I have a fondness for this film that is out of proportion to it’s qualities. That fondness may stem from the circus theme, the Cold War plot, or maybe it is the Indian setting that dominates the movie. Anyway, this was the last good Roger Moore 007 outing. It went head to head with the Sean Connery starring “Never Say Never Again” rogue film in 1983, and it was the box office champ in that showdown. I like the posters for the movie as well. If you are interested in a post I did on the film for a blogathon last year, just click here.
001 The Clown Prince of James Bond Actors
Roger Moore just seems like a good sport to me. He was willing to make the movie the director and producers wanted, and he did not mind taking one for the team. As proof I offer the following.
Can you imagine Daniel Craig letting this happen to him?
Another 00 gets tracked down and killed early in the movie, trying to escape dressed as a clown. He manages to deliver the MacGuffin of the film, a Faberge Egg.
Late in the film, 007 needs to also blend into thecircus background he finds himself in, and lo and behold, he is done up the way the other agent was. Holy bookends! Well anyway it works for the story and the image of Bond saving the day from nuclear destruction as a clown probably fits most critics views of James Bond to begin with.
I give them credit for chutzpah anyway.
002 The Flying Guillotine
The only place I’d ever heard of a weapon like this was in some crazy Kung Fu movies from the 1970s. It may not make much sense but it is a lot of fun.
003 The Pre-Title Mini Jet
The opening of the film is an entirely self contained story that has nothing to do with the main plot. Bond is up to some spy business in Cuba and has to escape. Fortunately, he has a RV that he is towing which is perfect for the moment.
In one side of the building.
Out the other side.
And after blowing up the secret military operation and escaping, you discover you need fuel, no problem.
004 Kalashnikov on the Stairs
Many cool moments in Bond films are fleeting and feature James shooting a weapon in an unusual way. Like the shot of 007 sliding on his belly with a machine gun from “OHMSS”, this is just one of those fun moments. They also get in a Bond style joke .
To outfox the thugs on the first floor, Bond descends the stairway in an unconventional manner, with his gun blazing.
All is well until he notices the stop at the bottom of the stairs.
Its OK though, that’s the advantage of having a machine gun.
He just shoots it and it breaks off when he gets there. Smooth James, not enough ooos in smooth.
005 James Bond loves to get it on on a train.
Bond is notorious for traveling by train, which makes some of his fights more interesting because of the close quarters. In this film, the close quarters are replaced by a open sky.
He gets smuggles himself aboard the circus train and confronts the deadly acrobat knife throwing team that killed his 00 predecessor on this assignment.
The struggle finally ends up on the roof of the train as it travels through East Germany.
It is one of the better action sequences in the Roger Moore films.
006 The Plane Fight
Not content to have mixed it up with secondary characters on a train, he ends up having a great fight on the outside of a plane when it is in the air. Again, this was terrific stuntwork.
The blue screen work matches up pretty well with the actual stunt.
007 I love the Cold War plot.
The movie was released in 1983. The Soviet Union was in a strong strategic position with conventional weapons in Eastern Europe. American policy moved to deploy theater nuclear weapons to balance out the advantage the Soviets had. That move was controversial and was one of the factors behind the Nuclear Freeze movement of the time. This film plays off of real geopolitics of the moment. A rogue Russian General, is planning to detonate a nuclear device on a NATO base, which will be blamed on the U.S, resulting in a withdrawal of nukes from the theater and giving the Soviets an opportunity to invade.
The general cannot convince his superiors so he finances his plot with loot stolen from pre-revolutionary art collections
The smuggler “Octopussy” thinks she is moving contraband jewels, but she has been fooled by a switch to a device hidden in the cannon of the human canonball in her circus, scheduled to visit a NATO base.
James Bond will Return in
“A View to a Kill”
An oldie but a goodie. Wish Moore would have retired from the role with one.
This was a solid film in most ways, and if he’ stopped here, i think everyone would have been happier. Of course if dalton had got stuck doing “View to a Kill” I might not remember him as kindly.
True. One would hope that in such a case producers would have wanted to start with something fresh. Like they came to do.