A fake Fabergé egg, and a fellow Agent's death, lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces.
When an American space capsule is swallowed up by what they believe to be a Russian spaceship, World War III nearly breaks out. The British Government, however, suspect that other powers are at work as the space craft went down near Japan. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is the force behind the theft, as James Bond discovers, but its motives are far from clear, and he must first find out where the captured space capsule is held before America and Russia initiate another world war.Written by
Graeme Roy <email@example.com>
When James Bond self-destructs Bird 1, the countdown stops on five seconds, a little Easter egg to show that this movie is the fifth movie in the franchise. See more »
The telephones at the Hawaii tracking station are not of the then-standard American design (Western Electric 500 series), but instead appear to be contemporary British GPO (General Post Office) phones. See more »
Solid entry in the James Bond saga – Sean Connery's fifth appearance as the secret agent in a row (his last, in fact, until DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER  and, eventually, the non-series entry NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN ) – featuring a lovely title tune by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse sung by Nancy Sinatra.
The relocation to Japan for the main action (resulting in impeccable photography courtesy of the renowned Freddie Young, who also contributes an inspired aerial shot of our hero at the center of a rooftop chase/struggle) adds much-needed novelty in the exotic department – though characters tend to be less well developed as a consequence. Tetsuro Tamba is imposing enough as his 'sidekick', but the all-important Bond girls have no distinguishing features – save for Karin Dor, a typical femme-fatale-ish villainess who manages to trap Bond in an unpiloted plane. Similar expansiveness was shown in Ken Adam's elaborate design of Ernst Stavro Blofeld's headquarters, hidden within the crater of a Japanese volcano; other attention-grabbing devices include Bond being 'killed' in the prologue (thus explaining the title), while he's later given an Oriental 'countenance' and even made to 'marry' a Japanese girl (an irrelevant undercover attempt, as it happens – since there is very little interaction between Bond, his local allies and the enemy before the final confrontation in the volcano interior)!
Its plot involving the abduction of space shuttles belonging to the U.S. and Russia, in the hope of provoking a war between the major powers, again plays on the fears of nuclear annihilation palpable during the Cold War era. Incidentally, this is the first time Blofeld himself steps in as chief villain (played with appropriate menace by Donald Pleasence – with a handy piranha-filled stream underneath a sliding bridge to replace the pool-sharks from the previous installment, THUNDERBALL ). By the way, Charles Gray (Blofeld in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER) appears in a bit here as Bond's ill-fated contact in Japan! The most prominent gadget invented by Q (the ubiquitous Desmond Llewellyn) in this case is an artillery-equipped mini-chopper – employed in a sequence whose filming unfortunately cost an aerial photographer his leg!; there's also a memorably violent brawl which has Bond and his opponent lashing at each other with heavy living-room couches!
The show, then, is climaxed by one of the most spectacular action bouts in the entire saga – for which Bond recruits Tamba's ninjas to fight the minions of SPECTRE; Blofeld, of course, is allowed to go free this time around since he'd be involved in at least three subsequent direct matches with 007. Given that director Gilbert lived up to the challenge of ably following in the footsteps of Terence Young and Guy Hamilton, it was only natural he'd be asked to helm further Bond adventures – though, by the time THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977) and MOONRAKER (1979) came along, Roger Moore had firmly established himself in the role.
13 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this