‘For Your Eyes Only’ returns the secret agent back to its usual style, offering a more traditional tale of good guys vs. bad guys with some fancy stunt work thrown in.
The pre-titles sequence of ‘FYEO’ also took a page from the early Bond films, featuring a thinly veiled reference to 007’s old nemesis Blofeld. Bond finally disposes of the criminal mastermind by dropping him down a chimney. The villain is never mentioned by name due to legal reasons, but it’s clear who’s being eliminated.
‘FYEO’ was the first Bond film to go on without the character of ‘M’, played by Bernard Lee for the first 11 films in the series. Lee had fallen ill and ended up passing away before his scenes for ‘FYEO’ could be completed. Out of respect for Lee, the producers did not replace his character for the movie, instead choosing to give his lines to the character of Bill Tanner. Actor Robert Brown would eventually assume the role of ‘M’ in ‘Octopussy’, having played Admiral Hargreaves in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’.
The notable theme song to ‘FYEO’ may be the most enduring aspect of the film. Performed by Sheena Easton, the song hit No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for Best Original Song at the 1982 Academy Awards.
‘FYEO’ is a welcome return to the real-world espionage tales of the late 1960s and early ’70s. While not the most thrilling of the Bond series, it’s action scenes get the job done, and the tale of revenge is effective at offering some emotional depth. Ranking up there as one of Moore’s best Bonds, ‘FYEO’ ushered 007 into the 1980s in style.