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For Your Eyes Only: From A book to a film

One of the finest Bond movies of the 1980`s was created from three separate short stories and a novel. Fleming work used to create the screenplay? For Your Eyes Only, Risico and Live and Let Die.

For Your Eyes Only
To start off, there are simply no major characters who were removed from the story to the movie except “M” and von Hammerstein. The character of “M” was “away” and replaced by Chief of Staff Frederick Gray. This was due to the death of Bernard Lee, who had played “M” since the first film in 1962. Screenwriter Richard Maibaum replaced Von Hammerstein from the book with Kristatos for the film.

Dialogue that was used for the film, from the book, included: “The Chinese have a saying, before going out on revenge, dig two graves” and “You go to hell. It was my parents who were killed, not yours.” Maibaum tweaked the dialogue from the story but the essence was the same.

Major changes were A) Location and B) a few characters, names and backgrounds. Col. Havelock had a higher ranking and was an official knight. His wife`s first name was never mentioned in the movie. Also, both of the parents were British in the story, whereas in the movie, Mrs. Havelock is Greek. The other change was to his daughter, Judy became Melina in the movie. It was changed because the name is more ethnic than “Judy”.

The locations were changed as well. Jamaica was the scene of the Havelock`s assasination in the book. In the film, it was replaced by Greece. Vermont was the scene of Von Hammerstein`s assasinatin by Judy in the book, but was replaced by Southern Spain. Cortina, Italy was not featured in the book.

Risico
First off, the few major characters Kristatos, Colombo and Lisl Baum are all included in the translation from page to screen. The only thing that did change, much like For Your Eyes Only, was the location, this time from Rome and Milan to Greece.

One of the most interesting things is that the dining scene was faithfully re-created, including the scene where Colombo has a tape recorder planted inside the candle holder at Bond and Kristatos` table. This scene is also where Kristatos gives Bond Colombo`s nickname (rumored in the movie) of `The Dove.`

Another scene that was taken directly, nearly word for word from the story was Bond`s cover to Lisl: that he was doing a story on smugglers. Here is Fleming`s passage: “My name is Bond, James Bond. I`m a writer, doing a story on smugglers, drug smugglers. I`m having trouble with the trade. Would you happen to know any stories?”

“Oh, so that is why you were having dinner with Kristatos. He has a bad reputation. As for the stories, I know none. I know what everyone else knows.”

Also, the scene where Bond fights three of Colombo`s thugs was included, but the death of Lisl Baum doesn`t happen there, or at all. In the book, she never gets killed; she only disappears for a while.

One interesting bit taken from the story and put in the film was that one of the two smugglers had received the King`s Medal for resistance fighting. However, in the book, Colombo received it; in the movie Kristatos was the hero.

Miscellaneous References
For Your Eyes Only (the movie) also picks up a scene from the novel Live and Let Die. In that book, Solitaire and Bond are bound together, tied to the end of Mr. Big`s yacht, and keel hauled across a harbor full of coral. In For Your Eyes Only, the writers substitute Melina for Solitaire. In the book, Mr. Big`s yacht blows up due to a timed mine placed underneath the hull by 007. In the movie, James and Melina escape by cutting their ropes on the coral and swimming to safety.

Blondie’s Pass At Bond

80`s punk band Blondie submitted a theme song for `For Your Eyes Only`. When the producers weren`t satisfied with the song and asked Blondie to record it again, they declined, so Sheena Easton recorded another version of the song. They put it on their album `The Hunter`. The lyrics are listed below.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – (Harry/Stein)
Don`t look over my shoulder I`m trying to read
Remember these intimate moments; don`t forget my privacy
We both have our orders and a trick up the sleeve
There`s no use pretending you`re asleep
The subject was roses quine geology
Deliberate notice you`re taking of me
Caution and danger are not family
Don`t try turning the tables on me!
Too long and too lonely
For your eyes only secretly

Enjoy the paradox: you thinking I`m the fox
Can`t ya see you personally?
So many people know who you are
and they know you`ve been looking for your counterpart
We`re chasing an echo in sonic 3-D
and if I laugh without joking make believe
Too long and too lonely
For your eyes only totally
I like what you`re showing
For your eyes only secretly
For your eyes only

Review: For Your Eyes Only (1981) – Robert Baum

For-Your-Eyes-Only-m02

       Following his out-of-this-world adventure Moonraker (1979), James Bond is back on Earth to keep the world safe from subversives yet again. Roger Moore returns for his fifth 007 outing in the twelfth cinematic mission of Ian Fleming’s fictional agent. Based on a pair of Fleming short stories (“For Your Eyes Only” and “Risico”), For Your Eyes Only marks the directorial debut of John Glen who has worked an editor and helmed second units on prior Bond films On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and Moonraker.

     In the exciting opening sequence–as they almost always are–Bond (Moore) pays a visit to the grave of his wife. Getting back to the office is anything but routine; Bond boards a chopper and is taken for a ride, literally, as the helicopter is remote controlled by a madman. The flight might be his last but not before 007 manages to extricate himself from the unnamed fiend’s (though given he has a white cat, it’s more than likely to be Blofeld) diabolical deed which leaves him shaken and stirred.
     A British naval vessel disguised as a fishing trawler sinks in the Ionian Sea, thanks to a lethal mine. It turns out the vessel had a sophisticated device aboard her which can be used to launch missiles from British submarines. Whoever is in possession of the device, needless to say, will be able to neutralize Her Majesty’s Navy. Bond’s mission, of course, is to retrieve the device and keep it from falling into enemy hands.
     Bond’s first stop: Madrid, where he seeks a hitman who killed a pair of operatives looking to locate the sunken ship. Bond winds up being taken captive by the hitman’s associates. He does manage to escape in great part due to the lovely Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) whose crossbow delivers vengeful bolts into the man responsible for her parents’ demise and a few of his cronies.
     Having not gotten any info from the now-deceased killer doesn’t exactly please 007’s superiors. Thanks to gadget guru Q (Desmond Llewelyn), the MI6 operative does manage to get back on the trail, courtesy of one of his high tech toys–the only device developed by Q which the agent employs on his mission, in fact–and he heads to snowy Cortina.
     There Bond’s contact introduces him to Kristatos (Julian Glover), a charismatic Greek shipping magnate who is keeping watch on his kewpie doll cute–though probably less intelligent than one–ice skating niece Bibi Dahl (Lynn-Holly Johnson, last seen melting the heart of Robby Benson in Ice Castles). Bond manages to mix pleasure with business and explores the slopes with Bibi, though he rejects her advances. Bond manages to wind up facing assassins riding customized motorcycles through the streets and slopes of the resort town.
     Bond’s next stop is Greece, where he meets up again with the lovely Melina who has been continuing her father’s archaeological endeavors knowing nothing about the vessel her pa was seeking or its contents. Bond later heads to a casino where he again meets with Kristatos. The agent wins big at the tables (naturally) and gains a tryst with the girlfriend (Cassandra Harris) of Kristatos’ rival, a smuggler named Columbo (Topol, last seen like Moore, in space–last year’s remake of Flash Gordon to be exact).
     This was scheduled to be the follow-up to 1977s The Spy Who Loved Me, however, the success of George Lucas’ space opus Star Wars that year prompted producer Albert Broccoli to reach for the stars. For Your Eyes Only marks not only a return to Earth but also a return to the basics in a leaner, terrestrial thrill ride very much in the vein of Bond’s second cinematic undertaking, From Russia With Love. It could almost be considered something of a carbon copy. The gorgeous Bouquet makes for a great romantic partner for Moore as the fiery Greek beauty. She can more than handle her own with looks and brains to boot. Johnson is cute but annoying which she is supposed to be. Sonja Henie she isn’t.
     Without giving much else away, Topol is gruffly winsome as the Greek smuggler (arguably better or at least as good as the late Pedro Armendariz was as Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love). Glover is polished and impeccably mannered; though it’s bound to induce groans or laughs, perhaps both, to find that the Greek tycoon’s name is Ari. Obviously a tongue-in-cheek joke in a toned-down script courtesy of long-time 007 screen scribe Richard Maibaum and first time scenarist–and longtime Eon employee and Broccoli stepson, executive producer Michael Wilson. Here plot and locales are key and Bond too has a harder edge relying more on his fists and ingenuity rather than the marvels of Q branch to gain an advantage in sticky situations. The collection of exotic locales and amazing stunts make for a lively entry which Bond enthusiasts will no doubt savor. Surely Glen’s efforts are welcome given that Moore isn’t exactly getting any younger and his box office competition this time (Superman II and the Spielberg/ Lucas effort Raiders of the Lost Ark) looks pretty fierce.