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By Wuchak September 11, 2018
Roger Moore, Indiana Jones, India, Germany, Circuses, Russians, Trains, Time Bombs and Babes
Roger Moore's stint as James Bond lasted a whopping 12 years from 1973 to 1985, which is the longest term for any actor in the Bond role (not including Sean Connery's one-shot unofficial return in 1983’s "Never Say Never Again"). Moore started as Bond when he was 45 years old and ended when he was 57. The seven films he did are as follows:
LIVE AND LET DIE (1973), THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974), THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977), MOONRAKER (1979), FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981), OCTOPUSSY (1983) and A VIEW TO A KILL (1985).
All seven were hugely popular at the box office, which explains why they kept making ‘em every two years.
Many Bond fans curiously look down on Moore's stint, no doubt because there was a little too much silly humor in his films but, to me, the Moore entrees are the most consistently entertaining. There's not a dud in the bunch; even the heavily maligned “Moonraker” is phenomenal. The Connery films were more serious, with the exception of “Diamonds are Forever,” and Sean is the quintessential Bond figure because he expertly established the role, but I ENJOY Roger Moore's stint more than any of the others. His movies have the most re-watch merit.
Some argue that by the time of “Octopussy” Moore was too "long in the tooth," but I don't see that. He may have been 54 years-old when “Octopussy” was shot and 56 in “A View to a Kill,” but it didn't matter. Moore ALWAYS looked perfectly convincing as James Bond, whatever his age.
As to the story, is it really necessary to go into detail about the convoluted plot of “Octopussy”? Every Bond film features a main villain and a few accomplices/subordinates who want to cause great havoc; Bond defies death at every turn and runs into numerous beautiful women as he moves from one exotic locale to another trying to figure out the villains' scheme and stop it.
“Octopussy” was filmed on location in India, East Germany & England, with the closing aerial scenes shot in Utah; these settings are fabulous as usual. We also get circuses, clowns, trains, mad Russian militarists and bombs-about-to-explode.
One thing that distinguishes “Octopussy” is that it has more of an Indiana Jones appeal than any other installment, which stands to reason since Indiana Jones was hugely popular at the time (“Raiders of the Lost Ark” came out two years earlier while “The Temple of Doom” came out the year after “Octopussy”).
The "Bond women" featured in “Octopussy” are Sweden's own Maud Adams (who previously appeared in “The Man with the Golden Gun”) and Kristina Wayborn. I personally never found Maud very appealing, but Kristina has an exotic charm, although she needs to gain like 10 pounds. There are numerous other peripheral women in the film like Midge, the short brunette with full hair, and the East Indian beauty that aids Bond during the opening teaser, not to mention several circus babes.
You either like James Bond films or you don't. You either like Roger Moore as James Bond or you don't. Although, their plots will often make your head spin, these movies are nothing deep. You won't derive many nuggets of wisdom. They're essentially mindless adventure flicks highlighted by exotic locales and beautiful women. Their express purpose is to entertain, not enlighten. It's escapist fantasy/adventure, pure and simple.
“The Spy Who Loved Me” is usually cited as the best Moore-era Bond picture, and I agree that it’s a great Bond flick, but “Octopussy” ranks pretty high as well and is arguably the top one. As with most of Moore's Bond films, “Octopussy” throws in goofy humor, but it's basically a serious story. It has a bit of an Indiana Jones flare and features India, Germany, scheming Russian militarists & Afghan princes, gorgeous women, incredible action sequences, circuses, clowns, time bombs and trains galore. What moore could you want in a Bond pic?
The film runs 2 hours, 10 minutes.
By Potential Kermode April 23, 2017
**One of the best of the James Bond series**
Forget the dour, bland rubbish of the Daniel Craig era - Octopussy is how a James Bond film should be! **FUN!** The franchise has always been over the top ever since we saw _Sean Connery's James Bond wearing a strap on plastic seagull hat in the classic Goldfinger_ and Octopussy continues that absurdity only this time with Roger Moore.
So anyway, here 007 is on the trail of a smuggling ring whilst also trying to stop a crazed Russian general (Steven Berkoff in an amazing performance) from starting WWIII.
Beautiful looking film makes the most of the India. Some great stunt work - including a finale on top of a plane, John Barry providing a lush score, lashings of humour and a fair amount of tension - Bond disarming a nuclear weapon in a circus tent is very effective. A very _violent_ film - here, we can see Roger Moore's 007 shooting a young Russian soldier through the forehead.
You probably get the general idea by now that I like this one a lot. Great Bond film.
- Potential Kermode