For Your Eyes Only (1981)

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

“For your eyes only, darling.”

Synopsis:
When James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to Greece and then Italy to investigate the location of a missile command system coveted by the Soviets, he collaborates with a beautiful young woman (Carole Bouquet) seeking revenge for the death of her parents, and wards off passes from a young Olympic-hopeful skater (Lynn-Holly Johnson) whose sponsor (Julian Glover) is secretly working with the Russians.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Cold War
  • James Bond Films
  • Revenge
  • Spies

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that while “there are exciting moments” in this Bond film — in which “Moore and Bouquet find adventure underwater and high in the mountains” — “most of it is familiar Bond fare.” He describes it as “an attempt to mix spectacle with [the] tough, believable storylines of early Bond films,” and notes that “Moore does a good job, coming through as a convincing action hero for a change.” He argues that “the film itself is great in comparison to the previous Bond film, Moonraker, and is enjoyable while you’re watching it” — but “afterward, it’s one of the most forgettable of the Bond series.” He further points out that Johnson — of Ice Castles (1978) fame — is “too wholesome to be in a Bond movie”, but I think it’s her character and performance that are to blame (they’re definitely low-lights of this flick). On the other hand, Bouquet has an ethereal beauty and focus that make her consistently pleasant to watch; while not all agree, I think she’s one of the more memorable “Bond girls”.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine location shooting (in Cortina d’Ampezzo and elsewhere)

  • The exciting rock-climbing “cliff-hanger”
  • Sheena Easton’s rendition of the title song

Must See?
No, though it’s a reasonably enjoyable entry in the series and worthy one-time viewing.

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3 thoughts on “For Your Eyes Only (1981)

  1. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    The first Bond I saw on the big screen and still one of the all-time greats. Moore is on fine form here and was convinced by director John Glen to be more ruthless as in the scene where he boots a villain off a cliff. Glen had been a second unit director and stunt action director prior to this working on several other Bonds – OHMSS, The Spy Who Loved Me (the ski jump) and Moonraker (the parachute jump) – and does a grand job marshalling the main unit this time.

    Plenty of colourful characters and excellent performances this is a big step up on the ’70s Bond films. The villains are particularly believable and well handled here and Carole Bouquet makes for one of the best Bond women. I also don’t mind Lynn
    Holly Johnson (who was amusingly 23, the same age as Bouquet) as a 16-year old man-hungry skating champion.

    The momentum would mostly be kept up for the rest of the decade starting with the equally good Octopussy (1983).

  2. First viewing. Not must-see… or, rather, perhaps it should have been called ‘For Bond Fans Only’.

    Strange that I hadn’t seen this one – yet not so, since I find the series formulaic overall and formula in almost anything tends to bore me.

    This entry has an emphasis on chase / action sequences (if that’s one of your main thrills) – leaving the actual plot as even simpler. To me, it just seemed to plod along.

    Even though the franchise generally does little for me, I don’t think Moore helps all that much. He has always seemed a bland actor to me (though such things can be relative and, to some, his demeanor could still read as ‘sophisticated’).

    Cult film fans will note Michael Gothard in the non-verbal role of villain Locque and may remember him from ‘Scream and Scream Again’ and Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’, etc.

    The ‘Margaret Thatcher’ cameo at the end is a bit… creepy.

    I did get some amusement out of the opening scene. It has a maniacal ‘Tsk, tsk, Mr. Bond…’ quality that borders on parody.

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