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MOORE BOND SIX: 'OCTOPUSSY' WITH MAUD ADAMS

year: 1983 cast: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan
In the 1970's it took directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to make science-fiction matter again, cinematically, bigger and better than ever with CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and STAR WARS, thus morphing a cold war espionage novel by Ian Fleming into a spacey venture jumping on the lunar bandwagon with MOONRAKER...

And then, in 1983, the Bond franchise borrowed from a Lucas/Spielberg collective, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, since OCTOPUSSY is more or less a modern day pulpy adventure vehicle that, whether in crowded Arabian streets (involving a familiar "basket chase"), flamboyant Russian circuses, formidable trains, or behind the scenes where the philosophizing heavies meet in technological war rooms, there's a vintage, primal aura throughout what should have been Moore's final bow in the series.

Pulp Glory
Seeming as if a dapperly-aged CHARADE era Cary Grant had played Indiana Jones, the first act, having to do with a slain spy, stolen jewels, big risk gambling and an important auction, allows for a more old-fashion espionage approach despite ultimately leading to the usual 1980's nuclear threat.

 But that's after a completely fulfilling, dashing and heroic template co-starring THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN expendable Bond girl, Maud Adams, now in the title ingenue role, a gorgeous patsy for chief villain Louis Jourdan, fitting in with serpentine ease yet paling in overall brutal force to Steven Berkoff's Russian madman.

If you happen to catch the final twenty-minutes where Roger Moore practically flies like a superhero, this particular 007 episode may seem beyond far-fetched and overboard campy. But start from the beginning and you'll enjoy a kind of page-turning, fast moving, visual dime novel that, no matter where the locale, is bathed in a unique, antique glow, not only beating Sean Connery in NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN that same year at the box office, but featuring one of the best pre-opening-credit prologue sequences ever involved in the franchise.

RATING: ****
ALL BOND REVIEWS
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