Understanding Octopussy


#1

Every time I read a review or plot synopsis of Octopussy, it always describes the story differently.

Could someone maybe give a brief synopsis of their own so that I can finally understand this thing? :slight_smile:


#2

Bond is called away from an imminent full house at the MI6 retirement village when a mission calling for infiltration in a plastic crocodile disguise is the world’s only hope.

Having been tailer made for Bond alone to attend a SMERSH LSD party in 1969, the retired agent finds himself back at the controls of the Airfix painted jaws.

Now a master of desguise, Bond’s adventure sees him pose as Tarzan, Barbara Woodhouse and Boo-Boo the clown in his efforts to dodge a DIY enthusiast’s buzz-saw and defuse the pimple on Steven Berkov’s forehead before it detonates.

But the film’s finale brings Bond’s most deadly foe… A crippling stairway bannister knob hoping to dash Bond’s hopes for an extended post credit scene with the palace harem…


#3

You should write the blurbs on the BluRay boxes, odd_jobbies. Not only was that concise and accurate, it sounds like the most interesting Bond film I’ve seen in over 30 years.

I know what I’m watching tonight…


#4

‘Octopussy’s Circus’ starring Roger Moore as Wiggly, a disgruntled clown out for revenge.


#5

If only :blush:


#6

Two years after 007 rejected her advances by passing her off to a horny parrot, Margaret Thatcher has subjected MI-6 to drastic cutbacks. Thus humiliated at having to enter a horse show with only one half of a plastic horse, Bond’s pride is further wounded when he must return home in a cramped airplane with zero legspace and no flight attendants. Meanwhile 009 brings in extra money delivering eggs as “Egbert The Clown,” ending in tragedy when an over-indulgence in facepaint causes him to be mistaken for Tammy Faye Bakker and knifed as a public service.

Noting that 009’s murder occurred in East Berlin, and suspecting a connection to a Russian general, MI-6 logically blows its remaining travel budget buying Bond a first-class ticket to India, where local agents are reduced to defending themselves with tennis rackets while Q tries to bring in extra money perfecting the “rope trick” illusion for Siegfried and Roy. Recognizing the need to boost office morale, 007 takes time out to sexually harass an intern in front of her co-workers.

With characteristic stealth and subtlety, Bond infiltrates an island of women while disguised as a reptile, thus meeting Octopussy, a beauteous criminal who robs people by (a) stealing their jewels and (b) selling them tickets to a crappy circus. Underneath, however, she has a heart of gold, having used her ill-gotten gains to establish this idyllic island as a sanctuary for victims of 80s hair and camel toe. When the villainous Prince Karamel Korn arrives and demands Bond be turned over for execution, Octopussy demurs, choosing instead to sleep with 007 in gratitude for his prompting her father to commit suicide.

Eventually everyone remembers that the actual plot involves East Germany, so they all make their way there. The cash-strapped Bond is forced to board a train in dangerous fashion since he has no ticket. When he’s discovered hiding in an ape suit, Bond is chased onto the roof of the train by the irate, turbaned porter and, long story short, ends up bumming a ride in a Volkswagen to arrive at a US Air Force base, where the crack security team issues an all-points-bulletin to capture him or, just be safe, anyone wearing a red shirt.

Bond borrows a spare “Egbert The Clown” costume from the late 009’s dressing room and tries to drum up a few bucks hawking eggs, but the irate circus workers resent the interruption of their act and attack him en masse. At the last moment, Bond saves the entire assemblage from a hidden “bomb,” which is revealed to be a work print of A View To A Kill. Having seen Bond at his heroic best, Octopussy decides to return to India and wed Prince Karamel Korn. Misinterpreting, Bond believes she’s in immediate danger and so speeds to her aid in a hot air balloon. When Karamel Korn and Octopussy head for their honeymoon in Karamel’s private plane, Bond stows away on top hoping to mooch free food and alcohol, but his added girth acquired since Live and Let Die causes the plane to crash, resulting in the tragic end of Karamel Korn who, worse than dying, is forced to appear in Swamp Thing.

Believing Bond has killed her new husband, Octopussy is turned on again and goes back to bed with Bond. The credits roll as she lists other male loved ones she’d like Bond to meet.

James Bond will return. Or maybe his much older brother, it’s hard to tell.


#7

It’s all becoming clear now.


#8

There is no plot. It’s an existential fantasy about a geriatric gent who thinks he’s a spy


#9

“Bond fans… Yeah… Always spot on.” As they saying goes: “Ask a silly question…” I’m actually quite fond of OP though. Good fun and fun surreal escapism… You know…an early '80’s Bond film. Hell yeah!


#10

Such an underrated film. It has it all.


#11

OP is the most Roger Moore movie of all the Roger Moore movies.


#13

Agreed, in the game of transferring actors into other movies it’s one alongside Moonraker that I for one, couldn’t imagine another actor in it , DAF with Craig, a Dalton starring VTAK


#14

Wrong. It’s a work print of NSNA! How could you miss that? :stuck_out_tongue:

Bit tricky that, as seeing how Jourdan made Swamp Thing a year before he appeared in Octopussy.

Otherwise top marks! And you too, Odd Jobbies.


#15

All joking aside, this is what I reckon is the plot to Octopussy. Correct me if I’m wrong :slight_smile:

Octopussy owns a travelling circus and sometimes uses it to smuggle jewellry, specifically in the cannon used for the human cannonball act. She knows Khan, who is aware of this little sideline, and believes it might be useful to his friend Orlov, a Russian general who is hellbent on waging war on the west. Khan and Orlov want to the circus to perform at a US base and replace the jewellry with a bomb. It is then to go off, at which point the west will be pressured to disarm their nukes, which would allow the Russians to threaten them with theirs. To finance this operation, and also to pay Khan, fake Faberage eggs are manufactured and swapped out for the real ones at the Kremlin’s depository. The real ones are then sold at Sotheby’s.

Unfortunately for them, 009 has stolen the fake egg and an upcoming inventory will reveal that the real egg is missing. Khan, then, has no choice but to buy the real one back. At the auction, Bond tries to outbid him and Khan is anxious because he might not win the egg and the whole operation will be blown wide open. Bond knows that this is actually the real egg and switches it for the fake one so that Khan’s forgers will not know that 009 delivered the fake one to the British Embassy and alerted MI6 to what was going on. Bond does, however, bring attention to himself by bidding, as he wants to know who is eager enough to buy this thing. As Khan is a seller, not a buyer, and seems almost aggressively keen to acquire the egg, Bond is suspicious.

He follows Khan back to India, where he discovers the prince’s connection to Octopussy, a smuggler who owns a circus, and his friendship with Orlov. After avenging 009’s death, Bond confronts Orlov and discovers that an atomic bomb is involved and that it is set to go off at the American base that Octopussy’s circus is performing on. Orlov is killed by his fellow Russians when they realise what he has set out to do.

By this point, Octopussy is on Bond’s side but, as she has no knowledge of the bomb, this new lover is now an unwitting enemy. Bond stops the bomb - there is no one else around to do it, and nobody believes him anyway. The clown disguise he has used to get into the base now proves to be a deadly disadvantage. He manages it, though, and goes after an escaping Khan.


#16

Not a bad synopsis, except that there was no indication that OP and Khan were any more than just partners in crime, and the egg Bond took to the auction was the fake, and Bond switched it for the real one to bring Khan to him.


#17

Thanks, duly corrected :slight_smile:


#18

And I am pretty sure that the egg that was smashed was in fact the genuine article. And not the fake one as was presumed before being smashed.

I never know whether this is a technical plotline slip up, or what.


#19

Kamal’s reaction tells me that he knew Orlov was smashing the original before he could stop him. Plot wise, it was necessary, in order for Kamal to find Q’s hidden bug.

Damn, now I want to watch OP tonight!


#20

This is what I found on Absolutely James Bond (are we allowed to mention that site?) from someone called Peppermill: “I’ve always thought about it like this: Orlov thinks this is the fake egg. Kahn knows it is not but can’t stop him from smashing it because he’d have to admit that he lost the egg for a while because Bond switched it at the auction making Kahn look unreliable.”

I’m sort of collecting interpretations of that moment, trying to see which one fits :slight_smile:


#21

Don’t overthink it - it’s Octopussy.