals and circuses for cover But the plot is much more grave than that
There is a rebellious Russian general called Orlov, assuming a fortuitous atomic explosion on an American Air Force Base in West Germany
Orlov's connection is an exiled Afghan prince (Kamal Khan), who is willing to help the Soviet general smuggle his deadly A-bomb into West Germany in exchange for Kremlin most remarkable jewels
James Bond enters the case, in London, to investigate the death of 009 He attends a sale at Sotheby's where a priceless super green egg (used by Czar Nicholas in 1897) is auctioned There he first sees Kamal Khan and his lady friend, Magda
Aware that Khan will get the Imperial Egg to fulfill some unknown but obviously vital purpose, 007 actually bids against the exiled Afghan prince, raising its market value over the top Although Khan eventually outbids him, Bond is clever enough to switch the real Fabergé egg with a perfect replica
Convinced that Khan is somehow mixed up in 009's murder, Bond is soon sent to India to find out why 009 was murdered
Bond remains the sophisticated man with a price on his head He pays a surprise visit to an island exclusively populated by attractive women He seems to like 'eggs, preferably Fabergé and dice, preferable loaded.' He maneuvers the world's smallest jet, and swings through the high trees to someone else's tunes He orders a ferocious beast to sit, and creates a spontaneous mass action by flinging 'hard currency' in the air... In a crucial moment, he appears to have a 'very good memory for faces and figures, survives a series of throwing knives, and gets caught on a train tracks He follows a plane on horseback for a terrific mid-air fight sequence
Maud Adams' Octopussy serves little purpose in the story taking a backseat to Kamal Khan's disloyalty Nevertheless she is a statuesque resourceful woman living with her stupendous sexy acrobats on a floating palace, developing a talent for illegal activities
Christina Wayborn's Magda actually steals the show from Maud Adams Magda is by far the prettiest of Kamal's friends exposing a 'little Octopussy' tattoo on her lower back Her dramatic exit from 007's bedroom certainly must rank up as one of the best memorable escape in any Bond movie
Louis Jourdan brings poetic elegance to a treacherous character He is quite sure that Bond is 'indeed, a very rare breed soon to be made extinct.'
Kabir Bedi plays the villain Gobinda, with strong hands that can pulverize so easily a pair of dice
Steven Berkoff plays Orlov, the wonderful Russian villain who surely is leaving the way clear for a full-scale Russian invasion of Europe
With John Barry beautiful score; the snake charmer playing the 'James Bond' theme; the disturbed fakir resigning his bed of nails; Bond climbing at a steep angle of an engaging décolletage; John Glen's 'Octopussy' is exotic, lush, very enjoyable and highly entertaining
Out of all the Bondfilms with Roger Moore as 007, Octopussy is the one with the most Cold War aspects, and yes, what a great atmosphere I experienced when I saw the scenes in East-Germany, truly magnificent. If you are talking about those Cold War aspects you should not forget to mention Steven Berkoff his performance of an insane Soviet general with a hunger for power. Wonderful. The other villains are memorable as well: Louis Jourdan with style and sophistication; Kabir Bedi as one of those invincible henchmen and David Meyer & Tony Meyer are deadly twin brothers with an advanced skill in the trowing of daggers. As for the girls this one features two Swedish ladies: Maud Adams and Kristina Wayborn. Both of them are very strong and they have both some lovely scenes. Vijay Amritraj is Bond his ally in India: worth watching. This is also the first of four films to feature Robert Brown as Bond his superior M. John Barry is once again present with a truly wonderful soundtrack. The film is really amusing and has a great atmosphere. Despite the claim of many critics, Roger Moore is still in good shape. The only scene that disappointed me was the one where 007 is disguised in a circus clown, that will be painful for Bondfans, but the rest of the film is great. Do not skip this one.
This is by far the best of the Roger Moore Bond films in my opinion. I may
be prejudiced since "Octopussy" was the first Bond film I saw theatrically,
but I absolutely loved it back then and it still holds up today. The plot
is a fine blend of the serious stories of the early Connery films and the
humorous touches of the Moore era. Add to that a smooth villain in Louis
Jourdan, delicious over-the-top counterpoint from Steven Berkoff, a
formidable henchman in Kabir Bedi, two exotic Bond girls in Maud Adams and
Kristina Wayborn, beautiful location photography in the rich "travelogue"
style (did India ever look as good as it does here?) and a great John Barry
score and you can't go wrong with it at all. The tense buildup in the bomb
countdown which has Bond donning clown makeup at one point is probably one
of the most exciting in any Bond film.
Roger Moore hit his peak playing Bond in this film and the proof is how he seems so much better than Sean Connery does in the inferior "Never Say Never Again" that came out that same year. It's a pity that Moore didn't go out with this one, since "A View To A Kill" was so poor by comparison.
By all means rent this, watch it and have fun!
This is Roger Moore's 6th Bond film and you can see that he has aged a bit since For your eyes only. The plot is rather nonsense, hard to follow and, like a lot of Bond films, not to be taken seriously. But for this film, the eight stars are for the sheer energy and work the crew have put into this film to make it funny, exciting and with heaps of stunts and action work. Roger Moore still has his great class from when he started in 1973 ten years before this film. Octopussy is based in India,with heaps of lovely big wide city shots with a scene showing India's jungle as well. The acting is fine, you don't need to worry about that and there are a few funny one-liners and jokes to keep the story from being to serious. All in all, take the film with a pinch of salt, its a bit of fun.... and a great popcorn film!
Many criticized this film at the time of its release with comments
like" Moore's tongue in cheek humor has turned Bond's style into
brainless films , full of silly jokes, with no plot or character
development. Just look at that annoying jungle sequence with Moore
parodying Tarzan." OK I concede this scene was a dreadful idea. But its
minor flaws aside, Octopussy is, in my opinion, one the greatest Bond
movies to date.
What makes this movie extremely compelling is its adventurous storyline, which successfully combines the classic 70's spy thriller convoluted plot with amazing, yet surrealistic, action sequences, more likely to be part of a comic book (but a good one, indeed) such as the jet escape at the beginning, which is definitely the BEST pre-credit scene in the whole series. Bond moves from England to India, and then to Germany, while he tries to find out the truth in a mysterious conspiracy involving a stolen Faberge egg and... Well, it actually doesn't make sense ...but the individual sequences are great: 009's death, the purchase of the egg at Sotheby's, Bond and Khamal first encounter at the casino, the night assault on Octopussy's palace... and that lovable seduction scene, with these memorable lines: "We are two of the kind, there are vast rewards for a man of your talents willing to take risks / I am not for hire / Naturally you do it for queen and country, with the praise on your head. I have no country and no praise on my head... she leaves the room , Bond follows her and kisses her, replying, you were right, we are two of the kind" Ins't it delightful?
But the pleasures Octopussy delivers don't end here. Louis Jourdan plays a glamorous, icy, double-dealing villain, perfectly balancing ruthlessness and elegance. He gets this great line" Mr. Bond, you have the nasty habit of surviving", almost comparable to Goldfinger's "Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die" And stunningly beautiful Maud Adams gets the leading role she deserved, since she's probably the most seductive and cool of all Bond girls.
And the ending gag is wonderful as well, successfully capturing the film's essence. It isn't just Bond kissing the girl again, but reminds us of the fantasy world we have lived in for two hours. I still remember what a good time I had when I saw this movie for the first time. You cannot miss this one.
Octopussy is directed by John Glen and adapted to screenplay by George
Macdonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson. It stars Roger
Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jordan, Kabir Bedi, Steven Berkoff, Vijay
Amritraj and Robert Brown. Music is scored by John Barry and
cinematography by Alan Hume.
Bond 13 and 007 is assigned to find the link between the murder of 009 and the Fabergé egg found in the slain agent's possession. His investigation leads him to uncover a fiendish plot by a rogue Soviet General to detonate a nuclear device that will leave Western Europe vulnerable to a Soviet attack.
Undeniably the film that should have been Roger Moore's last as James Bond, Octopussy contains both the best and worst of the James Bond franchise. On the plus side is a very good core story that encompasses intelligent political overtones that were prevalent of the time period. A nuclear crisis is in the air and the East and the West, who have until now been casting suspicious eyes over each other, must co-operate to avert disaster. This closing down of the Cold War is nicely etched into the plot structure by the makers. The cast assembled is mostly impressive, with Adams and Jordan doing great characterisations, the photography by Hume makes India look like a paradise, Glen orchestrates some excellent action set-pieces, including one of the best pre-credits scenes of the series, and Barry's score is a swirl of romanticism and invention. The title song, All Time High sung by Rita Coolidge, is magnificent and this writer's personal favourite of all the Bond theme songs. While there's a new man enviably following the much missed Bernard Lee by playing M (Robert Brown) and Q (Desmond Llewelyn) gets a bigger role to play in the story.
Sadly, even though Moore is continuing the good acting of Bond he achieved in For Your Eyes Only, he is looking his age and not physically suited to the action. He is also saddled with having to do moronic things like swinging on a vine whilst doing the Tarzan jungle yell. It's pretty painful to watch and you have to wonder who on earth thought it was a good idea? There's moments when a silly bit of humour undermines the good plotting, while Berkoff and Amritraj are in turn over the top villainy and scarcely believable as a field agent. The film looks cheap, a rarity for a Bond film, and the smartness of the story often gets buried beneath the weight of convolutions. Most galling is that we should have had a classic Bond movie, a gargantuan feast of sets and tough secret agent shenanigans, for this was the year when Bond as we know it was facing off against the Kevin McClory rival Bond movie, Never Say Never Again, and that had Sean Connery in it; though he was also like Moore in his early 50s and too old for the suit.
The two films never met head to head at the box office, because McClory's was delayed. Both films made monster cash, with Octopussy grossing $184 million and Never Say Never Again copping $160 million, Bond, and the two actors playing the role were enough to ensure the cash tills rang loud and proud. But both films were solid rather than special, the profit margins were high but the quality wasn't. Octopussy has a bit of something for all types of Bond fans, but they just can't make a successful whole. From the Eon side of things there surely had to be a new direction, some decision making assertiveness instead of fluctuating between earthy Bond and ridiculous button pushing Bond, it needed some vim and vigour brought back into the fray. Moore planned to retire, and rightly so, was we about to see the dawn of a new Bond era? 7/10
I have a spot for this film. The photography on location in India &
Eastern Europe is top notch. The women in this film are to me the most
beautiful ones of the Bond series. Not only is Maud Adams just
wonderful, but Kristina Wayborn looks great too. The action sequences
in this one are among the best of the series & the humor is great.
Louis Jourdan is a great bad guy & the film based upon 2 of Ian
Flemings short stories put together by George MacDonald Fraser works
well. This film has a pace to it, & you just can enjoy the ride when
you watch it. The opening sequence has nothing to do with the rest of
I often still imagine Kristina Wayborn as my girl instead of a Bond girl. The brunette in the opening sequence is a looker too. What I love about the opening is that it sets the tone for the rest of the movie. While the stunts look awesome, this film is played for a lot of laughs along with the action. It succeeds on both counts, & truly is the "Property of a Lady" with so many good looking Bond Women.
Rita Coolidge had her all time best song with the theme song for this film which seems to have been written for her voice. It's an all time high from Louis Jourdan (Kamal) to Bond in a gator tuxedo!
As a Bond fan for more than 20 years, I must admit I love all Bond films.
But OCTOPUSSY is the best of all them all; it's also my favorite movie.
Roger Moore is in top form, John Glen's direction is excellent, the plot is
complex and rich, and John Barry's music is wonderful. Moreover, Louis
Jourdan is a beautiful baddie, Maud Adams is one of the most interesting
leading ladies, and Steven Berkoff is amazingly frightening. The
cinematography is very impressive, as is the production design by Peter
What more can I say? OCTOPUSSY is skillfully made and astonishingly thrilling from its breathtaking precredits sequence to the very end. Nobody does it better!!
Was there ever a James Bond like this one? Oh, there were better Bond
stories, no doubt, but I do doubt there were any more entertaining than
In "Octopussy," we get more of an Indiana Jones-type adventure story than the usual spy farce. In fact, there is so much adventure in here it gets tiring, to be frank. It's almost too much....but it is a lot of fun along the way.
The best part of the film isn't the wild adventure, either: it's the humor. This has more laughs in it - stupid and clever - than any Bond film I can recall.
Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jordan, Kristina Wayborn, Steven Berkoff and Kabir Bedi must have had a lot of fun - and been worn out - making this film. By the way, itt's always interesting to see the intriguing Adams.
This and "Goldfinger" are my two favorites of the Bond series, and I'm glad to see so many others here share that opinion.
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