For Your Eyes Only (1981) - Illustrated Reference

For Your Eyes Only was directed by John Glen and premiered on 24th June 1981. Starring Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol and Julian Glover. Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson. Music by Bill Conti. Theme sung by Sheena Easton. 127mins.

A British spy ship the St. Georges hits a mine and sinks, taking with it the ATAC system, a device that can take over control of Polaris nuclear submarines. Bond is sent to Greece to recover the ATAC before the Russians take it.

For Your Eyes Only was Ian Fleming’s 8th Bond book and was first published in 1960. A collection of 5 short stories featuring 007, the stories were – For Your Eyes Only, From a View to a Kill, Quantum of Solace, Risico and The Hildebrand Rarity.

The short story concerns the murder of the Havelocks by Gonzales, working for an escaped Nazi war criminal, their daughter Judy plots revenge. At one point Bond tells her “Don’t be a silly bitch, this is man’s work.” You won’t hear that in the movie.

John Glen (1932-) was an editor and second unit director on previous Bond movies, he was promoted to director for this film. Cubby Broccoli was so pleased with his work he let him direct the next four Bond films as well.

Roger Moore
Roger Moore
Carole Bouquet
Carole Bouquet
Roger Moore with Topol
Roger Moore with Topol
Julian Glover
Julian Glover
Roger Moore with Lynn-Holly Johnson
Roger Moore with Lynn-Holly Johnson
Roger Moore with Cassandra Harris
Roger Moore with Cassandra Harris

Roger Moore (1927-) / James Bond

Born in London, England, Roger Moore's films include - Diane (1956), The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970), Live and Let Die (1973), Gold (1974), The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), Shout at the Devil (1976), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), The Wild Geese (1978), Escape to Athena (1979), Moonraker (1979), The Sea Wolves (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985) and The Quest (1995). TV series The Saint (1962-1969), The Persuaders (1971-1972)

Bond: The Chinese have a saying; Before setting off on revenge, you first dig two graves.
Melina: I don't expect you to understand, you're English, but I'm half Greek and Greek women like Elektra always avenge their loved ones.

Carole Bouquet (1957-) / Melina Havelock

When her parents are murdered by Hector Gonzales (Stefan Kalipha), Melina vows revenge. A dramatic close up of Carole’s beautiful eyes is one of the film's memorable moments.

Born in Hauts-de-Seine, France, Carole Bouquet's films include - That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), Nemo (1984), New York Stories (1989) and A Business Affair (1994).

Columbo: Mr. Bond you have what the Greeks call "thrasos" - guts!

Topol (1935-) / Milos Columbo

A blood feud exists between Greek smuggler Milos Columbo and Kristatos dating back to WWII. Columbo teams up with Bond to stop Kristatos taking the ATAC to the Russians.

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Chaim Topol was Oscar nominated Best Actor for Fiddler on the Roof (1971), his films include - Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), A Talent for Loving (1969), Galileo (1975), and Flash Gordon (1980 as Dr. Hans Zarkov), TV series - The Winds of War (1983), War and Remembrance (1988-1989).

Kristatos: Oh leave the legs free. They'll make appetizing bait.
Melina: Murderer!
Kristatos: You have shot your last bolt, Miss Havelock!

Julian Glover (1935-) / Aris Kristatos

Aris Kristatos is a seemingly friendly Greek millionaire who in reality is working for the Russians.

Born in London, England, Julian Glover's films include - Tom Jones (1963), Quatermass and the Pit (1967 as Colonel Breen), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), Antony and Cleopatra (1972), Juggernaut (1974), Star Wars V The Empire Strikes Back (1980 as General Veers), Cry Freedom (1987), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989 as Walter Donovan), King Ralph (1991), Troy (2004) and The Young Victoria (2009).

Lynn-Holly Johnson (1958-) / Bibi Dahl

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Lynn-Holly Johnson's films include - Ice Castles (1978), The Watcher in the Woods (1980), Alien Predator (1987) and Hyper Space (1989).

Cassandra Harris (1948-1991) / Contessa Lisl

Contessa Lisl von Schlaf is a friend of Columbo’s and this film’s sacrificial lamb.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Cassandra Harris was married to future Bond, Pierce Brosnan, at the time. The actress died of cancer in 1991, she was 43.

Bond is visiting the grave of his murdered wife in the opening minute of the film, the gravestone reads “Teresa Bond – 1943 – 1969. Beloved wife of James Bond. We have all the time in the world.”

The sequence showing the murder of Melina Havelock’s parents was originally meant to appear before the opening credits, the zoom into Melina’s eyes merging with the beginning of the credits.

At one point ex-Bond villain Jaws was supposed to make an appearance in the film, but mercifully the director felt he wouldn’t fit in with the more realistic tone of the film and the idea was dropped.

This is the only Bond movie not to feature the head of the British Secret Service ‘M’. Bernard Lee, the actor who played the role in all the previous films had succumbed to cancer. In this film it’s Chief of Staff Tanner (James Villiers) who hands Bond the mission to retrieve the ATAC.

Blofeld: Mr Bond! We can do a deal! I'll buy you a delicatessen! In stainless steel!

Though not named in the film for legal reasons, Blofeld appears in the opening teaser in a wheelchair, neck brace and with white cat. He is trying to kill 007 who is trapped in a remote-controlled helicopter. The actor playing him is John Hollis and he is voiced by Robert Rietty.

A stuntman died while filming Bond skiing down the bobsleigh track during the ski chase sequence. Rick Sylvester, doubling for Moore, performed a 100ft fall from the mountain Bond is climbing at the climax of the film, using an elaborate set of pulleys to ease the impact when the rope tightens and breaks the fall.

Sheena Easton sung the popular Bond theme, which reached #4 in the US chart and #8 in the UK chart. Sheena can be seen singing the song in the credits, the only time this has happened in the series. The song was nominated for an Oscar.

Bill Conti composed the music score for this film, famous for his music for the Rocky films. Conti's music for For Your Eyes Only has dated badly and is in this writer’s opinion the worst music score in the official Bond series.

The famous movie poster created problems in some countries where they felt a little too much cheek was being shown, some posters were revised and the buttocks covered up.

Though less successful than the previous Bond film Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only still grossed an impressive $195m worldwide.

For Your Eyes Only was retitled in some countries –

On a Deadly Mission (Germany)
Top Secret (Finland)
Agent 007: Strict Confidence (Denmark)
Only For Your Eyes (Spain, Italy)
From a Lethal Viewpoint (Sweden)

The Critics Wrote –

"Not the spaced-out fun that Moonraker was, but its tone is consistently comic even when the material is not." (Vincent Canby, New York Times)

"For Your Eyes Only bears not the slightest resemblance to the Ian Fleming novel of the same title, but emerges as one of the most thoroughly enjoyable of the 12 Bond pix [to date] despite fact that many of the usual ingredients in the successful 007 formula are missing." (Variety)

"Pretty boring between the stunts, as if the director isn't interested in actors, and Broccoli forgot to commission a screenplay." (Observer)

"There are exciting moments, but most of it is standard Bond fare... enjoyable while you're watching it. Afterward, it's one of the most forgettable of the Bond series." (Danny Peary)

"Roger Moore fronts for a succession of stunt men with all the relaxed, lifelike charm of a foyer poster of himself." (Sunday Times)

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Comments 10 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Pierce Brosnan was considered to take over from Moore, but he couldn't get out of his Remmington Steele contract. Then Steele was cancelled anyway. Although Pierce and Cassandra are the only husband and wife team to be in the Bond franchise-albiet not in the same movie-they are not the only family members to appear in Bond films. In one of the later PB Bond films, Roger Moore's daughter plays a flight attendent who serves Bond on a plane trip.

As far as the other FYEO cast is concerned, I've never quite been able to watch Topol without thinking of his role in Fiddler on the Roof.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for the comment Flora, that's right Roger Moore's daughter Deborah made an appearance as an air hostess in Die Another Day.

I should mention that Roger Moore wasn't happy with the violence in this and later Bond films. There is one scene where Bond kicks a car teetering over a ledge, the car falling over and killing a bad guy inside. Roger hated doing that, perhaps forgetting that he was supposed to be a dangerous secret agent with a licence to kill. Connery would have been happy to kick the car over and fire a few shots into it as it's falling. :)


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Another Bond film I watched a 100 times and the theme song by Sheena Easton was my favorite bond theme song...awesome job Steve.;))


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Mentalist, it was a nice song and Sheena Easton was probably the prettiest of the Bond theme singers. Good decision to have her appear in the credits of FYEO.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

This one is basically the forgotten Bond film of the Moore era. The one that usually doesn't come up when talking about the best or worst Bond films. It's a rather non-distinct entry, sandwiched in between two sillier and more memorable Bond films. This is actually one of the more grounded and realistic of the Moore films. Too bad it drags so much in spots. And the leading lady was forgettable, too.

Rob


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Man I do not think I have seen this film in 25 years, as I was reading your hub, I kept thinking I do not remember that...or that.....thanks for sharing this information on your hub. I do not think I understand whose grave he was visiting when I saw this movie in the theater, as I was still years away from seeing On Her Majestry Secret Service.

One of my favorite theme songs....great photos as always...and I am glad the director did not bring back Jaws for this movie....the last of the good Moore Bond movies...voted up and awesome


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Rob, Cogerson, thanks for the comments. This film believe it or not is highly rated by Bond fans, especially coming after Moonraker. I find it a bit too ordinary and the climax weak - Bond climbing a mountain, and a rather feeble fight at the monastery at the top, is that it? The villain was miscast and I hated Bill Conti's "funky" score.

On the plus side, the locations were great, some nice undersea work, the song was good, the girl was pretty and dear old Roger gave it all a bit of effort this time. I particularly liked him kicking the car over even if the man himself didn't. :)


Bond man 5 years ago

Another fine job, one of the better Bond movies, only behind Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me.


Bond man 5 years ago

The best of the Moore Bond movies, I should have said


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

I just wish the climax of FYEO wasn't so weak Bond man, thanks for commenting.

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