Octopussy is a short story by Ian Fleming and the title of the thirteenth James Bond film made by EON Productions, as well as a character in the film. The film is the sixth to star Roger Moore as the British Secret Service agent, Commander James Bond. It is also the second film Moore has done with Swedish actress Maud Adams, the first being 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun. Produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, it was released in 1983, the same year as the release of the non-Eon James Bond film Never Say Never Again by screenwriter and Thunderball film-rights owner Kevin McClory.
For the original short story collection that inspired the film, see Octopussy and The Living Daylights.
The pre-title sequence is unrelated to the rest of the film, involving James Bond's mission to destroy technology which has fallen into the hands of an unnamed Latin American country, and features him flying an ultralight aircraft.
The renegade Soviet General
During a meeting of the Red Army military commissariat, Soviet General Orlov tries to rattle other members for a more aggressive policy, claiming his troops in East Germany could invaed western Europe in 5 days. The moderate fraction under General Gogol opposes to this plan in part due to their fear of an nuclear retaliation as well as their preference for peaceful co-existence with the West..
The Property of a Lady
When a fatally wounded British agent disguised as a clown stumbles into the British Embassy in West Berlin with a fake Fabergé 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 manages to replace the real one with a fake before the last bid and follows Khan back to his palace in India.
Finding Kamal Khan
After provoking Khan by exposing his cheating during a game of Backgammon and showing him another fake egg (made by the british goverment which Kamal thinks is the real), Bond and local agent Vijay escape Gobinda and Khan's henchmen in a rikshaw chase to meet Q. Bond later encounters Magda, Khan's beautiful companion; after making love, Magda leaves with the egg and Bond is knocked out and taken to Khan's palace by Gobinda.
Kamal Khan is involved in smuggling the fake jewellery with help from the mysterious Octopussy, a fabulously wealthy woman who lives in a luxurious island palace, dubbed the "Floating Palace", in India, surrounded by women who are members of her Octopus Cult, each recognized by a tattooed blue-ringed octopus on their bottoms. 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.
Bond discovers a secret meeting between Khan and General Orlov at the former's palace. Orlov is supplying Khan with real, priceless Soviet treasures, replacing them in state depositories with replicas to fund a yet unknown operation. 007 overhears them planning 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. Bond manages to escape from the palace, but is chased by Khan in style of an Indian big-game hunting through the jungle, and is saved by some passing American tourists.
Bond finds Octopussy and confronts her, only to find out that she feels indebted to him: When Bond was sent after her father, a traitorous British Major, for smuggling and murder years before, he let him commit suicide rather than face the shame of a court martial. Octopussy declares Bond her ally in front of Khan, and the two make love in the evening. The following night, they defend her palace against unknown assailants; during the brawl Bond fakes his death and leaves to Karl-Marx-Stadt, having discovered that Octopussy's circus will perform there the next day. He also finds Vijay killed by the very same assailants, hired by Khan.
Defusing a Bomb
In East Germany Bond sneaks into Octopussy's circus to discover Orlov's and Khan's real plan - to replace the smuggled jewellery canister 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 tries to stop the train with the bomb on board from leaving the Soviet base. He confronts Orlov, but is interrupted by Russian soldiers. Orlov and Bond both race to catch the train, with Bond unknowingly taking the General's car with the jewellery. Orlov lets his soldiers pursue Bond's car, which drives with its wheel rims on the rails after the tires have been punctured. Just after 007 has managed to jump onto the train, the car crashes into a river, where it is soon found by General Gogol.
Finally Orlov also catches up with the circus train. However, while trying to jump onto its back he is gunned down by border guards, as he has forcibly crossed the border between East and West Germany. Gogol, having found out about Orlov's involvement in the smuggle, arrives just as Orlov is shot. As Gogol calls him "a common thief and a disgrace to the uniform", the dying Orlov is confident that "tomorrow, [he] shall be a hero of the Soviet Union", leaving Gogol to realise there is more to this scheme than just contraband.
Aboard the train, Bond is discovered and pursued by Kamal Khan and his henchman. Bond is forced off, then follows the train in a stolen car, pursued by the police. Khan and Gobinda leave, on their way out passing Bond on the road, but Khan thinks they will be "rid of Bond too". As Bond has trouble getting into the American military base and the circus, he disguises as a clown. The American generals at the performance don't believe his warnings due to his costume. After 007 shows Octopussy the most expensive piece of the stolen jewellery, the Romanov Star, which he has taken from the cannister earlier, he convinces her of Khan's betrayal. In the ensuing brawl Bond discovers the bomb with Octopussy's help, and manages to defuse it just in time.
Showdown with Khan
Back in India, Kamal Khan is preparing to leave his palace. However, Octopussy and her cult members arrive, along with Q and Bond in a hot air balloon in a Union Jack pattern. They overpower the guards using their circus tricks, although Kamal escapes on a light plane with Octopussy. Bond hangs onto the plane, and after a deadly fight with Gobinda on top of it, he and Octopussy manage to escape. The plane crashes into the side of a mountain, killing Kamal.
Gogol has a meeting with M telling him that the USSR will deny the incident ever occurred. However, he suggests Bond should return the Romanov Star. M agrees, but informs Golgol that 007 is on medical leave. During medical leave on Octopussy's boat, Bond surprises Octopussy by having none of the assumed injuries, and the two make love.
Cast & Characters
- Directed By: John Glen
- Executive Producer: Michael G. Wilson
- Produced By: Albert R. Broccoli
- Screenplay By: George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum, Michael G. Wilson
- Music Composed By: John Barry
- Production Design By: Peter Lamont
Vehicles & 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.
- 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).
- London, England
- East Berlin, Germany — Checkpoint Charlie
- West Berlin, Germany
- Feldstadt, Germany
- Moscow, Russia
- Udaipur, India
- The Fabergé egg which is stolen was made in 1898 and is entitled 'Lilies of the Valley', although its name not mentioned in the film. The egg contains a model of the imperial state coach.
- Movie critics were beginning to comment on Roger Moore's age, as he was 54 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.
- At the end of the film, the credits announce that the next Bond film title as From a View to a Kill. This was later changed 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 reluctant to feature her again because her previous character was killed in The Man with the Golden Gun. She also returned back in A View to a Kill. By this Maud Adams is the only actress that portrays a Bond Girl that can be seen in 3 movies.
- 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 title, something which 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 then right. At one point Vijay's character also jokes that he plays a little tennis.
- Gary Russell, who plays one of the East Berlin teenagers in the car, was uncredited for his role.
- Octopussy's palace is really the Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur.
- The locomotive used for the Octopussy circus is a former Danish States-railways Class S 740, returned to Denmark in the 1990s. This was the only time the train in question was taken out for out use during its time in the UK.
- You Only Live Twice was one of two Eon productions, the other being Octopussy, to be released in the same year as a rival Bond film. Casino Royale was the other offering. While both films turned a healthy profit, Casino Royale was accused of lowering the takings of You Only Live Twice. Ironically, on the second occasion this happened, in 1983, Connery was in the lead role for the rival Bond film, Never Say Never Again.
Comic book adaptation
A magazine format comic book adaptation of Octopussy was produced in 1983 by Marvel Comics as the 26nd issue of their 'Marvel Comics Super Special' series, which had previously adapted For Your Eyes Only in issue 19. The adaptation was written by Steve Moore and illustrated by Paul Neary. In Europe, a completely different comic book version was published, written by Jack Sutter and illustrated by Frederico Maidagan. In this version, M is drawn to resemble Bernard Lee whereas in the Marvel Comics version he looks like Robert Brown.
|James Bond films|
Dr. No (1962) • From Russia with Love (1963) • Goldfinger (1964) • Thunderball (1965) • You Only Live Twice (1967) • Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
| George Lazenby |
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Live and Let Die (1973) • The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) • Moonraker (1979) • For Your Eyes Only (1981) • Octopussy (1983) • A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) • Licence to Kill (1989)
GoldenEye (1995) • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) • The World Is Not Enough (1999) • Die Another Day (2002)
Casino Royale (2006) • Quantum of Solace (2008) • Skyfall (2012) • Spectre (2015) • No Time To Die (2021)
Casino Royale (1954) • Casino Royale (1967) • Never Say Never Again (1983)