Review: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

12 - For Your Eyes Only (1981)

“Our arrangement was that we meet at a place designated by me! After they pay, I’ll give the transmitter to them.”
– Aris Kristatos 

After narrowly escaping a life or death situation that may or may not have been orchestrated by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, 007 agent James Bond (Roger Moore) returns to see the Minister of Defense, Sir Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen). He is informed that the British spy boat, the St Georges, has been sunk and was carrying the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC), which is a device that can communicate the Royal Navy’s fleet of Polaris submarines. It can also co-ordinate with all of them, and if the technology falls into the wrong hands it could be disastrous for the British government. Melina Havelock’s (Carole Bouquet) family is murdered by an assassin, and she swears vengeance.

for your eyes only

“I love a drive in the country. Don’t you…?” – James Bond

KGB General Gorgol (Walter Gotell) learns of the fate of the St Georges and contacts his people to start the organizing of the retrieval of the device. Bond goes to SPain to investigate the murders of the Havelocks, and meets up with Melina by chance. The two pair up to escape after Bond realizes that the assassin, Hector Gonzales (Stefan Kalipha), was not the brains of the operation, but rather a man they learn to be Emile Leopold Locque (Michael Gothard). Locque possibly has a base in Italy, and Bond meets with Italian Secret Service agent Luigi Ferrara (John Moreno) in order to learn more. Luigi introduces Bond to their intelligence informant Aris Kristatos (Julian Glover), a rich Greek businessman who is intent on helping Bond out. Here Bond learns that Locque works for Milos Columbo (Chaim Topol) , a.k.a. “the Dove”. Bond discovers Luigi’s corpse after having eluded capture by henchmen of Columbo.

At a dinner, Kristatos points Columbo out to Bond, but tells him he is influential and powerful, and will have to be killed and not captured. Columbo is having the conversation recorded. Locque and Bond come to blows, yet it is Columbo’s men who save Bond and capture him. Angered, but soon placated, Bond is told by Columbo that Locque was in actual fact hired by none other than Kristatos. Bond forms an allegiance with Columbo, all the while attempting to keep Melina from getting killed while she is on the mission to avenge her parents’ death. Kristatos is working for the KGB to turn the ATAC device over to them. Columbo and Bond raid one of Kristatos’ opium-processing warehouses, and Bond figures out that the St Georges did not sink by accident.

for your eyes only

Bond meets with Melina again, and they forge a strong alliance to take down Kristatos. Together they need to recover the ATAC device, return it to the right people and stop Kristatos for good. The KGB is en route to see Kristatos about taking the device, and time is running out. Bond and Kristatos will come to blows about who will emerge victorious, but who will it be?

For Your Eyes Only scores a 6.5/10. This is definitely one of the better ventures from Roger Moore, though I am still not sold on him. I missed Bernard Lee terribly in this one, and it seems a lot of the cast was given minor roles. The whole opening scene with who appears to be Blofeld felt very superfluous to me to be honest. It was in there, he was unnamed, the whole thing. Oh well. Typically they had to include a skiing chase, though this one was definitely better than the previous forays, and it was refreshing to not see Bond having a waterboat chase again (that was seriously starting to get old). Bibi was an absolutely ridiculous, strange and obscure character. I enjoyed Carole Bouquet as Melina, she suited the role. I did not really enjoy the soundtrack for this one at all. However, at the end of it all, this was most definitely the Roger Moore Bond that I enjoyed the most.

11 thoughts on “Review: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

  1. This is definitely the course correction for Roger Moore after Moonraker. It’s his most serious movie, which seems odd when you have scenes involving hockey players and motorcycles going down bobsled tracks. I watched this again a few years ago and liked it more than I expected. I think it’s the second-best Moore film behind The Spy Who Loved Me. If you’re struggling here, good luck with the next two!


  2. This is my favorite Roger Moore-Bond movie! It had some fabulous underwater diving scenes.I liked Carole Bouquet as she is one of the strong-willed of all the Bond girls.Also liked Chaim Topol as Columbo…….


  3. My fav Moore Bond film. Have always loved it and I really enjoy re-visiting it now and then. Nice job on the review!


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