For Your Eyes Only
49. 2CV Chase
Melina has just assassinated Gonzales (her parent’s killer) with her crossbow. Bond and her make a run from his goons, only for Bond to see his Lotus self destruct. In perhaps the most unlikely chase in the series, Bond ends up completely out-horse powered in a Citroën 2CV, and the chase works all the better for it. This is exactly the same ploy the Bourne movies “borrowed” for some of their car-chases.
50. Ski Chase
Perhaps I am slightly bias, but I do love a good Bond ski-chase. This one, set in Cortina has a little bit of everything. However my favourite part is perhaps the build-up scene to the ski-jump (with a young Charles Dance waiting to pounce on Bond). After this all hell breaks loose with Bond getting chased by machine-gun firing motor bikes. It even has the obligatory shocked looking drunken guy.
51. No head for heights
This scene is in some ways similar to Sandor getting knocked off the side of the building, Bond chases a particularly nasty piece of work called Emile Leopold Locque (played by Michael Gothard), and manages to wounds him in his getaway. Locques car spirals out of control, and stop precariously on the side of a cliff edge. After Bond makes some comment about his murdered collegue, he cold blooded boots the car off the side of a cliff. The big difference is that this time it is played straight by Moore, rather than tongue-in-cheek. After the mashed-body falls out of the window, Moore grimly notes “He had no head for heights”. Arguably one of the greatest scenes Moore played as Bond (or rather one of the few he played as Bond!). Originally he clashed with director John Glen about the scene as he felt it was too harsh. Thank goodness John Glen wore him down, you do know you are playing a Government assassin – right Roger?
52. Keel hauling
Another great moment which is straight out of the book Live and Let Die – Bond and Melina are captured, tied up and keel hauled across the coral to be left for the sharks to finish off. Julian Glover is particularly effective in this scene (the first since his reveal as the main baddie). It was dropped from the film version of Live and Let Die for budgetary purposes. Pure Fleming!
53. No head for heights part 2
Bond makes a heart-pounding climb up a steep rock face to get to Kristatos’ Monastery hide-out (a real location filmed at the stunning Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Meteora). Upon arriving at the top, Bond has been discovered by one of Kristatos’ men – Apostis. Apostis kicks Bond off the side and he falls (managing to grab onto a rock of all things). Yet another wonderful stunt by Rick Sylvester (who also performed that ski-jump from The Spy Who Loved Me). Bond needs to pick himself up quickly from his dazed and dangled state when Apostis starts to knock out his pitons. Whilst filming was taking place for the film finale, the monks at the Monastery heard about James Bond’s reputation. After this they tried to sabotage the filming as much as possible. Roger Moore performed some of the rock-climbing in the film, but had a crippling fear of heights (he used to have a brief belt of dutch courage before filming these scenes supposedly).
Other great scenes:
The opening (nice to have at least some continuity with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – which is more than Diamonds are Forever did). For once it is nice to see the film events kicked off naturally rather than by malevolent forces at work. What else? Ah yes, the Havelocks getting gunned down, “a nose Q, not a banana”, Bond and Melina attacked by Motorbikes, “Well you get your clothes on and I’ll buy you an ice-cream”, “Don’t touch any of those buttons”, the Beach Buggy/Lisl hit scene (Lisl incidently was played by Cassandra Harris who was the wife of Pierce Brosnan at the time – very sadly she died of Cancer five years after the release of this movie) , the Albanian raid scene is superb, the underwater submarine + JIM suit scenes are great, “Forgive me father for I have sinned”. Also love the fact that Kristatos is originally portrayed as a protagonist but is revealed to be the villain later.
Not so great:
“I’ll buy you a delicatessen, in stainless steel!”, James Villiers playing Bill Tanner is no match for Bernard Lee’s M (who was sadly died just before filming his scenes). Bibi Dahl is annoying at times. Not too sure about the Margaret Thatcher bit at the end, although quite funny when she slaps Dennis’ hand.
Only in a Roger Moore Bond could you have a plane coming from a horse’s bottom. Some great aerial work on this scene, which culminates in a rather large explosion. Fill her up!
55. 009 hunted down
For some reason, I always like to see some of the smaller Bond characters put up a good fight. After the main-titles we head to Berlin to find 009 dressed as a circus clown being chased by two throwing knife-wielding twins through a wood. Sounds like something from the Avengers. Eventually one of the twins manages to lodge his knife in 009’s back and he falls in the river – supposedly dead. A few moments later he makes a rather grand entrance at the embassy where a Faberge egg rolls out of his dying hand.
56. Vijay’s Death
There are only a couple of “good guy” deaths in Octopussy, but for once they really seem to register hard. None more-so than the sacrificial nice guy and Bond ally Vijay (played by Indian Tennis Star Vijay Amritraj) . Captured by Kamal’s men, he falls foul of a rather nasty looking buzz-saw yo-yo device. Nasty stuff for a PG! The scene where Bond learns of his death is also rather nicely handled.
This is easily my favourite count-down ticking time-bomb moment ever! It’s not just because Roger Moore is in a clown suit. It is because he actually defused it on 00.00.00. Phew, they don’t get much closer than that do they?
Other great scenes:
The film’s title is great naturally. Any scene with Steven Berkoff losing the plot is obviously highly entertaining. Plus the auction scene, “it’s all in the wrist”, the tuc-tuc chase, Q having trouble “keeping it up”, “that’s my little Octopussy” (I also rather like the way Roger responds to “I need refilling”), Dinner with Kamal, the scene where the Buzz-saw yo-yo weapon is revealed, Bond in a croc-sub (no – really!), the amazing train stunts, Bond and Q arriving by Union Jack hot air balloon (very subtle), Bond hanging on for dear life after mounting a plane to rescue Octopussy.
Not so great:
Tarzan yells. The fact they were actually thinking of casting James Brolin if Roger Moore didn’t come back – complete madness (as a curiosity it can be seen on the DVD extras). The main-title was also a bit disappoint, even if it made for a nice romantic theme in the film itself.
Part 7 coming soon: A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights
Images (C) 1981/1983 Danjaq/EON.