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OCTOPUSSY

Octopussy (1983) is the thirteenth entry in the James Bond film series, and the sixth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.

The film's title is taken from a short story in Ian Fleming's 1966 short story collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights, although the film's plot is original. It does, however, include a portion inspired by the Fleming short story "The Property of a Lady" (included in 1967 and later editions of Octopussy and The Living Daylights), while the events of the short story "Octopussy" form a part of the title character's background and are recounted by her.

Bond is assigned the task of following a general who is stealing jewels and relics from the Russian government. This leads him to a wealthy Afghan prince, Kamal Khan, and his associate, Octopussy. Bond uncovers a plot to force disarmament in Europe with the use of a nuclear weapon.

Produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, Octopussy was released in the same year as the non-Eon Bond film Never Say Never Again. Written by George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum, and Michael G. Wilson, the film was directed by John Glen.

Octopussy and The Living Daylights (sometimes published as Octopussy) is the fourteenth and final James Bond book written by Ian Fleming in the Bond series. The book is a collection of short stories published posthumously in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape on June 23rd 1966.

The Felming book originally contained just two stories, "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights", with subsequent editions also carrying firstly "The Property of a Lady" and then "007 in New York". The stories were first published in different publications, with "Octopussy" first serialised in the Daily Express in October 1965. "The Living Daylights" had first appeared in The Sunday Times in February 1962; "The Property of a Lady" was published in November 1963 in a Sotheby's publication, The Ivory Hammer, whilst "007 in New York" first appeared in the New York Herald Tribune in October 1963. The two original stories, "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights", were also adapted for publication in comic strip format in the Daily Express in 1966–1967.

The "Octopussy" story in the book has Secret Service operative James Bond, code name 007, assigned to apprehend a hero of the Second World War implicated in a murder involving a cache of Nazi gold. Bond appears briefly in this story, which is told mostly in flashback and from the point of view of Major Dexter Smythe, the villain. Bond chooses not to take Smythe into custody immediately, but Smythe's guilt drives him to commit suicide by allowing a scorpion fish to sting him and his "pet" octopus to attack him, bringing on a fatal heart attack.

Elements from the stories have also been used in the Eon Productions Bond films. The first, Octopussy, starring Roger Moore as James Bond, was released in 1983 as the thirteenth film in the series and provided the back story for the film Octopussy's family, while "The Property of a Lady" was more closely adapted for an auction sequence in the film. The Living Daylights, released in 1987, was the fifteenth Bond film produced by Eon and starred Timothy Dalton in his first appearance as Bond.

Following For Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore had expressed a desire to stop playing James Bond. His original contract had been for three films, which was fulfilled with The Spy Who Loved Me. Subsequent films were negotiated on a film-by-film basis. Given his reluctance to return for Octopussy, the producers engaged in a semi-public quest for the next Bond, with both Timothy Dalton and James Brolin being suggested. However, when the rival Never Say Never Again was announced the producers re-contracted Moore in the belief that an established actor in the role would fare better against Sean Connery. Brolin's three screentests were publicly released for the first time as a special feature named James Brolin: The Man Who Would Be Bond in the Octopussy Ultimate Edition DVD.

The producers were initially reluctant to feature Maud Adams again because her previous character was killed in The Man with the Golden Gun. Sybil Danning was announced in Prevue magazine in 1982 as being Octopussy, but was never actually cast. Faye Dunaway was deemed too expensive. Barbara Carrera said she turned down the role to take a part in the competing Bond film Never Say Never Again. In the book A Star is Found: Our Adventures Casting Some of Hollywood's Biggest Movies, casting director Jane Jenkins revealed that the Bond producers told her that they wanted an East Indian actress to play Octopussy, so she looked at the only two Indians in a then predominantly white Hollywood, Persis Khambatta and Susie Coelho. Afterwards, she auditioned white actresses, like Barbara Parkins, who she felt could pass for Indian. Finally, Cubby Broccoli announced to her that they would cast Swedish-born Maud Adams, darken her hair, and change a few lines about how she was raised by an Indian family. A different plotline, with Adams' British father exposed as a traitor, was used instead. As for Adams, she asked to play Octopussy as a European woman and was granted this, but on the title character's name, she felt the producers "went too far".

Octopussy is also the first movie to have Robert Brown as M, because of the death of Bernard Lee in 1981. Desmond Llewelyn would get a larger role as Q in this film. One of Bond's allies was played by Vijay Amritraj, who was a professional tennis player. His character not only shares the same first name, but he is also the tennis pro at Kamal Khan's club, and he uses his tennis racket as a weapon during the auto rickshaw chase (accompanied by the sound of a tennis ball being hit and scenes of onlookers turning their heads left and right as if they are watching a tennis match).

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The filming of Octopussy began on August 10th 1982 with the scene in which Bond arrives at Checkpoint Charlie. Principal photography was done by Arthur Wooster and his second unit, who later filmed the knife-throwing scenes. Much of the film was shot in Udaipur, India. The Monsoon Palace served as the exterior of Kamal Khan's palace, while scenes set at Octopussy's palace were filmed at the Lake Palace and Jag Mandir, and Bond's hotel was the Shiv Niwas Palace. In England RAF Northolt, RAF Upper Heyford and RAF Oakley were the main locations. The Karl-Marx-Stadt railways scenes were shot at the Nene Valley Railway, near Peterborough, while studio work was performed at Pinewood Studios and the 007 Stage. Most of the crew as well as Roger Moore had diet problems while shooting in India.

The pre-title sequence has a scene where Bond flies a nimble homebuilt Bede BD-5J aircraft through an open hangar. Hollywood stunt pilot and aerial co-ordinator J.W. "Corkey" Fornof, who piloted the aircraft at more than 150 miles per hour, has said, "Today, few directors would consider such a stunt. They'd just whip it up in a computer lab." Having collapsible wings, the plane was shown hidden in a horse trailer; however, a dummy was used for this shot. Filming inside the hangar was achieved by attaching the aircraft to an old Jaguar car with a steel pole, driving with the roof removed. The second unit were able to add enough obstacles including people and objects inside the hangar to hide the car and the pole and make it look as though Moore was flying inside the base. For the explosion after the mini jet escapes, however, a miniature of the hangar was constructed and filmed up close. The exploding pieces of the hangar were in reality only four inches in length. A Mercedes-Benz saloon car was stolen by Bond and used to chase the train – having had his tires shot out, Bond drove on the rails and entered the train. During filming, the car had intact tires in one scene so as to avoid any mishap.

Stunt co-ordinator Martin Grace suffered an injury while shooting the scene where Bond climbs down the train to catch Octopussy's attention. During the second day of filming, Grace, who was Roger Moore's stunt double for the scene, carried on doing the scene longer than he should have, due to a miscommunication with the second unit director, and the train entered a section of the track which the team had not properly surveyed. Shortly afterwards, a concrete pole fractured Grace's left leg. This affected morale in the camp for some time.

The bicyclist seen passing in the middle of a swordfight during the tuk tuk chase sequence was in fact a bystander who passed through the shot, oblivious to the filming; his intrusion was captured by two cameras and left in the final film as an unscheduled stunt. Cameraman Alan Hume's last scene was that of Octopussy's followers rowing. That day, little time was left and it was decided to film the sunset at the eleventh hour when Hume said, "Oh, just shoot the bloody thing!"

The Fabergé egg in the film is real; it was made in 1897 and is called the Coronation Egg, although the egg in the film is named in the auction catalogue as "Property of a Lady", which is the name of one of Ian Fleming's short stories released in more recent editions of the collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights.

In a bit of diegesis that "breaks the fourth wall", Vijay signals his affiliation to MI6 by playing the James Bond Theme on a recorder while Bond is disembarking from a boat in the harbour near the City Palace. Like his fictional counterpart, the real Vijay had a distinct fear of snakes and found difficulty holding the basket during filming.

The score was composed by John Barry, with the lyrics by Tim Rice. The opening theme, "All Time High", is sung by Rita Coolidge and is one of a number of musical themes in the James Bond series whose song titles do not refer to the film's title. Others being Dr. No (1962), "We Have All the Time in the World" from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), "Nobody Does It Better" from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) (although the song's lyrics do include the phrase, "the spy who loved me"), the song "You Know My Name" from Casino Royale (2006), and "Another Way to Die" from Quantum of Solace (2008). "All Time High" spent four weeks at number one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary singles chart and reached number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The soundtrack album was released in 1985 by A&M Records; the compact disc version of this release was recalled due to a colour printing error which omitted the credits from the album cover, making it a rare collector's item. In 1997, the soundtrack was re-issued by Rykodisc, with the original soundtrack music and some film dialogue, on an Enhanced CD version. The 2003 release, by EMI, restored the original soundtrack music without dialogue.

Octopussy's premiere took place at the Odeon Leicester Square on June 6th 1983 in the company of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. Within five months of its premiere, it was released in 16 countries worldwide. The film earned slightly less than For Your Eyes Only, but still grossed $187,500,000, with $67.8 million in the United States alone. It also performed slightly better than Never Say Never Again, the non-Eon Bond remake of Thunderball which came out a few months later.

The film has received mixed reviews. Some reviewers disliked Bond's clown costume, gorilla outfit, and Tarzan yell during a jungle chase. One review claimed that it was long and confusing. By contrast, Louis Jourdan's "suave" performance, the elegance of the film locations in India, and the stunts on aircraft and the train were appreciated. Jeffrey Westhoff at Rotten Tomatoes praised Roger Moore as being "sterling". Neal Gabler and Jeffrey Lyons at the TV-show Sneak Previews praised the film and said "Octopussy delivers" and "The nice thing about Octopussy is that it's going back-to-basics, less gadgets, more hand-to-hand combat. It's more of an adventure movie in a more traditional sense and I like it for that". Danny Peary wrote that Octopussy "has slow spots, little humour, and villains who aren’t nearly of the calibre of Dr. No, Goldfinger, or Blofeld. Also, the filmmakers make the mistake of demeaning Bond by having him swing through the trees and emitting a Tarzan cry and having him hide in a gorilla suit and later disguise himself as a clown (whom all the kids at the circus laugh at). It’s as if they’re trying to remind us that everything is tongue-in-cheek, but that makes little sense, for the film is much more serious than typical Bond outings – in fact, it recalls the tone of From Russia with Love." Octopussy was nominated for an Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Award, with Maud Adams nominated for the Saturn Award in the Best Fantasy Supporting Actress category. The film won the Golden Screen Award in Germany and the Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing.

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Content intended for informational and educational purposes under the GNU Free Documentation Areement
and is not affiliated with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Eon Productions, Danjaq LLC, Ian Fleming Publications or any other official production companies. James Bond logos, content and images copyright © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Eon Productions, Danjaq LLC, Ian Fleming Publications, United Artists Corporation.

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