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1980s, Action -Spies, OO7

Bond 13: Octopussy (1983)

Octopussy

Duration 2h 11m Rating (UK) PG
Source of story The title from an Ian Fleming short story – the content more or less original.
Director John Glen
Writers/Script George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum, Michael G. Wilson
Starring Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Kristina Wayborn, Kabir Bedi, Steven Berkoff, Desmond Llewelyn, Robert Brown, Lois Maxwell, Walter Gotell, Ingrid Pitt

Elevator Pitch: Someone is duplicating Russian works of art and marketing them in the west, and MI6 is alerted when a dying 009 crashes through the ambassador’s window in West Berlin with a Faberge egg in his hand.  Bond is set on the trail which leads him to the Indian city of Udaipur and the lair of Octopussy, a businesswoman  with an all female cast of assistants, and a circus troupe which she uses for smuggling. Bond is chased by Kamal Khan who is in the pay of an evil Russian general intent on creating nuclear antipathy, using the circus troupe to smuggle an atomic bomb into an American airbase.

Content: There is implied sex. No actual nudity, but young women scantily dressed. A great opening sequence involving a miniature jet aircraft. Thereafter a whole load of set pieces featuring Bond in seducing mode.  An auction at Sotheby’s. In India there are tuk-tuk chases through the streets of Udaipur and Bond sneaking about various Indian palaces and visiting the Octopussy’s lair on an island. Then its back to the circus and various excitements, including a fight on the roof of the carriages and actual circus activities.

A View: I had seen this film in the past, but on re-viewing quite enjoyed it, despite the generally wooden acting. There are some ill-judged scenes. The actress who plays Magda might have been Miss Sweden in 1970, but she is not very sexy, and having Bond swing though the trees at one point sounding like Tarzan is not at all cool, and if I’m being picky the stuff which takes place on and around what look like two 1950s railway wagons is a bit boring, but in general the plot holds together. It is Roger Moore’s last outing as Bond so worth the cost of a download for 007 aficionados.

Additional Info: One way of seeing the film at no cost is to go to Udaipur where many restaurants have it on a continuous loop, and the boat used by Octopussy can be seen at anchor in the lake.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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