For Your Eyes Only (1981) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Put your clothes on. I’ll buy you an ice cream.

“Nobody comes close to double-seven, when double-seven comes close to you – for your eyes only!”

Bond number 12, Moore number 5, 1981.

The St. George sea vessel is sunk somewhere near Greece. It is a spy ship that is fitted with an ATAC (Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator), which is a communication system that the MoD uses to coordinate a fleet of Polaris submarines. They are obviously worried, and James Bond is sent to retrieve the ATAC before the Soviets get their hands on it. The investigation leads to sunny Spain, snowy Italy, and Greece.

  • This is the Bond where he turns down the advances of an underage ice skating protegee.
  • The one where Bond shows off his impressive downhill jump ability.
  • Where Bond gets drags behind a boat and offered up as shark bait.
  • The one where Bond has to escape in a little yellow Citroen 2CV instead of a super car.
  • You know, the one that starts with Bond dropping a wheelchair bound Ernst Stavros Blofeld down a cooling tower chimney.

After the cartoonish “007: Moonraker” (1979), Albert Broccoli wanted to get the Bond franchise back on track with some realism. It looked like that was the direction being taken prior to “Moonraker” which was only brought forward due to the success of “Star Wars” (1977). “Moonraker” director Lewis Gilbert was let go in favour of John Glen, and writers (Richard Maibaum and Michael G Wilson) were instructed to produce something more believable, and while they are at it; write a script that curbed Moore tendencies to deliver a tongue in cheek performance laden with jokes. They decided they did not necessarily need a super-villain with a lair and henchmen – bad guys could be any bodies. What happened was that this darker Bond film was the first one that the 1980’s was witness to. A grittier film which was rooted more in reality, and was wrapped up by a classy song sung, by Sheena Easton. The movie is fast paced and a refreshing change to what 60’s and 70’s Bond brought its audiences. Glen went on to direct 5 of the 80’s Bond’s, an he left a mark on it which probably helped get an audience on side again; even loyal fans were beginning to see how camp and tongue in cheek Bond was becoming. The only thing that remained to be camp and tongue in cheek was Moore’s fighting choreography – there are times where it’s clearly a stunt man, and there are times where the dated green screen is laughable.

A lot of people argue that this is Roger Moore’s best 007 film and that could be the case, barring his at-times ‘fighting technique’. Delivery wise though Moore is dashingly confidence and smooth. Carole Bouquet is not only good to look at but portrays a passionate performance where it seems that the death of her family has motivated her to get revenge. Chaim Topol is brilliant as Milos Columbo. The Bibi Dahl character (portrayed by Lynn-Holly Johnson) is a little worrying, a young girl who throws herself at Bond who is 30/40years older than her. However, it shows how far the franchise had changed that Bond recognised that it wasn’t a healthy relationship to be caught up in – perhaps in an earlier film this would have been fine, but Bond has grown now. Julian Glover as villain Aristotle Kristatos was great too, understated but ruthless all the same. While Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn (Moneypenny and Q) appear, Bernard Lee passed away before the movie and couldn’t reprise his role of M, that’s why Bond is given the mission by a minister from the MoD and Chief of Staff at the start of the film.

I enjoyed the film when I watched it as a child and again watching it as an adult. It is not one of the most memorable ones that sticks out when I think about it, but it is a solid performance all the same. I probably enjoyed it more as an adult because there is complexity in the simplicity of the plot, as a child I just wanted lots of things that went bang, gadgets and excitement. It definitely is a more grown up Bond – which can be seen at the start of the film as Bond visits the grave of his dead wife; and later on when he turns down the advances of Bibi Dahl. This is a Bond that wants to save the world and protect the people, rather shag his way around the globe. Possibly one of Moore’s best performances as Bond, but unfortunately still, not one of the best Bond films. Enjoyable but I personally prefer other outings.

Title Song: For your Eyes only – Sheena Easton

In terms of Bond films this is a 6 out of 10.

In terms of movies in the long and illustrious history of film I would give this a 5 out of 10.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/10)

Bond, James Bond, 007 – Ranking

1007: Goldfinger (1964) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
2007: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: Dr. No (1962) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: From Russia with Love (1963) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
3007: Thunderball (1965) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: Moonraker (1979) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
4007: You only live twice (1967) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: Diamonds are Forever (1971) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: For Your Eyes Only (1981) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5007: Live and Let Die (1973) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

13 thoughts on “For Your Eyes Only (1981) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

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