FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (United Artists, 1981)
★★★ The twelfth James Bond film produced by Albert R. Broccoli. US release date: June 26, 1981. Budget: $28 million. Worldwide box office gross: $195.3 million (US domestic gross: $54.8 million; international gross: $140.5 million). Running time: 127 minutes.
Operating in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Albania, the St. Georges, a British surveillance ship disguised as a harmless fishing boat, strikes a World War II–era mine and sinks. On board are sensitive instruments—including ATAC, the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator, a top-secret device that can launch ballistic missiles. Thus begins a race between the British and the Russians to retrieve ATAC. James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent into action, while Greek marine archaeologist Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) is out to avenge her parents, who were brutally machine-gunned on the deck of their research vessel. Complicating their efforts are two former Greek resistance fighters and bitter enemies, Aris Kristatos (Julian Glover) and Milos Columbo (Topol)—one of whom is working for the Russians. To accomplish his mission, Bond eventually teams with Melina, while trying to figure out which resistance fighter is the good guy.
Behind the Scenes
Having followed the Goldfinger formula for many years—bigger-than-life villains with outlandish schemes—Cubby Broccoli reeled in the fantasy in his twelfth outing, returning to the serious spying that was the hallmark of From Russia with Love. Richard Maibaum returned to write the screenplay, which was inspired by two Fleming short stories, “For Your Eyes Only” and “Risico.” This time Maibaum shared scripting duties with Broccoli’s stepson Michael G. Wilson, and John Glen, an editor and second unit director, was given the directing reins. The result is another high point in the Roger Moore era: a fascinating spy adventure with plenty of mysterious characters, plot twists, romance, and the perfect Bond heroine in Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet).
There are, indeed, no fantasy elements in For Your Eyes Only. Aris Kristatos (Julian Glover) and Milos Columbo (Topol) are flesh-and-blood human beings who have very real reasons for hating one another. Hate and revenge—two very real human emotions—play important parts in the film. Melina is determined to avenge her parents at all costs. She’s Greek, and she takes her logic from the legend of Electra, who avenged her loved ones.
High points beside the meaty roles of Havelock, Kristatos, and Columbo include: the Meteora climb; the underwater search for the St. Georges surveillance ship; the teaser’s solemn beginning, which takes place in the cemetery, where Bond places flowers on his late wife Tracy’s grave; and the comic ending of the film, which has Margaret Thatcher (a dead-on Janet Brown) on the phone with Max the parrot.
|James Bond||Roger Moore|
|Melina Havelock||Carole Bouquet|
|Bibi Dahl||Lynn-Holly Johnson|
|Aris Kristatos||Julian Glover|
|Countess Lisl||Cassandra Harris|
|Jacoba Brink||Jill Bennett|
|Emile Leopold Locque||Michael Gothard|
|Erich Kriegler||John Wyman|
|Timothy Havelock||Jack Hedley|
|Miss Moneypenny||Lois Maxwell|
|Minister of Defense||Geoffrey Keen|
|General Gogol||Walter Gotell|
|Iona Havelock||Toby Robins|
|Hector Gonzales||Stefan Kalipha|
|First Sea Lord||Graham Crowden|
|Vice Admiral||Noel Johnson|
|Rublevitch||Eva Rueber Staier|
|Girl in Flower Shop||Robyn Young|
|Mantis Man||Graham Hawkes|
|The Prime Minister||Janet Brown|