Film / Octopussy

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Octopussy.jpg
We'll take on the world and wait...

"Mr Bond is indeed of a very rare breed… soon to be made extinct"
Kamal Khan

The one where Bond disguises himself as a clown. Honk honk.

Octopussy is the 13th James Bond film, and the sixth to star Roger Moore. After a replica Fabergé egg is found on an assassinated agent, Bond is sent to India to infiltrate a circus gang led by Octopussy (Maud Adams, the only Bond girl actress to make a second leading appearance).

007 soon discovers a connection between the priceless Fabergé egg, an elaborate smuggling operation and a meeting with Renegade Russian General Orlov who plans on detonating a nuclear device at Octopussy's circus as part of his plan to force an American withdrawal from their bases in Western Europe, allowing the Soviets to dominate the continent.

The unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again, with Sean Connery, came out the same year. Octopussy grossed slightly more, and there hasn't been a Bond film from any company other than Eon Productions since.

Despite the title, it has surprisingly little to do with a popular subject of Japanese pornography.


This film contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion:
  • Affably Evil: Kamal, especially when discussing Bond's torture.
    Bond: Well, supposing, for argument's sake, l don't feel like talking?
    Kamal: Don't worry, you will.
    Bond: Let me guess. Thumbscrews and hot coals?
    Kamal: (insulted) Hardly. We're much more sophisticated than that.
    Bond: Sodium Pentothal?
    Kamal: A bit crude. Very unreliable. We prefer curare with an effective psychedelic compound. Guaranteed results.
    Bond: But with permanent brain damage.
    Kamal: An unfortunate side effect.
  • All Part of the Show: Bond's antics in the clown makeup is mistaken for being part of the show. Given that he's trying to warn people of a nuclear bomb, this is a problem.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: A camel does one after Bond and Vijay jump their minicab over its head.
  • And This Is For...: Doubled.
    Mishka: And this [prepares to throw knife at Bond] is for my brother! [throws knife at Bond, but misses]
    James Bond: [throws the knife back and impales him] And that's for 009!
  • Amazon Brigade: Octopussy's army.
  • The Anticipator: Bond introduces himself at the reception of an Indian hotel and is told, "We've been expecting you," which is, fortunately for James Bond, more positive than the other appearances of this trope in the other Bond films.
  • Auction: Bond enters one to seek out the one who is interested in this Fabergé egg business.
    Bond: Well, it's a small world. You're a Toro, too.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: General Orlov and Kamal Khan.
  • Bigger Bad: Initially it is Octopussy, who gives orders to the films Big Bad (Khan) from behind the scenes, never even showing her face. Though, she eventually fully enters the plot and becomes an Anti-Hero after being betrayed by her associates.
  • Banister Slide: Used by Bond during the attack on Kamal's palace.
  • Batman Gambit: Orlov's plan; explode a nuke at an American base, and the public, assuming it was an accident with an American weapon, will pressure the US to withdraw from continental Europe.
  • Body Bag Trick: Gobinda kills two of Kamal's mooks to preserve secrecy and Bond takes the place of the other one to escape the Monsoon Palace.
  • Bookends: The film starts with 009 in a clown costume and winds up with 007 in a clown costume
  • Captain Obvious: 'It's not really in the wrist, you know...'
  • Catch and Return: This part of the twins' Knife-Throwing Act.
  • Censored Title: The movie was sometimes advertised as "Octocat".
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Similar to Goldfinger, Bond beats Kamal at backgammon while revealing how he was cheating.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Those circus skills come in useful for Storming the Castle.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Orlov's glorious briefing scene at the beginning of the movie.
  • Circus of Fear
  • Comically Missing the Point: Bond's ally Vijay (played by real-life Indian tennis star Vijay Amritraj) reports that he's gotten a job at the Big Bad's sports club.
    Bond: Have you learned anything?
    Vijay: Well, my backhand's improved...note 
    (Bond grins.)
  • Confronting Your Imposter: In the opening teaser, Bond impersonates Colonel Luis Toro, only to be captured and brought to the real Toro.
    Bond: (unfazed) Oh. You're a Toro too. Small world.
  • Cool Plane: Bond's miniature jet (a BD-5 Acrostar) in the prologue. And yes, the Bede BD-5 is quite real.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: Done briefly by Gobinda when he goes after Bond on Kamal's plane.
  • Death Glare: Gobinda seems to be a master of quiet menace.
  • Death by Sex: Octopussy thinks Bond gets killed after having sex with her (and she looks quite upset about it), but fortunately he survives.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The parachutists holding Bond prisoner at the beginning, and the guards at Kamal's palace at the end.
  • The Dragon: Gobinda to Kamal Khan, Magda to Octopussy.
  • Disney Villain Death: Gobinda.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Played with. Bond tries to avert a nuclear attack. But a woman hogs the only phone booth. Bond promptly steals her car, instead.
  • Egg Macguffin (of the Faberge variety).
  • Establishing Character Moment: Gobinda shows just how much of a silent menace he is by crushing ivory dice with his fist while giving a wordless Death Glare to Bond.
  • Evil Is Petty: Kamal Khan likes to supplement his wildly lucrative villainy by cheating at backgammon.
  • Exploding Fish Tanks: This time the fishtanks get their revenge! When the title character is targeted by assassins her pet blue-ringed octopus (who's clearly watched Alien) facehugs a thug to death after its tank gets broken during the struggle.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: The villains create fake Faberge eggs to swap out for the real ones they are selling to finance their schemes. After it becomes necessary to reclaim on of the real eggs, Kamal Khan claims it is one of the fakes only to wince in horror as his partner General Orlov smashes it.
  • Fixing the Game: Bond notices Kamal Khan taking a British gent for all he's worth in backgammon. He quickly figures out that Khan is using loaded dice that always come up double sixes (how nobody else caught on is a mystery). He offers to play him for double-or-nothing. Khan agrees. Bond invokes the "player's privilege" and uses Khan's dice to win. Instead of letting his Sikh dragon beat up Bond (and cause a scene), Khan pays Bond but warns him to spend the money quickly.
  • Follow That Car: A Soviet military driver is rather disconcerted to be told to follow Bond's car along a railway line.
  • Foreign Queasine: Sheep's eye, anyone? Bond actually manages to get in a good Double Entendre, when he complains that he loses his appetite when he's being watched (both the meal and Kamal's Dragon, who is intently watching him.)
  • General Ripper: Orlov.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • "I need refilling." And another rather obvious one, of course.
    • "In... Out... In... Out... C'mon girls! In... Out..."
  • Giving Them the Strip: Magda uses a variation of this to escape from Bond: she ties one end of the sari she's wearing to a balustrade and jumps off the balcony, "riding" the garment down to safety as it unravels.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Gobinda and the dice.
  • Glory Hound: General Orlov.
  • Going Commando: Bond catches a glimpse of Octopussy stepping out of the pool stark naked.
  • Groin Attack. Narrowly averted — Bond is sliding down a stairway railing, blazing away at mooks with a captured AK-47. He then quickly uses the rest of the magazine to shoot off the knob at the end of the railing. Prior to that however Bond - dressed as a clown - kicked a security guard at the circus in the groin while trying to get to the bomb. Also during the raid Octopussy and her girls stage on Kamal's stronghold at least one, maybe two, of his thugs get kicked in the groin.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Gogol vs. Orlov in the briefing room.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Bond swipes the car off a woman in a phone booth he wanted to reach.
  • Hey, Catch!: Done to a sword wielding mook at the market chase/fight.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Bond against Gobinda on top of a plane.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Octopussy turns against Khan after she realises that she, her crew and thousands of innocents would have been caught up in Orlov's plotted nuclear accident.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge: And then a Misguided Missile.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Mishka pins Bond down to the wooden door with precise knife throws. When he's about to throw the fatal blade, Bond opens the door, Mishka stumbles and falls, and Bond throws one of his knives at him.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Kamal and his mooks' hunt for tiger on elephants after Bond escapes the Monsoon Palace. Bond is the tiger of course.
    Kamal: Let the sport commence!
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: The Faberge egg 009 "gives" to the British ambassador in Germany is given to MI6, kicking off the plot.
  • I'm Not Hungry: Bond finds his sheep head a little too exotic.
  • Improperly Placed Firearms: The East German guards have AK's, but for some reason Orlov's personal bodyguard are carrying Austrian Steyr AUG's. Also, in the intro, the Cuban troops on the trucks are carrying Colt M16s.
  • Ironic Echo/Dark Reprise: Vijay's "No problem!", uttered by Bond after Vijay's corpse is found. Later, when another character randomly uses the same phrase, Bond clearly winces, reminded of his friend.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • Implied when Orlov chases the train as it crosses the inner-German border. He apparently thinks that, as a Soviet General, the GDR border guards would let him through. They shoot him.
    • Averted when the German policemen chase Bond into the American military base, then assist the military policemen in searching the compound.
  • Just Plane Wrong: Those Franco-Soviet Alouette helicopters.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: During the backgammon scene when Bond wins 200,000 Rupees from Kamal Kahn, Khan starts writing him a cheque when Bond tells him quietly "I prefer cash".
  • Killer Yoyo: One of the mercenaries that Kamal hires to kill has one made from a circular saw.
  • Knife Outline
  • Knife-Throwing Act: Mishka's and Grishka's part in Octopussy's Circus.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre:
    Q: 007 on an island populated exclusively by women? We won't see him till dawn!
  • Large Ham: General Orlov.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: What happened to Octopussy's father. Octopussy is grateful to Bond for leaving him that option, rather than be disgraced by a court martial.
  • Lighter and Softer: After the dark tone of For Your Eyes Only, Yes.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: A nuclear accident is the key part of General Orlov's grand plan.
  • Male Gaze: Bond uses one of Q's gadgets to zoom in on a girl's cleavage. Q is not amused, although Vijay is.
  • May-December Romance: More like May-September. While still much younger than him, Octopussy is one of the few Bond girls too old to be his daughter (she's only 18 years his junior, as opposed to the whopping 30 that Carole Bouquet was in For Your Eyes Only, or that Tanya Roberts would be in A View to a Kill), especially in the Moore-era. It also helps that the actress had already played a Bond girl opposite Moore eight years earlier in The Man with the Golden Gun.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Bond's PPK is replaced with the Walther P5 in this movie as part of a deal with Walther. Most people didn't notice, because not only do they look similar, but also Bond refers to having "mislaid my PPK" in spite of using a P5 for the entirety of the film.
  • Mnogo Nukes
  • Money to Throw Away: "Rupees!"
  • Mood Whiplash: The movie bounces between the campier elements of Moore's tenure (uncovering a smuggling ring run by circus people and an all-girl army) with the darker tone created by the previous film, For Your Eyes Only (a mad Soviet general wants to start World War III).
  • Ms. Fanservice: Madga, played by Kristina Wayborn - especially the way she escapes Bond.
  • My Car Hates Me: Played with. When Kamal is leaving the Circus in US army base to escape the bomb, he is visibly worried when Gobinda can't get the car started. Then the second try is successful and he is relieved.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Bond has a vehicle with an appearance of a crocodile. Later one, when his fight with the yoyo mook moves to water, a crocodile appears to the dispatch the villain.
  • Nice Kitty: Bond tells a tiger to "Sit". And it does.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Soviet chairman at the beginning of the film is obviously supposed to be Leonid Brezhnev (who actually died before the film was released).
  • No More for Me: A drunken guard upon seeing a woman standing on an elephant's head.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Kamal serves a dinner to Bond when he is imprisoned in the Monsoon Palace.
  • Oktoberfest: The portly German couple Bond hitches a ride with tries to stuff him with Bratwurst and Beer.
  • The One with...: The one where Bond dresses up like a clown.
  • Oh Crap!: Bond's dawning realization that Orlov's plan isn't insane but will work.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The security guard at the US Air Base is presumably African-American, but if you listen closely it's obvious he's Caribbean or African in background.
  • Outside Ride: Bond chases after Khan on a horse and then leaps on to the outside of his plane as it takes off.
  • Pinned to the Wall: An evil knife thrower pins Bond by his clothes to a wall and prepares to throw the final knife to Bonds's heart. Bond being Bond, this does not end well for the knife thrower.
  • Pocket Protector: Bond is stabbed in the chest, but is unharmed thanks to a sheaf of bills in his chest pocket.
    Bond: Thank God for hard currency.
  • P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: This is the only movie in the series named after the Bond Girl rather than the villain, a motto, or the MacGuffin.
  • Punny Name:
    • Yeah, no shit.
    • Don't forget Penelope Smallbone!
    • As if that name wasn't bad enough, at one point, Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny) flubbed it and called her Penelope Smallbush. Naturally, Roger Moore wasted no time jumping on that one.
      • Real Joke Name: She's actually named for one of the models in the opening credits.
  • Pursued Protagonist: 009.
  • Racing the Train: The film does this with a twist: Bond's tires have just been shot out, so he drives his car onto the rails.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Almost for 007, definitely for Orlov.
  • Ramprovisation: Done in the market chase.
  • Recycled Premise: It's still a debate how this film's plot is derived from Goldfinger. Bond bets an item the wealthy Big Bad has an interest in then one-ups the Big Bad at his own game; a female henchwoman with her own Amazon Brigade falls to Bond's charms; a climactic fight in an airplane mid-flight where a villain gets thrown out.
  • Red Scare
  • Renegade Russian: It's emphasized that Orlov is acting independent of the Politburo, and that Gogol and the other Soviet leaders are more interested in making peace with the West. The Breshnev Expy explicitly states that the Soviet nuclear arsenal is purely defensive. During the final third of the plot, Gogol is pursuing Orlov to stop him, though he isn't aware of the true nature of Orlov's scheme (though he probably would have disapproved of that if he'd known about it).
  • Same Language Dub: Following in the tradition of Michael Lonsdale and Carole Bouquet, the late Louis Jourdan dubbed himself in the French language version of this film.
  • Sexophone: The opening notes to "All Time High" as well as one of the Leitmotifs (probably Octopussy's).
  • Shoot the Dog: Poor Vijay.
  • Show Some Leg: The Bond Girl in The Teaser does this to distract the guards on the truck while Bond makes his move.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Though he later engages in Ham-to-Ham Combat, Gogol literally rolls his eyes when Orlov is describing his invasion plan.
  • Side Boob: The opening segment's Bond Girl gives a healthy amount of this during her Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Sim Sim Salabim
  • Skinny Dipping: When Bond first arrives on Octopussy's island, he's able to see her swimming in her pool in the nude.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: Notoriously erratic in its placement.
  • Smooch of Victory: Q gets showered with kisses when he drops his balloon on a mook about to shoot the Amazon Brigade.
  • Smug Snake: Kamal Khan actually doesn't seem to realize he's just a henchman.
  • Stock Scream: Heard in the Moore-era films. When Bond and Gobinda are fighting outside the plane and uses the antennae to knock him off. This same scream is heard both in A View to a Kill and Moonraker
  • Storming the Castle: With the Amazon Brigade.
  • Stuka Scream: The BD-5 Acrostar in the opening scene and Kamal's plane at the end.
  • Stun Guns/Tranquillizer Darts: Used by Octopussy's mooks. After all, they're thieves, not hardened killers.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: When Bond speeds through the Air Base's security checkpoint:
    Security guard: Captain, some nut went through here in a stolen car! Wants the base commander, and he's wearing a red shirt!
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A new M apparently makes his debut in this story. No-one mentions what happened to the previous one, which has caused many to claim that this is actually a case of The Other Darrin, and that it's still the original M but with a different actor playing him. There's also the theory that the new M is really Admiral Hargreaves, actor Robert Brown's character from The Spy Who Loved Me. Note that this was because the original actor had died, which actually happened before For Your Eyes Only. M was absent entirely from that one, stated to be on leave, but here they had to get a new actor.
  • Supervillain Lair: The Soviet Politburo's marble conference room, complete with giant map of the world and rotating table, has to count, even if they themselves are not supervillains.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Vijay introduces himself by playing a bar of the James Bond theme on a snake charmer's pipe.
  • Throwing Off the Disability
  • Time Bomb
  • Title Drop:
    • Well, the main Bond Girl's nickname is Octopussy, but the first instance:
    Bond: [looking at Magda's tattoo, on the small of her back] What is that?
    Magda: That's my little Octopussy.
    • The title of the other short story this film is adapted from is also dropped: "The Property of a Lady".
    • Averted with the theme song. The song is titled "All Time High", and the word "Octopussy" cannot be found in the lyrics at all. (Chris Cornell, who wrote a later Bond theme, has declared that "Nobody wrote a song called ‘Octopussy’ but I think that was a mistake! They had a great opportunity and they squandered it." Of course, his Bond title theme, "You Know My Name", did not have the title (Casino Royale) it it either.)
      • The song isn't completely out of place for the movie, however. At one point, Bond mentions to Octopussy that they're "two of a kind"; one of the song's lyrics echos this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The least Gobinda could do, judging by his expression, was to wear a parachute. That is of course, if they had one on board...
  • Traintop Battle: Bond has to fight Gobinda and Grishka on top of Octopussy's circus train.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: Bond rides an auto rickshaw through a bazaar in Delhi, chased by Kamal Khan's thugs in a jeep and an auto rickshaw of their own.
  • Understatement:
    • How do you tell the audience of a circus that they were barely seconds from being in the epicenter of a nuclear detonation? "Ladies and Gentlemen, we had an emergency..."
    • Meanwhile, Kamal and Gobinda are advised that it would be a good idea to be at least 30 miles away from the blast. The looks on their faces basically are "No shit, Sherlock".
  • The War Room: We get a rare look at the Soviet War Room.
  • Why Won't You Die?: When Kamal encounters Bond at Octopussy's base.
    Kamal: You have a nasty habit of surviving.
    Bond: Well, you know what they say about the fittest.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Orlov thinks of himself as a patriot doing what must be done to give his country a major strategic advantage over the West. With his dying words he claims that he will soon be thought of as a Hero of the Soviet Union.
  • Wicked Cultured: Kamal Khan.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Gobinda's reaction, though not uttered literally, to Kamal telling him to go outside the plane to fight Bond while 30,000 feet up.
    Gobinda: Out there?!
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness / Leave No Witnesses: Kamal and General Orlov have no intention of telling Octopussy or her girls they'll be ground zero of a nuke they planted.
  • You Killed My Father: Subverted. Octopussy is actually grateful to Bond for allowing her father to commit suicide, as it saved her father the shame of a military trial (Bond was tasked with arresting him).

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Octopussy