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Friday, July 28, 2017

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only, from 1979, is a fair-to-middlin' James Bond film. The producers sought to return to the more scaled-down Bond adventure, so there are no lairs under volcanoes or hundreds of extras in red or yellow jumpsuits. The plot is simply who will get their hands on a vital piece of technology first--Bond, or a Greek millionaire who intends to sell it to the Russians?

Some of the things to like in this film are Carole Bouquet as the Bond girl who is not in constant need of rescue, in fact she saves Bond a few times. There is also some top-notch underwater footage, as the technology sank on a boat in the Ionian Sea and Bond and Bouquet (whose father was a marine archaeologist) take a small sub down to the depths to find it.

There's also a good scene when Bond, at the end of the picture, must scale a vertical mountain to get to the villains (is there nothing that man can't do?)

But the film moves along rather listlessly. It was the first Bond film for John Glen, and the pacing just seems off. Also, the villain is pretty unmemorable. In fact, in the only instance I can remember, we are misled as to who the villain is. In the opening credits, though, we do get Blofeld, seated in wheelchair (I believe his last appearance before this was You Only Live Twice) stroking his white cat, and operating a helicopter by remote control with Bond in it. Blofeld ends being dropped down a smokestack, and he wouldn't come back until Christoph Waltz played him in Spectre.

There is also a scene with ice skater Lynn-Holly Johnson (I trust she was a better skater than an actress) who tries to seduce Bond. He actually turns her down, which may also be a first (other than his many rebuffs of Miss Moneypenny).

The film has some gorgeous locations, including Cortina, Italy, at a winter sports resort. There is a chase that incorporates several different winter sports, including the bobsled. The rest was film in Greece, which is one of those places I have to get to.

As Bond films go, For Your Eyes Only is right in the middle area of quality. The song, sung by Sheen Easton, was a hit and can stuck in your head.

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