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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Octopussy: Ultimate Edition (1983)

Octopussy: Ultimate Edition (1983)

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Released 1-Nov-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Director - John Glen
Audio Commentary-Cast - Roger Moore
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-James Bond In India
Featurette-James Brolin And Maud Adams Screentest
Featurette-James Brolin Intro
Featurette-James Brolin Intro: Vijay
Featurette-Ken Burns On Set Movies
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-James Brolin Screentest: Stuntmen
Featurette-Location Scouting With Peter Lamont
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Shooting Stunts:Part 1 Crashing Jeeps
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Shooting Stunts Part 2 The Airplane Crash
Featurette-Making Of-Testing The Limits
Featurette-Making Of-Inside Octopussy: An Original Documentary
Film Factoids-Designing Bond - Peter Lamond
Music Video-"All Time High"
Storyboards-The Taxi Chase
Storyboards-Bond Rescues Octopussy
Theatrical Trailer-Archive
Gallery-Photo-Experience The World Of Bond In 1983
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 125:22
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:37)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John Glen

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Roger Moore
Maud Adams
Louis Jourdan
Kristina Wayborn
Kabir Bedi
Steven Berkoff
David Meyer
Tony Meyer
Desmond Llewelyn
Robert Brown
Lois Maxwell
Michaela Clavell
Walter Gotell
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music John Barry

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Octopussy is certainly one of the best Roger Moore Bond films and one of the better ones in the series. It has previously been released on DVD in Region 4 as a Special Edition in 2001. The review of the previous version can be found here and contains an excellent plot summary. This new version is significantly different. The main differences can be summarised as follows:


Original Special Edition

New Ultimate Edition

Video Transfer

Decent but afflicted by bad aliasing and some grain

Significant improvement with aliasing virtually eliminated and little or no grain.

Audio Transfer Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1



Two, including a new one by Roger Moore

Other extras

Reasonable selection of making of, featurettes, music videos etc

Everything from the previous edition plus many new extras on a separate disc

    I would say the differences were worth the cost of upgrading, however at this time you would have to be prepared to shell out for the entire box set as there is no plan to release these discs separately.

    The film itself is one which I have not seen for some time but has always stuck in my memory because it included a chase scene involving an Alfa GTV6, a type of car which I used to own (and love). I enjoyed watching it again, finding it entertaining and amusing, despite the occasional lapse into campiness. There were a few lame jokes offset with some good ones, quality stunts and action scenes such as the rickshaw chase and the pre-credits sequence and a couple of dodgy bits such as Bond's crocodile submarine.

    In the Bond series, this film is notable due to the first appearance of Robert Brown as 'M' replacing the unfortunately deceased Bernard Lee. Robert Brown was later replaced by Dame Judi Dench in the Brosnan era. It is also the second of five Bond films directed by John Glen. Additionally it includes the second appearance of Maud Adams as a Bond leading lady, after her role in The Man With The Golden Gun. To my knowledge, she is the only actress to appear as the leading lady twice in Bond films. She also appeared briefly in A View to A Kill. One other thing which stood out for me in this film was the bad acting of Kristina Wayborn although that may have been a perception due to the poor ADR work for many of her lines. Louis Jourdan and Stephen Berkoff (in full scenery chewing mode) make for a nice baddy combination along with Kabir Bedi as the more physical baddy. Moore is pretty good in this film but never seems entirely comfortable in the fight scenes. I have also been watching his older television series The Saint recently and he appears much more comfortable fighting in that, probably due to his younger age.

    This is the Bond film which went head to head with the non-official remake of Thunderball starring Sean Connery, Never Say Never Again.

    This Ultimate Edition is highly recommended.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is excellent for a film of this age but not without some minor issues.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The Lowry restoration process has certainly resulted in a very clean and clear image throughout and this is undoubtedly the best this film will look from that perspective. However, having said that the sharpness although mostly very good did lapse sometimes into slight softness such as in long shots and most noticeably at 10:15 when some grain/minor macro-blocking appeared on a wall. The bitrate which was generally quite high dipped at this point. You should probably consider this point to be a nitpick as generally the picture was very sharp for a film of this age. The shadow detail was excellent for a film of this age.

    The colour was very good and, to my eyes, natural throughout. I did not note any issues with skin tones as mentioned by other reviewers.

    Film artefacts are now completely non-existent which is an improvement from the previous release. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for film-to-video artefacts with some minor aliasing, jagged edges and camera pan shimmer (eg 24:30) to be seen. Based on the previous review this has been significantly improved from the previous version, however is still present on this transfer. Examples included a door at 48:45 and a car grille at 104:56. Jagged edges can be seen on a jeep at 0:43, the umbrellas at 26:52 and occasionally elsewhere. In the grand scheme of things these incidences are minor.

    There are 13 subtitle streams including English & English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read but somewhat summarised. Four of the other streams are commentary subtitles, two sets for each commentary.

    The layer change occurs at 66:37 and caused a slight jump on my player.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is excellent and based on the previous review a huge leap forward from the previous version.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English DTS 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 768 Kb/s. There are also two commentaries encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, one at 224 Kb/s and one at 192 Kb/s. I watched the entire film in DTS and compared the Dolby Digital in a number of key scenes. Both are excellent, however I felt the DTS was more dynamic. There is excellent stereo separation with many right to left effects in addition to the excellent surround usage (see below). The clarity of the sound here highlights a few things such as the sloppy lip smacking sounds at 72:14 during a kiss and the chickens running from a crashing jeep during the pre-credits sequence.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times and there was no problem with audio sync, except for some sloppy ADR work, especially on Kristina Wayborn. There is one line where I am certain she is saying something very different to the actual line heard.

    The score of this film is by John Barry who was responsible for many Bond scores. This one uses the theme from All Time High (the theme song) quite a bit and is generally quite a good addition to the film without being spectacular.

    The surround speakers are put to excellent use throughout this film, obviously a huge step forward from the previous DVD release. I was really surprised how aggressive some of the sound was from the rear speakers considering the age and stereo origins of this film. The pre-credits sequence was especially obvious in this regard such as the plane, missiles and explosions. There were also other excellent passages such as the train at 98:00 and a gun fight at 59:15. Great stuff considering the original film was not designed with surround sound in mind like some many films are today.

    The subwoofer was also surprisingly well used, although not to the extent of the surround speakers. The explosion at 6:35 and the creaking boat at 45:10 showed good LFE and bass was also regularly added to the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are copious extras spread over two discs. I will mark extras which did not appear on the previous release as **NEW**


    The menu was very nicely designed, reminiscent of the Bond movie opening credits style. I did find them slightly non-obvious in terms of finding all the extras.

Disc 1

Directors Commentary - John Glen

    This commentary appeared on the previous version of the disc and is quite a decent commentary without setting the house on fire.

Cast Commentary - Roger Moore **NEW**

    This is an excellent new commentary and one of the most entertaining ones I have heard recently. He starts the commentary by saying it won't really be a commentary as he does not plan to be very scene specific. He tells lots of interesting and funny anecdotes and makes some droll side remarks. He covers such diverse topics as the fall of the Berlin Wall, UNICEF, falling dress standards, Sean Connery and the non-official Bond film which came out at the same time. Definitely worth a listen.


    DVD Production Credits

Disc 2

Declassified : MI6 Vault

James Bond in India (28:14) **NEW**

    A behind the scenes featurette made at the time the movie was shot. This is truly one of the most boring featurettes I have ever had the misfortune to sit through. It is presented by a very serious voiceover man who sounds like he commentating on a nature doco. Presented in 1.33:1.

James Brolin & Maud Adams Screentest (2:51) **NEW**

    Original screen test footage of James Brolin testing for the role of James Bond in this film. They started testing other actors when Roger Moore was proving a difficult man to sign up to an agreement. He is teamed with Maud Adams who was also testing for the role of Octopussy. They perform some material from an older James Bond film. Presented in non 16x9 enhanced widescreen.

James Brolin : Intro (4:15) **NEW**

    An interesting short interview with James Brolin about his experience screen testing for the movie. Presented in 1.33:1.

James Brolin Intro : Vijay (1:40) **NEW**

    A quick interview with Brolin followed by screen test material of him, Vijay Armitraj and a cobra.

Ken Burns on-set movies (6:40) **NEW**

    This is a really interesting and different featurette which consists of film taken by an on-set extra who was 16 years old at the time. He played a border guard and does commentary over his footage which has obviously been recorded recently. Presented in 1.33:1.

James Brolin Screentest - Stuntman (1:34) **NEW**

    A portion of screentest doing action scenes with a stuntman.

Location Scouting with Peter Lamont (4:32) **NEW**

    Another interesting extra which consists of film taken by production designer Peter Lamont as he scouts locations in Berlin. It accompanied by his commentary.

Shooting Stunts Part 1 : Crashing Jeeps (3:47) **NEW**

    This consists of footage of stunts from various angles and takes accompanied by commentary by the director. Includes commentary on injuries and issues.

Shooting Stunts Part 2 : The Airplane Crash (3:26) **NEW**

    This consists of footage of stunts from various angles and takes accompanied by commentary by the director. Fascinating the problems which an explosive laden plane can cause!

Testing the Limits - The Aerial Team (4:31) **NEW**

    This one is footage of the aerial stunt team practicing the fight on top of the aeroplane accompanied by the director's commentary.

007 Mission Control **NEW**

    This fairly pointless set of extras consists of highlights from the film separated into small segments and categorised into 007, Opening Titles, Spy in Disguise, Women, Allies, Villains, Mission Combat Manual, Q Branch & Exotic Locations. The only thing I noticed that wasn't in the film was a version of the title sequence without text.

Mission Dossier

    This sub-menu includes a number of quality featurettes which all appeared on the previous edition. Specifically they are:

Ministry of Propaganda

    This sub-menu includes four trailers for the film all of which were included on the previous release.

Image Database **NEW**

    This is a large selection of image galleries on various topics. The photos included are stills from the film, publicity material and behind-the-scenes shots. The galleries are presented with one text page each describing the topic and are timed rather than requiring you to click through each photo. The segments are Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Wayborn, Vijay Armitraj, Other Cast X 2, Aerostar, Octopussy's Circus, The Most Dangerous Games, Q's Tricks, Russian War Room, India, The Train, At the Circus, Final Battle, The Producer & Marketing.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This new Ultimate edition is the same globally except for colour system differences and subtitles. Draw.


    One of the best Roger Moore Bond films gets a significant upgrade.

    The video quality is excellent for a film of this age, but has some minor issues.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    There are a huge array of high quality extras on this 2 disc set.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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