Tag Archives: for your eyes only

Max Vesterhalt from FYEO

Wes Britton has interviewed my friend Max Vesterhalt, a lovely lady who appeared in For Your Eyes Only. Deb Lipp met Max at our NYC fan event held in 2005.

The show will first air over WWW.KSAV.org at 7:30 P.m. Pacific time, 10:30 EST. Then, on Wednesday, the show will be archived at WWW.audioentertainment.org.

When you think of Bond girls, the name Max Versterhalt might not jump to mind. However, she not only appeared in Roger Moore’s 1981 classic, she was originally intended to be one of its stars.
On the next edition of the online radio show, “Dave White Presents,” Max tells her story, of how a poster of her promoting Greek tourism brought her to the attention of Cubby Broccoli, what went on during the filming of the casino scene, and what she thought of Roger Moore and director John Glen. She discusses a new website currently being constructed about “Bond Girls of Color.” In addition, “Dave White Presents” will debut some of Max’s newly recorded jazz tunes not yet heard anywhere else!

James Bond and the Oscars

1964 Goldfinger- Winner of Best Sound Effects (Norman Wanstall )

1965 Thunderball- Winner of Best Visual Effects (John Stear)

1971 Diamonds Are Forever – Nominated for Best Sound

1973 Live And Let Die – Nominated for Best Song (Lyrics by Linda and Paul McCartney; Sung by Paul McCartney and Wings)

1977 The Spy Who Loved Me – Nominated for Best Song (Music by M. Hamlisch; Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager; Sung by Carly Simon)

1977 The Spy Who Loved Me- Nominated for Best Score (Music by Marvin Hamlisch)

1977 The Spy Who Loved Me -Nominated for Best Art Direction/ Set Decoration (Ken Adam, Peter Lamont, Hugh Scaife)

1979 Moonraker – Nominated for Best Visual Effects (Derek Meddings; P Wilson; J. Evans)

1981 – For Your Eyes Only Nominated for Best Song (Lyrics by Mick Leeson; Music by Bill Conti; Sung by Sheena Easton)

1982 Irving G. Thalberg Lifetime Achievement Award- Albert R. Broccoli

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only was first published as a collective book of short stories in 1960. The short story `Quantum of Solace` was first published in Cosmopolitan, while The Hildebrand Rarity was first published in Playboy. Because the review for The Hildrebrand Rarity is so in depth it, along with Risico, has been put on a second page accessible from the bottom of this one.

From A View To A Kill

The Characters: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Mary Anne Russell; Supporting Characters: Colonel Schreiber, Commander Rattray; Location covered: Paris, France.

From A View To A Kill is a fair to middling story by Ian Fleming. It`s not really spectacular, though not particularly boring either. At the outset, a motorcycle courier on one of the backroads around Paris, is en route to deliver classified documents to the NATO organization SHAPE, when his motorcycle is overtaken by another. The courier is murdered on a lonely stretch of highway, and his documentation stolen. Of course this alerts most of the security bureaus in Europe, and since 007 is already in Paris, “M” has obligated Bond to assist in anyway possible in the investigation.

What really stands out in From A View To A Kill is Bond`s view on the French. Or rather, Ian Fleming`s. Example:

“Since 1945, he had not had a happy day in Paris….It was its heart that was gone-pawned to the tourists, pawned to the Russians and Rumanians and Bulgars, pawned to the scum of the world who had gradually taken the town over.”

While waiting on his liason in Paris to introduce herself, 007 continues to think to himself about Paris and fantasize abou t what this girl might look like:

“Even supposing he found the girl in the next hour or so, the contents would certainly not stand up to the wrapping. On closer examination she would turn out to have the heavy , dank, wide-pored skin of the bourgeois French. The blond hair under the rakish velvet beret would be brown at the roots and as coarse as piano wire. The peppermint on the breath would not conceal the midday garlic. The alluring figure would be intricately scaffolded with wire and rubber.

The plot, as briefly mentioned already, isn`t all that exciting . But Bond does some nifty investigative work to solve the crime, when other intelligence departments had given up hope on solving the case.

For Your Eyes Only

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Judy Havelock; Von Hammerstein; Gonzalez; Colonel Havelock; Mrs. Havelock, Agatha; Locations covered: Jamaica, Vermont

For Your Eyes Only could also be titled “M”`s revenge. In this story, “M” gets Bond to do a personal favor for him, and wipe out the men who killed two good friends of his, The Havelocks.

The story begins set against the backdrop of political turmoil in the Caribbean, namely the problems caused by the future dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro. At this point in time, Cuba is rife with ex-Nazi`s and ex-Gestapo agents, who have been doing the bidding of Presidente Batista. One such man is called von Hammerstein, and Hammerstein soon sees the writing on the wall and realizes when Castro gains power over Batista, Hammerstein`s days in Cuba are over. So he sends out a few of his goons to start procuring property around the Caribbean and to start investing his money. One such investment he wants made is a nice house in Jamaica called Content. The only problem is that it`s already owned and the owners refuse to sell. So Gonzales, entrusted to do whatever neccessary to get the property for his boss Hammerstein, guns down the Colonel and his wife in cold blood, leaving the bodies for the Havelocks grown daughter Judy to find.

A month later, Bond is called into M`s office and M explains that he knew the Havelocks, and has determined who their killer was and where he currently is at. Since national security is not at stake, M is troubled by what to do next and Bond senses that.

“Now Bond realized why M was troubled, why he wanted someone else to make the decision. Because these had been friends of M. Because a personal element was involved, M had worked on the case by himself. And now it had come to the point when justice ought to be done and these people brought to the book. But M was thinking, Is this justice, or is it revenge? No judge would take a murder case in which he had personally known the murdered person. M wanted someone else, Bond, to deliver judgement. There were no doubts in Bond`s mind….Hammerstein had operated the law of the jungle on two old defenseless people. Since no other law was available, the law of the jungle should be visited upon Hammerstein.

Bond said, “I would`nt hesitate for a minute, sir…This is a case for rough justice-an eye for an eye.”

M went on looking at Bond. He gave no encouragement, made no comment. Then he slowly reached for the top drawer of his desk on the left hand side, pulled it open, and extracted a thin file…He turned the docket around and pushed it gently across the desk to Bond. The red sans serif letters, still damp, said: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. Bond said nothing. He nodded and picked up the docket and walked out of the room.

Fleming does a brilliant job of detailing the relationship between Bond and M. The relationship is so well understood between the two, that sometimes words aren`t needed. So, Bond is off to Vermont, via Montreal, Canada, where his papers are rearranged and he picks up a hunting license. Bond`s mission is to penetrate deep into the wooded retreat of von Hammerstein and assasinate him. But Bond isn`t alone on his mission.

In Vermont, as he is slowing and methodically doing surveillance on Hammerstein`s estate, he runs into a beautiful young woman with a crossbow. At first he believes her just to be a deer hunter, but after looking at the name on the hunting license she produces, he realizes who she is and why she`s in Vermont. It`s Judy Havelock and she`s out for revenge. And she`s not going to let Bond get in her way. Even if it means putting an arrow through his leg.

“This is man`s work.”

The girl`s eyes blazed obstinately. She moved her right foot back into the shooting stance. She said through compressed, angry lips, “Keep out of this. It was my mother and father they killed. Not yours.” She pulled the bow half taut. The arrow pointing at Bond`s feet. “Either you do what I say, or you`re going to be sorry. And don`t think I don`t mean it.”

Reluctantly, Bond is forced to join sides with her, and has to wait for Judy to make her move before he can make his. They both succeed in eliminating the wretched von Hammerstein, Gonzales, and a couple of thugs. But Fleming doesn`t leave things at that. He`s not satisfied with good triumphing over evil. Instead, he makes both Bond and Judy suffer through some mental anguish over their actions, despite the fact that they were both justified in what they did. This anguishing gives the characters a human edge and an extra layer of complexity. On the flight from London to Montreal, Bond thinks to himself about how he dreads killing a man in cold blood, even if he did deserve it. Once on the ground, 007 almost seems to try and drink his anguish away, by carrying a flask containing 3/4ths whiskey and one part coffee. Even after Judy killed von Hammerstein, she felt no relief.

“I didn`t- I didn`t know it would be like that”.

Bond pressed her arm reassuringly, “It had to be done. But I told you this sort of thing was man`s work”.

Yes, For Your Eyes Only is one of Flemings best. It combines several different elements to form one powerful story: M`s indecision, 007`s determination for justice, Judy`s thirst for revenge, Bond`s male chauvinism, the bitter after-taste of justice, and the anguish that comes with it. Even today, with For Your Eyes Only closing in on 40 years old, it`s still as potent and powerful as ever.

Quantum of Solace

The Characters: James Bond; Phillip Masters, Rhoda Masters, The Governor

This is primarily a tale of marital problems and how they impact a mission Bond is about to undertake. 007 has come down to Nassau to undertake a very clandestine mission (is their any other kind?). The Governor of Nassau is having a dinner party the night before 007`s mission. Officially, the Governor has no knowledge of why Bond is in Nassau. Unofficially, he knows exactly why Bond is there. But they are not able to speak about 007`s mission in public, so there begins to grow a dullness and a growing sense of boredom in their conversation. Neither one is particulary interested in talking with the other one, until the Governor relates an old tale of a man he once knew, and how his wife had treated him miserably.

This isn`t an incredilby long story. Only about 25 to 30 pages. But it is an engrossing one. I kept wondering exactly what the catch, or point of the story was going to be. It`s actually anti-climactic for Bond in a way, because he realizes that the tale of marital abuse he`s just been told was far more fascinating than his life of fighting injustice. Fleming ends the story like this:

“He (Bond) reflected on the conference he would be having in the morning with the Coast Guard and the FBI in Miami. The prospect, which had previously interested , even excited him, was now edged with boredom and futility.”


The Hero: James Bond; The Villain: Kristatos; The Bond Girl: Lisl Baum; Supporting Characters: “M”, Columbo; Locations Covered: Italy, Albania

Risico starts off with Bond on the trail of heroin being smuggled into England. His investigation has taken him to Italy, and put him square into the lap of an informant called Kristatos. Viewers of the 007 movie “For Your Eyes Only” will be able to guess just about everything that happens in this story, because the movie adaption was surprisingly faithful to the story. Read no further if you haven`t yet seen the film.

Bond eventually gets embroiled in a vendetta between old enemies, one of whom is trying to frame the other for crimes he did not commit. Getting a British agent to do his dirty work would just be the icing on the cake. Risico is a nice litte short story, with twists, turns(provided you haven`t seen “For Your Eyes Only”), and some suspense. But there`s not a lot of real character development, nor strong dialogue to be taken from the story.

The Hildebrand Rarity

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Liz Krest; The Villain: Milton Krest; Supporting Character(s): Fidele Barbery; Location Covered: Seychelle Islands

The Hildebrand Rarity ranks as one of Ian Fleming`s best works. It`s another tale of domestic abuse and less a true espionage adventure, with 007 being caught in the middle of taking action and staying silent towards the beatings of a long suffering wife named Liz Krest, at the hands of her husband, Milton Krest.

While on a vacation of sorts in The Seychelle Islands, 007 finds himself caught up on a 5 day expedition on board The Wavekrest to find a rarely seen type of fish. A pink and black deadly spined fish called the Hildebrand Rarity, named after the only man who has ever seen one, and because of the rareness of the fish.

Milton Krest is an offensive lout of a man. Rude, arrogant, and obnoxious…he believes anything and everyone comes with a price. He has an opinion, and isn`t afraid to inflict it upon anyone.

“You English make the best butlers and valets in the world. Civil servant you say? I reckon we`re likely to get along fine. Civil servants are just what I like to have around me.”

Milton Krest likes to call his much younger 5th wife “treasure”, though he hardly treats her as such. When she enters the cabin where Krest has introduced himself to Bond and Fidele with little on but a string bikini, Milton wastes no time in laying all the cards out on the table.

“Fellers, this is Mrs. Krest. The fifth Mrs.Krest. And just in case anybody should get any ideas, she loves Mr. Krest. Don`t you, treasure?”

Milton likes to dominate the conversation at all times. Offending people is one way of keeping them off balance, and making sure they have little to say. Milt`s mistaken Bond`s English civility for weakness, and pushes him just a little too far.

“Well, Jim, what say you practice a bit of that civility and servitude on Mrs. Krest. Call her Liz, by the way. Help her fix the canapes and so on for drinks before lunch. She was once a Limey too. You can both swap yarns about Piccadilly Circus and the Dooks you both know. Okay? Move, Fido.”

Liz has had the unfortunate task of apologizing for Milton`s rude behaviour all of her marriage to him. And this time is no different. As soon as she and Bond are alone, she quickly makes amends for Milton.

“Please don`t mind his jokes. It`s just his sense of humor. And he`s a bit contrary. He likes to see if he can rile people. It`s very naughty of him. But it`s really all in fun.”

Bond can tell from Liz`s behavior, body language and tone of voice, that she`s a bit tired of it all, and possibly a little fearful of Krest. Why? Bond finds out later. Krest doesn`t merely insult Bond`s nationality. He insult`s his own wife as well.

“Well, feller. Taking it easy? What have you done with that woman I live with? Left her to do all the work, I guess. Well, and why not? That`s what they`re for, ain`t it?”

Little things tick Krest off. At one point Bond refers to the Wavekrest as “she”, which is common maritime practice. Krest vehemently objects to naming a “hunk of steel and wood a female”.

Bond continues taking a tour of the ship with Milton, when they enter into Milton`s stateroom.

“Bond was looking at something that hung down almost out of sight by the bedside table on what was obviously Mr. Krest`s side of the huge double bed. It was a thin whip about three feet long with a leather thronged handle. It was the tail of the sting ray. He ran a finger down it`s spiny gristle. It hurt his finger even to do that. He said “Where did you pick that up? I was hunting one of these animals this morning.”

“Bahrein. The Arabs use them on their wives.” Mr Krest chuckled easily. “Haven`t had to use more than one stroke at a time on Liz so far. Wonderful results. We call it my `Corrector`.

Bond put the thing back. He looked hard at Mr. Krest and said, “Is that so?”

Later on, over lunch, Krest begins explaining to Bond and Fidele how he was able to write off this multi- million dollar ship as a tax deduction and charge it to the Smithsonian Institute. Liz lets slip a little bit of extra information that she probably should`nt have and Krest goes berserk.

“Treasure, just supposin you keep that flippin` trap shut about my personal affairs. Yes? You know what you just done, treas? You just earned yourself a little meeting with the Corrector this evening. That`s what you`ve gone and done.”

The girl`s hand flew to her mouth. Her eyes were wide. She said in a whisper, “Oh no, Milt. On no, please.”

Bond obviously knew what this date with the Corrector would entail. Later that evening, in his own private thoughts, he debated whether to step in and try and put a stop to Krest`s abuse toward Liz.

Did`nt she realize that a jury would acquit her if the sting ray whip was produced in court? Should Bond tell her that? Don`t be ridiculous! How would he put it? “Oh, Liz, if you want to murder your husband, it`ll be quite all right”. Bond smiled inside his mask. Don`t interfere with other people`s lives. She probably likes it-masochist. But Bond knew that that was too easy an answer. This was a girl who lived in fear.

The days pass on, the rare fish is caught and instead of really truly celebrating, Krest continues to bear down on his guests with rudeness and insults. Now he`s directed his obnoxious behavior toward Fidele Barbery, a local of the Seychelle Islands.

“These islands of yours Fido. When I first looked them up on the map I thought it was just some specks of fly dirt on the page. Even tried to brush them off with the back of my hand. Not much good for anything , are they, Fido? I wonder why an intelligent guy like you doesn`t get out of there? Beachcombing ain`t any kind of life. Though I did hear one of your family had logged over a hundred illegitimate children. Mebbe that`s the attraction, eh, feller?” Mr Krest grinned knowingly.

At this point, Bond has had enough of Krest`s rudeness. He gets up and leaves for the fresh air of the open deck. Liz follows, and Krest accuses Liz of “necking with the underwater help” and takes her downstairs to be punished. It`s now late, and everyone has gone to bed, except Krest, who has gone up on deck to sleep in his hammock. Bond`s sleep is disturbed by a choking and gurgling sound and rushes over to the hammock where Krest had been lying. Krest is dead. Murdered. Someone shoved the spined fish into Krest`s mouth. The fins became erect, tipped with poison, and pierced through Krest`s cheeks and throat, killing him in about 60 seconds.

Bond realizes that this constitutes murder, but in a bizarre twist, Bond throws Krest`s body over the side and into the ocean , thus making himself an accompolice after the fact. The next morning, Bond watches both Liz and Fidele to see any signs of who might`ve killed Krest. By the end of the story, Fleming allows you to more or less pick who you feel killed Milton. There is no definitive answer, though motive would imply Liz.

This has always been one of my favorite stories. The villian`s evil is palpable. Bond is like most people-caught between doing nothing and sticking his nose into the private affair of two people. Liz Krest is a modern day Nicole Brown Simpson, wanting the trappings of a `fairly tale life` but too afraid to leave her abusive husband. The Hildrebrand Rarity doesn`t break new ground as far as espionage thrillers go. But in peeling back the layers of Bond`s psyche, it can`t be beat.

For Your Eyes Also: John Glen’s Autobiography

I thoroughly enjoyed John Glen’s new autobiography. Glen jumps into the action as fast any Bond thriller on the big screen. His work on eight of the EON Bond flicks takes up the bulk of this fascinating new book.

Within the first few paragraphs the reader is plunged onto the icy mountains of Baffin Island where Glen is preparing second unit duties on his second Bond, 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me. The incredible teaser stunt, which most Bond fans are familiar with and which is by many considered the best Bond stunt ever, is explored in depth. Bedding down in the icy cold, John Glen writes of Willy Bogner’s legitimate fear at the deadly stunt but bravery in going when needed in one thrilling take from thousands of feet above icy rocks. I learned plenty here, including Glen’s being at risk of freezing himself into a popsicle on location, more than once! You may never view the opener of TSWLM the same way again.

Things were different in the movie industry in recent years, especially in the area of safety for principal personnel, and Glen explains how he risked physical danger or death quite a number of times on his Bonds, between the late 1960’s and late ‘80s. Even Roger Moore assured his safety on one Octopussy shoot working under a moving train by insisting that Glen accompany him on the tracks beneath the moving behemoth-his way of ensuring Glen himself felt the stunt was truly a safe one!

The chapter describing second unit work for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is impressive and a treat for OHMSS fans overall, including yet one more perspective on how George Lazenby must have felt trying to fill Scotland’s largest shoes. Glen apparently was as much a hero of the film as lead director Peter Hunt, and his was much of the creative genius behind the bobsled fight and ski sequences. DVD fans may seem some of the same extra material covered again in Glen’s book, especially the information on License To Kill, but For My Eyes Only is overall a gritty triumph about a hardworking man who waited 30 years to break into lead directing with For Your Eyes Only.

A sad footnote is that Glen’s LTK tested higher than any previous Bond film with test audiences, but was demolished between Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and Batman, to name just two 1989 summer blockbusters. Underscored throughout the book is the essential nature of the director to any Bond film, from Terence Young and Dr. No to Michael Apted and The World Is Not Enough, the director gets huge leeway regarding casting, script development, exotic locations and stunt choices, to name a few.

Glen’s view from the top explores in some detail how Cubby and Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson and the screenwriters thought, plotted and risked hunches and millions on the casting and scripting of the greatest film series in history. Lacking is any moving in-depth background on Glen himself, however. Two marriages are treated almost as footnotes in the book. Glen eventually brought his wife on location with him, but apparently spent nearly five decades “late at the office”.

The book and jacket design lean heavily on the James Bond image and EON 007 logo. I found it bizarre that the designer did not clean up the famous image cropped in close up of George Lazenby in front of “Big Ben,” for example, but left “overhangs” atop of the heads of both Lazenby and Dalton on the front cover. My copy also had ink dropped out on certain pages, lightening some of the photo captions almost beyond recognition. The jacket and book design are still pleasing to the eye, however. This book was certainly aimed at the interested 007 fan. Many pleasant stills are included of action, cast and crew. Some never-before seen photos are included among them. Further insights are also given into Cubby Broccoli’s generosity and a humorous foreword is included by Roger Moore, CBE.

–For My Eyes Only is published in hardback and is available now from various sources including Dave Worral’s Collectors’ Club.

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.

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


       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.