For Your Eyes Only (1981)
August 13, 2015 5:45 AM - Subscribe

Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

This is the 12th James Bond film adventure.

The Wikipedia entry. reviews For Your Eyes Only.

Some Top Critic reviews from Rotten Tomatoes:

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader: "Roger Moore has crumpled his comic-strip good looks into something approaching world-weariness, and the newfound maturity in his expression is reflected in director John Glen's style, which goes for the measured and elegant over the flashy and excessive."

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: "Moore is merely the best-oiled cog in this perpetual motion machine."

Variety: "One of the most thoroughly enjoyable of the 12 Bond pix [to date] despite fact that many of the usual ingredients in the successful 007 formula are missing."

Time Out: "Look, Ma, no plot and poor dialogue, and Moore really is old enough to be the uncle of those girls."

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: "Let's face it: When you've seen one impregnable mountaintop fortress, you've seen 'em all."
posted by doctornecessiter (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Growing up I always thought of this one as kind of an also-ran in the Moore run, because I was a kid and responded more positively to the outrageousness of the previous few movies. Nowadays I really appreciate that it's actually an espionage story, rather than the kind of nearly superhero stuff of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.

Love the skiing, love the mountain-climbing, enjoy the helicopter stuff at the beginning in spite of the lack of connection to the rest of the movie. And Topol is great...Probably my favorite one-movie contact since Kerim Bey.

But...Bibi Dahl. Weird. And they just couldn't resist that Thatcher tag at the end, could they. "Give us a kiss..." "REH-lly...ah ha ha ha..."
posted by doctornecessiter at 5:59 AM on August 13, 2015

The most forgettable Bond song of them all, I think.

But otherwise, a lot of fun. I love the setting-appropriate attempts on Bond's life. First a biathlete chases him down a bobsled track (and throws a motorcycle at him) but then he's attacked by a hockey team! Good stuff.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:35 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Shoehorning the title in as a line of dialogue at the end was a really bad choice. And as much as I wanted to like Julian Glover, they didn't give him a whole lot to do.

Top points for scenery, though. Bond movies have a few stock locations (lots of beaches, lots of ski resorts), and as beautiful as those tend to be, it's always nice to see them go somewhere different, especially somewhere as visually distinctive as Meteora. The underwater temple was also pretty and the scuba and submarine sequence actually achieved a decent amount of tension, which has not always been the case for the underwater action scenes.
posted by Copronymus at 5:05 PM on August 13, 2015

The most forgettable Bond song of them all, I think.

There are a few bond theme themed quizzes on sporcle, perhaps worth a go to see what comes to mind. I reckon there are at least half a dozen that are more forgettable, but perhaps your have forgotten them?
posted by biffa at 12:22 AM on August 14, 2015

For my money this is the best of the Roger Moore Bonds. Even with the clue dispensing parrot.

(I simply ignore the parts that are randomly jammed in from some other universe entirely, like the Thatcher bit at the end, and especially the horrendous pre-credits sequence with that whole "I'll buy you a delicatessen" debacle from "not-legally-Blofeld.")
posted by Naberius at 7:40 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

especially the horrendous pre-credits sequence with that whole "I'll buy you a delicatessen" debacle from "not-legally-Blofeld."

Oh, man, I'd forgotten about the opening sequence. What the hell was any of that doing in this movie, starting with the solemn graveside moment for a wife that was 5 movies and 2 actors ago? It's not like they'd ever even mentioned Tracy in the meantime as far as I can remember.
posted by Copronymus at 8:46 AM on August 14, 2015

For my money this is the best of the Roger Moore Bonds. Even with the clue dispensing parrot.

I agree, it's the one that most takes place in the real world.

And Copronymus, they referred to Tracy in The Spy Who Loved Me, when Agent XXX is listing off facts from Bond's file when they first meet. They'll refer to her one more time in the movies, in Licence to Kill.

However, I don't think they reference her directly in Diamonds Are Forever, which is ostensibly all set up to be Bond seeking revenge for her death. What we actually get there is a pissed off Scot looking for punch-em-ups just because Blofeld is the bad guy.
posted by doctornecessiter at 9:05 AM on August 14, 2015

This has a few of the more psychotic kills of the Moore era, when he boots that car over the cliff and when he blows up that guy in the divesuit head first.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:17 PM on August 14, 2015

One notable piece of information about For Your Eyes Only: It's the first Bond film to feature a trans woman among the cast.

In the background of the poolside scene at Loque's mansion, there are numerous attractive women in swimwear of varying skimpiness. The brunette in the white bikini is Caroline Cossey, who is also known by her modeling stage name "Tula".

Born "Barry Kenneth Cossey", she had an extra rare variant of Klinefelter's syndrome, having two full pairs of sex chromosomes, XXXY, instead of the pair +1 XXY of the more common cases of Klinefelter's.

In addition to her role as an extra in For Your Eyes Only, she also starred in the music video for Power Station's Some Like it Hot, and has modeled for Vogue (Australian edition) & Harper's Bazaar.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:26 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

James Bonding just put out an episode on For You Eyes Only.
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:28 PM on October 25, 2015

So I just got to this in a brief survey of bond films in chronological order - My wife wants to see at least one from each actor. I haven't watched all, we watched the first three, moved on to OHMSS, and then straight to this. Rationale: I remember Connery lauded as being great from my youth, I had heard Lazenby was underrated, and I remember Moore films as being universally awful. For whatever reason, I remembered the bond movies as being more serious espionage films - I've been questioning that as of late.

I surprised myself by enjoying this film the most so far - It's relatively credible for the genre, it has a good balance of cartoonish and serious, the villains are the least like comic book supervillains, and the treatment of women is so markedly better than it was in the others we watched - I won't go so far as to call it great, but in comparison to what I've seen, it's much much better. Notable - Pretty sure this is the first film we watched where Bond doesn't slap a woman. In fact, the only person who does is a villain. While the inclusion of the underage ice skater was unneeded, at least Bond was portrayed as being completely horrified as the idea. The underwater scenes were very well done, and surprisingly tense. And while a few of the kills were raw and violent in nature, as you'd expect, it was never as over-the-top as, say, the snow plow in OHMSS - There were plenty of opportunities to up the gore quotient that many others would have taken, this was more - well, tasteful doesn't seem like the correct word, but there you are.

Low points: The pre-credits sequence, the awful song (although still not as bad as goldfinger

Unintentional humor: the credits sequence, where it looks like the performer is being shot by bond multiple times.

Over all, it was very entertaining without descending into the sort of self-parody that OHMSS tried to do. I really enjoyed this one - and I was expecting it to just be awful.
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:50 AM on January 6, 2016

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