|UK quad poster
|At work in Cortina - front left - Tony Waye (Assistant director), Bob Simmons (Action co-ordinator), Roger Moore, Cubby Broccoli, John Glen, Michael G Wilson
Of the old guard, both Desmond Llewelyn (Q) and Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny) returned but Bernard Lee, who’d played M since Dr No (1962) was hospitalised with stomach cancer and died on 16th January 1981 before he could film his scenes. As a mark of respect, the part wasn’t recast and his dialogue was split between Q, the Minister Of Defence (Geoffrey Keen) and Bill Tanner (James Villiers).
|from left - Carole Bouquet, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Cassandra Harris
|from left - Julian Glover, Topol
On a budget of $28m ($6m less than Moonraker), Bond was ready to head into the 1980s.
“We had gone as far as we could into space. We needed a change of some sort, back to the grass roots of Bond. We wanted to make the new film more of a thriller than a romp, without losing sight of what made Bond famous - its humour.”
- John Glen
Production began on 2nd September 1980 in the North Sea, filming exterior scenes with the St Georges (interiors were shot at Pinewood later, as was the explosion which was filmed in the tank on the 007 stage).
The production moved to Corfu and, on 15th September, began filming at the Villa Sylva at Kanoni, which doubled as Gonzales’ Spanish villa. On a location scout, it had been decided to use the local hills and olive groves for the chase scene between Melina’s Citroën 2CV and the Peugeot 504s driven by Gonzales’ men (Bond’s Lotus was blown up early on to show that he would be relying more on his wits than gadgets). The chase was supervised by Remy Julienne (who would work on every Bond film up to Goldeneye) and filmed over twelve days, using four 2CVs which were modified for the stunts required. The scene includes Roger Moore’s ad-lib “I love a drive in the country, don’t you?” which clearly takes Carole Bouquet by surprise and he has since stated that of all the cars he ever drove as Bond, the 2CV was his favourite.
|The Citroen 2CV jumps the Peugeot in the olive groves
|Bond kicks Locque's car off the cliff, the scene that concerned Roger Moore
The raid on Kristatos’ warehouse was also filmed, along with the scene where Bond kicks Locque’s car over the edge of a cliff. Roger Moore felt the scene was too cold-blooded - he said it “was Bond-like, but not Roger Moore Bond-like” (though I would argue his killing of Sandor in The Spy Who Loved Me is just as nasty) - but agreed to film it as originally written. The raid sequence also saw Topol injured, when a piece of debris hit him in the face - the scene is included in the movie, with the actor falling toward Moore.
|Could that be Locque, or is it a character from Guess Who?
The church in the pre-credits sequence was filmed at Stoke Poges, next door to the golf course from Goldfinger (1964). The sequence of Bond visiting his wife’s grave was written to provide continuity between potentially different actors, when it was still unsure if Moore would be continuing in the role.
|Martin Grace hangs on over Beckton Gas Works
|Not-Blofeld at Beckton Gas Works (Martin Grace on the skid)
|Filming the keelhauling sequence in the Bahamas
|Locque and his men wait for Bond at the ski jump - from left, Claus (Charles Dance), Locque (Michael Gothard), Erich Kriegler (John Wyman)
First unit filming wrapped in February. Back at Pinewood, Derek Meddings and his team created miniatures of the St George (and blew it up), Columbo’s yacht for the approach to Kristatos’ warehouse and elements of St Cyrils (including the basket lift).
|top - film still
bottom - Derek Meddings with the foreground miniature exactly duplicating the real building
|A member of Derek Meddings' crew at work on the St Georges miniature, just before the diver explodes (hence the miniatures of Bond and Melina)
For Your Eyes Only premiered at the Odeon, Leicester Square on 24th June 1981 before going on general release on 26th June. The premiere was attended by the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, for the benefit of the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation. Topol suggested to Cubby Broccoli that he invite his former Bond co-producer Harry Salzman, which he did, marking the first re-union between the two men since their break up after The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).
|left - Concept art for the poster by Brian Bysouth - right - raw photo of Nancy Stafford (the hand and crossbow used in the poster)
|Roger Moore presents Cubby Broccoli with his Irving Thalberg Award
At the Oscars on 29th March 1982, Sheena Easton performed the nominated title song and Roger Moore presented Cubby Broccoli with the Irving Thalberg Honorary Award, in honour of the Bond series. The script was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay by The Writers Guild of America.
Setting a record for opening-day grosses (£14,998), it went on to made $195.3m ($509.6m adjusted for inflation) worldwide, making it the second highest grossing Bond film after Moonraker. It was the last Bond film distributed solely by United Artists, as the studio merged with MGM soon after the release.
I like the film a lot though I must admit, at the time, I wasn’t so keen (you have to remember I was 12 when this was released) because after the glorious excess of Moonraker it seemed a bit too pedestrian. But it’s not - the direction is tight, the set-pieces (especially the car chase and the submarine stuff with the St Georges) are suspenseful and well constructed and the acting is good across the board. I’m a fan, so happy 35th anniversary For Your Eyes Only.