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Octopussy [1983]

Director:John Glen
Writer:George MacDonald Fraser
Michael G. Wilson
Richard Maibaum
Composer:John Barry
Length:131 minutes
(2 hours 11 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Action
IMDB Rating:6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:42%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: 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.

Reaction: It doesn't stand out greatly above some of the other Bond films, but it's still solidly made and enjoyable. The main plot is very much of its era (the Cold War) but it's actually intriguing when you place it in its historical context.

Personal Rating: 7/10

John Glen => Director
George MacDonald Fraser => Writer
Michael G. Wilson => Writer / Man on Tour Boat (uncredited) / Soviet Security Council Member
Richard Maibaum => Writer
John Barry => Composer
Ian Fleming => Stories
Albert Moses => Sadruddin
Andy Bradford => 009
Bruce Boa => U.S. General
Cherry Gillespie => Midge
David Meyer => Twin One
Dermot Crowley => Kamp
Desmond Llewelyn => Q
Douglas Wilmer => Fanning
Eva Reuber-Staier => Rublevitch (as Eva Rueber-Staier)
Gabor Vernon => Borchoi
Geoffrey Keen => Minister of Defence
Hugo Bower => Karl
Jeremy Bulloch => Smithers (as Jeremy Bullock)
Kabir Bedi => Gobinda
Ken Norris [II] => Colonel Toro
Kristina Wayborn => Magda
Lois Maxwell => Miss Moneypenny
Louis Jourdan => Kamal
Maud Adams => Octopussy
Michaela Clavell => Penelope Smallbone
Peter Porteous => Lenkin
Robert Brown [II] => M
Roger Moore => James Bond
Steven Berkoff => Orlov
Stuart Saunders => Major Clive
Suzanne Jerome => Gwendoline
Tina Hudson => Bianca
Tony Meyer => Twin Two (as Anthony Meyer)
Vijay Amritraj => Vijay
Walter Gotell => Gogol

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Filming of the 12 foot Acrostar Jet as it flew through the hangar was achieved by attaching the aircraft to an old Jaguar by a steel pole with the roof torn off and driving along. The second unit were able to add obstacles such as people and objects to complete the illusion that Roger Moore was actually flying his tiny plane through an aircraft hangar. The exploding hangar pieces were four inches high.
  • Kabir Bedi remains the only Bollywood actor to appear in a [James Bond] movie.
  • During casting, James Brolin was almost given the role of James Bond when at the last minute, Roger Moore agreed to play Bond again. Brolin's screen tests can be seen on the DVD. Moore had gone out of contract after Moonraker, and had agreed to return to the role one more time in For Your Eyes Only. The production went with Moore because this film would be competing with Never Say Never Again starring original and former James Bond actor and legend Sean Connery. The uncertainty in using an American actor in the role and having to introduce a new actor in going-up against Connery were the reasons. In the meantime, [?] Oliver Tobias, Michael Billington, Timothy Dalton and [?] Ian Ogilvy had also been considered for James Bond.
  • Released in the same year as the rival [James Bond] production Never Say Never Again which showcased the return of Sean Connery to the role. Octopussy made $187 million worldwide, Never Say Never Again $160 million.
  • As of 2013 this is the only movie in the official [James Bond] series to feature a woman's name i.e. Octopussy (Maud Adams) as the title of the film.
  • Robert Brown [II] appears as "M" for the first time, replacing Bernard Lee who died between Moonraker (Lee's final appearance as M) and For Your Eyes Only which left the M character out entirely.
  • First [James Bond] movie to be released with the MGM Lion logo at the beginning. MGM merged with United Artists in 1982, the year before the release of Octopussy and this is the first [Bond] movie distributed by the new company, MGM/UA Distribution Co.
  • Last [Bond] film to reveal the name of the next [Bond] film during the end credits, namely From A View to a Kill, which later dropped the "from" out of the title.
  • The ending sequence with the Beech-18 aircraft was filmed in Utah, using an old rocket launch catapult. When the plane went over the edge, it was supposed to fly straight down, but instead, whilst full of explosives, turned right and flew in a circle unaided over a busy freeway, before crashing harmlessly. The actual crash into the ground was re-filmed with a model.
  • The quip at the end of the opening sequence - "Fill her up" - was initially removed by John Glen. It was only when he went to his local cinema and caught the trailer for "Octopussy" (which included the line) and saw how well it went down with the audiences that he reinstated it.
  • The elephant hunt sequence had its origins in The Man with the Golden Gun. Producer [?] Harry Saltzman had wanted an elephant stampede in the movie so Bond and Scaramanga could chase each other on elephant back. The rest of the creative team balked at the idea, but Saltzman went to see an elephant trainer. It turns out that elephants need a special shoe on their feet to protect them from rough surfaces when they work. A few months later, while filming in Thailand, Albert R. Broccoli got a call saying his elephant shoes were ready. [?] Harry Saltzman had apparently ordered about 2,600 pairs of them. The sequence did not end up being in The Man with the Golden Gun and the man who made the shoes did not get paid. As of 1990, EON Productions allegedly still owed him.
  • Barbara Carrera turned down the role of Octopussy in order to appear in the competing [Bond] film Never Say Never Again because she wanted to work with Sean Connery.
  • It was not a planned part of the Indian cabbie chase sequence when a cyclist rode between the two battling vehicles, providing added suspense.