For Your Eyes Only (film)

For Your Eyes Only (film)

Infobox_Film_Bond | name = For Your Eyes Only

stars = Julian Glover Carole Bouquet Chaim Topol Lynn-Holly Johnson
caption = film poster by Bill Gold
bond = Roger Moore
writer = Ian Fleming (stories)
screenplay = Michael G. Wilson
Richard Maibaum
director = John Glen
producer = Albert R. Broccoli
cinematography = Alan Hume
music = Bill Conti
main theme = For Your Eyes Only
composer = Bill Conti
Michael Leeson
performer = Sheena Easton
editing = John Grover
distributor = United Artists
released = June 24, 1981 (UK)
June 26, 1981 (USA)
runtime = 128 min.
country = UK
preceded_by = Moonraker (1979)
followed_by = Octopussy (1983)
budget = $28,000,000
worldgross = $195,300,000
admissions = 70.3 million
imdb_id = 0082398
amg_id = 1:18146

"For Your Eyes Only" (1981) is the 12th spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Roger Moore as MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on two short stories from Ian Fleming's collection "For Your Eyes Only": the title story "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico". It also includes elements from the novel "Live and Let Die". In the film, Bond and Melina Havelock become tangled in a web of deception spun by Greek businessman Aristotle Kristatos. Bond is after a missile command system known as the ATAC, whilst Melina is out to avenge the death of her parents.

The film was released on both June 24th (in the United Kingdom) and June 26th (in the United States) of 1981 two weeks after the release of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and was both a critical and monetary success, generating $195.3 million worldwide.


In the pre-title sequence, Bond is picked up at his wife's gravesite by a helicopter, he escapes after being trapped in the aircraft. It is remotely controlled by someone who is presumed to be Blofeld — Bond turns the helicopter on his enemy, who is in a motorized wheelchair, picking him up, and dropping him into a smokestack.

The film then turns its focus to the fishing trawler "St Georges" on the Ionian Sea, which is revealed to be a British spy ship equipped with Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC), the system used by the Ministry of Defence to communicate with and co-ordinate the Royal Navy's fleet of Polaris submarines. The ship dramatically sinks when a old naval mine becomes entangled in the fishing nets and pulled into the hull.

Sir Timothy Havelock, a marine archaeologist based in Greece, is contacted by the British government to secretly locate the "St Georges". However, before he can give a report, he and his wife are murdered by a Cuban hitman, Hector Gonzales. Havelock's daughter Melina survives and vows revenge. The British Minister of Defence and his Chief of Staff summons James Bond and assigns him the task of recovering the ATAC and explain to him that if the transmitter were retrieved underwater by another superpower the Polaris submarines' ballistic missiles could be used against major western cities. Bond is sent after Gonzales to find out who hired him. Melina kills him before Bond can find out. Melina owns a Citroën 2CV (Ente) which proves to be very resistent in the following car chase.

After identifying a hitman in Gonzales' estate (Locque) who appeared to be paying him, Bond is led to a well-connected Greek businessman and intelligence informant, Aris Kristatos in Cortina d'Ampezzo a resort in northern Italy's Dolomites. He tells Bond that the man he saw is employed by Milos Columbo, a Greek smuggler.

When Bond eventually confronts Columbo it emerges that Locque is actually in the employ of Kristatos who himself is in the employ of the KGB. Kristatos is attempting to recover the ATAC for the KGB, and had set up Columbo as the villain as the latter knew too much about Kristatos' KGB leanings. Columbo proves this connection to Bond by allowing Bond to take part in a raid on one of Kristatos' factories where they find Locque. In this factory, Bond discovers false rolls of paper containing poppy syrup, and additional naval mines similar to the one that sunk the "St. Georges" suggesting that her fate may not have been an accident. Locque places explosives to destroy this evidence and flees, but loses control of his car and ultimately ends on the edge of a cliff. Bond approaches him there and gives the car a solid shove, sending Locque plunging to his death.

Bond and Melina recover the ATAC from the wreckage of the "St Georges", but Kristatos is waiting for them when they surface, and he takes the ATAC from them. He attempts to dispose of them by dragging them behind his yacht while sharks circle in the water, however Bond affects their escape.

With the help of Columbo, Bond, Columbo's team and Melina break into a mountaintop monastery, St. Cyril's, being used by Kristatos to meet Gogol where he will turn over the ATAC. Bond climbs up the sheer face of the mountain and, upon reaching the top, gains control of the lift basket and brings the rest of the team up.

Bond eventually retrieves the ATAC system and talks Melina out of killing Kristatos after he surrenders. Kristatos tries to kill Bond with a hidden weapon, but Columbo throws a knife at him from behind and kills him. KGB chief General Gogol arrives by helicopter to collect the ATAC, but Bond throws it over the cliff (it is dashed to pieces on the rocks below), with the quip, "That's détente, comrade. You don't have it; I don't have it." General Gogol gives Bond an understanding smile and leaves. Bond and Melina later spend a romantic evening aboard her father's yacht.


* Roger Moore as James Bond An MI6 agent sent to retrieve a stolen "ATAC" system that could be misused for controlling British military submarines.
* Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock: The daughter of a diver who is murdered after obtaining the ATAC. She joins hands with Bond to avenge his death.
* Julian Glover as Aristotle Kristatos: A smuggler planning to expand his fortune by selling the ATAC to the Russian Army.
* Topol as Milos Columbo: Kristatos' former smuggling partner who assists Bond in his mission. named after Gioacchino Colombo, the Ferrari engine designer, specifically Ferrari 125, which Fleming admired. [cite book | author = Chancellor, Henry | year = 2005 | title = James Bond: The Man and His World | publisher = John Murray | id = ISBN 0-7195-6815-3]

*Michael Gothard as Emile Locque: An associate of Kristatos, based in Greece
*Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl: A ice skating prodigy who is training with the financial support of Kristatos
*John Wyman as Erich Kriegler: An Olympic class athlete and Kristatos' henchman. Writer Jeremy Black said that he resembles Hans of You Only Live Twice and Stamper of Tomorrow Never Dies. [cite book
last = Black
first = Jeremy | coauthors =
editor =
others =
title = The Politics of James Bond: From Fleming's Novels to the Big Screen | origdate =
origyear =
origmonth = | accessdate = | edition = | series =
date = 2005-06-01 | publisher = Bison Books | location = | isbn = | id = | pages = p. 167
chapter = The Brosnan films | ref =
*Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: The secretary of M, the head of MI6.
*Desmond Llewelyn as Q: MI6's "quartermaster" who supplies Bond with multi-purpose vehicles and gadgets useful for the latter's mission.
*James Villiers as Chief of Staff Bill Tanner: Bond's friend and colleague in the MI6.
*Walter Gotell as General Gogol: M's Russian counterpart.
*Geoffrey Keen as Fredrick Gray: The British Minister of Defence, a high-ranking minister in the British government.
*Cassandra Harris as Countess Lisl von Schlaf: Columbo's mistress.
*Jill Bennett as Jacoba Brink: Bibi's skating coach.
*Stefan Kalipha as Hector Gonzales: A Cuban hitman hired by Kristatos to kill the Havelocks.
*Janet Brown as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: The Prime Minister when Bond's actions are commended via telephone, although it's not Bond it's Max, the parrot
*John Hollis and Robert Rietty (voice) (both uncredited) as Ernst Stavro Blofeld: Bond's arch-nemesis and the head of SPECTRE. Originally thought to have met his demise in the film "Diamonds Are Forever", he re-appears in this film, but is shortly killed (supposedly, as he has a nasty habit of survival) by being thrown down a factory chimney.



For this film, Blofeld is deliberately not named due to copyright restrictions with Kevin McClory, who owned the film rights to "Thunderball" which supposedly includes the character Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the organization SPECTRE, and a number of other material associated with the development of "Thunderball". The demise of Blofeld was added to show that the James Bond series did not need Blofeld and was also done after a number of attempts by Kevin McClory to produce a rival Bond film based on his ownership of the screen rights to "Thunderball". This includes a failed attempt in the late 1970s of an original Bond film that resulted in a lawsuit brought about by EON Productions and United Artists. Nevertheless McClory was able to film a remake of "Thunderball" entitled "Never Say Never Again" in 1983.

Initially it seemed Roger Moore would not return as 007 for this outing, so interviews and screentests were held for a replacement. At the forefront were Lewis Collins, famous for his role as Bodie in "The Professionals", Michael Billington, best known as Col. Paul Foster in Gerry Anderson's "UFO" and Ian Ogilvy, who like Moore had made his name playing Simon Templar in "Return of the Saint". Eventually, however this came to nothing as Moore signed on to play the superspy once again.

"For Your Eyes Only" marked a creative change of direction for the Bond film series. John Glen was promoted from his duties as a film editor to director, a position he would occupy throughout the 1980s. A result of this was a harder-edged directorial style, with less emphasis on gadgetry and large action sequences in huge arenas (as was favoured by Lewis Gilbert). More emphasis on tension, plot, and character was also added in addition to a return to Bond's more serious roots.

In order to blend the plots of the two short stories, several changes were made for the film. Since the film is set in Greece, closer to the location of "Risico" than to that of "For Your Eyes Only", the Havelocks were changed from being Jamaican, as in the short story, to an Anglo-Greek couple (Mr. Havelock being English and Mrs. Havelock being Greek). Havelock's daughter, "Judy," was also renamed "Melina" in the film to give her a more Greek sounding name. The film also contains elements from several Ian Fleming stories: The warring smuggler characters Kristatos and Columbo come from "Risico". The keelhauling sequence comes from the novel "Live and Let Die", a scene unused in the previous film adaptation. The Identograph comes from the novel "Goldfinger", where it was originally called the "Identicast".

Overall, "For Your Eyes Only" accumulated a box office gross of $195,300,000, and became the second highest grossing Bond film after its predecessor, "Moonraker". This was the last James Bond film to be solely released by United Artists. Following the MGM and United Artists merger, the films were released by "MGM/UA Distribution Co". Beginning with "Tomorrow Never Dies", the films were released by "MGM Distribution Co.".

A controversial incident was not revealed until some time after the release. It was discovered that Caroline Cossey, who was used in a pool scene, turned out to be transsexual. Urban legends about the incident greatly exaggerated Cossey's role, from a non-speaking "girl at pool" to someone who had "heavy love scenes" with Moore. [cite web | url = | title = Caroline Cossey in For Your Eyes Only | work = For Your Eyes Only | accessdate = March 16 | accessyear = 2006] In reality, Cossey appears only fleetingly and is only clearly visible in one or two shots.


Many of the underwater scenes, especially involving close-ups of Bond and Melina, were actually faked on a dry soundstage. A combination of lighting effects, slow-motion photography, wind, and bubbles added in post-production, gave the illusion of the actors being underwater. Apparently actress Carole Bouquet had a preexisting health condition that prevented her from actually attempting any underwater stuntwork.

The film was shot mainly in Greece on locations such as Meteora, Island of Corfu, and the Achilleion. Other locations included England (Pinewood Studios with 007 Stage), Italy, and The Bahamas.

During filming of the escape on the bobsleigh track in Cortina d'Ampezzo, one of the stuntman driving a bobsleigh was killed during the first day of production.


Sheena Easton appears on screen singing the title song, the only artist ever to do so in a Bond film. The producers of the film wanted Blondie to perform the title song written by Bill Conti and Michael Leeson. Blondie declined, and then a different song with the name "For Your Eyes Only" was recorded by Sheena Easton instead. Blondie's version of "For Your Eyes Only", which is not the same song recorded by Sheena Easton, can be found on their 1982 album, "The Hunter".

Release and reception

The respected and noted Bond historian, the late John Brosnan (who wrote "James Bond in the Cinema") noted in his review for the magazine "Starburst" that the movie was similar to 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" with all the skiing action and 1973's "Live and Let Die" for essentially being one long chase. Brosnan also noted that the MacGuffin for the movie (the ATAC) had actually been added to the movie after the main plot had been written.

The film received mostly, if not generally positive reviews from critics, a major improvement from the previous film. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 79% "fresh" rating. [cite web|url= |title=For Your Eyes Only |work=Rotten Tomatoes| accessdate=2008-02-11 ] Steve Rhodes of IMDb Reviews said that the Greek islands, bikini-clad women, narrow streets and the Italian Alps were all filmed "beautifully" by Alan Hume. [cite web| url=| title=For Your Eyes Only (1981) |work=IMDb Reviews | accessdate=2008-02-11]

IGN ranked Melina as 5th in a Top 10 Bond Babes list. [ [ IGN: Top 10 Bond Babes ] ]

The original movie poster for the film featured a woman holding a crossbow. She was photographed from behind, and her outfit left the bottom half of her buttocks exposed. The effect was achieved by having the model wear a pair of bikini bottoms backwards, so that the part you see on her backside is actually the front of the suit. While the image is considered tame by today's standards, in 1981 it caused outrage. The studio was forced to create several versions of the poster with superimposed garments covering the offending area. [cite web | url = | title = A Common Bond | work = | 2008-02-09]

Comic book adaptation

Prior to the film being released Marvel Comics was given permission to publish a two-issue comic book adaptation. The first issue was released in October 1981 and was soon followed by the second issue in November of the same year. It was also reprinted the same year in magazine and paperback book form. Both issues of the adaptation were written by Larry Hama and edited by Dennis O'Neil.

Two major differences in the comic book include the addition of M, who was technically in the initial drafts of the screenplay until Bernard Lee's death in early 1981 and the villain's given name, which for unknown reasons was "Ari Kristatos" instead of the film version's "Aris Kristatos" (or "Aristotle Kristatos"), although he is referred to as "Uncle Ari" both by Bond and Bibi Dahl in the movie. The comic also includes additional suggestive dialogue by Bibi Dahl (aimed at Bond) that was never used in (or was perhaps edited from) the film.


External links

* [ MGM's official "For Your Eyes Only" website]
*imdb title|id=0082398|title=For Your Eyes Only
*amg movie|id=1:18146|title=For Your Eyes Only
*rotten-tomatoes|id=for_your_eyes_only|title=For Your Eyes Only
*mojo title|id=foryoureyesonly|title=For Your Eyes Only

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