Ranking the Bond Movies: #21 – Octopussy (1983)
I feel like most Bond people (or at least, people who have seen all the films) would choose this as the franchise’s worst film. This would be, if you had a poll of everyone who saw all the films, the probably consensus “worst” film. And it’s hard to argue that it isn’t.
The film just feels listless. It’s tired, it isn’t trying very hard — hell, Moore only did it because they couldn’t find anyone else to do it. He wanted to be done after For Your Eyes Only. They had to basically plead to get him to come back for this. And it shows. He’s old, he doesn’t care, the plot doesn’t seem to be worthwhile at all, the whole thing feels kind of like when a director gets too old and out of touch, and they just sort of sit behind the camera and let shit play, and the movie just feels sort of long and slow (watch any Billy Wilder movie in the 70s to see what I’m talking about). This is a lot like that.
But the reason I can’t list this as what I consider to be the worst Bond film — at least it’s a Bond film. This feels like Bond. It’s bad Bond, yes. But it still is Bond. Bond doesn’t act like a teenager in love (with a girl he doesn’t — and shouldn’t) give a fuck about), he doesn’t cry, and he’s not so deadly serious that he doesn’t have all the traits that make Bond Bond. So that’s why I rank this higher than The Living Daylights. That said — #21 out of 22 isn’t exactly something to write home about. So let’s keep it in perspective. This is still not a particularly great movie, and it shows. Not much of it makes a lot of sense.
The film begins with Roger Moore, looking every bit his age, infiltrating some sort of Cuban military post, dressed as one of the soldiers. Only, the guy he’s pretending to be is there too.
Isn’t it funny how sometimes, a South American military will pretend to do something other than police and terrorize its own people?
And as Bond is being transported out of there, some Cuban chick he’s been banging helps spring him using some very intricate tactics learned through years of top secret government training.
So anyway, he gets out of there and also happens to have a plane in the back of a horse trailer. As one is wont to do.
The Cubans then try to shoot him down, and he manages to blow up their entire base.
And then he runs out of fuel and pulls up to a gas station and says, “Fill ‘er up, please.”
I don’t know what the fuck the point of that was, either.
That then leads to our credit sequence, set to Rita Coolidge’s “All Time High.”
Actually a pretty strong credit sequence.
After that, we open in East Berlin, where a clown is killed.
You thought I was kidding.
Just picture “Vesti La Guibba” being played like when Connery got killed.
Oh, wait, this is Bond. I can’t make that reference and not specify it’s a different film.
Yes I can.
So the clown dies on the floor of the British embassy, and lets a Fabergé egg roll out of his hand. (I think I saw a porno that was kinda like that. Particulars were a bit different.)
I’m actually starting to rethink that opening sequence.
Bond then shows up at MI6 and flirts with Moneypenny (who is also really starting to show signs of age), who now has an assistant (mostly because they were probably like, “This bitch is old. We need to get a younger, more attractive lady in there for him to flirt with”). But don’t worry, she disappears forever after this (like most of Bond’s women), so we don’t even have to talk about her.
Does Q not have Botox for her?
That’s what Moneypenny loves about James Bond – she gets older, he stays the same age.
This is also our first film with the new M, as Bernard Lee died while they were filming For Your Eyes Only, and they wrote him out of that one out of respect. (Arguably he got out at the right time.)
Anyway, we find out the egg is a fake, and that the real one is about to be auctioned off. And that Bond should find out who is trying to sell it. And that the dead clown was 009. (What a shitty way to go out.)
Remember that parenthetical. We’ll probably be using it about Roger Moore at some point.
We then cut to the Russians talking about shit. It’s probably not important, so we don’t pay much attention. But there are big sets and pretty pictures, so we’ll just look at those.
Actually, here, what’s going on is that we’re introduced to our secondary Bond Villain. He’s General Orlov. And he overacts like a motherfucker. He looks like Woody Harrelson and he sounds like Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin with a Russian accent.
Let’s talk about Orlov now, since it seems like the opportune time (and because he has fucking nothing to do in this movie):
There’s not really much to say about Orlov. He’s a maniacal fanatic who wants to start World War III by invading Western Europe (That’s a jingo!). He’s countered by the characteristically cool-head response from General Gogol, who’s back for his fourth Bond appearance of a total six. We’ve had way better crazy Russian military villains than this; General Ourumov from GoldenEye comes to mind.
Orlov then goes to a Kremlin art gallery, where he finds out the fake egg was lost when the clown was killed. (They don’t know MI6 has it.) They tell “their people” that they need the real egg back. But don’t worry, you really don’t have to pay any attention, since it’s all pretty inconsequential.
Meanwhile, at the auction, Bond is there to find out who the seller is.
And there we meet our Bond villain chick (sort of, but not really. More like secondary Bond chick. This movie just doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing), Magda. But more on her later.
She’s also there with our Bond villain, Kamal Khan. More on him in a bit, too. (I’m delaying talking about people because it might be the only thing we have later to keep ourselves from opening a couple veins.)
Bond then gets into a bidding war with Khan, also managing to swap out the real egg for the fake one without anybody noticing. He makes Khan pay £500,000 for the egg (which isn’t even the real one).
Bond then goes to find out why Khan wanted the egg so badly. He travels to Delhi, which looks as first world as ever.
A snake charmer randomly starts playing the James Bond theme, which makes Bond stop. (He knows his own theme song?)
The man is Bond’s contact – Vijay. They plan to play Who Wants to Be a Millionaire intercept Khan in the casino at Bond’s hotel later on.
Now would be a good time to talk about Khan.
I really have no idea why Khan is doing what he’s doing. Kamal Khan is an exiled Afghan prince who’s teamed up with Orlov to do some evil. He’s clearly already doing pretty well on his own, and I’m not seeing how he stands to profit from Western Europe falling to a Soviet invasion. In fact, at the time Octopussy came out, Afghanistan was at war with the Soviet Union and had been for some years. Maybe he was spiteful about the whole exile thing. All we really know about this character is that he’s rich, he cheats at dice, and he can fly a plane.
(Mike Note: He was also in Gigi. You never know what’s going to be relevant.)
At the casino, Bond catches Khan cheating at backgammon, but finds he has more important things to do – Magda – and his dick needs to get wet.
Bond. James Bond.
He plays Khan at backgammon and reveals he has the real Fabergé egg. He also uses Khan’s loaded dice to take 200,000 rupees from him.
Khan also has a pissed off Indian henchman. That’s Gobinda. He crushes dice.
A word about Gobinda.
This dice crushing thing is clearly a reference to Odd Job crushing the golf ball in Goldfinger. Look how strong we are. Nice hat, asshole. Anyway, Gobinda doesn’t say much, but he’s Kamal Khan’s primary henchman who says very little and does pretty much everything. He does whatever Khan tells him, although we see reluctance once. Other than that…wow, there’s nothing to say about this guy. Oh, he randomly has a blunderbuss.
As Bond leaves in an Indian taxi (more appropriately called a golf cart), Gobinda gives chase with a shotgun (with a muzzle on the end of it. Before ze redcoats get there).
Nothing like a three-wheeled vehicle to remind you that you’re in the third world.
Bond actually gets stabbed during this exchange. But don’t worry – they only stabbed the money in his pocket. (I thought for a second he might be mortal. Silly me.)
This chase is pretty poor by Bond standards. As Vijay fends off attackers with his tennis racket, we see a crowd of onlookers craning their necks back and forth as if they were watching a tennis match. Even a camel does it. I groaned.
(Mike Note: Apparently the dude playing Vijay was a famous tennis player. So that would actually be like if Yo-Yo Ma had a cameo in a Bond movie and fought people off with a cello. Or… used it as a sled…)
Then there’s a showdown in the middle of a town carnival or something – Bond has a sword fight with a guy, there’s a bed of nails, hot coals – it’s fucking chaos.
Bond evades them by throwing all the money into the crowd (get it? Because they’re poor), and then there’s a nice shot of them driving through a poster with nothing behind it and another one coming down immediately, making it look like they disappeared.
Why the henchmen don’t ever check the wall is beyond me. “Well, they’re not here. I guess I’m the idiot, and the fact that I saw them so clearly went up this alley is just not true. No need to investigate anything.”
They go inside the headquarters, where Q is.
We see our gadgets for the film – the egg has become a homing device implanted with a microphone, there’s a pen that has chemicals in it to dissolve all metals and has an earpiece to listen to the bug in the egg.
My question is, if it dissolves all metals, how’s it stored in that metal pen?
(Mike Note: Maybe once it hits the air is when it starts dissolving?)
And then there’s a watch that records stuff, which Bond naturally uses to zoom in on a girl’s tits. (Seriously?)
Anyway, he goes back to the hotel, where he is met by Magda.
They discuss shit.
After they finish the discussing, Bond notices a tattoo on her back. What is it?
“That’s my little Octopussy.”
I think we’ve officially jumped the puss.
Let’s talk about Magda now, since what the fuck else can you do after a line like that?
Magda isn’t a particularly deep character. She’s Octopussy’s right-hand woman who we first see working for Khan. She’s at the auction, and she seduces Bond — or rather, he goes along with her little act in order to get some action. Later, we see her as part of the circus. All in all, she’s better looking than Octopussy, and at least somewhat competent. You can take her at face value; she’s a cult member carnie who sleeps with men for the opportunity to rob them.
(Mike Note: Just like Lana Turner.)
He lets her steal the egg so he can track where she goes with it. And then she slips down the balcony like it’s a fucking prison break and she tied the bed sheets together. And she and Khan (who is waiting with a car) make off with it.
Oh, and Bond is knocked out by Gobinda. (Seriously, how many times does this motherfucker get knocked out? Between that and the booze, he must have early onset Alzeimer’s.)
Hey Gobinda, nice hat.
Khan then takes the egg to our Bond girl – Octopussy. More on her in a bit.
Bond then wakes up inside Khan’s fortress. And, like Beauty and the Beast, is invited to dinner at 8 o’clock, despite being a prisoner.
And there really isn’t a point to the dinner – we learn that Khan wants “answers” for Bond doing what he did and plans on torturing him if he doesn’t get them, and there’s a weird moment where he serves stuffed sheep’s head for dinner. No idea why.
Is it me or are all of the non-action scenes in this movie totally pointless? I’ll tell you why – the plot is so simple there’s no reason for any of this shit to be happening! Wait until we find out what the actual villain plot is. No joke, we probably could have taken care of it all in the cold opening.
Back in his room, Bond uses the metal dissolver pen to break the bars on his window. While attempting an escape, he sees General Orlov arrive.
So he sneaks down to listen in on Orlov’s conversation with Khan. Basically he gets no information whatsoever except for a location (as it always happens).
(Seriously, does no one else see Woody Harrelson?)
He also ends up locked in a meat freezer with some dead bodies. He escapes be getting loaded with the bodies on the back of a truck and then scaring the shot out of the guys dumping the bodies by sitting upright.
Then – a chase. These people can’t shoot worth a fuck.
Never get off the boat, motherfucker.
Bond tells the tiger to ‘sit’ and it does. Did we really just go Dr. Dolittle up in here?
Bond is then left running around the jungle with a Bengal tiger, which is being hunted for sport. So he’s hunted by people on elephants. It’s not particularly interesting, either.
A fucking Tarzan the Ape Man reference?
“Everybody check for leeches … what, I’m the only one who got hit?!”
He escapes onto a tour boat and goes back to Q’s place.
He discovers there’s a ring of smugglers and jewel thieves who live with Octopussy, one of whom Magda, since their sign is the octopus. Bond is intrigued because no men are allowed at the palace. (“Sexual discrimination… I’ll definitely have to pay it a visit.”)
The Octopus Cult insignia had to be carefully designed so as not to be confused with the SPECTRE insignia, which was also an octopus. But we’re done with that by now.
(Mike Note: The reason it couldn’t be confused with SPECTRE is because a dude won a lawsuit for the rights to Blofeld and SPECTRE, which is partly why Never Say Never Again exists. It’s also why they killed off Blofeld in For Your Eyes Only, as a fuck you to the guy, like, “We don’t fucking need him, so how ’bout that?” But just in case anyone was wondering why they couldn’t use the SPECTRE logo, that’s why. Generally. Look it up if you want more information.)
So he infiltrates the palace (as a fake crocodile. Fucking seriously?), and that’s where we meet Octopussy.
A word on Eightcunt. (She’s looking a lot older from her Man with the Golden Gun days. Still attractive, but — older. Though it makes sense, since Moore is basically in a wheelchair at the time, anyway.)
Octopussy is a jewel smuggler whose true identity remains unknown. Which — doesn’t she pay taxes or something? She owns a circus that tours all over the place, are there no legal obligations involved that require a real name?
She starts out as a semi-villain but turns out to be essentially good when she catches on to the evil plot. She runs the Octopus Cult, which is an all-female gang that supposedly kicks some ass. However, cult leader, businesswoman, thief — all of this means basically nothing, because ultimately she’s just another Bond girl who can’t take care of herself. And all the action she really gets into is in the bedroom with Moore, where they slip off their Depends and she inks on him.
Also, the nickname Octopussy came from her father, which is a little weird when you think about it.
She gives her whole backstory, about her father and some such shit. It’s pretty pointless.
Then Khan shows up to tell her Bond has escaped.
Well now don’t you feel like an asshole.
This outfit of Khan’s could be a reference to Dr. No’s mandarin collared suit. From behind, they look quite similar. Blofeld has also worn mandarin collars. I guess they’re just evil.
So Bond ends up becoming her guest for a few days. I love how they always just take him in. Always. Khan takes him in, feeds him. “I don’t want you dead. I want answers. Oh, you tried to escape — kill him. Octopussy, I’m sorry I didn’t kill him.” “Don’t worry, he’s my guest now.” What the fuck?
Khan then pays some thugs – including that fucker with the retractable buzzsaw – to kill Bond.
Bond fucks Octopussy. They have a whole dialogue scene before this, but it’s actually pointless. I’ve never seen full scenes in Bond that feel so much like going through the motions as these. (At least Die Another Day was trying.)
One of the worst dialogue scenes I’ve seen in a Bond film, and that’s saying something. This is also a good time to point out how much about the sex Roger Moore’s films are. I guess it’s because he’s old and it’s hard to do other types of “action” that require running. You never see the man sprint. By contrast, that’s literally the first thing we see Brosnan do, even before we see his face.
Vijay is then killed by buzzsaw guy. Let’s call him Bonesaw. Because Bonesaw is ready.
I’d like to point out that at no point so far do we actually know what’s going on in the film. We can guess what Orlov is after, and we know Khan is working with him, but other than that, we have no fucking idea, really. And we also have no idea how Octopussy figures into this either. We’re literally just watching shit happen.
Bonesaw and the Gang then infiltrate the Pussy Palace and there’s a fight scene. Seriously, how limited is a dude who can only use a fucking yo-yo saw? It’s like fighting a Streets of Rage villain. They just sort of stand on the edge of the screen until it’s time to do their one move. Then they rush at you, do the move, and go back. And all you have to do is just time shit and you avoid them.
The only difference here is – JUST FUCKING LEAVE! “Wait! No, where are you going? My saw has to kill you. Come on! At least let me get downstairs so I can come after you! THIS ISN’T HOW I PLANNED THIS!!”
Or how about you CUT THE FUCKING STRING!
That octopus is really going at it. Forget the Alien reference – that shit is like, full on face rape.
Anyway, Bond drowns Bonesaw (who was ready) and swims back to shore in the crocodile disguise. He finds Vijay dead, then sends for M, since, well, we haven’t seen M yet. (Not really.)
M’s got those Sam Waterston eyebrows.
Oh, this is where Bond and M go through Checkpoint Charlie, which is the famous Berlin border crossing featured in a bunch of movies, like The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. Everyone’s seen the sign that says, “You are now leaving the American sector.” Cold War imagery.
All of Bond’s puns and wordplay in this movie are tiresome. They’re either bad writing or just lazy. It only now dawned on me that it must be fucking annoying to be his boss. He must seem like an immature, spoiled asshole. Especially the Roger Moore Bond. And then the fact that he’s pushing 60 – what must that look like to the higher-ups? Here’s a 58 year old man, alcoholic, prone to property damage, zooming in on tits from a video camera and making horrible puns about everything. And no one actually knows what he gets done on his missions. God only knows how much he’s costing the crown in room service and STD tests.
Then, at the circus, we meet Mischka and Grischka, knife-throwing twins who killed 009 in the opening scene. Technically they’re henchmen, but we don’t really know what the fuck their purpose is, so who needs to talk about them? They’ll be fucking dead in 20 minutes anyway.
Though Bond does see both Magda, Gobinda, Octopussy, Orlov and Khan at the circus, so clearly some kind of shit is going on. (Jesus Christ…they’re all on one place? What the fuck is this, date night?)
Bond follows them all onto a train car, and naturally is stuck underneath when it starts moving.
And then he sees a nuclear warhead changing hands. Oh boy.
Bond kills Mischka (or Grischka. Pick one), and then holds Orlov at gunpoint, whereupon Bond actually explains the villain’s plan. (That’s how you know this is bad. The villain doesn’t even explain it.) The plan is for the bomb to go off at an U.S. Air Force base. The U.S. won’t be able to blame it on anyone, so it’ll just look like an accident. Which would make Europe order disarmament, allowing all the borders to be clear for Orlov to march in and take over. Bond should not be saying this.
Also, remember when Blofeld did this exact same thing in Diamonds Are Forever? How will one accident lead to disarmament? Did anyone think this plot through at all?
Naturally Orlov escapes and there’s a shootout and a chase. (Also, apparently Bond hits everyone right in the middle of the head every time with one shot, and everyone else unloads entire clips and hits air.)
Oh look, now he’s on two wheels. That is not a Mustang.
It’s a Mercedes 600, and you don’t do that in a Mercedes 600.
You know this isn’t a good Bond movie, otherwise they’d have acknowledged this fucking shot:
So Bond drives a car on the railroad tracks after the train with the nuclear warhead. (And Orlov is following him. Because that’s what the plot dictates.)
And of course manages to make it onto the train.
Obvious rear projection. In this day and age? Really?
So Bond is hiding on the train in a gorilla costume…
I wish I was making that up.
And Orlov is shot by his own men (basically. His own countrymen, anyway), while running after the train. (Oh, NOW they can shoot straight.)
Khan then activates the bomb to go off during a circus performance. And nobody questions where the second twin is. Not once.
Gobinda then discovers Bond is in the car, and somehow Bond has gotten out of the gorilla suit in like, three seconds.
If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know exactly what that shot reminds me of and why it’s in this article. So I don’t need to say anything.
Naturally, a chase on the top of the train ensues. Bond kills the other twin (who is apparently Grischka) after diving off and running into the woods.
He then makes his way to the circus, by hitching a ride with a creepy German couple (Really? Couldn’t find a more dignified way to get him there?), and then stealing a car. (Still not as bad as the fucking gorilla suit.)
I guess this is the closest we’ve come to a Bond car in this movie. It reminds me of that moment in Kingpin where Woody Harrelson is shouting after Randy Quaid and berating him as he drives off in his horse and buggy. And he goes, “You suck! You don’t deserve a car!” This movie doesn’t deserve a car.
Actually — does this movie not have a car?
This movie is seriously weak on cars. We have the convertible Range Rover that Bianca drives in the beginning. Then we’re afforded a glance at Khan’s Mercedes 600 Pullman Limousine after the auction. I approve of this choice because that was a great car, the most expensive in the world at the time. It was also totally a dictator car — Idi Amin had one. It’s been said that most 600 Pullman owners also had access to an air force.
Other than that, there were a lot of product placement Mercedes and VWs, but the only car that really got to shine was the Alfa Romeo GTV6 that Bond steals to get to the circus. Stylish, Italian, speedy, and cheap enough to be an option for most moviegoers. Basically, this movie was a letdown in terms of cars. But then, I’d make that case for pretty much all of Moore’s films.
Khan and Gobinda make off for the airport while Bond is chased by police onto the Air Force base. And that’s when it happens…
He dresses as a fucking clown!
Remember that parenthetical from earlier?
He tells Octopussy that Khan and Orlov double-crossed her (since she was only after the jewels), and she tells the Russian generals who Bond is.
Bond then disarms the bomb with literally no time left on it. (What, no explanation on disarming like in The Spy Who Loved Me?) And then the circus continues like nothing happened. (Bunch of savages in that country.)
Octopussy and her girls then sneak into Khan’s hideout back in India.
That’s not usually how this scene goes.
Octopussy holds Khan at gunpoint, and then all hell breaks loose.
Circus girls bust up the joint. (Just like in Heat.)
The Bond shows up in a fucking hot air balloon. I can’t.
Anyway, Khan and Gobinda take Octopussy hostage and then this happens:
And then Bond chases after them on a horse…
Seriously, think of anything to make this movie even more ridiculous. They’re doing it.
This is the same plane that was featured in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World doing a bunch of aerobatic stunts with Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney at the controls. Still hard to decide which film used it less ridiculously.
At least Q gets some bitches. That’s a bright spot to this whole deal.
And then this happens:
Why must all films with a girl named Pussy in them end on a plane?
So anyway, Bond and Pussy dive out and end up hanging off a cliff (but they’re fine).
And Khan ends up all right.
And the film ends with the British and the Russians working together to cover everything up. And they ask where Bond is, and they say he’s still “not fit enough to travel.”
But he’s still fit enough to get up in that ass!
He really does have hoes in different area codes.
Final Thoughts on Octopussy:
This is my least favorite Bond film ever. It feels like a paycheck for Roger Moore, who was 56 at the time of filming. Considering that the double-o agent mandatory retirement age was 45, we’re already overstepping quite a bit in this film, not to mention the next. Maud Adams didn’t quite do it for me, either, in spite of being more than willing to ‘do it’ for Bond. The plot is laughable, the jokes are not. Once we’ve reached the point of Bond recognizing his own theme song and doing Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan calls, something’s very wrong. As a Bond fan, I’m not as open-minded about the franchise trying to be tongue-in-cheek as I am about it being too serious. That’s why Living Daylights is only second to last for me, while this is truly unforgivable. The worst Bond at his very worst.
My Final Thoughts:
I have it above Living Daylights because, as I said — I can deal with it being a bad Bond movie. I can deal with the bad jokes, the lazy plot, the lack of coherence or plot or villain motives, and all of that — because it still feels like a Bond movie. Like if you took a stencil and outlined Bond badly, I can still see the outlines. My thing with Living Daylights is — it’s not a Bond movie. Bond goes on dates at carnivals, he has sappy romantic dialogue (not in the Casino Royale sense), and he fucking cries! To me that’s not Bond. It doesn’t feel like Bond. It’s a stranger to me. So in a way, this is actually the worst Bond movie to me, since, while I have to call The Living Daylights a Bond movie, it’s not really one to me. (I know it is, but you know what I’m saying.) This is right behind it, so it’s not like I think this is much better. It’s just — I would rather watch this than that, so that’s why I ranked it second to last. I totally get people calling it the worst, it’s just — maybe next time I’ll come around on Living Daylights. For now, this is here for me.
– – – – –
Official Bond Number: #13
Release Date: June 6, 1983
Run Time: 131 minutes
Budget: $27.5 million
Box Office: $67.9 million domestically, $187.5 million worldwide
Title Song: “All Time High,” by Rita Coolidge
Music By: John Barry
Based On: “Octopussy,” short story by Ian Fleming (as well as “The Property of a Lady,” short story by Ian Fleming)
Director: John Glen
Writer: George MacDonald, Richard Maibaum & Michael G. Wilson
First Lines: “You didn’t tell me there was going to be this much security.” “They moved the flight up to this afternoon. “Well, we’re going to have to go ahead as planned anyway… Toto. Sounds like a load of bull.”
Last Line: “I wish…” “What?” “I wish you weren’t in such a weakened condition… oh James… James!”
– – – – –
Honestly… who cares about anyone else at this point? Do you even remember anyone else in this movie?
– – – – –
- Kamal Khan
- General Orlov
Secondary Bond Girl:
Bond Villain Chick:
- Mischka & Grischka
- The dude I call Bonesaw
Other Important Characters:
- General Gogol
- Penelope Smallbone
– – – – –
- Cuba (opening sequence)
- East Berlin
- Uhh… West Germany?
(I’m probably missing something, but I can’t think of what it is. I’m sure someone will tell me eventually, if there is.)
– – – – –
- None, really. None that matter. There’s an Alfa Romeo GTV6 that Bond steals for like, a minute, but it’s not like a real Bond car.
– – – – –
- Watch that also can locate radio direction and picks up images (like tits).
- Fountain pen that also is a listening device and has acids that melt all metal.
- Fake movie poster that hides Q’s location.
- Yo-yo saw.
- Motorboat that’s disguised as a crocodile.
– – – – –
- After For Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore basically wanted to be done with Bond. He originally only signed on for the first three (which were all pretty good), then came back on a film by film basis. But here, he really wanted to be done. So the producers went on a quest to find a replacement, with Timothy Dalton and James Brolin being considered. But then once they announced that Connery would be returning for Never Say Never Again, they basically said, “Well fuck, we don’t stand a chance unless we have Moore, since he’s established.” So they got him to go up against Connery. James Brolin was almost given the role until Moore said he’d do it. (Note: This outperformed Never Say Never Again.)
- Producers were hesitant to cast Maud Adams again, after her character was killed in The Man with the Golden Gun. Apparently they announced Sybil Danning in 1982, but that never materialized. The producers also thought about Faye Dunaway, but she’d have been too expensive. Barbara Carrera turned down the role (according to her) to do Never Say Never Again. So they just cast Adams. She came back for an uncredited cameo as an extra in View to a Kill.
- This is also one of the first films where Q gets an expanded role. Basically once Bernard Lee was dead, Desmond Llewelyn was the real stalwart of the series, so they bumped up his role in these films (somewhat). We see him in the field for most of these next films (culminating in an actual almost storyline in Licence to Kill).
- Apparently the elephant hunt sequence had its origins in The Man with the Golden Gun. Harry Saltzman wanted an elephant stampede in the movie so Bond and Scaramanga could chase each other on the backs of elephants (thank god they never did that).
- They used a lot of leftover story elements from Moonraker in this, such as: knife-throwing twins, Louis Jourdan as the villain, and that jet sequence at the beginning. And apparently the backgammon game was gonna be in The Spy Who Loved Me. (Jesus. It really is a Frankenstein’s monster of a Bond film.)
- This is the last time a Bond film announced the name of the next Bond film. (Here, they say “James Bond will be back in ‘From a View to a Kill.'”)
- The guy who plays 009 in this movie (the clown) also played one of Kristatos’ henchmen in For Your Eyes Only. And the guy who played Sadruddin was a bartender in The Spy Who Loved Me.
- This is fun — translations of the film’s title in other languages: (Brazil and Portugal) 007 Against Octopussy, (Finland) Octopus, (Italy) Operation Octopus, (China) 007 Averts the Plot. (I hate to say this, but China had it fucking right.)
- “All Time High” charted at #36 on the Top 40 charts, and was #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. (It’s a pretty great song.)
- “All Time High” is also the first (and one of only three) Bond song to not feature the title of the movie anywhere in the lyrics. It makes sense why they wouldn’t with this one. (The other two are “You Know My Name” and “Another Way to Die,” both of which would have seemed weird if they worked in the titles.)
- This is the only Bond film to have a woman’s name as the title of the film.
- This is the first Bond movie to have the MGM logo at the beginning. MGM merged with United Artists in 1982.