Introducing James Bond: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

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The 12th James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, marked the entrance of the franchise into the 1980s. The story was derived from a collection of Ian Fleming stories under the title “For Your Eyes Only” (so this isn’t taken from a single novel like previous films). By this time, Roger Moore had been in the role of James Bond for close to a decade, and he was already the oldest actor to play the character when he accepted the role in 1973. By now he was 54 years old, and his age was making it more and more difficult for audience’s to accept him as the womanizing 007 (more on this when I talk about A View to a Kill). In For Your Eyes Only, Bond must recover a ballistic missile control system before the Russians can retrieve it for themselves. Travelling to Greece, Bond falls afoul of Aris Kristatos (Julian Glover) and must align with the Greek underworld in order to stop his plans to retrieve the missile controller and turn it over to the Russians!


Credit to Bill Gold

The score (and theme song) for this film was composed by Bill Conti (in John Barry’s absence), and the song was performed by Sheena Easton. The score was well-received and earned an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination. To date, Easton is the only performer to sing the title song on-screen during the opening title sequence. The band Blondie was originally approached to write and perform the song, but their version was rejected in favor of Conti’s version and the band subsequently refused, opening the door for Easton to record the song.

For Your Eyes Only Title Sequence

This sequence plays out very much like a regular music video, with the artist visibly performing the song against images of water, Bond and silhouettes of girls (the series trademark). I enjoy this song, it’s much slower paced than earlier songs and very lovely. Design-wise, the layout is relatively simple, but effective.

All that being said, something about this film has always bothered me. The villain Kristatos has a young female protégée named Bibi Dahl who develops this enormous crush on Bond. The thing is, Lynn-Holly Johnson (who plays Bibi) was 23 to Moore’s 54, but in the movie she acts much younger, and the scenes of her basically throwing herself on Bond are rather awkward to watch.


Credit to Art of the Title

One last note regarding Spectre: This film finally resolves what happened to Blofeld (last seen in Diamonds are Forever). In the opening prologue, Bond chases the wheelchair-bound Blofeld in a helicopter (while the villain makes all sorts of pleas for his life) and ultimately drops him down a factory chimney, presumably killing him once and for all (Spectre (2015) re-introduces the character to the rebooted timeline).

Next time: Octopussy (1983)

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2 thoughts on “Introducing James Bond: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

  1. Pingback: Ian Fleming’s For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Diary of A Movie Maniac

  2. Pingback: Introducing James Bond: Moonraker (1979) | Film Music Central

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