I've always loved the movie Octopussy. I thought it was a very successful combination of the campy elements of the Moore era and a solid espionage tale, along with a nice dash of mystery and exotic locations. It was also was the Bond film that was released when I just turning into a true Bond fanatic, so that might have something to do with why I still love it so much. It's great to see it being celebrated in this way.
Click to celebrate Octopussy on the official James Bond 007 Facebook page. You can also "Like" my own Octopussy Facebook page.
I agree about Octopussy, John. A great combination of Moore camp and 80s espionage. In fact, I think it's probably the MOST Cold War of all the Moore plots, in that the villain is an actual Soviet General (albeit a rogue one), and his scheme is actually credible and pretty terrifying when you think about it. Also, kind of shockingly for a Cold War spy series that started in the Sixties, the only instance of Movie Bond crossing Checkpoint Charlie! But this is still James Bond, not Len Deighton, so I find it appropriate that they cut into the gritty Cold War espionage with humorous elements--DIRECTLY, in fact, when they have 007 defuse that terrifying threat in a clown costume. I know a lot of fans hate that, but it totally works for me--and might even be a bit of a commentary on Cold War politics. Alligator subs are fine, too. Awesome, even! What I can't abide is the Tarzan cry. They went too far there. It's the one moment in the movie that completely takes me out of the action. But the rest, I love!ReplyDelete
Very well said, Tanner. I agree on all points.Delete
I agree with the clown outfit - I can't see why people think its so inappropriate. It's a disguise! It's very dark, morbid, almost Avengers-style humour having a clown refuse a nuclear bomb.ReplyDelete
For the now part, it's pretty hard nosed-stuff with brutal fight sequences (yo-yo saws, faces smashed through glass fish tanks) and Bond shooting several Russian guards in the head, one at point blank range.
The bits where the film starts to become schizophrenic are the sudden dips back in to Moonraker mode, such as every line uttered during the Vijay/company car scene and the Q scene after it, the Barbara Woodhouse "Siiitt!" command to the tiger and the Tarzan yell. Remove these (improvised on set?) elements and the film comes across as grittier than even For Your Eyes Only in my opinion. And Rog and Maud look like lovers, not father and daughter...
I too turned 'fanatic' at the turn of Octopussy and hence I concur entirely with all of John's words above.ReplyDelete
Put me down as another who liked the clown getup, a great juxtaposition with what was going on. Agree with Dan Gale's observation of it as dark humor. There are different kinds of dark you know, not just the emo-noir that passes for dark these days. I also think it works because it's what 009 was wearing when he was killed at the beginning of the film. Now we have Bond, following his predecessor's footsteps, in line for the same fate?ReplyDelete
True, they kind of got back into the mode of incorporating corny gags into the action scenes, as opposed to playing the action scene straight then ENDING it with a gag for relief, but perhaps the occasional misfire moment (to us, perhaps not so much to casual viewers) is inevitable, when you aim as high and throw in so much in a desire to thrill and entertain and give people their money's worth as they did with OCTOPUSSY.
I of course am heavily biased (having had OCTOPUSSY act as the starting pistol to my Bond fandom and the eventual CATCHING BULLETS) but I agree with the comments. The clown motif alone is very DR STRANGELOVE and the film has a curious timeless sheen to it - in as much as it is not sort of set in any particular time. Yes, there are the timepieces and Cold War nods but the film is awash with glorious steam trains, palaces, hot air balloons and barges. It is also the Bond film with the most dignity when it comes to its female characters leaving OCTOPUSSY as the most feminine of 007 entries.ReplyDelete
The most feminine of 007's entries. Wayhay.ReplyDelete
I like it a lot and, with one final run through the editing suite, it would have been far higher up most Bond Fan's ladders, I'm sure. The music score is very appealing, but one aspect of this film thats often overlooked is the sound mix, even on the old Dolby Stereo vhs cassettes - the glorious stereo sound that hits you as the film opens with the rumble of the planes at the airfield, the crowd applauding, that amazing wibbly sound the radar machine makes on that plane's nose come, John Barry's perfect score (it's so simple, it's perfect) and the thunder of Roger Moore's voice ("What happened to Vijay?" has to be the deepest growl I've ever heard him utter, making sound like the God of Dolby Stereo). Add to the plus points Bond knifing Grishka in the stomach (such hard PG that ITV always censored it), the quite plausible vision of Rog riding a horse and mounting a plane's tail, some decent back projection for once, a natty use of both the white and black tuxedo, a Walther P5 for a change, some actual Fleming transcribe to screen in Sotheby's, a terrific my tense chase and countdown from the odd-gorilla suit moment until the moment the bomb is defused, a twisting plot, awesome stunt work with the jet, the most brutal fight scene in years in the bedroom, a great cast AND my favourite villain confrontation speech of all time which I can spout verbatim ("...On your feet, General. You're going to stop that train.")...it's not impossible to imagine Tim Dalton playing Bond in a lot of these scenes that don't involve camels, cleavage zooms or electric crocodiles.
Wach this back to back with Never Say Never Again for the dictionary definition of 'mullered'.