Octopussy (1983)

PG | 131 mins | Drama, Adventure | 10 June 1983

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HISTORY

The 13 Apr 1982 HR reported a supposed obscenity controversy over the title. Producer Albert R. Broccoli countered the protest with a survey of women, ages twelve to forty-nine, conducted by the National Research Group in New York City; Los Angeles, CA; Charlotte, NC; Houston, TX; and Kansas City, MO. While thirty-seven percent said they would not want to see a film titled Octopussy, only four percent said they would not want to see a “James Bond” film with the same title. Broccoli interpreted the results as a ninety-six percent approval rating.
       According to the 27 Apr 1982 LAT, actor Roger Moore had not yet decided whether to star in the picture, scheduled to start production in Aug 1982. Actress Faye Dunaway was being considered for the title role, after photographer Terry O’Neill, her “long time consort,” made the suggestion to Broccoli. However, Dunaway was already committed to another project, with an expected start date in Jul 1982. In addition, Broccoli was unwilling to meet Dunaway’s normally high salary demands, and expected her to compromise if she wanted the role. Dunaway had also been considered for a part in a previous “Bond” film, Thunderball (1965, see entry). Broccoli told the 3 May 1982 LAT that he may have to find a replacement for Roger Moore, whose salary demands exceeded his $63 million guarantee. Among the other candidates was British actor Oliver Tobias, who was reportedly spreading the rumor that he would “be the next Bond.” Although Broccoli refused to comment, he stated that the “Bond” series has ... More Less

The 13 Apr 1982 HR reported a supposed obscenity controversy over the title. Producer Albert R. Broccoli countered the protest with a survey of women, ages twelve to forty-nine, conducted by the National Research Group in New York City; Los Angeles, CA; Charlotte, NC; Houston, TX; and Kansas City, MO. While thirty-seven percent said they would not want to see a film titled Octopussy, only four percent said they would not want to see a “James Bond” film with the same title. Broccoli interpreted the results as a ninety-six percent approval rating.
       According to the 27 Apr 1982 LAT, actor Roger Moore had not yet decided whether to star in the picture, scheduled to start production in Aug 1982. Actress Faye Dunaway was being considered for the title role, after photographer Terry O’Neill, her “long time consort,” made the suggestion to Broccoli. However, Dunaway was already committed to another project, with an expected start date in Jul 1982. In addition, Broccoli was unwilling to meet Dunaway’s normally high salary demands, and expected her to compromise if she wanted the role. Dunaway had also been considered for a part in a previous “Bond” film, Thunderball (1965, see entry). Broccoli told the 3 May 1982 LAT that he may have to find a replacement for Roger Moore, whose salary demands exceeded his $63 million guarantee. Among the other candidates was British actor Oliver Tobias, who was reportedly spreading the rumor that he would “be the next Bond.” Although Broccoli refused to comment, he stated that the “Bond” series has transformed minor actors into major stars. The producer claimed that he was under no immediate pressure from distributor MGM/United Artists Entertainment Co. (MGM/UA) to replace Moore. Responding to criticisms about the quality of recent “Bond” films, Broccoli admitted that earlier entries in the series were based on author Ian Fleming’s best stories, while the later films began with little more than a title. The 7 Jul 1982 Var included James Brolin and Michael Billington as possible replacements for Moore. One week later, the 14 Jul 1982 Var announced that Moore agreed to star in the film, marking his sixth appearance as “James Bond.” On 2 Aug 1982, HR noted that actress Maud Adams had been cast in the title role, making her to first actress to star in two “Bond” pictures. She told the 31 Aug 1982 LAT that she screen-tested for the part earlier in the summer with James Brolin. Principal photography was scheduled to begin 16 Aug 1982 at Pinewood Studios in England, as stated in the 10 Aug 1982 HR.
       The 9 Jan 1983 LAT revealed that the screenplay for the $25 million production was based on two of Ian Fleming’s last “Bond” adventures, published posthumously in 1966. Because they contained no “capers,” and only brief appearances by the protagonist, screenwriters George MacDonald Fraser, Michael G. Wilson, and Richard Maibaum had to create a new story from available source material. Octopussy, the short story, provided background for the title character, which was created for the picture, along with her all-female army; Property of a Lady inspired the auction sequence and the subplot involving Russian intrigue; the scene is which “Bond” is the quarry of a hunting party was borrowed from The Most Dangerous Game, a short story by Richard Connell. Although Japan was being considered as a possible location, George MacDonald Fraser chose India, due to his extensive research on the country for his 1969 novel, Flashman.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Octopussy marked the twenty-first anniversary of “James Bond” on film, and the thirteenth picture in the series. Location photography in India began 12 Sep 1982, in Udaipur, Rajasthan, the former capital of the Mewar kingdom. “Kamal Khan’s” Monsoon Palace was an ancient structure built to house Mewar princes during monsoon season, and “Octopussy’s” Jag Mandir palace was built during the seventeenth century on the southern shore of Lake Pichola. After three weeks of principal photography, the crew returned to England, leaving behind a second unit for an additional month. Berlin, Germany locations included Spandau Prison, the Brandenburg Gate, the Potsdamer Platz, and “Checkpoint Charlie,” a crossing point between East and West Berlin. A Royal Air Force base in Upper Heyford, England, served as the U.S. military base hosting the circus performance. The “pre-title sequence” featured the AcroStar Jet, owned and piloted by Corkey Fornof. Only two such jet planes existed at the time.
       The 20 Jan 1983 DV announced the film’s 6 Jun 1983 world premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, England, with the Prince and Princess of Wales expected to attend. Proceeds benefited the Princess of Wales Charitable Trust and the Stars Organization for Spastics.
       The 20 Jan 1983 NYT reported Albert Broccoli’s concern that the rival “Bond” film, Never Say Never Again (1983, see entry), would corrupt the producer’s image of the fictional secret agent as a “suave superhero,” redefining him as “a troubled, middle-aged operative,” and damage the box-office potential of the franchise. Broccoli defended the formula he developed for “Bond,” saying the target audience, aged twelve to twenty-two, had little interest in character development. As reported in the 12 Oct 1983 Var, the Ian Fleming Estate, with the support of MGM/UA and Broccoli’s company, Danjaq, filed an injunction to block the release of the rival film in England. However, both the lower court and the court of appeals rejected the injunction.
       The 30 Jun 1983 LAT reported that President Ronald Reagan appeared in a syndicated American television special promoting the film, without his permission. According to White House spokesman Mark Weinberg, Reagan originally agreed to appear in a tribute to the “Bond” films for London Weekend Television, for broadcast exclusively in England. The footage was also used without permission in advertisements for the special by Washington, D.C., Metromedia television station WTTG. The advertisements were discontinued at the request of the White House, because, as Weinberg stated, it was inappropriate for the President to be associated with a film titled Octopussy. Although the program was an independent production and not officially part of the studio’s promotional campaign, it was distributed by MGM/UA to coincide with the film’s release. Also appearing in the special were former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, Mr. T, Alistaire Cooke, and Bob Hope.
       The 22 Apr 1983 Var reported that Richard Stern, owner of the 3 Penny Cinema in Chicago, IL, filed suit against MGM/UA, claiming the distributor reneged on a promise to book Octopussy and Brainstorm (1983, see entry) at his theater, but later gave the bookings to a competitor. Confident of the distributor’s alleged commitment, Stern made no effort to secure other films for the summer, and faced a potential loss of income exceeding $100,000. Stern requested “unspecified punitive and compensatory damages,” while his company, 3 Penny Corporation, asked the court to order MGM/UA to make both films available to the theater. The outcome of the case has not been determined.
       A studio press release, dated 4 Jun 1983, announced a preview screening on 9 Jun 1983 at the RKO National Theater in New York City, to benefit the Boys’ Clubs of New York. A reception at the “21” Club followed.
       Octopussy opened 10 Jun 1983 at 1,311 theaters nationwide to generally positive reviews. A 13 Jun 1983 studio press release reported gross receipts of more than $8.9 million for the opening weekend. Within the month, the film earned $62,394,779, more than any previous “Bond” film, according to MGM/UA. Marvel Comics published a special-edition comic book adaptation of the film to coincide with the release.
End credits include the following statements: “Made by Eon Productions Ltd., at Pinewood Studios, London, England, and on location in India, Germany, USA and England”; “The producers gratefully acknowledge the assistance and cooperation of The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India; Shreeji Maharana B.S. Mewar, Udaipur; The Senate of Berlin; The Royal Air Force, Northolt; The British Military Government, Berlin; Utah State Film Commission; Seiko Time (U.K.) Ltd.; Philips Industries; Montblanc-Simplo GmbH; Nene Valley International Steam Railway”; “James Bond will return in From a View to a Kill.
       The actor who portrays "Twin two" is credited as Tony Meyer in opening credits and Anthony Meyer in end credits. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Aug 1983.
---
Daily Variety
20 Jan 1983.
---
Gallup New Mexico Independent
15 Jun 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 1983
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 1983
p. 2, 18.
Los Angeles Times
27 Apr 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Jun 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
31 Aug 1982
p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Times
9 Jan 1983
Calendar, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
10 Jun 1983
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jun 1983
Section IV, p. 10.
New York Times
20 Jan 1983.
---
New York Times
10 Jun 1983
p. 17.
Variety
7 Jul 1982.
---
Variety
14 Jul 1982.
---
Variety
22 Apr 1983.
---
Variety
12 Aug 1981.
---
Variety
18 Aug 1982.
---
Variety
8 Jun 1983
p. 18.
Variety
6 Jul 1983.
---
Variety
12 Oct 1983.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007
Starring:
Featuring:
and introducing
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Albert R. Broccoli presents
from MGM/UA Entertainment Co.
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
2d unit dir
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Asst dir
Dir, Aerial team
2d unit asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Scr story and scr by
Scr story and scr by
Scr story and scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit photog
Cam op
Model photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
2d unit cam op
2d unit cam op
2d unit cam op
Stills
Elec supv
Cam grip
Cam grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Supv ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser (India)
Prod buyer
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Const mgr
Prop master
Big top by
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost made by
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus mixer
Mus rec at
The James Bond theme wrt by
SOUND
Sd rec
Sd ed
Boom op
Dubbing ed
Dubbing ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd re-rec by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Main title des by
Model eff supv
Front projection
2d unit eff supv
Title opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairdressing supv
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod accountant
Action seq arr by
Prod controller
Dir of pub
Coord, Aerial team
Beech 18, Aerial team
Beech 18, Aerial team
Beech 18, Aerial team
Beech 18, Aerial team
AcroStar jet, Aerial team
AcroStar jet, Aerial team
Supv, the gymnasts
Indian prod adv
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
2d unit cont
2d unit cont
Loc accountant
Loc accountant
Loc accountant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Exec asst
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod asst
U.S. casting
Unit pub
Boatmaster
Travel and transport
Travel and transport
Travel and transport
STAND INS
Driving stunts arr by
Supv, Stunt team
Supv, Stunt team
Supv, Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt eng
Stunt eng
SOURCES
SONGS
“All Time High,” performed by Rita Coolidge, music by John Barry, lyrics by Tim Rice.
PERFORMER
COMPOSERS
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Property of a Lady
Release Date:
10 June 1983
Premiere Information:
London premiere: 6 June 1983
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 June 1983
Production Date:
began 16 August 1982
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo™ in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
131
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27025
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In a South American dictatorship, secret agent James Bond is captured while attempting to sabotage the country’s new secret weapon. His female accomplice rescues him and Bond continues his mission in a small jet plane, with a heat-seeking missile in pursuit. Bond evades the missile and guides it to the secret weapon. In East Berlin, Germany, Secret Agent 009, disguised as a circus clown, makes his way toward the British embassy, carrying a gold Fabergé egg. He is wounded by his pursuers, a pair of knife-throwing twins, but reaches the embassy before dying. The egg arrives at Secret Service headquarters in London, England, and is determined to be counterfeit by appraiser Jim Fanning. James Bond is put on the case and sent to Sotheby’s auction house, accompanied by Fanning, to monitor the sale of the real egg. Meanwhile, in Moscow, U.S.S.R., General Orlov argues unsuccesfully against a disarmament agreement to promote world peace. At the Kremlin Art Repository, Orlov learns that the duplicate egg has been stolen and orders his operative, deposed Afghan prince Kamal Khan, to return the original to Moscow. In London, James Bond bids on the egg, raising the price to almost twice its value, before Kamal wins the auction. However, Bond steals the original, and Kamal is unaware of the theft until he arrives at his “Monsoon Palace” in Udaipur, India. Bond follows Kamal to Udaipur, where he joins forces with fellow agent Vijay. He enters a casino as Kamal wins a large sum of money by cheating at backgammon with loaded dice. Bond joins the game, using the Fabergé egg as ... +


In a South American dictatorship, secret agent James Bond is captured while attempting to sabotage the country’s new secret weapon. His female accomplice rescues him and Bond continues his mission in a small jet plane, with a heat-seeking missile in pursuit. Bond evades the missile and guides it to the secret weapon. In East Berlin, Germany, Secret Agent 009, disguised as a circus clown, makes his way toward the British embassy, carrying a gold Fabergé egg. He is wounded by his pursuers, a pair of knife-throwing twins, but reaches the embassy before dying. The egg arrives at Secret Service headquarters in London, England, and is determined to be counterfeit by appraiser Jim Fanning. James Bond is put on the case and sent to Sotheby’s auction house, accompanied by Fanning, to monitor the sale of the real egg. Meanwhile, in Moscow, U.S.S.R., General Orlov argues unsuccesfully against a disarmament agreement to promote world peace. At the Kremlin Art Repository, Orlov learns that the duplicate egg has been stolen and orders his operative, deposed Afghan prince Kamal Khan, to return the original to Moscow. In London, James Bond bids on the egg, raising the price to almost twice its value, before Kamal wins the auction. However, Bond steals the original, and Kamal is unaware of the theft until he arrives at his “Monsoon Palace” in Udaipur, India. Bond follows Kamal to Udaipur, where he joins forces with fellow agent Vijay. He enters a casino as Kamal wins a large sum of money by cheating at backgammon with loaded dice. Bond joins the game, using the Fabergé egg as collateral, and wins. Kamal’s assistant, Gobinda, rallies his employer’s minions and chases Bond and Vijay through the streets to recover the egg. The agents evade their pursuers and enter a passageway to the laboratory of Secret Service inventor “Q,” who gives Bond a duplicate egg containing a tracking device, a pen that dispenses a powerful acid, and a television wristwatch. That evening, Kamal’s companion, Magda, invites Bond to dinner and demands the egg in exchange for his life. Bond and Magda make love in his hotel room, after which Magda leaps from the balcony into a waiting car, and Gobinda knocks Bond unconscious. The following night, he breaks out of his cell in Kamal’s palace and overhears Kamal and Orlov’s plans to duplicate the egg. When they discover the hidden tracking device, Bond takes refuge in a meat locker, where Kamal stores the bodies of his victims. In the morning, Bond makes his escape during a mass burial, and Kamal organizes his minions into a hunting party. After swinging through the jungle on vines, and miraculously surviving encounters with a tiger and a crocodile, Bond finds refuge on a passing tour boat. Later, Q gives Bond a dossier on Octopussy, an international jewel thief who lives on an island populated exclusively by women under her employ. As Q and Vijay stand watch on shore, James Bond travels to the island in a mechanical crocodile and gains entry to the palace to question Octopussy about the death of Agent 009. Although she is familiar with James Bond, she has no knowledge of 009’s murder. Octopussy reveals that she is the daughter of Major Dexter Smythe, a British officer who stole a gold shipment years earlier. Bond arrested Smythe in Sri Lanka and allowed him twenty-four hours to “get his affairs in order,” during which the major committed suicide, rather than face court martial. Although Bond assumes Octopussy wants to avenge her father, she thanks him for giving the major “an honorable alternative.” Smythe, an authority on octopi, gave Octopussy her unusual nickname and left her his stolen riches. After all the gold was spent, she discovered her talent for smuggling and organized an army of women, to whom she has given a sense of belonging. She informs James Bond of her other businesses, including hotels, a shipping company, and an East German circus, where she will be spending the next several days. Meanwhile, Kamal learns of Bond’s presence on the island and hires three thugs, one of whom is armed with a yo-yo made from a circular saw blade. The assassins mortally wound Vijay and land on the island while Bond and Octopussy make love. He hears their approach and quickly defeats two of the thugs, then drowns the the third before returning to shore. Later, Bond travels to Berlin to intercept a satchel of stolen Russian jewels, which Orlov plans to deliver to Octopussy and Kamal. Bond arrives at the circus as the twins and a human cannonball, named Francisco the Fearless, perform their routines. Later, while stagehands load the circus train, Bond listens underneath a freight car as Orlov delivers the jewels. However, when Octopussy leaves the car, Orlov instructs Kamal on the operation of a nuclear weapon hidden inside Francisco’s cannon, to be detonated at the circus’s next stop, a U.S. Air Force base in West Germany. Bond kills one of the knife-throwing twins in self-defense, then holds Orlov at gunpoint, revealing his knowledge of the bomb. Orlov voices resentment over his government’s disarmament policy, declaring his intention to expand communism through violent means. Soldiers come to the general’s defense, allowing Orlov to escape as the train leaves the station. James follows the train in Orlov’s car, destroying its tires along the way. Driving on bare wheel rims, Bond follows on a parallel track and leaps from the car before it is struck by an oncoming train. M and his agents pull Orlov’s car from a river and discover the satchel of jewels inside, then intercept the general and kill him as he crosses the border. Meanwhile, James Bond hides inside a freight car, where Kamal, Gobinda, and the surviving twin set the bomb to detonate at 3:45 p.m. Gobinda discovers Bond and is joined by the surviving twin as they pursue the agent. Bond and the twin fall from the train, and continue the chase through the woods. As the twin is about to avenge his brother, Bond kills him instead, avenging the death of 009. Bond has little luck hitchhiking to the military base and is forced to steal a car, arriving at the base within thirty minutes of detonation. Disguised as a clown, Bond interrupts the performance to warn the base commander about the bomb, and tells Octopussy that she has been doublecrossed, presenting the Romanov Star, one of the stolen jewels, as evidence. With only seconds to spare, Bond removes the detonator. In India, Octopussy storms Kamal’s palace, accompanied by her female warriors. Bond arrives by balloon as Kamal and Gobinda take Octopussy hostage and escape to a waiting airplane. The agent grabs onto the plane as it becomes airborne, and sabotages the engine. Gobinda attacks James Bond with a knife, but falls to his death. While Kamal attempts to land the crippled plane, Bond and Octopussy jump to safety before it crashes into a hillside. In London, M promises a Russian official that James Bond will return the Romanov Star when he recovers from his injuries. Meanwhile, Bond and Octopussy make love in her palace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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