Thursday Night Movie Club
For Your Eyes Only
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Release Date: 26 June 1981

Director: John Glen
Roger Moore
Carole Bouquet
Lynn-Holly Johnson
Julian Glover
Cassandra Harris
Jill Bennett
Michael Gothard
John Wyman
Jack Hedley
Lois Maxwell
Desmond Llewelyn
Geoffrey Keen
Walter Gotell
James Villiers
James Bond
Melina Havelock
Milos Columbo
Bibi Dahl
Jacoba Brink
Erich Kriegler
Sir Timothy Havelock
Miss Moneypenny
Minister of Defence
General Gogol
For Your Eyes Only movie poster For Your Eyes Only movie poster
Roger Moore as James Bond 007Combine two of Ian Fleming's best short stories and flesh them out for a feature film and the result is one of Roger Moore's best 007 films. Only some ridiculous scenes hold back For Your Eyes Only from being one of the best Bond films.

A suspected British spy ship accidentally sinks in the Aegean Sea. The ship is equipped with an ATAC computer. If this falls into the wrong hands, British ships could be ordered to attack British cities!

British archeologist Sir Timothy Havelock (Jack Hedley) is asked to quietly search for the sunken wreckage. Havelock and his wife are murdered by a Cuban hitman named Gonzalez. James Bond's mission is to question Gonzalez to find out who paid him. Before Bond can interrogate Gonzalez, the Havelock's daughter Melina (Carole Bouquet), who is on a blood trail, shoots Gonzalez with a bolt from a crossbow. Bond's misson has been compromised. He has no leads to follow.

Carole Bouquet and Roger MooreScreenwriters Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson combined the short stories "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico" to form the back story for Bond's twelfth mission. The screenplay adds a new element to a Bond film: intrigue. Bond's allies may not be friends. Foes may be friends or they may be more deadly foes. James Bond learns a lesson that nearly costs him his life. Hidden agendas abound including Bond's own mission. Everyone in For Your Eyes Only keeps their cards close to their vest.

Former James Bond film editor John Glen graduates to the director's chair. Glen brings a noticeable change in style. The story concentrates on the cat-and-mouse games of espionage and leaves behind the world-domination themes. For Your Eyes Only is the first film since On Her Majesty's Secret Service to develop a real-life story with real dangers for 007. Gone are the cartoonish hitmen like Jaws. Replacing him are real people who also moonlight as killers.

Roger MooreJames Bond has a lot on his plate. He needs to find the Havelock's killers before Melina finds them. Alive, the hitmen can tell Bond who they are working for. Bond also needs to find the sunken ship and retrieve the ATAC computer. Time is of the essence. Does Bond follow the killers or go straight for the ship? Wow! Imagine that! A James Bond film that asks a lot of questions!

Roger Moore as Bond gets better material to work with here. Bond is still troubled by the death of his wife Tracy. He finds solace by visiting her grave. Melina is out for vengeance. Bond must pursuade her to stop her hunt, but he cannot tell her why. Melina's life will be in further jeopardy if she knows the truth. Bond meets with Greek tycoon Kristatos (Julian Glover) who points Bond in the direction of local smuggler Milos Columbo (Topol). Bond hears two different stories from each of the men. Who does he trust? Kristatos helped the British during WWII and received the King's medal. Columbo is a criminal, a smuggler. But, when Columbo hands Bond's PPK to him, fully loaded, Bond still has his suspicions about Columbo, but the seeds of a beautiful relationship are sewn.

Carole Bouquet as Melina HavelockCarole Bouquet is one of the best actresses to appear in a Bond film. As Melina, Bouquet is sexy, firey, passionate, and very attractive. Melina saves Bond life almost as much as he saves hers. The screenwriters are giving all of the characters excellent material.

The villains are not bad to the core. The good guys aren't necessarily saints. Julian Glover and Topol are excellent. They play Bond against the other. They are both seasoned actors who ground the film in reality. Their performances bring the characters to life as living human beings. Both men have their own agenda. Both men have a personal code of conduct. Very refreshing!

Julian Glover as KristatosDirector John Glen keeps the action scenes exciting and adds a level of suspense to each sequence. Columbo's attack on a drug smuggling operation, the underwater search with Bond and Melina escaping several close calls, and Bond's vertical ascent to a secretive monestary highlight the film. All of these sequences are extended scenes. Each one is quite spectacular.

Dragging the film down are a few absolutely insane decisions in making the film. Lynn-Holly Johnson cannot act. She isn't sexy. She is way too old to be playing an Olympic skating protege. The film grinds down, painfully for the audience when Johnson is on the screen.

Then is the ice skating rink scene where Bond is set upon by three thugs in full hockey gear. Bond easily dispatches them in increasingly inane ways. Each time he throws a thug into the goal net, the scoreboard changes the number of goals scored. What idiot thought this was funny?

Roger Moore and TopolLast but not least is the opening pre-credit sequence. Unnamed arch-nemesis Bloefeld is back for revenge. Now wheel-chair bound, Bloefeld terrorizes Bond by remotely controlling the helicopter Bond is riding in. When Bond turns the tables, Bloefeld pleads for his life by offering Bond a delicatessan! Ouch!!

The theme song performed by Sheena Easton is one of the better theme songs in the series. Maurice Binder's credit sequence is another stunner. The closing credits of Bond and Melina swimming naked is also a highlight. Forget reading the credits, watch the action on the screen.

For Your Eyes Only is one of the best James Bond films, when is is firmly entrenched on terra firma. When the screenplay and direction deviate from reality, the results are a disaster. James Bond is a serious character with his own personality traits and flaws. The best films explore the characters. The audience rolls it's eyes at the now tired Bond comic-relief bits.

All things considered, 95% of For Your Eyes Only is spectacular. The stuntwork is incredible. Bond's mountain climb hits the mark for suspense. Even subtle elements work perfectly. A suspicious man eyes James Bond's Lotus. The suspicious man turns out to be Bond's contact. Wonderful stuff abounds throughout For Your Eyes Only. Enjoy it, but ignore the bad parts, if you can.

Roger Moore as James Bond