Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Quick Look: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981 - color)

   The first Bond of the 80's, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was far more subdued than the previous entries. Geared more toward realism, the film tells of Bond's efforts to keep a British nuclear launch code device from enemy hands. Bond teams with the daughter of a murdered agent, and a band of black market rebels, as he tracks down the killer who plans to sell the device to the reds. No exploding secret lairs, no scarred villain, not much in the way of futuristic gadgets, just a down-to-earth story of espionage and intrigue. Though the film has some fans because of those facts, it's worth noting that EON switched back to the more standard formula for the next adventure, OCTOPUSSY. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was the first film for which Roger Moore considered leaving the role. Famously good-humored, the violent exploits of the world's greatest spy didn't appeal to Moore as much as making people laugh did. It was right around this time that Moore spoofed his image in the comedy classic THE CANNONBALL RUN, in which he played a man who thought he was Roger Moore -and lived like James Bond! Written to showcase a new actor, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY's opening sequence shows 007 visiting Tracy's grave before Blofeld attempts to assassinate Bond with a remotely-controlled helicopter. This would've been a fine start for a potential new Bond, but Moore ultimately agreed to return. Moore again decided that he was through after completing FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, and James Brolin was all but cast for OCTOPUSSY before Moore decided to come back and do the film (which needed his presence, as a new actor probably wouldn't have been able to make the successful transition in the wake of Sean Connery's triumphant return to the role in Warner Brothers' NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN the same year). Roger, and a lot of critics, thought he was too old for the part when he did his last assignment, A VIEW TO A KILL, and Moore finally bowed out. He was subsequently knighted Sir Roger Moore.

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