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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 (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.
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)