FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (United Artists, 1981)

Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

★★★  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).[1] Running time: 127 minutes.

The Setup

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.

The Cast
James Bond Roger Moore
Melina Havelock Carole Bouquet
Milos Columbo Topol
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
Q Desmond Llewelyn
Minister of Defense Geoffrey Keen
General Gogol Walter Gotell
Tanner James Villiers
Ferrara John Moreno
Claus Charles Dance
Karageorge Paul Angelis
Iona Havelock Toby Robins
Apostis Jack Klaff
Santos Alkis Kritikos
Nikos Stag Theodore
Hector Gonzales Stefan Kalipha
First Sea Lord Graham Crowden
Vice Admiral Noel Johnson
McGregor William Hoyland
Bunky Paul Brooke
Rublevitch Eva Rueber Staier
Vicar Fred Bryant
Girl in Flower Shop Robyn Young
Mantis Man Graham Hawkes
Denis John Wells
The Prime Minister Janet Brown

The Crew
Crew Member
Director John Glen
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum
Michael G. Wilson
Executive Producer Michael G. Wilson
Producer Albert R. Broccoli
Associate Producer Tom Pevsner
Director of Photography Alan Hume
Music by Bill Conti
Title song performed by Sheena Easton
Lyrics by Michael Leeson
Production Designer Peter Lamont
Art Director John Fenner
Set Decorator Vernon Dixon
Costume Designer Elizabeth Waller
Production Supervisor Bob Simmonds
Production Managers Mara Blasetti
Phil Kohler
Aspa Lambrou
Assistant Director Anthony Waye
Second Unite Direction and Photography Arthur Wooster
Continuity Elaine Schreyeck
Camera Operator Alec Mills
Casting by Maude Spector
Deborah McWilliams
Action sequences arranged by Bob Simmons
Driving stunts arranged by Remy Julienne
Underwater Photography Al Giddings
Ski Photography Willy Bogner, Jr.
Aerial Photography James Devis
Climbing Team Rick Sylvester
Herbert Raditschnig
Chester Brown
Bill Fox
Title Designer Maurice Binder
Special Effects Supervisor Derek Meddings
Visual Effects Photography Paul Wilson
Sound Mixer Derek Ball
Editor John Grover

[1] “For Your Eyes Only (1981),” The Numbers, accessed May 18, 2020,


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