For Your Eyes Only
By Charles Cassady Jr.,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sea and ski with 1981's Bond in an average outing.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Bond turns down an offer of easy sex with an underage girl, but she's about the only one. Otherwise, though, 007 is fearless, worldly, gambling, fond of fine cuisine, and as indestructible as ever. Melina, the leading lady, is revenge driven for most of the film, but is still strong and resourceful, as Bond girls go. A secondary heroine, a young American figure skater, functions as barely more than an alarmingly underaged sexpot. Germans seem particularly stereotyped as nasty and unsympathetic.
Violence & Scariness
Much fighting, clubbing, and (in a hockey rink) body-checking. People are shot with machine guns, blown up with bombs, and pierced with arrows, the crossbow-toting heroine's specialty. Spooky dead bodies float in an underwater shipwreck.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nude women (mostly in shadow and seemingly underwater) are in the opening-credit montage, and an assortment of bikini girls are hanging around a villain's swimming pool. James Bond is a ladies' man as always, and goes to bed with a countess whose nightie barely stays on. A saucy teenage figure skater (who brags of not being a virgin) tries to seduce Bond, but he refuses her.
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The villain told to "go to hell."
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Products & Purchases
Lotus sportscars get special attention.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that beautiful and sexually available women continue to be part of the 007 furnishings here, just like the decorative nudes in the opening credit sequence. One of the women who attempts to seduce James Bond is a perky teenage figure skater, which is even too much for the secret agent. A phony countess does manage to get the spy into bed, but she's figuratively punished the next day, run over by an assassin in a dune buggy. Other deaths result from arrows, bombs, knives, and machine guns.
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Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
One of the better bonds
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What's the Story?
A NATO spy vessel in the Mediterranean is struck by an old, derelict sea-mine and sinks with no survivors off the coast of the chilly Communist dictatorship of Albania. A high-tech surveillance-communication console on board the wreck would be a prize for the Soviet Union, so the superpowers race to recover it, via their assorted agents and hired stooges and gunmen. A Greek archaeologist and his wife who saw the wreck are quickly killed by a Cuban agent. James Bond is on the case, but he sees the assassin in turn slain by Melina (French actress-model Carole Bouquet), the victims' pretty daughter, who favors crossbows as her weapon in exterminating all those responsible for her parents' deaths. Next in line on her list is a smuggler (Julian Glover) in league with the Russian KGB.
Is It Any Good?
The tone of this film is consistently lighthearted and comedic; when a talking parrot provides a vital clue, viewers know not much of this can be taken seriously. Propelled by a hit Sheena Easton song as an especially popular main theme, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was the 12th entry in MGM's "official" series of James Bond movie adventures. It gets by as undemanding entertainment for the fans, with some particularly excellent underwater cinematography and action sequences. There's a little moral lesson in Bond chastising the fierce Melina about seeking vengeance, but these words seem a little hollow coming from a spy who has just killed, what, 20, 200, 2,000 bad guys?
Viewers can insinuate a little Greek-myth lesson in there by emphasizing how Melina compares herself to the avenging heroine Elektra, of ancient drama (the name and vibe was later hijacked for a comic-book heroine and movie Elektra ). And you can amaze kids with your 007 I.Q. by telling them that the late actress Cassandra Harris, playing a phony countess who has a romantic fling with Bond, was in real life the wife of an actor who would later play Bond -- Pierce Brosnan.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the way Bond settles a Cold War standoff at the end, enforcing "détente" so that even the villainous Russians go away satisfied. You might have to explain to younger fans exactly what the Cold War was anyway (and the joke appearance at the end by a Margaret Thatcher impersonator). Of course, Bond kills numerous henchmen and attackers throughout; does this make his negative attitude toward the heroine's quest for revenge seem a little hypocritical? Also, do kids think James Bond is a good role model? Why has this movie franchise been so successful?
- In theaters: June 24, 1981
- On DVD or streaming: October 19, 1999
- Cast: Carole Bouquet, Julian Glover, Roger Moore
- Director: John Glen
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 127 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: sex and violence
- Last updated: February 26, 2023
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