Predictably, in the James Bond movie entitled Octopussy (1983), women are highly sexualized, but what is also disturbing is the violence perpetrated against women by men. The movie poster presents an accurate picture of what story writer Ian Flemming, producer Albert R. Broccoli and director John Glen have in store for viewers: a barelegged woman in high heels stands behind a fully dressed man in flat shoes, and the tagline reads: Nobody does him better. Her eight arms are undressing him, caressing his hair and his gun, holding a martini, fiddling with his bow tie, etc. During the opening credits two naked women are shot. In the first instance the woman is holding the gun and a red laser beam shoots out of it towards her vagina. In the second instance a man holds the gun, which appears close to her chin, and when he shoots at her the following words emerge from his gun: Produced by Albert R. Broccoli. In terms of physical violence nothing more happens until the movie is well under way. James Bond forces himself on a woman named Octopussy, played by Maud Adams. Later she is kidnapped and struck so hard by a man that she is rendered unconscious. A few minutes later the same man shoves her down against a plane seat and strikes her again, this time with the back of his hand--a common gesture in these movies.
The occurrences of sexualized women in this movie are much more frequent (and cataloged in my book). For instance, in one particularly disturbing scene Maud Adams tells Roger Moore (James Bond) that her father gave her the nickname 'Octopussy'. It is also a very voyeuristic movie; I counted four blatant occurrences of voyeurism. And this does not include every time a bikini-clad woman is shown lounging around or walking through the frame--those are practically omnipresent, conferring a Playboy mansion feel to several scenes. Here again women are presented as mere eye candy for men.
This 13th Bond movie made US$187.5 million at the worldwide box office and came out the same year as another Bond movie: Never Say Never Again. Furthermore, they came out only two years after For Your Eyes Only(1981) and two years before A View to a Kill (1985). Collectively these misogynist movies made over US$695.4 million at the worldwide box office. Their influence on male-female relationships cannot be overstated.
© 2017 Alline Cormier