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Bond: Octopussy

11.08.2008

In 1981, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY hit theaters. Unlike some of the previous films, this was more of an attempt to ground the series, and take it away from the campy direction it had been headed in throughout the seventies. The film was a success, and work quickly began work on the next film, OCTOPUSSY. An aging Roger Moore, decided to retire from the Bond role, and the search was on for a replacement.

After testing several actors, the decision was made to go with James Brolin- who despite being American aced his screen-test. Also helping matters was the fact that Brolin had a mid-Atlantic accent, which made him somewhat easier to accept as a British agent. The contracts were about to be signed, when some big news broke. Sean Connery- the definitive Bond, had signed on to star in NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, a rival Bond film produced through Warner Bros, the result of a complicated legal battle between producer Kevin McClory, and Cubby Broccoli (more on that in my next installment).

Knowing that there was no way Brolin could compete with Connery, Broccoli managed to convince Moore to once again slip on his tux.

OCTOPUSSY

PLOT: While investigating the murder of a British agent, Bond stumbles upon a smuggling ring with ties to a renegade Russian General intent on starting nuclear war with the west.

REVIEW: People are going to give me a lot of grief on this one. For some reason, everyone remembers OCTOPUSSY as being one of the lesser Moore entries- but they are wrong, wrong, WRONG!!! I love this film. I’ve always loved this film- from the first time I saw it when I was 10, to now. Of the entire Bond series, this is the one I’ve probably revisited the most. I’m not saying it’s one of the best- it’s not. I can understand why some people are not keen on it, as it has its flaws. Some of the humor is a tad juvenile, and you can’t help but cringe when Bond swings on some jungle vines- and lets loose a Tarzan call. Regardless, there’s just something about this film that has me keep coming back to it year after year.

Maybe the reason is that the film is just so much damn fun to watch. When FOR YOUR EYES ONLY came out in ’81- it got it’s ass kicked by RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and it’s obvious that the filmmakers must have studied that film before starting work on OCTOPUSSY, as they imbue this film with the same kind of pulpy, cliffhanger energy that was in every frame of RAIDERS.

Of all the Bond films up to this point, OCTOPUSSY easily had the most action. The film starts with a crazy mini-jet chase, and the pace never lets up for one second. Over the next two hours we get a wild chase through a crowded Indian market (featuring sword swallowers, fire breathers, jugglers, etc), a tiger hunt with Bond as the bait, a crazy battle involving a buzz saw yo-yo, Bond fighting killers aboard and on-top of a train, a car chase with Bond driving ON THE TRACKS, Bond dressed up as a clown, and finally, a wild Palace shootout were Bond fights alongside a legion of scantilty clad women- with Q offering air support. Beat that QUANTUM OF SOLACE!!!

BOND

As this is one of the more light-hearted Bond’s, Moore fits right in. Some claim he was over the hill by this point- but despite being 56 he still looked reasonably fit (although he should have called it a day once the filming wrapped and skipped A VIEW TO A KILL). He also has really good chemistry with Maud Adams. Also- Moore was great pals with Desmond Llewellyn (Q!!!), and he kept pushing for him to getmore screen time, so in this entry, Q has a fairly substantial role.

VILLAIN

There’s two significant villains in this outing- the most important being former song & dance man, Louis Jourdan as Kamal Khan. Jourdan has one of the best voices in cinema history- and just hearing him say the name “Octopussy” makes the film worth watching. The character is a little bland though.


Steven Berkoff- the quintessential eighties stock villain pops up as the mad General Orloff. While it would have been nice if he had gotten a bit more screen time, he’s still menacing enough to make a credible secondary villain.

BOND GIRL

One of my favorites- Maud Adams as Octopussy. This was actually Adams’ second go round- having previously appeared as Scaramanga’s girlfriend in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. Adams is great, and makes a credible love interest for Moore, as she was closer to his age than most of the Bond girls of that era.

BOND MUSIC: John Barry is back, contributing a very exciting score. I’ve also always had a soft spot for the theme song, All Time High by Rita Coolidge.

BODY COUNT: Due to the high action quotient, the film also has a massive body count. All in all, according to commanderbond.net- Bond takes out seventy eight baddies.

NUMBER OF WOMEN BOND SLEEPS WITH: 2

BEST ONE- LINER: A great one. After being pursued through the jungle by Kamal Khan and his men, Bond manages to escape to a nearby river where he catches a ferry full of tourists. By this point, Bond’s been pretty badly beat up, after having been attack by Tarantulas, Tigers, bats, etc. When one of the women asks if Bond is with their tour, he manages a classic: “No ma’am, I’m with the economy group!” Classic.

BEST DOUBLE ENTENDRE: Besides the obvious double entendre in the title, there’s this great exchange with Q: [Q's mechanized version of the "Indian Rope Trick" malfunctions]
Bond: Having trouble getting it up, Q?
Q actually gets the last laugh here, because while Bond is busy rescuing Octopussy in the finale, Q busies himself by rescuing Octopussy’s all girl smuggler ring from a particularly nasty baddie. Of course, all the women are extremely grateful, and they carry Q off in their arms- presumably towards a massive orgy. Good on ya, Q!

BEST GADGET: Q issues Bond a neat fountain pen, which contains a vial of acid as opposed to ink- to which Bond naturally replies, “Wonderful for poison pen letters”.

RECEPTION: Despite the fact that everyone seemingly prefers Connery to Moore, it’s worth noting that OCTOPUSSY ended up out grossing NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN by over $20 million. OCTOPUSSY was a huge hit in the summer of ’83- pulling in $57 million in North America (despite heavy competition from RETURN OF THE JEDI, TRADING PLACES, WARGAMES, BLUE THUNDER, and FLASHDANCE). Worldwide it pulled in $187 million.

GRADE: 9/10- I make no apologies for the fact that I love this film, despite the cheese factor.

Previous reviews: DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE , GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER , LIVE AND LET DIE, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, MOONRAKER, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Source: JoBlo

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10:39PM on 11/14/2008

Moore's Swan Song

This film was to me Roger Moore's (my man for this role)"Swan Song" performance in the role of 007, my favorite film of the entire series as well! gr8 stuff! Saw this in the summer of 1983 at the theater was totally in luv with the film! still am!
This film was to me Roger Moore's (my man for this role)"Swan Song" performance in the role of 007, my favorite film of the entire series as well! gr8 stuff! Saw this in the summer of 1983 at the theater was totally in luv with the film! still am!
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11:26AM on 11/10/2008

Bond Greatness!

I am a child of the 80's so I love For Your Eyes Only,Octopussy, and A View To A Kill. It's the 80's Roger Moore Bond Trilogy. I saw all of them at the theater and watched 20+ times on cable.I missed Roger Moore and the look and feel of the 80's Bond. I didn't get excited about Bond films until Casino Royale and I'm really excited about Quantum. Thats a good thing.
I am a child of the 80's so I love For Your Eyes Only,Octopussy, and A View To A Kill. It's the 80's Roger Moore Bond Trilogy. I saw all of them at the theater and watched 20+ times on cable.I missed Roger Moore and the look and feel of the 80's Bond. I didn't get excited about Bond films until Casino Royale and I'm really excited about Quantum. Thats a good thing.
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8:31AM on 11/10/2008

i like it

ill say 8/10

not bad

moores days are numbered and the villian is weak

but not bad by any stretch
ill say 8/10

not bad

moores days are numbered and the villian is weak

but not bad by any stretch
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10:28PM on 11/09/2008

c_bumbray...

No, problem, my friend; and thanks for the reply.

:)
No, problem, my friend; and thanks for the reply.

:)
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9:25PM on 11/09/2008

Whoops!

Hey Joel- thanks for pointing that one out. Of course- EVERYONE prefers Connery to Moore (myself included) and vice-versa. That was a typo on my end. Thanks for the feedback, Too bad I seem to be the only one who likes this film. I'm sure the fact that I was so young and impressionable when I saw it has something to do with it.
Hey Joel- thanks for pointing that one out. Of course- EVERYONE prefers Connery to Moore (myself included) and vice-versa. That was a typo on my end. Thanks for the feedback, Too bad I seem to be the only one who likes this film. I'm sure the fact that I was so young and impressionable when I saw it has something to do with it.
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7:00PM on 11/09/2008

Ugh...

Hmmm, the Bond franchise was still in frenzy at this point; and there was still one 'Moore' film before it would make an attempt at change.

'Octopussy,' like many of the Roger Moore era film came off as film with action pieces put together.

I never knew why Moore's Bond was going to a certain area, or what he was trying to look for.

Btw, I think Brolin would have been cool as Bond; and it would have been interesting to see where the franchise might have headed if he were in the
Hmmm, the Bond franchise was still in frenzy at this point; and there was still one 'Moore' film before it would make an attempt at change.

'Octopussy,' like many of the Roger Moore era film came off as film with action pieces put together.

I never knew why Moore's Bond was going to a certain area, or what he was trying to look for.

Btw, I think Brolin would have been cool as Bond; and it would have been interesting to see where the franchise might have headed if he were in the role.

Oh, and Mr. Bumbray: 'Everyone seemingly prefers Moore to Connery?'

Uhm, that is a matter of opinion.

I prefer Connery, then Craig...then Dalton...

Moore is at the bottom of my list...:)

My score: 1/10.
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6:08PM on 11/09/2008
I think most of the negative stuff comes from the joke Porn movie title.

And this was the time when they were doing heavy Bond Girl promotions. Girls would be suckered into contests for the honor of being a hot chick that gratuitously walks through the set for no good reason. They'd do appearances on chat shows and the like in super tight Lycra costumes.
I think most of the negative stuff comes from the joke Porn movie title.

And this was the time when they were doing heavy Bond Girl promotions. Girls would be suckered into contests for the honor of being a hot chick that gratuitously walks through the set for no good reason. They'd do appearances on chat shows and the like in super tight Lycra costumes.
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5:12PM on 11/09/2008
This is another one I haven't seen in ages (at least a decade). I think I liked it, but I don't know how well it would hold up.
This is another one I haven't seen in ages (at least a decade). I think I liked it, but I don't know how well it would hold up.
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4:56PM on 11/09/2008

Ditto

I feel the same way about this one. I didn't get into the Bond character (books and movies) until '93/'94 when I was about 12. This was one of the first Bond movies I saw on TV. It's not really that good but I still love it. I think Lenono is right on his judgement about us though. Can't wait for your review of The Living Daylights.
I feel the same way about this one. I didn't get into the Bond character (books and movies) until '93/'94 when I was about 12. This was one of the first Bond movies I saw on TV. It's not really that good but I still love it. I think Lenono is right on his judgement about us though. Can't wait for your review of The Living Daylights.
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6:26AM on 11/09/2008
Ahhh Octopussy. I, too, like Mr. Bumbray, have fond memories of this movie. It was actually the first James Bond movie I ever saw. I was naive in the ways of the world at the time so I didn't know who or what James Bond was. Oddly enough, I started watching it because I thought it was a new episode of 'The Saint', which I use to love watching with my father and grandfather. Still my favourite Moore-Bond, next to 'Eyes Only'...
Ahhh Octopussy. I, too, like Mr. Bumbray, have fond memories of this movie. It was actually the first James Bond movie I ever saw. I was naive in the ways of the world at the time so I didn't know who or what James Bond was. Oddly enough, I started watching it because I thought it was a new episode of 'The Saint', which I use to love watching with my father and grandfather. Still my favourite Moore-Bond, next to 'Eyes Only'...
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5:57AM on 11/09/2008

Sorry Chris

I was 25 when this hit theaters, having been a Bond fanatic since the early sixties. I think being a kid had a large influence on you when you first saw this. It was the most abysmal of the franchise, and I'd give it a 1/10!!! Lighter isn't the word, juvenile was close. It was an embarrassment that put me and the franchise into a deep depression until Pierce came along. When Bond turned up as Bozo I knew the franchise had jumped the shark. Sorry Chris, you're the only person, never mind
I was 25 when this hit theaters, having been a Bond fanatic since the early sixties. I think being a kid had a large influence on you when you first saw this. It was the most abysmal of the franchise, and I'd give it a 1/10!!! Lighter isn't the word, juvenile was close. It was an embarrassment that put me and the franchise into a deep depression until Pierce came along. When Bond turned up as Bozo I knew the franchise had jumped the shark. Sorry Chris, you're the only person, never mind Bond fan, that I've ever heard trumpet this abomination. I hope you've had Betterpussy later in life.
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3:48AM on 11/09/2008

Octopussy

Obviously the worst of the franchise. Barely scrapes by with a 3/10 in my book. It's right up there in the cheese factor with The World Is not Enough. Bleh.
Obviously the worst of the franchise. Barely scrapes by with a 3/10 in my book. It's right up there in the cheese factor with The World Is not Enough. Bleh.
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12:02AM on 11/09/2008
only watched this movie once , like 25 years ago.
my memory of it was - i thought maud adams was kinda old , and the movie was boring.

but maybe i was wrong.

and should check it out again one of these days ....
only watched this movie once , like 25 years ago.
my memory of it was - i thought maud adams was kinda old , and the movie was boring.

but maybe i was wrong.

and should check it out again one of these days ....
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