For Your Eyes Only

From Academic Kids

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2003 Penguin Books paperback edition

For Your Eyes Only is a collection of James Bond short stories by Ian Fleming, first published in 1960. The title story of the collection lent its name to the twelfth James Bond film, which was released in 1981 and was the fifth film to star Roger Moore as the suave and sophisticated British Secret Service agent. The film, produced by Albert R. Broccoli and directed by John Glen, was an EON Productions / United Artists movie and adapted both "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico" from this collection, as well as part of the novel Live and Let Die. Other stories from this anthology also provided source material for later Bond movies.

The title of the collection is derived from a piece of jargon often used in government circles with regards to classified information. An "Eyes Only" notification indicates either a) the information contained is for the knowledge of authorized readers only, b) information contained is not to be discussed with anyone, or c) all of the above.


The short story collection

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1962 Pan Books paperback edition.

For Your Eyes Only, marked a change of pace for Ian Fleming, who previously had written only full-length novels featuring his character, James Bond. In the late 1950s CBS made an offer to Fleming to write 32 episodes over a two year period for a telvision show based on the James Bond character. This deal came about after the success of the 1954 television episode adaptation of Casino Royale on the CBS television series Climax!. Fleming agreed to the deal and began to write three outlines for the series, however, CBS later dropped the idea. In 1959 Fleming gathered his outlines and novelized them for an anthology he originally titled "The Rough With The Smooth". The title was changed for publication to For Your Eyes Only and was additionally published with the subtitle of "Five Secret Occasions in the Life of James Bond". In America the subtitle was changed to "Five Secret Exploits of James Bond". In later editions, the subtitle was dropped.

The book contains five short stories:

1 "From a View to a Kill"
2 "For Your Eyes Only"
3 "Quantum of Solace"
4 "Risico"
5 "The Hildebrand Rarity"

Out of the five short stories included in the book, two were added in addition to the outlines Fleming had previously written for the proposed television series. The first, "The Hildebrand Rarity" was first published in Playboy in 1960. It provided the character of Milton Krest for the 1989 Bond film Licence to Kill. The second story, "Quantum of Solace" was an experimental piece Fleming had previously written for Cosmopolitan magazine. The short story actually has no secret agent elements; that, combined with a title that was likely to confuse audiences, means that it is the only Ian Fleming story that has never to date been referenced in any way by the Bond movie series.

The remaining three stories were, as previously stated, written as television scripts. The story "For Your Eyes Only" was originally to be titled "Man's Work" and later "Death Leaves an Echo". Along with "Risico" (originally spelled "Risiko"), "For Your Eyes Only" was adapted closely for the 1981 film version of the same name.


Plot summaries

"From A View to a Kill"

"From a View to a Kill" sees Bond investigating the murder of a dispatch-rider from SHAPE (central command of NATO in Europe located in Versailles) to his base, Station F, in Saint-Germain, France. Since Bond was already in Paris, M sends Bond to assist in the investigation in any way he can. To unravel the mystery Bond disguises himself as a dispatch-rider and follows the same journey as the previous rider to Station F. As expected, the assassin attempts to kill Bond, however, Bond is ready and ends up killing the assassin.

The title is taken from a version of the words to a traditional hunting song "D'ye ken John Peel?": "From a find to a check, from a check to a view, from a view to a kill in the morning".

"For Your Eyes Only"

"For Your Eyes Only" begins with the murder of a Jamaican couple that had refused to sell their land to Major Gonzales, a Cuban killer hired by Herr von Hammerstein. This couple, the Havelocks, would turn out to be close friends of M, who served as the groom's best man during their wedding in 1925. M subsequently gives Bond a voluntary assignment, "off-book" from sanctioned MI6 duties, to sneak into the United States via Canada, track down Herr von Hammerstein, and prevent further harm to the Havelocks's only daughter by any means necessary. When Bond arrives on the scene, however, he finds the Havelocks' daughter, Judy, has arrived there first and intends to carry out her own mission of revenge.

"Quantum of Solace"

"Quantum of Solace" was the first of these stories to be published, appearing in the May 1959 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. It is not a spy story, and Bond appears only in the background. Told in the style of W. Somerset Maugham, the tale has Bond attending a boring dinner party with a group of rich, snobbish people he cannot stand. He listens as the Governor of Nassau tells him a harrowing tale about a relationship between a former employee of the Governor's, Phillip Masters, and an air hostess named Rhoda Llewellyn. After meeting aboard a flight to London they eventually marry, however, after a time Rhoda becomes unhappy and begins a long open affair with a golf pro. After a vacation to London during which Rhoda's affair ended, Masters returns and decides to end their marriage, although they would continue to appear as a happy couple in public for the sake of his job. While the story may not be full of adventure as previous Fleming tales, the point of the story was to show that Bond's adventures pales in reality to real-life drama. As the story closes, Bond reflects on the story the Governor told and comes to the conclusion that his current mission is dull and unexciting in comparison. The story is also an eye-opener for Bond who, before hearing the tale, had passed judgment on Rhoda who was one of the guests at the party.


In "Risico" James Bond is sent by M to investigate a drug smuggling operation based out of Italy that is pumping narcotics into England. M instructs Bond to get in touch with a CIA informant, Kristatos, who in turn tells Bond that a man named Enrico Colombo is behind the racket. When Bond sets out to find more information on Colombo, he is captured by him and brought aboard Colombo's ship, the Colombina. While in captivity Colombo informs Bond that Kristatos is actually the one in charge of the drug smuggling operation and that he is being backed by the Russians. On the next day, the Colombina arrives at Santa Maria, where men are loading another shipment. Bond, Colombo, and the crew of the Colombina attack the warehouse and discover Kristatos inside. While trying to escape, Kristatos is shot by Bond.

"The Hildebrand Rarity"

"The Hildebrand Rarity" also predated the publication of the collection, appearing first in the March 1960 issue of Playboy. In this adventure, Bond is on holiday in the Seychelles Islands with his friend, Fidele Barbey. Through Barbey, Bond meets an uncouth millionaire named Milton Krest who has offered the two the job of aiding him in the search for a rare fish named "The Hildebrand Rarity". After agreeing to help, the three as well as Mrs. Elizabeth Krest set off aboard the Wavekrest in search of the fish. During the journey Bond learns that Mr. Krest verbally and physically abuses everyone around him, specifically his wife whom he punishes with the use of a sting ray tail he dubs "The Corrector". After finding the Hildrebrand Rarity, the party returns to the Wavekrest and returns to port. Along the way Krest gets drunk and insults Bond and Barbey and also schedules an appointment for his wife with the "The Corrector".

During the same night Bond hears Mr. Krest choking, afterwhich Bond discoves Krest has been murdered and the rare fish was stuffed into his mouth. So as not to be entangled in an investigation for the murder of Krest, Bond throws him overboard and cleans up scene of the crime. The following day after the Wavekrest has reached port no one knows what had happened to Mr. Krest and all presume he fell overboard. Bond investigates both Barbey and Mrs. Krest and finally comes to the conclusion that Mrs. Krest had murdered him in an act of revenge for the way in which Milton Krest had treated her, although she never admits to commiting the crime and Bond never asks.

Comic strip adaptations

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Main article: James Bond comic strips

Four of the five short stories in For Your Eyes Only were adapted into comic strips which were published in the British newspaper, the Daily Express and subsequently syndicated around the world:

The first three stories were adapted by Henry Gammidge and illustrated by John McLusky and are largely considered a depature from what readers of the comic strips were used to, focusing more on character details and the plot of the story. More so than any other adaptation, "Risico", "From a View to a Kill", and "For Your Eyes Only" are considered to be the most faithful adaptations of Ian Fleming's original work. All three stories were reprinted in 2004 by Titan Books and are included in the Goldfinger anthology.

The fourth adaptation, "The Hildebrand Rarity", did not appear until six years after the comic strip versions of the other stories. It was adapted by Jim Lawrence and illustrated by Yaroslav Horak. This adaptation was reprinted by Titan Books in the early 1990s and again in 2004 as part of the Octopussy anthology.

The remaining story in the collection, "Quantum of Solace", is one of only three Ian Fleming James Bond stories that has never been adapted as a comic strip.

The film

Template:BondInfo For Your Eyes Only is perhaps most notable for its pre-title sequence which sees what is believed to be the final comeuppance of the supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Bond's enemy in five previous films. The sequence of the film was initially scripted to aid the introduction and establishment of a new actor to portray James Bond since Roger Moore, who had starred in four previous films as Bond was reluctant to return. The sequence begins with Bond laying flowers at the grave of his wife, Tracy Bond, but ends with Blofeld attempting to get even with Bond for foiling his plans and for the downfall of his criminal organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E.. For this film, Blofeld is deliberately not named due to copyright issues with Kevin McClory, who owns the film rights to Thunderball which supposedly includes the character Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E., and a number of other material associated with the development of Thunderball. The demise of Blofeld was added to show that the James Bond series did not need Blofeld and was also done after a number of attempts by Kevin McClory to produce a rival Bond film based on his ownership of the screen rights to the book of Thunderball. This includes a failed attempt in the late 1970s of an original Bond film that resulted in a lawsuit brought about by EON and United Artists. Nevertheless McClory was able to film a remake of Thunderball entitled Never Say Never Again which was released opposite Octopussy in 1983.

Two other constroversial incidents also occurred with the release of For Your Eyes Only. The first involving the film's teaser poster artwork, which showcased a model in thong-like shorts holding a crossbow with Bond framed between her long legs. This was deemed in some U.S. states (primarily the Bible Belt) as indecent exposure. A later version of the teaser was released with a superimposed pair of shorts painted over the original artwork. The other controversial incident wasn't revealed until some time after the release, in which it was discovered that one girl, Caroline Cossey (aka Tula), that was used in a pool scene turned out to be a transsexual.

For Your Eyes Only marked a creative change of direction for the Bond film series. John Glen was promoted from his duties as a film editor to director, a position he would occupy throughout the 1980s. A result of this being a harder-edged directorial style, with less emphasis on gadgetry and large action sequences in huge arenas (as was favoured by Lewis Gilbert). More emphasis on tension, plot, and character was also added in addition to a return to Bond's more serious roots. A good example of this is a scene inwhich Bond kicks a car with a villain inside over a cliff, murdering him in cold blood. This was, and still is to this day controversial amongst fans to whether Ian Fleming's James Bond would do such an act. Roger Moore was also strongly opposed to the aforementioned scene in which Bond kills the villain Locque, claiming his Bond wouldn't do such a thing. This, however, contradicts the fact that his Bond kills at least two, possibly three people in cold blood in the earlier film, The Spy Who Loved Me (namely, a thug Bond lets fall off a roof, the villain Karl Stromberg who Bond executes after he's been disarmed, and possibly a woman who Bond may or may not intentionally use as a human shield). Nonetheless, this scene was the strongest display of Bond exercising his licence to kill since the killing of Dr. Dent by Sean Connery's Bond in Dr. No.

Throughout the entire James Bond series of films, this is the only movie where M is absent. Bernard Lee had died while preparing for the film, and instead of recasting, the role was left vacant out of respect. Miss Moneypenny, M's personal secretary claims that he is on leave, and his chair is filled by his 'Chief of Staff', Bill Tanner, with M's lines being shared between the Tanner and the Minister of Defence. The role was recast for Octopussy.

Today For Your Eyes Only is is often cited as one of the strongest films of the series and is usually considered a contender alongside The Spy Who Loved Me as Moore's best Bond film. Overall, For Your Eyes Only accumulated a box office gross of $195,300,000, which at the time was the second highest grossing Bond film after its previous entry Moonraker.

Plot summary

The film focuses on the recovery of the vital Automatic Targeting and Attack Communicator (ATAC), which is lost in the Ionian Sea after the British spy ship St. Georges is sunk by an old mine hauled up in its fishing nets. The ATAC system is used by the Ministry of Defence to communicate and co-ordinate the Royal Navy's fleet of Polaris submarines. Sir Timothy Havelock, a marine archaeologist and MI6 agent, and his wife are murdered by a Cuban hitman, Hector Gonzales, while he is searching for the wreck of the St Georges. Bond is sent after Gonzales to find out who hired him, but is beaten to it by Havelock's daughter, Melina, who kills him before Bond can find out. After identifying a man in Gonzales' estate who appeared to be paying him, Bond is led to a well connected Greek businessman and intelligence informant, Aris Kristatos, who tells Bond that the man he saw is employed by Milos Columbo, a Greek smuggler. However, when Bond confronts Columbo, it emerges that Kristatos is actually in the employ of the KGB to recover the ATAC, and had set up Columbo as the villain as he knew too much about Kristatos' KGB leanings. Bond is aided in his pursuit of Kristatos and the ATAC by Melina and Columbo. In the film's climax, Bond throws the ATAC system over a cliff rather than hand it to the KGB chief General Gogol, with the quip "That's détente, comrade. I don't have it, you don't have it."

Cast & characters



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Original For Your Eyes Only soundtrack cover

Main article: James Bond music

The theme song, also titled "For Your Eyes Only", was written by Bill Conti (music) and Michael Leeson (lyrics), and performed by Sheena Easton. The song was later nominated for both an Academy Award and Golden Globe in 1982. Easton also made Bond film history as the first artist to perform the theme song on-screen during the Maurice Binder title sequence. The popularity of the song, and Easton's film appearance, is credited with establishing Easton as a star in North America; she had already been popular in her native UK for at least a year prior to the film's release.

Madonna would later one-up Easton by not only singing the theme song, but also appearing in a cameo role during the film Die Another Day in 2002.

The soundtrack was composed by Bill Conti and likewise with other Roger Moore Bond films includes a more disco-oriented theme. When the soundtrack was later released on compact disc six tracks were added that showed Conti's versatile approach to the film that aided it in its return to a tougher, more realistic James Bond.

Track listing

  1. For Your Eyes Only
  2. A Drive in the Country
  3. Take Me Home by Eddie Blair
  4. Melina's Revenge
  5. Gonzales Takes a Drive
  6. St. Cyril's Monastery
  7. Make It Last All Night by Rage
  8. Runaway
  9. Submarine
  10. For Your Eyes Only by Derek Watkins
  11. Cortina
  12. The P.M. Gets the Pird/For Your Eyes Only (Reprise) by Sheena Easton
  13. Gunbarrel/Flowers for Teresa/Sinking the St. Georges
  14. Unfinished Business/Bond Meets Kristatos
  15. Ski....Shoot....Jump....
  16. Goodbye, Countess/No Head for Heights/Dining Alone
  17. Recovering the Atac
  18. Sub Vs. Sub
  19. Run Them Down/The Climb


Film locations

Shooting locations

Many of the "underwater" scenes, especially involving closeups 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. Apparently actress Carole Bouquet had a preexisting health condition that prevented her from actually attempting any underwater stuntwork.

Vehicles & gadgets

Main articles: List of James Bond vehicles, List of James Bond gadgets

After the ever-more outlandish plots of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker - the latter film literally taking Bond out of this world - it was decided that the James Bond series needed to return to reality. For Your Eyes Only attempts to go back to the more basic style of Dr. No and From Russia With Love. One of the most famous sequences of the film is when Bond's venerable Lotus Esprit is destroyed after a henchman working for Gonzales attempts to break into the car, which in turn activated the car's self-destruct function that was built into its security system. The destruction of his car forces Bond and Melina to make an escape in a Citroën 2CV, which was considered symbolic of Bond turning away from the more extreme gadgets of the past. Bond later acquires another car, a red Lotus Esprit Turbo from Q-Branch when he arrives in Cortina.


  • Stuntman Paolo Rigon was killed during filming of the bobsled track portion of the ski chase. During the sequence Rigon's sleigh overturned with Rigon trapped beneath. He later died due to the injuries he sustained.
  • The scene in which Melina and Bond are dragged through the water for the sharks to eat was a sequence in the novel Live and Let Die.

Comic book adaptation

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For Your Eyes Only movie comic book adaptation by Marvel Comics

Prior to the film being released Marvel Comics was given permission to publish a two-issue comic book adaptation of the movie, For Your Eyes Only. The first issue was released in October 1981 and was soon followed by the second issue in November of the same year. It was also reprinted the same year in magazine and paperback book form.

Two major differences in the comic book include the addition of M, who was technically in the initial drafts of the screenplay until Bernard Lee's death in early 1981 and the villain's given name, which for unknown reasons was "Ari Kristatos" instead of the film version's "Aris Kristatos." The comic also includes additional suggestive dialogue by Bibi Dahl (aimed at Bond) that was never used (or was perhaps edited from) the film.

Credits for both issues of the the comic book adaptation include:

External links


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