For Your Eyes Only (1981)

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

“For your eyes only, darling.”

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.


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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