Storyline concerns a scheme by hawkish Russian General Orlov (Steven Berkoff) to launch a first-strike attack with conventional forces against the NATO countries in Europe, relying upon no nuclear retaliation by the West due to weakness brought about by peace movement in Europe.
Orlov is aided in his plan by a beautiful smuggler Octopussy (Maud Adams), her trader-in-art-forgeries underling Kamal (Louis Jourdan) and exquisite assistant Magda (Kristina Wayborn). James Bond (Roger Moore, in his sixth entry) is set on their trail when fellow agent 009 (Andy Bradford) is killed at a circus in East Berlin.
Trail takes Bond to India (lensed in sumptuous travelog shots) where he is assisted by local contact Vijay (tennis star Vijay Amritraj in a pleasant acting debut). Surviving an impromptu Hounds of Zaroff tiger hunt turned manhunt and other perils, Bond pursues Kamal to Germany for the hair-raising race against time conclusion.
Film’s high points are the spectaccular aerial stuntwork marking both the pre-credits teaser and extremely dangerous-looking climax.