Octopussy (1983)

octopussy poster 1983 movie 007
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Darker Roger Moore film, Octopussy's killer circus girls

The clown suit, the ape suit, the Tarzan yell, a long story with forgettable villains

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Octopussy

Studio:  Danjaq S. A./Eon Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 6, 1983

MPAA Rating:  PG

octopussy-maude-adams-roger-moore

Oh Octopussy…wow, I can’t even say your name without sounding dirty…

The death of 009 and a fake Fabergé egg puts James Bond, 007 (Roger Moore) on the trail of an elusive counterfeit ring.  Led by a woman named Octopussy (Maud Adams), Bond discovers that there is a bigger plot than simple bait-and-switch.  With the threat of a nuclear strike and an attempt to destabilize Europe, Bond must stop a rogue Soviet soldier named General Orlov (Steven Berkoff) and an exiled Afghan prince named Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan) from killing thousands of innocents.

Directed by John Glen, Octopussy is the thirteenth film in the James Bond franchise.  The movie follows For Your Eyes Only in 1981.  The title comes from Ian Fleming’s collection Octopussy and the Living Daylights from 1966, but the story has aspects of “The Property of a Lady” which is also within the collection.  Rita Coolidge sings the main theme song of the film which is titled “All Time High”.  The movie was met with mostly negative reviews but was a big pull at the box office.

I have to say Octopussy is one of the more forgettable James Bond films, but I do like aspects of it.  The movie wasn’t supposed to star Roger Moore and Broccoli had selected James Brolin to step in as an American Bond.  Brolin went as far as having screen tests with Adams and some stunt testing before the idea was scrapped (you can usually find these on DVD or Blu-Ray and they are worth checking out).  Moore was resigned due to the fact that Sean Connery was returning to the James Bond role in the non-canon Never Say Never again and the studio felt they needed a more established Bond (and Octopussy won this battle at the box office).

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Nice clown costume 007…too bad the bomb went off while you were applying make-up.

The movie also took the unusual step of recasting Maud Adams as James Bond’s love interest Octopussy.  Maud Adams had previously appeared (and died) in The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974.  Here, she plays a completely different character and takes the role as the lead “Bond girl” (and the only Bond girl to get a movie titled after her).  The Octopussy name is a bit cheesy but it is memorable and leads to the great line “That’s my little Octopussy”.

What I do like about this movie is that it is a lot darker than some of the Roger Moore movies, but the movie constantly cancels the darkness out by have such over-the-top moments that just don’t fit with the story.  The slide whistle jump in Live and Let Die was bad enough, but here Moore’s vine swing is accompanied by a Tarzan yell.  The most insulting part is after dressing in an ape costume, Moore takes the time to put full make-up and costume of a clown on as the time ticks down on the nuclear weapon…really?  Even tear make-up?  Glad to see he looks good to stop the bomb.

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Just to be sure you’re all working for Octopussy, I’ll need to see all your little Octopussies.

The biggest missed opportunity in the movie is Octopussy’s killer circus girls.  I love the final sequence where they work as assassins.  They build pyramids, do killer dances, and overpower armed guards in the process.  This should have been the real story, but instead it gets buried by two rather dull enemies.

Octopussy isn’t a very good James Bond, but it also isn’t the worst James Bond.  It has its moments and could still entertain the casual Bond viewer with things like the cool jet stunt at the beginning of the film and the fun buzz saw killer.  If you are like me and forgot Octopussy it is probably worth checking out again.  Octopussy was followed by Moore’s final Bond film A View to a Kill in 1985.

Preceded By:

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Followed By:

A View to a Kill (1985)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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