James Bond: Octopussy
1983 Roger Moore
On the 21st anniversary of James Bond, the most popular and enduring film hero of all time, OctoPussy was released. Since the 1962 screening in London of "Dr. No", more than one billion people -- one fourth of the world's population -- have paid admissions to see the first 12 films of the series. Even more have seen at least one of the Bond films on the major television networks of the world. Some of the films have been given as many as 18 national reruns, establishing top-ten audience ratings on nearly every outing.
"Octopussy," the thirteenth screen adventure of Ian Fleming's suave Agent 007, marks the return of Roger Moore, who stars as Bond for the sixth time in a story of non-stop action and intrigue designed to satisfy the most demanding Bond fans. Directed by John Glen, who made his debut with "For Your Eyes Only," and produced by Albert R. Broccoli, who was presented with the Irving Thalberg Award in 1981 for continued production excellence, "Octopussy" takes James Bond to
an almost magically beautiful site in Udaipur, India in search of an international jewelry smuggling ring that has murdered British Agent 009.
There, in a 17th Century marble palace on Lake Pichola, he meets an exotic, stately woman named Octopussy, played by
Maud Adams, the only actress ever to play starring roles in two Bond films. Fabulously wealthy, she manages a far-flung business empire - including hotels, shipping, theaters and a traveling circus - from her secluded island retreat. She also does a lot of smuggling, if the price is right.
Domiciled nearby, in an impregnable fortress overlooking the lake, is an exiled Afghan prince named Kamal Khan, played with oily grandeur by French star Louis Jourdan , who brings back bigger-than-life villainy to the Bond series. Jewelry smuggling is but one of his criminal pastimes, in which he is abetted by a horde of thugs, robbers and assassins led by his chief henchman, Gobinda, a mystic killer played by Anglo-Indian star Kabir Bedi.
Bond has been sent to India by "M" to unravel the mystery of a priceless Coronation Egg created by Carl Faberge for Tzar Nicholas II, that Kamal was trying to buy at a Sotheby's auction in London. Known to be a Soviet art treasure, it comes as no surprise to Bond that a demented Russian general named Orlov, portrayed by Steven Berkoff, is mixed up with the jewelry smuggling. Also involved with the operation is the sensual Magda, Octopussy's shapely assistant, whose loyalty to her mistress extends to cheerfully wooing 007 into bed so she can steal the Faberge egg Bond has brought along as bait. As portrayed with verve and abandon by Swedish actress Kristirxa Wayborn, Magda proves to be more rewarding than threatening to Bond.
After a series of diabolically-conceived attempts on his life, Bond learns that Octopussy's circus is playing at Karl Marx Stadt in East Germany and is soon due to travel into West Germany. So, saying farewell to India, Bond is of f on the next leg of this wild adventure.
Also appearing in "Octopussy" are the Bond regulars, Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny, Desmond Llewelyn as "Q," the backroom genius who provides Bond with his survival equipment and Robert Brown, who replaced the late Bernard Lee as "M" in "For Your Eyes Only." Walter Gotell also reprises his role as General Gogol, head of the KGB, as the sane Russian in the caper. Vijay Amritraj, famed Indian Davis Cup tennis star, makes his acting debut as the secret service's local man in India. Michaela Clavell, daughter of novelist James Clavell, makes her debut as Penelope Smalibone, Miss Moneypenny's new assistant.
In past Bond films, there have always been a glamorous assemblage of beautiful women who decorate a scene or two. They have been called "the Bond girls," for purposes of quick identification with the press. "Octopussy" presents a much grander troupe of beauties who appear throughout the film as the loyal handmaidens of the formidable Octopussy. Skilled in the martial arts, they guard her Indian palace, crew her fabulous "love barge" and double in feather boas as showgirls and performers in her traveling circus.