For Your Eyes Only (1981) Directed by John Glen
Topol as Milos Columbo and Carole Bouquet as Malina Havelock

Columbo: Should’ve brought more of my people.
Malina: James is counting on surprise.
Columbo: But we are only five men.
Malina: And one woman.

12 Responses to “For Your Eyes Only (1981) – JB50”

  1. This is my favorite of the Moore Bond films, probably because it feels the most rooted in reality. The mission feels like something that might actually happen, the villains seem of this Earth, and the Bond girl is one of the first truly tough and capable women he encounters. Plus I love the sequence where Bond confronts the main bad guy and serves his vengeance cold. But it’s not without it’s issues, including the cold open that wants to nail the coffin shut on the Connery days (a rather trite and silly sequence).

  2. One of the worst cold opens in Bond history and a total insult to the fact they already blew the whole Tracy Bond subplot which should’ve been milked heavily in the series. Also an insulting way to dismiss a beloved ex-villain.

    Having said that, this might be my favorite Moore Bond too, though I do still have a soft spot for Spy. After the silliness of Moonraker, this was a nice literal return to earth. I’m not crazy about the bad guy or the cheesy skater girl, but the rock climbing set piece is terrific. The ski chase is one of the better executed, the underwater fight is pretty suspenseful and the business where they’re being towed behind the boat (lifted from the novel of Live and Let Die) is memorable.

    As you know, I tend to favor the more serious minded Bond flicks and this one definitely keeps most of the silliness to a minimum. I can forgive the goofy stuff with Margaret Thatcher at the end.

  3. Weird, I completely forgot that this one comes after Moonraker. Yes, the figure skater subplot and the Margaret Thatcher joke are both pretty bad, but otherwise I enjoy this one a lot. Of course, it was also the third Bond film I’d ever seen, and without any knowledge of the character beyond Moore I had nothing to gauge it against. I remember it was years after this one came out that I even understood who Blofeld even was.

    I have to assume this one underperformed at the box office because they definitely swung the series back towards the silly with Octopussy and A View to a Kill (although the basic plot of Octopussy isn’t bad, everything else about it makes me cringe).

  4. I just finished rewatching Octopussy last night and it is still terrible, but we can talk about one more on tomorrows inevitable MQotD.

    In my head I sort of thought Moonraker came afterward too becasue it has so much more in common with Octopussy. In retrospect, Eyes is almost an aberration.

  5. Interestingly, Eyes did better at the box office (not adjusted for inflation) than Spy, though it was a small step down from Moonraker and it was improved upon with Octopussy. It outperformed the the 3 subsequent pre-Brosnan Bond films though: View to a Kill, Living Daylights and Licence to Kill.

  6. “although the basic plot of Octopussy isn’t bad, everything else about it makes me cringe”
    “I just finished rewatching Octopussy last night and it is still terrible”

    I just meant that the idea of trying to force disarmament by nuking an American base and fudging it as a military accident, thus opening Europe to a Soviet invasion, holds some plausibility. Not a lot, but it could work. The rest of the film is pretty miserable though.

  7. The idea too of a Russian general forging Russian objects of art and selling the originals to fund his private scheme is also a good one. There are also some solid action beats but there’s just way too much silliness. Plus Maud Adams didn’t grab me in 1973 and 10 years doesn’t help

  8. Not a fan of this one, though I do like Topol and you picked a good quote.

  9. Eeenteresting. What about it turns you off, Alison? The seriousness? The unmemorable villain? Roger Moore? The Sheena Easton song?

    It’s funny. The Bond flicks are kind of like a litmus test among the people who like them. Everyone has a different idea about what they should be and respond differently to each one depending on how well the match up with expectations.

  10. It’s not that I’m turned off by it. I just don’t particularly like it. lol, nope, not a fan of the Sheena Easton song.

    Out of all the Moore as Bond movies I like The Spy Who Loved Me best. One of the best opening sequences of all the Bond flicks, good mix of action and humor, a pretty cool Bond girl, good villain and a memorable henchman (although Oddjob still pwns Jaws).

  11. I’ll always have a soft spot for Spy but for me Eyes is right up there.

  12. Maybe I should revisit Eyes. I may have a different view of it years later. :-)

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