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Octopussy

007Octopussyposter.jpg
Octopussy
Caption: Octopussy film poster
Bond: Roger Moore
Writer: Ian Fleming (stories)
Screenplay: George MacDonald Fraser,
Michael G. Wilson,
Richard Maibaum
Director: John Glen
Music: John Barry
Composer: John Barry
Tim Rice
Performer: Rita Coolidge
Distributor: MGM/UA Entertainment Co.
Released: June 10, 1983
Runtime: 131 min.
Preceded by: For Your Eyes Only
Followed by: A View to a Kill
Budget: $27,500,000
Worldgross: $187,500,000
Admissions: 59.5 million
Imdb id: 0086034


Octopussy is the thirteenth James Bond film made by EON Productions. It is the sixth to star Roger Moore as the British Secret Service agent, Commander James Bond. Produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, it was released in 1983, the same year as the release of the unofficial James Bond film Never Say Never Again by screenwriter and Thunderball film-rights owner Kevin McClory.

The film's title is taken from Ian Fleming's short story "Octopussy," which was published in the March and April editions of Playboy in 1966. The film is loosely based upon that story as well as a second Fleming short story, "The Property of a Lady", both of which are included in the collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966).

Plot summary

The pre-title sequence is unrelated to the rest of the film, involving Bond's mission to destroy technology which has fallen into the hands of an unnamed Latin American country (but obviously Cuba, and Castro), and features him flying a homebuilt microjet aircraft.

When a fatally wounded British agent stumbles into the British Embassy in East Berlin with a fake Fabergé egg (the Coronation egg), MI6 immediately suspect Soviet involvement (the real valuable egg has turned up at auction in London). James Bond is sent to find out who the seller is and subsequently why 009 was murdered because of the fake egg. When an exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan, clearly has to buy the egg at any price during the auction, Bond follows him back to his palace in India to find out why.

Kamal Khan is working for renegade Soviet General Orlov, who is supplying Khan with real priceless Soviet treasures, replacing them in state depositories with replicas. Kamal Khan is in turn smuggling them into the west with help from the mysterious Octopussy, a fabulously wealthy woman who lives in a floating palace in India, surrounded by women who are members of her "Octopus" cult, each recognized by a tattooed blue-ringed octopus on their bottom. Octopussy is more than a smuggler, however, and has many legitimate businesses, including shipping, hotels, carnivals and circuses - the latter being used as an ideal front for smuggling jewellery. As a result, many of her female companions and guards are highly trained gymnasts. Bond is led to Octopussy and confronts her, only to find out that she feels indebted to him for letting her father, a British Major, commit suicide rather than face the shame of a court martial when Bond was sent after him for smuggling and murder some years before. With Octopussy now an ally to Bond, Kamal Khan manages to separate the pair long enough to pursue his real plan - to replace the jewellery canister being smuggled by Octopussy's circus with a nuclear bomb. The warhead is primed to go off during a performance at a US Air Force base in West Germany. As the explosion will look like an accident, Europe would insist on nuclear disarmament and thus leave western Europe defenceless against an attack from Orlov's Soviet forces.

Bond at Kamal's palace named the Monsoon Palace in India sees Orlov arrive and hears that they plan to meet at Karl-Marx-Stadt in East Germany, where Octopussy's circus is going to perform, before it heads on a train to the West. Here Orlov smashes the real Fabergé egg because he thinks it is actually a fake. Bond manages to escape from the palace pursued by Kamal on top of elephants, and is saved by some passing American tourists.

In East Germany Bond tries to stop the train with the bomb on board from leaving the Soviet base. He confronts Orlov, who escapes. Bond then follows the train by car, which he even manages to drive on the rails. Also following the train is General Gogol who has found out about Orlov's plan and also tries to stop the train. When Orlov realizes that Bond is aboard he is after the train too, past the KGB border guards who shoot him. General Gogol arrives just as he is shot.

Aboard the train, Bond is pursued by Kamal. Bond is forced off, and pursues it on foot and by taking a car. Kamal and his servant know about the bomb and leave, on their way out passing Bond on the road, but Kamal thinks they will be 'rid of Bond too'. Bond has trouble getting into the American military base, and gets into the circus disguised as a clown. The American guards let him go after he is identified by Octopussy, and he manages to defuse the bomb just in time.

Back in India, Kamal is preparing to leave his palace. However, Octopussy and her cult members arrive, along with Q and Bond in a hot air balloon with a huge Union Jack displayed on it. They overpower the guards, although Kamal escapes on a light plane with Octopussy. Bond hangs onto the plane, and battles it out with the Indian servant outside the plane, before Bond and Octopussy manage to escape and the plane crashes into the side of a mountain.

Cast & characters

The Women of Octopussy

Picture Name Actress
OCTO-Octopussy.jpg Octopussy Maud Adams The title character of Octopussy is the lead Bond girl of the film. The name, in the novel, was given to Dexter Smythe's octopus pet. In the film, Octopussy is his daughter and it was his pet name for her. Octopussy's full name is unrevealed and according to Maud Adams, she is supposedly half Indian. In the film, Octopussy runs a host of legitimate business ventures such as shipping, hotels and circuses, some of which also act as fronts for her jewelry smuggling operation. She also leads a troupe of female underlings under the banner of the Octopus Cult and they all dwell on an island in which men are not allowed except as guests under Octopussy's auspices. Unknowst to her, her jewelry smuggling operation is used by her "friend" Kamal Khan to sneak a nuclear bomb into an airbase in West Germany.
OCTO-Magda.jpg Magda Kristina Wayborn Magda first appeared in the film as a companion (definitely NOT mistress) to Kamal Khan. When Khan's men failed to take the real Fabrege egg from Bond, Magda steals it for Kamal using her feminine wiles on Bond before jumping off the balcony of 007's hotel room with the aid of her sari/gown. Magda is later revealed to be one of Octopussy's henchwomen, hence her role seems to be a link of sorts between Kamal and Octopussy.
OCTO-Bianca.jpg Bianca Tina Hudson Bianca is the film's pre-title sequence/pre-mission Bond girl. After Bond was captured during a mission in an undisclosed Latin American country, the sultry Bianca rescues him and drives off in the sunset, presumably to join Bond later on.

Crew

Soundtrack

Original Octopussy soundtrack cover

Main article James Bond music

The soundtrack was composed by veteran John Barry. The opening theme, All Time High was sung by Rita Coolidge and is the only Bond theme (with a vocal) that does not reference the film's title – until 2006's Casino Royale theme, You Know My Name. Additionally, it is the second theme to not be named the same as the film; the first was Nobody Does it Better from The Spy Who Loved Me. The original 1983 release by A&M Records was recalled due to a printing error, and became hard to find. The soundtrack was later released in 1997 by Rykodisc with the original soundtrack and dialogue from the film (additional tracks #3, #7, and #10 seen below) on an Enhanced CD version. The 2003 release by EMI restored the original soundtrack, without dialogue.

Track listing

  1. "All Time High" - Rita Coolidge
  2. "Bond Look Alike"
  3. "Miss Penelope" — dialogue
  4. "009 Gets the Knife and Gobinda Attacks"
  5. "That's My Little Octopussy"
  6. "Arrival at the Island of Octopussy"
  7. "Introducing Mr Bond" — dialogue
  8. "Bond at the Monsoon Palace"
  9. "Bond Meets Octopussy"
  10. "Poison Pen" — dialogue
  11. "Yo Yo Fight and Death of Vijay"
  12. "The Chase Bond Theme"
  13. "The Palace Fight"
  14. "All Time High" - Rita Coolidge

Vehicles & gadgets

Main article List of James Bond vehicles, List of James Bond gadgets

  • Acrostar Jet — Used in the opening sequence of the film. The wings of this plane fold up vertically while not in use. During this mission, Bond hid the plane in a horse trailer. Due to a small gas tank, Bond was forced to land at a gas station to refill.
  • Alfa-Romeo GTV6 — Stolen from a German woman using a telephone booth, allowing Bond to make it to the Octopussy's circus in time to warn the NATO General present there of the Soviet plot. Then the hottest 'cheap' sports car in Europe, and the most popular Alfa Romeo sports coupe ever made.
  • Alligator Boat — Bond sneaks onto Octopussy's island by driving a disguised boat that looks like an alligator.
  • Pen — Given to Bond by Q-Branch, this pen contains acid that can burn through any metal. It also contains a homing device.
  • Watch — Another gift from Q-Branch, this watch branded by Seiko comes with a beacon that leads Bond to a Fabergé egg. The model used in the movie is the Seiko G757-5020 (often mistaken for the G757-5000, which had a rubber strap instead of the metal one clearly seen in the movie).

Locations

Film locations

Shooting locations

Trivia

  • A pair of eights in Texas Hold 'Em is called an Octopussy. The game features prominently in the later film Casino Royale (2006).
  • The Fabergé egg that is stolen was made in 1897 and is called the Coronation Egg, although its name is not mentioned in the film. The egg contains a model of the Russian Imperial state coach.
  • Movie critics were beginning to comment on Roger Moore's age, as he was 55 years old at the time of filming, and many felt he was too old to play James Bond. He originally announced that he would retire, but returned one final time in 1985's A View to a Kill.
  • The title of the film comes from a short story in which Bond is assigned by the British Secret Service to apprehend an octopus-loving British officer who is implicated in a murder relating to an illegally obtained cache of Nazi gold. Bond gives the officer the option of committing suicide. The film makes direct reference to the events in the story by revealing that Octopussy's father was the villain of the short story: Major Dexter Smythe.
  • At the end of the film, the credits announce the next Bond film title as From a View to a Kill, as the Fleming short story was based on a line from the hunting song D'ya Ken John Peel?, but this was later shortened to A View to a Kill right before filming began. Octopussy is also the last Bond film to date to announce the title of the next film in the end credits.
  • This is the second Bond movie to feature Maud Adams. The producers were initially reluctant to feature her again because her previous character was killed in The Man with the Golden Gun. She holds the record for being the oldest (leading) Bond girl, at 37.
  • This is also the first movie to feature Robert Brown as M. It is unknown as to whether Brown is supposed to be playing the same character as Bernard Lee (Sir Miles Messervy) or a different one (possibly a promoted Admiral Hargreaves from The Spy Who Loved Me), as the films did not establish until GoldenEye that 'M' is a job title, something that Ian Fleming left ambiguous in the novels.
  • The pre-title sequence was originally to take place in Moonraker (along with the concept of twin knife-throwing assassins) over the Angel Falls, but this was shelved after the river-bed dried up.
  • Vijay Amritraj was a professional tennis player in real life. The movie makes a spoof of this fact by having Vijay fend off Kamal's henchmen with a tennis racquet, while the surrounding townspeople watch the conflict like a tennis match by repeatedly turning their heads left and right. At one point, Vijay's character tells 007 that as cover he has secured a job as a tennis pro at the villain, Kamal Khan's, club – learning nothing, but "My backhand's improved"!
  • Octopussy's palace is really the Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur. It is not a floating palace as stated above, but built on an island.
  • In a classic breaking of the fourth wall, Vijay (disguised as a snake charmer) signals his affiliation to Bond and MI6 by playing the James Bond Theme on a recorder while Bond is disembarking from a boat in the harbor near the Taj Mahal. Bond remarks to Vijay about the "charming tune", a combination self-reference and typical Bond pun.
  • This was the first James Bond film to be co-released by MGM, following MGM's aquisition of United Artists, the company became MGM/UA Entertainment Co..
  • Referencing the title track of the earlier film The Spy Who Loved Me – and possibly to attempt to head off box-office competition from the 'rogue' Bond film Never Say Never Again released the same year – teaser posters for Octopussy, the 13th official Bond film, featured the strapline: "Nobody Does It Better – Thirteen Times".

Comic book adaptation

A magazine format comic book adaptation of Octopussy was produced in 1983 by Marvel Comics. The adaptation was written by Steve Moore and illustrated by Paul Neary.

See also



Octopussy is also the name of a non-alcoholic cocktail.


The James Bond films
Official films
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 | Octopussy | A View to a Kill | The Living Daylights | Licence to Kill | GoldenEye | Tomorrow Never Dies | The World Is Not Enough | Die Another Day | Casino Royale | Quantum of Solace
Unofficial films
Casino Royale (1954 TV) | Casino Royale (1967 spoof) | Never Say Never Again