Sir Roger Moore was often considered one of the last gentlemen actors in the age of cinema. With his high-swagger smile and ever-present cigars, Moore charmed the world during his run as British secret agent James Bond, a role he would play from 1973 to 1985. With his recent death earlier this year, it seems only proper to go back and look at one of the most successful films of his career, “For Your Eyes Only.”
Released in 1981, “For Your Eye’s Only” is based on several short stories in a collection of the same name by original Bond author, Ian Fleming. It was the 12th entry in the Eon Productions James Bond series, and the fifth to star Moore, following “Live and Let Die,” “The Man with the Golden Gun,” “The Spy Who Loved Me,” and “Moonraker.” It was also the directorial debut of John Glen, who would go on to direct the next four James Bond movies.
This film follows Moore’s Agent 007 as he works to recover an experimental missile targeting system that is stolen by Greek smugglers, led by arch-criminal Aristotle Kristatos, (Julian Glover, “The Empire Strikes Back”). Along the way, Bond is aided by the crossbow-toting Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet, “Too Beautiful For You”), who is after Kristatos for organizing the murder of her parents. Together they must survive car chases, shark attacks, and KGB agents as they rush to find the missile device and keep it out of Soviet hands. The film also features Desmond Llewelyn as Q, Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny, and Chaim Topol, (Flash Gordon) as Bond’s criminal ally, Milos Colombo.
Though not the highest grossing film in the series, nor the most critically praised, “For Your Eyes Only” still succeeds in bringing the undercover thrills and exotic escapism of James Bond to the big screen. Arguably the finest and most grounded of Moore’s spy films, the movie is an overall good time for your eyes and those of anyone who enjoys classic quality cinema.