FOR YOUR EYES ONLY—“I’ve looked forward to this moment, Mr.Bond.” Obviously, with that line, some confident dastard thinks he’s gained the upper hand on 007. Fool.
In this 12th entry in the series (the 5th for Roger Moore), writers Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson and producer Albert R. Broccoli took a respite from the giant settings and insane plots of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker and brought our suave and deadly hero back to task in 1981 with a scheme that’s simple, yet intricate: recovering a defense system from Aegean waters and dealing with two parties interested in said recovery. The bad guys are more believable than Mss. Stromberg or Drax from the previous epics.
While these villains and Bond’s helpers are a little more human, they’re also less colorful and fun, and the plot doesn’t set your mind afire. That leaves production packaging, the scenery, and the patented Bond action sequences, all of which are fine.
Greece is pretty. Bill Conti, spelling John Barry, does a good job on the music and Sheena Easton’s hit title song is a nice one (it copped an Oscar nomination). Plenty of action, naturally, with the highlight coming with Bond, on skies, chasing a bobsled crew down their chute, while he’s being followed by a guy on a snocycle.
Without a spectacle to back him up, Roger Moore once again makes you wish for Connery, and Carole Bouquet, as his satemate, is a striking beauty without much more animation than Lois Chiles summoned in Moonraker. Lynn-Holly Johnson, however, as nubile wild thing with unabashed hots for Bond, makes a portion of the audience sit up and beg. What a cutie (he said, without guilt).
Of course, there are moments of humor from the supporting cast of upper-class British Intelligence types, saying things, as stuffily as it can be done, like “I suggest you bring me the identigraph.”
Locales include Corfu and Meteora in Greece and Cortina D’Ampezzi in Italy. A serve of $28,000,000 was echoed by a return volley of $195,000,000. Bernard Lee had died before production began so there was no ‘M’ this time out, but Desmond Llewelyn’s ‘Q’ and Lois Maxwell’s ‘Miss Moneypenny’ were on hand, with Topol, Julian Glover, Cassandra Harris, Jill Bennett, Michael Gothard, Jack Hedley, Walter Gotell, Geoffrey Keen and Charles Dance. John Glen directed the 127 minutes of Bondom, the first of his quintet as ringmaster. Tragically, stuntman Paoli Rigoni died during shooting of the perilous ski chase.