For Your Eyes Only (1981)

for your eyes only poster 1981 movie 007
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Exotic locations look great and some good action sequences

Meandering story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  For Your Eyes Only

Studio:  Danjaq

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 24, 1981

MPAA Rating:  PG

for your eyes only blofeld vs helicopter

You better move person who is definitely NOT Blofeld but shall remain unnamed.

The sinking of a British ship has created a crisis for the British government.  Onboard, the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator was housed which could become a dangerous tool if the Soviets get ahold it.  James Bond (Roger Moore) finds himself in a race to find the sunken ship and stop the operatives hired to bring in the ATAC for the Russians.  Bond faces off against Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover) while discovering aid from an angry Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) out to avenge her parents’ murder and a covert group led by Milos Columbo (Topol).  Time is running out and the ATAC has to be reclaimed!

Directed by John Glen, For Your Eyes Only is a James Bond action-adventure film.  Following Moonraker in 1979, the film is the twelfth Bond film and takes its title and some story aspects of “From Your Eyes Only” and the second story titled “Risico” written by Ian Fleming and publish in 1960 in For Your Eyes Only.  The movie’s theme song “For Your Eyes Only” was sung by Sheena Easton who appeared in the title credits (a first) and the song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. For Your Eyes Only was met with mixed reviews.

for your eyes only skiing sequence bobsled

James Bond…original inventor of the X-Games

For Your Eyes Only might have been the first Bond film I saw (either that or A View to a Kill) when we got a VCR.  The movie is classic Roger Moore…but like with Roger Moore Bond, you have to take the good and the bad.

Like many Bonds the story sometimes drags.  The opening sequence quickly dispatches the great (but unnamed) Blofeld villain (which seems a bit anticlimactic due to the Bond-Blofeld movie history to this point…part of the reasoning was the legal debate over Thunderball which also resulted in Never Say Never Again in 1983), and then the story jumps into the ATAC adventure.  The different action sequences do add up to some tension, but story-wise, they often feel like filler.

Roger Moore has adjusted to Bond here and sometimes feels like he’s going through the motions.  He hadn’t intended on being Bond this long and he is too old for the character (which leads to creeper type moments with his young admirer Bibi Dahl played by Lynn-Holly Johnson).  Carole Bouquet is a nice counter to Bond in that she isn’t playing the rescue-victim the entire movie like many Bond girls, and she and Moore work decently together.  Topol and his group of soldiers are a bit late to the game and Julian Glover isn’t the best Bond villain.  With Bernard Lee’s death, M is replaced by James Villiers and Geoffrey Keen who serve to brief Bond.

for your eyes only roger moore mountain climbing

Look at grandpa climb! He’s good!

The movie does have some classic Bond action.  The dragging behind the boat and scuba diving sequences work with both the Havelock character and the long Olympic ski chase sequence also is classic Bond (and made me want to ride in a bobsled track).  I also feel the climbing to Aristotle’s base has a lot of tension (but also points to the age of Moore which isn’t helpful).

For Your Eyes Only despite its flaws is one of Moore better James Bond films.  It is a bit darker than some of his movies and doesn’t go as goofy as some of them.  Still, Moore and the filmmakers feel like they are kind of treading water at this point and many of the Bond novelties seem to be losing their punch.  For Your Eyes Only was followed by Octopussy in 1983.

Preceded By:

Moonraker (1979)

Followed By:

Octopussy (1983)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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