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FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

For Your Eyes Only (1981) is the twelfth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It marked the directorial debut of John Glen, who had worked as editor and second unit director in three other Bond films.

The screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson takes its characters and combines the plots from two short stories from Ian Fleming's For Your Eyes Only collection: the title story and "Risico". In the plot, Bond attempts to locate a missile command system while becoming tangled in a web of deception spun by rival Greek businessmen along with Melina Havelock, a woman seeking to avenge the murder of her parents. Some writing elements were inspired by the novels Live and Let Die, Goldfinger and On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

The For Your Eyes Only collection by Ian Fleming were first published by Jonathan Cape on April 11th 1960. It marked a change of format for Fleming, who had previously written James Bond stories only as full-length novels. The collection contains five short stories: "From a View to a Kill", "For Your Eyes Only", "Quantum of Solace", "Risico" and "The Hildebrand Rarity". Four of the stories were adaptations of plots for a television series that was never filmed while the fifth Fleming had written previously but not published. Fleming undertook some minor experiments with the format, including a story written as an homage to an author he greatly admired, W. Somerset Maugham. Elements from the stories have been used in a number of the Eon Productions James Bond film series, including the 1981 film, For Your Eyes Only, starring Roger Moore as James Bond. The film used some elements and characters from the short stories "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico". "From a View to a Kill" also lent part of its title (but no characters or plot elements) to the fourteenth Bond film, A View to a Kill (1985), while plot elements from "The Hildebrand Rarity" were incorporated in the sixteenth Bond film, Licence to Kill (1989). "Quantum of Solace" was used as the title for the twenty-second Bond film.

After the over-the-top, science fiction-focused Moonraker, the producers wanted a conscious return to the style of the early Bond films and the works of 007 creator Fleming. For Your Eyes Only followed a more gritty, realistic approach, and an unusually strong narrative theme of revenge and its consequences. To that end, the story that emerged was simpler, not one in which the world was at risk, but returning the series to that of a Cold War thriller; Bond would also rely more on his wits than gadgets to survive. Filming locations included Greece, Italy, Spain and England, with underwater footage being shot in The Bahamas.

For Your Eyes Only was released on 24 June 1981 to a mixed critical reception; the film was a financial success, generating $195.3 million worldwide. This was the last Bond film to be distributed solely by United Artists; the studio merged with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer soon after this film's release.

For Your Eyes Only marked a change in the make up of the production crew: John Glen was promoted from his duties as a film editor to director, a position he would occupy for four subsequent films. The transition in directors resulted in a harder-edged directorial style, with less emphasis on gadgetry and large action sequences in huge arenas (as was favoured by Lewis Gilbert). Emphasis was placed on tension, plot and character in addition to a return to Bond's more serious roots, whilst For Your Eyes Only "showed a clear attempt to activate some lapsed and inactive parts of the Bond mythology."

Richard Maibaum was once again the scriptwriter for the story, assisted by Michael G. Wilson. According to Wilson, the ideas from stories could have come from anyone as the outlines were worked out in committee that could include Broccoli, Maibaum, Wilson and stunt coordinators. Much of the inspiration for the stories for the film came from two Ian Fleming short stories from collection For Your Eyes Only: Risico and For Your Eyes Only. Another set-piece from the novel of Live and Let Die – the keelhauling – which was unused in the film of the same name, was also inserted into the plot. Other ideas from Fleming were also used in For Your Eyes Only, such as the Identigraph, which come from the novel Goldfinger, where it was originally called the "Identicast".

For Your Eyes Only is noted for its pre-title sequence, described variously as either out-of place and disappointing or roaringly enjoyable. The scene was shot in order to introduce a potential new Bond to audiences, thus linking the new actor to elements from previous Bond films.

The sequence begins with Bond laying flowers at the grave of his wife, Tracy Bond, before a Universal Exports helicopter picks him up for an emergency. Control of the helicopter is taken over by remote control by a bald man in a grey Nehru jacket with a white cat. This character is unnamed in either the film or the credits, although he looks and sounds like Ernst Stavro Blofeld as played by Donald Pleasence or Telly Savalas. Director John Glen referred to the identity of the villain obliquely: "We just let people use their imaginations and draw their own conclusions, It's a legal thing". The character is deliberately not named due to copyright restrictions with Kevin McClory, who owned the film rights to Thunderball, which supposedly includes the character Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the organisation SPECTRE, and other material associated with the development of Thunderball. Eon disputed McClory's ownership of the Blofeld character, but decided not to use him again: the scene was "a deliberate statement by Broccoli of his lack of need to use the character."

Roger Moore had originally signed a three-film contract with Eon Productions, which covered his first three appearances up to The Spy Who Loved Me. Subsequent to this, the actor negotiated contracts on a film by film basis. Uncertainty surrounding his involvement in For Your Eyes Only led to other actors being considered to take over, including Lewis Collins, known in the UK for his portrayal of Bodie in The Professionals; Michael Billington (pictured at right), who previously appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me as Agent XXX's ill-fated lover, (Billington's screen test for For Your Eyes Only was one of the five occasions he auditioned for the role of Bond) and Michael Jayston, who had appeared as the eponymous spy in the British TV series of Quiller (Jayston eventually played Bond in a BBC Radio production of You Only Live Twice in 1985). Eventually, however, this came to nothing, as Moore signed on to play Bond once again.

Bernard Lee (left) died in January 1981, after filming had started on For Your Eyes Only, but before he could film his scenes as M, the head of MI6, as he had done in the previous eleven films of the James Bond series. Out of respect, no new actor was hired to assume the role and, instead, the script was re-written so that the character is said to be on leave, letting Chief of Staff Bill Tanner take over the role as acting head of MI6 and briefing Bond alongside the Minister of Defence. Chaim Topol was cast following a suggestion by Broccoli's wife Dana, while Julian Glover joined the cast as the producers felt he was stylish, Glover was even considered to play Bond at some point, but Michael G. Wilson stated that "when we first thought of him he was too young, and by the time of For Your Eyes Only he was too old. Carole Bouquet was a suggestion of United Artists publicist Jerry Juroe, and after Glen and Broccoli saw her in That Obscure Object of Desire, they went to Rome to invite Bouquet for the role of Melina.

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For Your Eyes Only (1981) is the twelfth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The screenplay takes its characters from and combines the plots of two short stories from Ian Fleming's collection For Your Eyes Only: the title story and "Risico". It also includes elements inspired by the novels Live and Let Die (the keelhauling sequence), Goldfinger (the identigraph sequence) and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (the opening at the graveyard). Add For Your Eyes Only to your DVD collection.

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Production of For Your Eyes Only begun on September 2nd 1980 in the North Sea, with three days shooting exterior scenes with the St Georges. The interiors were shot later in Pinewood Studios, as well as the ship's explosion, which was done with a miniature in Pinewood's tank on the 007 Stage. On September 15th principal photography started in Corfu at the Villa Sylva at Kanoni, above Corfu Town, which acted as the location of the Spanish villa. Many of the local houses were painted white for scenographic reasons. Glen opted to use the local slopes and olive trees for the chase scene between Melina's Citroën 2CV and Gonzales' men driving Peugeot 504s. The scene was shot across twelve days, with stunt driver Rémy Julienne – who would remain in the series up until GoldenEye – driving the Citroën. Four 2CVs were used, with modifications for the stunts – all had more powerful flat-four engines, and one received a special revolving plate on its roof so it could get turned upside down.

In October filming moved to other Greek locations, including Meteora and the Achilleion. In November, the main unit moved to England, which included interior work in Pinewood, while the second unit shot underwater scenes in The Bahamas. On January 1st 1981, production moved to Cortina D'Ampezzo in Italy, where filming wrapped on February. Since it was not snowing in Cortina D'Ampezzo by the time of filming, the producers had to pay for trucks to bring snow from nearby mountains, which was then dumped in the city's streets.

Many of the underwater scenes, especially involving close-ups of Bond and Melina, were actually faked on a dry soundstage. A combination of lighting effects, slow-motion photography, wind, and bubbles added in post-production, gave the illusion of the actors being underwater. Actress Carole Bouquet reportedly had a pre-existing health condition that prevented her from performing actual underwater stunt work. Actual aquatic scenes were done by a team lead by Al Giddings, who had previously worked in The Deep, and filmed in either Pinewood's tank on the 007 Stage or an underwater set built in the Bahamas. Production designer Peter Lamont and his team developed two working props for the submarine Neptune, as well as a mock-up with a fake bottom.

Roger Moore was reluctant to film the scene of Bond kicking a car, with Locque inside, over the edge of a cliff, saying that it "was Bond-like, but not Roger Moore Bond-like." Michael G. Wilson later said that Moore had to be persuaded to be more ruthless than he felt comfortable. Wilson also added that he and Richard Maibaum, along with John Glen, toyed with other ideas surrounding that scene, but ultimately everyone, even Moore, agreed to do the scene as originally written.

For the Meteora shoots, a Greek bishop was paid to allow filming in the monasteries, but the uninformed Eastern Orthodox monks were mostly critical of production rolling in their installations. After a trial in the Greek Supreme Court, it was decided that the monks' only property were the interiors – the exteriors and surrounding landscapes were from the local government. In protest, the monks remained shut inside the monasteries during the shooting, and tried to sabotage production as much as possible, hanging their washing out of their windows and covering the principal monastery with plastic bunting and flags to spoil the shots, and placing oil drums to prevent the film crew from landing helicopters. The production team solved the problem with back lighting, matte paintings, and building both a similar scenographic monastery on a nearby unoccupied rock, and a monastery set in Pinewood.

Roger Moore said he had a great fear of heights, and to do the climbing in Greece, he resorted to moderate drinking to calm his nerves. Later in that same sequence, Rick Sylvester, a stuntman who had previously performed the pre-credits ski jump in The Spy Who Loved Me, undertook the stunt of Bond falling off the side of the cliff. The stunt was dangerous, since the sudden stop at the bottom could be fatal. Special effects supervisor Derek Meddings developed a system that would dampen the stop, but Sylvester recalled that his nerves nearly got the better of him: "From where we were [shooting], you could see the local cemetery; and the box [to stop my fall] looked like a casket. You didn't need to be an English major to connect the dots." The stunt went off without a problem.

Bond veteran cameraman and professional skier Willy Bogner, Jr. was promoted to director of a second unit involving ski footage. Bogner designed the ski chase on the bobsleigh track of Cortina d'Ampezzo hoping to surpass his work in both On Her Majesty's Secret Service and The Spy Who Loved Me. To allow better filming, Bogner developed both a system where he was attached to a bobsleigh, allowing to film the vehicle or behind it, and a set of skis that allowed him to ski forwards and backwards in order to get the best shots. In February 1981, on the final day of filming the bobsleigh chase, one of the stuntmen driving a sleigh, 23-year-old Paolo Rigon, was killed when he became trapped under the bob.

The pre-credits sequence used a church in Stoke Poges as a cemetery, while the helicopter scenes were filmed at the abandoned Beckton Gas Works in London. The gas works were also the location for some of Stanley Kubrick's 1987 film, Full Metal Jacket. Director John Glen got the idea for the remote-controlled helicopter after seeing a child playing with an RC car. Since flying the helicopter through a warehouse was too dangerous, the scene where the vehicle enters was done through forced perspective – stunt pilot Marc Wolff drove besides the building, making it seem as if the helicopter was entering a smaller mock-up built by Derek Meddings' team which was closer to the camera – while the footage inside the building was shot on location, though with a life-sized helicopter model which stood over a rail. Stuntman Martin Grace stood as Bond when the agent is dangling outside the flying helicopter, while Roger Moore himself was used in the scenes inside the model.

The score of For Your Eyes Only was written by Bill Conti, who retained a number of John Barry-influenced brass elements in the score, but also added elements of dance and funk music. Whilst one reviewer observed that "Bill Conti's score is a constant source of annoyance", another claimed that "In the end, For Your Eyes Only stands as one of the best James Bond film scores of the 1980s."

The title song, written by Conti and Michael Leeson, was sung by Sheena Easton (left), who holds the distinction of being the first title song artist to appear on screen in a Bond film, as designer Maurice Binder liked Easton's appearance and decided to add her to the opening credits. The producers of the film wanted Blondie to perform the title song: the band wrote a song titled "For Your Eyes Only", but decided to decline the offer when they discovered the producers wanted a recording of Conti's song instead. Blondie's song can be found on their 1982 album, The Hunter.

For Your Eyes Only was premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on June 24th 1981, setting an opening-day record at the time for any film at any cinema in the UK with a gross of £14,998. The film went on general release in the UK the same day. For Your Eyes Only had its North American premiere in the US and Canada on Friday, June 26th, at approximately 1,100 cinemas. The film grossed $54.8 million in the United States, becoming the second highest grossing Bond film after its predecessor, Moonraker.

The promotional cinema poster for the film featured a woman holding a crossbow; she was photographed from behind, and her outfit left the bottom half of her buttocks exposed. The effect was achieved by having the model wear a pair of bikini bottoms backwards, so that the part seen on her backside is actually the front of the suit. The poster caused some fuss, largely in the US, with The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times considering the poster so unsuitable they edited out everything above the knee, whilst the Pittsburgh Press editors painted a pair of shorts over the legs. There was significant speculation as to identity of the model before photographer Morgan Kane identified the model to be Joyce Bartle. There were a number of items of merchandising issued to coincide with the film, including a 007 digital watch and Corgi Toys produced a copy of Melina's Citroën 2CV. Citroën itself did a special "007" edition of the 2CV, which even had decorative bullet holes on the door. Marvel Comics also did a two-issue comic book adaptation of the film. The first issue was released in October 1981 and was soon followed by the second issue in November of the same year. Both issues of the adaptation were written by Larry Hama, pencilled by Howard Chaykin, inked by Vincent Colletta and edited by Dennis O'Neil. It was the second film in the series to have a comic book tie-in, following a Dr. No comic in 1962. Marvel Comics would go on to publish an Octopussy comic book adaptation in 1983.

Opinion on For Your Eyes Only has not changed with the passing of time and the reviews are still as mixed as when it opemed. Derek Malcolm in The Guardian disliked the film, saying it was "too long and pretty boring between the stunts." Writing in The Observer, Philip French commented that "not for the first time the pre-credits sequence is the best thing about the film." French was dismissive of Moore's Bond, saying that Bond was "impersonated by Moore" and referred to Moore's advancing years. Ian Christie, writing in the Daily Express, said that it was not "much of a plot, but it has a touch of credibility which is a welcome change from some of its predecessors." Overall, Christie thought, For Your Eyes Only was "one of the better Bonds, with a nice balance between humour and excitement and the usual bevy of beautiful girls." Some critics saw the film as being "a solid adventure, although it could have been better", whilst Danny Peary thought "There are exciting moments, but most of it is standard Bond fare," going on to describe For Your Eyes Only as "an attempt to mix spectacle with [the] tough, believable storylines of early Bond films, it is enjoyable while you're watching it. Afterward, it's one of the most forgettable of the Bond series." Raymond Benson, the author of nine Bond novels, thought For Your Eyes Only was Roger Moore's best Bond film.

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