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But he doesn't meet Drax at random in the novel: he's sent on an officious mission by M, who does know Drax socially, which is is not implausible, given the status of both men. Besides, even in real life big crimes and conspiracies were often discovered by chance.
I've come around to that line of thinking recently as well!
I think many here hold in pretty high esteem. Personally I have it as his second best, after TMWTGG:
I think you're spitting hairs here: M and Bond knowing him is pretty coincidental to the main plot. He neither is sent to investigate the main plot at this point, nor does he accidentally uncover a conspiracy at Blades- they're two completely different plots which happen to involve the same guy. The only connection is that M and Bond end up thinking Drax is a bit dodgy, but they wouldn't have gone investigating his place without the murder of the security officer- so it's not even that they discover his plan by chance. It's one of those slightly unsatisfying bits of Fleming plotting which Eon probably would have tidied up and joined together had they adapted it more faithfully.
My point about Tigger Mortis and Daylights was that they were actually better versions of the 'Bond discovers a plot by chance' story, because Bond is first sent on a mission which he would actually be on (basically assassination in each case) and that leads naturally to uncovering a larger plot. In the Moonraker book the coincidence factor is a bit too high and the two plots don't even join up.
I think when it comes to Roger, I only have least favourites: his first two when he hasn't quite taken flight yet and the films are a bit small in scale are probably the ones I turn to least- after that it's all pretty great :D
I used to have LALD in the number one spot but something about OP just clicked really nicely with me on my recent viewing of it. It's a really fun, tense adventure with great stunts and a pretty interesting Bond girl. There's a couple of clunky moments that I wish they had left out, but overall I find it very solid viewing. I wonder if it would be held in higher regard had it been Moore's last.
I love OP. I just can't get enough. Though I had been to see FYEO at the pictures, OP was the first one I remember looking forward to. The pre-title, backgammon game, the fight in Octopussy's bedroom, the train/circus Germany scenes, are all right at the top of the series for me. And it's topped off with the plane stunts at the end. Superb.
On top of all that you've got the camels, crocodile sub, tennis jokes, iss off, siiit, Bond pretending to be a corpse, stealing an egg, sliding down the bannister, and Q ending the film on a promise.
It's a truly unhinged film and all the better for it.
That run of three Glen films in the middle I think he gets just right: oddly he bookends his run with two more serious efforts which I find to be just that touch too dull to be considered the best of Bond for me.
I love how you got all the way through some of the most unhinged things about the film and didn't even mention Steven Berkoff! ;)
I need to reread MR, but would they have investigated Drax had it not been from the canasta episode, or would the murder/suicide have remained Scotland Yard's/Gala Brand's problem? And M knowing Drax is not coincidence: both are members of the elite, Drax has been knighted by the Queen, M is a high ranking civil servant whose job is to notice unusual/suspicious behaviour. It's certainly not contrived. And even if it doesn't further the plot, it sets up the character of Drax beautifully. I'm not arguing Fleming was a great plotter, we don't read him for the plots, but for the characters and atmosphere, but I find nothing wrong with the canasta game and I think that's almost criminal that of all the elements they took from MR in various movies, they completely ignored that one.
Haha. Good point! To be honest, when you are writing about the bonkers parts of OP where do you start? It would take all night to list them all.
Yes that's a point; I can't remember myself. It would be a pretty dodgy reason to muscle in on another agency's affairs, though! :)
If MI6 decided to investigate every important person in British Government who showed a knack for corruption, cheating and deceit they'd be run off their feet at the moment...
100% agree, I love Octopussy. ONE of my favourites in the whole series in fact.
I have it at #7 currently, edging out TSWLM by one spot.
I’m not saying that I’m not thankful for their great work and what their undeniable legacies. They helped cement James Bond too live forever as much as Ian Fleming. However, they were both a bit full themselves and it seems to continue with their successors, to this day.
I'm rather fond of OP as well(see my username?) and consider it Moore's 002nd best Bond film, the 002nd best 1980s Bond film and the 004th best post-1960s Bond film.
That 002nd half where Bond is racing against time across East and West Germany to stop the bomb is one of the most exciting 002 halves to any Bond film. In fact, I consider OP's 002nd half to be John Glen's best 002nd half of his 005 Bond films even though TLD is my favorite of his films as a whole.
I also consider OP an improvement over its more acclaimed immediate predecessor, FYEO.
I do remember MI5 not making any fuss about Bond taking over the investigation. Perhaps they thought they had no serious reasons for concern, unlike M?
Well, sometimes gut instinct plays a role in it. And there's a question of timing too: Drax was of particular importance at this particular time. And he had all these Germans working for him. Added to this his cheating habits, I perfectly understand why they were concerned.
Lots of people who first encountered Bond through Connery thought everyone who came afterward a disappointment. Those of us born many years later, who grew up with multiple Bonds, might have a hard time understanding that when Bond first appeared in the minds of many he was Connery, while those who came afterward had something missing. Connery fitted Maibaum's inner conception of Bond more than anyone else. Maibaum thought Lazenby was an amateur, Moore too comical, and Dalton less than proficient with throwaway lines.
Like all writers Maibaum had some bad ideas, but most of them didn't make it to the screen. And to be honest, I think Goldfinger's diamond-obsessed brother might have been a better villain for DAF than Charles Gray's bitchy-camp Blofeld.
Which three films would you say beat OP as a post-60s Bond film?
It was a feeling shared by many at the time and that is still residual. As late as 1987, Anthony Burgess said that recasting Bond with a younger actor to keep the series going was patently absurd.
I can share my enthusiasm for the film just based on its pure entertainment factor for pages.
Anybody else notice this is page 666 of this thread? Ominous
001) TLD(the FRWL/OHMSS/CR of the 1980s)
002) MR(a sentimental favorite being the first 007 adventure I saw in the cinema and the most enjoyable of the sci-fi style of Bond films)
003) CR(the FRWL/OHMSS/TLD of the 21st century)
Apart from George Lazenby/OHMSS, all the Bonds debuts started with the death of MI6 operatives.
Strangways in Dr No, Bains in LALD, the 00 agents in Gibraltor for TLD, Alec in GE and I guess Dryden in CR although this one didn't motivate the plot in any way.
Interesting, @NicNac . Lazenby's film didn't start with the death of an operative, but there is Bond's shadow in the film who Blofeld leaves hanging dead and frozen. So technically, an MI6 operative dies in this film too, just a tad later. ;-)
Which raises the additional question, in how many Bond films does an MI6 op get killed?
I'm sure I missed some.
SF - " Bronson didn't make it?"
You're right. It's an MI6 slaughterhouse! ;-)