Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Most Secret - For Your Eyes Only

A Graveyard. James Bond lays roses on his Wife's grave. Poor Tracy! - murdered all those years ago by Blofeld. A Universal Exports helicopter has been sent for Bond – something urgent no doubt. Cut to that cat being stroked, by a mysterious bald gentleman in a jazzed-up electric wheelchair-
his injuries the result of his many brushes with the deadly 007. As the chopper flies over the Thames past Big Ben the mysterious baldie activates the remote control console on his chair and electrocutes the pilot. Flying the chopper by remote control, Blofel- I mean the anonymous gentleman* threatens Bond, who manages to escape from the passenger cabin and clamber around to the cockpit, spotting the villainous wheelchair user on a nearby rooftop. In the very nick, Bond spots the cables for the remote and wrenches them free, chasing the fleeing B*o*e*d and scooping him up with the helicopter skids. Despite the tempting offer of a Delicatessen, Bond isn't swayed, dropping the hapless B*o*e*d down one a massive industrial chimney.
Sheena Easton sings the title song (The first time a singer has appeared in a Bond title sequence) and the now-familiar Bond silhouette defends girls from menace as fish swim and are-they aren't-they naked women fill the screen. Maurice Binder collects his cheque and we move on...

A Trawler – the St.Georges from Valletta is at sea, the Maltese flag flying from her stern. Whilst the crew toil, a sailor in Navy blues finishes his cigarette and goes below – a sliding door revealing a sophisticated electronics room, staffed by Royal Navy personnel. Its a spy trawler!. At the very heart of the apparatus is something called A.T.A.C. - obviously very hush-hush even if it looks suspiciously like a cash register. Suddenly, an alarm – a seamine in the nets!. BOOM! The ship goes down, the doomed crew frantically trying – and failing, to destroy the A.T.A.C.
ABOVE: Roger (Now Sir.Roger) Moore returns as 007
The Ministry of Defence, that last great bulwark of Britain's Imperial defence. Speaking of great bulwarks, the First Sea Lord is here to see the Minister. Meanwhile in Moscow, General Gogol is appraising his superiors. The Russians were watching the spy ship, it went down off the Albanian coast and there might be a chance of getting the A.T.A.C. Transmitter. If it should come up for sale their usual contact in Greece has been alerted...

Greece. A seaplane comes in to land by a yacht in a fabulous bay, bringing a beautiful girl back to her parents. Sir.Timothy Havelock is a renowned Marine Archaeologist, he and his wife welcome Melina aboard, but the welcome turns to tragedy. Taking off, the plane turns and goes into a diving attack, strafing the yacht and killing the Havelocks. Escaping by good luck, Melina's eyes show a terrible hatred beginning to form.

London. Miss Moneypenny welcomes Bond, explaining M is on leave (In deference to the recently departed Bernard Lee, the role of 'M' was not reprised for some years), the Minister and Chief of Staff are waiting. The Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator is used to transmit targeting information to Polaris subs at sea. If it fell into enemy hands it could be used to attack British cities.
Sir.Timothy was tasked with covertly locating the wreck of the spy ship, but the Havelocks were murdered by a Cuban hitman, Hector Gonzales, before Sir. Timothy's report could be delivered. 007 is handed a Secret dossier – Operation Undertow is underway.

Spain.(Well, Corfu) A rather lovely white Lotus Esprit** drives past a high-security compound as a Mercedes drives in through the main gates. Parking the car, Bond goes in for a look – the place is crawling with armed security and pretty girls in swimwear frolicking around the pool. What exactly is frolicking anyway?. A severe looking man in suit and glasses brings a briefcase full of money to Gonzales. Bond observes from a distance, but a twig snapping alerts him to another interloper. Before he can find out who's lurking in the trees, the goons jump him. Recognising Bond's PPK as Secret Service issue, Gonzales is dismissive, ordering his men to get rid of Bond. The hitman dives into his pool – just in time to meet a crossbow bolt coming the other way. 
As the girls start screaming, 007 uses the commotion to escape as the bullets start to fly. Suddenly, Bond comes up short – faced with a mysterious veiled figure aiming a crossbow straight at him. The bolt whirs past into the nearest goon and, pulling her headgear aside Melina reveals herself. With no time for introductions, Bond leads the way back to the Lotus. Just as a thug tries to break in by smashing the glass. Didn't the 'Burglar Protected' sticker warn him? (This is Bond legend Bob Simmons – the stuntman who appears in most of the early Bonds) Ka-BOOM! - the Self-Destruct turns the Lotus – and a hilariously bad 'Bob' dummy, into spare parts. Luckily, Melina has a car...
From a Lotus Esprit to a 2CV... with Gonzales' men chasing in faster cars (ie anything other than more 2CVs and, possibly my old Vauxhall Viva) Melina takes the little Citroen through a picturesque Spanish village, but rolls it to avoid a bus that blocks the pursuing goons just long enough for the helpful locals to right the car and for Bond to take over the driving. The chase continues into the hills where the locals are harvesting their crop. Looks like plums to me. Seriously outclassed, the battered Citroen only stays ahead of the powerful Peugeots due to 007's driving, but he is forced off the road and the little car rolls sideways down a hill, crunching to a halt before – improbably reversing back past a lorry to do a skidding 'J-turn' then force the Peugeots to collide with a tricky bit of braking. One car crashes down the hill on its roof only to be knocked into a spin by the other as the chase rolls on, the 2CV going straight downhill, the remaining pursuers using the road. Some witty humour from Roger Moore and the Citroen jumps-bumps over the chasing car, a lorry then smashing it off the hill into the branches of a tree, much to the surprise of the locals whose nets are now filled with hubcaps as well as fruit.

At a local hotel Bond phones in a reservation for their flight. Melina, though has unfinished business. She intends to continue her Father's work, but not before extracting revenge on whoever paid Gonzales. Bond cautions her against vengeance, quoting the old Chinese saying about needing to dig two graves before setting out on revenge. His advice falls on deaf ears; she is half-Greek and Greek women always avenge their loved ones.

London. The Minister is worried at the Prime Minister's likely reaction to the failure of Operation Undertow. Bond isn't so sure – he saw the man who paid Gonzales. Perhaps the Identigraph could help?. Down to Q-Branch!. Dear old Q is hard at work, developing swing-out plaster casts that can smash a man's head in, umbrellas that spring deadly spikes in the rain, as well as a replacement Lotus. The Identigraph itself is housed in its own room, a 3-D computer system that patches into the
files of the French Sureté, Interpol, the CIA, Mossad and even the West German Police. Q runs the system, with Bond describing the features of Mr.Payoff. After a bit of hit-and-miss they have a composite – the system prints out a photo and a name; Emile Leopold Locque. An Enforcer in the Brussels underworld, this nasty bit of work is working for Greek drug smugglers, last known whereabouts Cortina.
A copper-coloured Turbo Esprit takes a curving road into the town of Cortina, where Bond checks in to a swankily-naff hotel, his suite a riot of eyewateringly-ugly patterned fabric. (The sort of pattern you get in Old Folks homes and hospital waiting rooms). He runs a bath, but what's this? - a message on the mirror, the steam revealing 'TOFANA 10AM'. Tofana is a mountain, and next day, Bond takes the cable car to rendezvous with Luigi Ferrara, his contact. They exchange the codewords and Luigi – who dresses as if hoping to be recognised as a spy, has arranged a meeting with their man in Greece. A distinguished war hero, this man is a big name in shipping and has a villa in Cortina. Luigi takes Bond to the Olympic Ice Rink where a girl skates, watched by a distinguished older gentleman. Aris Kristatos shakes Bond's hand warmly and they join his table, unaware Locque is watching. The girl skates across, Kristatos' protégée Bibi Dahl accompanied by her Skating tutor and (distinctly Soviet bloc) chaperone Jacoba Brink. Despite Kristatos' assurance of her naiveté, Bibi turns out to be a proper dirter (In colloquial parlance). Back to business; Kristatos claims Locque works for a smuggler, Milos Columbo. He explains Columbo is known in the underworld as 'The Dove'. They fought together in the Greek Resistance before Columbo turned to crime.
After the meeting, Bond is walking with Luigi when he spots Melina, ominously heading into a sporting goods store. She buys a crossbow. Oh-oh. Bond has no time to digest this, as Melina is attacked by two henchmen on motorcross bikes, their tyres spiked for ice riding. Bond sends one through the window of a florists, the other rides off and theres a decent gag about lilies. 

Melina came because of a telegram purportedly from James. Taking a horse-sled to the station, Bond offloads her with a promise to join her in Corfu when he has more information. Back at the Hotella Di Naff, Bond has a visitor – Bibi, who tries to offer her honour. Thankfully, James declines to honour her offer, and they go to the Biathlon, where James has agreed to be her chaperone. He should be safe there... at least from Bibi. Shadowed by the omnipresent Locque, the two watch the event, the East German Champion Eric Kriegler shooting them the evils then a perfect score on the targets. James parts company with Bibi, with a vague promise to see her skate that night as he has an appointment, skiing off into the woods where Kriegler breaks off from his sport and tries to shoot the British spy. (Kriegler is a typical Bond henchman – Blonde, muscular and asexual.)

Bond crashes into cover behind a tree, drawing his Walther. Kriegler shoots it from his hand and adds insult by shooting Bond's ski-pole into pieces when he tries to retrieve his pistol. Making a break, 007 skies straight into two waiting goons but manages to get past with some tricky skiing only to find Locque waiting by the Olympic ski jump. Bond ducks into the crowd waiting for the ski-jump lift as the motorcycle goons and then Kriegler join their boss. With no way out, Bond bluffs it into the lift***, but his distinctive Olin skis give the game away. The arrival of Locque and one of his heavies ( A young Charles Dance, no less) and there's nowhere to go, but up. 007 spots one detail; Locque wears a pin badge, a white dove... hmm.

The competitors jump, slicing down the massive slope and arcing high above the packed snow to land to polite applause from the crowd. Cornered, Bond spots Kriegler and the motorbike goons waiting below, Locque menaces him from behind, the butt of his pistol emerging from his pocket. As Kriegler takes aim with his rifle, 007 goes for it, taking his place as if he was a competitor and launching himself down the jump to the confusion of the officials. Suddenly, a thug (Dance) skis out from a side platform to attack Bond, the two hurtling down into the jump together, the thug obscuring Kriegler's aim. 007 lands – just and jumps a mound of snow handily placed to knock Kriegler's rifle aside and escape. Bond isn't free yet, though, as Krieger takes one of the two motorbikes in close pursuit. The other rider has a trick; his indicators revolve around their stems to become machine guns (No, I didn't buy this either) and the snow starts to fly around Bond. A comic touch – Bond sends a whole ski-lesson falling, domino-style – and the chase roars on. 007 is a magnificent skier, but these riders are no slouches either.

A group of diners are enjoying lunch at a ski lodge, seated around the long table when, out of nowhere Bond jumps down onto the table and out onto the slopes beyond – closely followed by two maniacs on motorcycles who crash through the place. (Blink and you'd miss a familiar face – 'the drinker' from the beach scene in The Spy who Loved Me and Venice in Moonraker - Victor Tourjansky made his last Bond appearance in FYEO) On into a wooded area, the trees here closer together, Bond adeptly jams his remaining ski-pole between two trees and one rider is taken out of the game. A bob-sleigh team is setting off down the Eugenio Monti course. (One of these stuntmen was Paolo Rigon, who was tragically killed during filming when his bob-sleigh overturned.) Bond drops down into the course – a nearly suicidal move on hard ice, rocketing down the track and into the corners. Kriegler follows, the ice spikes affording him some grip. To his amazement, the last man in the bob turns to see a skier gaining fast, the whole team turning in surprise. Helpfully, Bond points a warning; there's a pair of tight left-right bends coming up and the odd procession careens around and through the turns, before Bond shoots off the track – over the snowy roof of a hut and crashes in a tangled heap. Kriegler goes through the hut, smashing into a log bench and wiping out.
He goes to shoot Bond, but he's bent his barrel and his bike, throwing them both after 007 in an impotent rage and display of strength.

James pulls up outside the Ice Rink, leaving Luigi in the Lotus. Bibi is finishing her skating, Bond questions her about Kriegler – she says he's an East German defector, but a panicky Jacoba Brink calls her away as an Ice Hockey team comes out to practice. Bond walks off the ice when the lights go out and the 'team' attacks him, barging and swinging their sticks. Adroitly, Bond dodges their attacks, grabbing a stick and then an ice-resurfacing machine to dump them in the net (Complete with score-board and horn sounding each time.) Outside, Bond finds Luigi has been garrotted, his hand still clutching Locques' dove pin.

Corfu – that jewel in the Eastern Mediterranean (The water and sky are the most vivid blues I have ever seen). James surprises Melina and they go to the local market to do the tourist thing. Dusk finds them in the gardens of the majestic Achilleion palace, the view over Corfu town breathtaking. Perhaps her Father left some notes in his study aboard the Triana? - Melina hasn't had the heart to go into his study since the murders. James feels he may make progress with a meeting at the Casino that night.
That night. The Casino (actually still the Achilleion, as that was the Corfu Casino back then), where a Baccarat game is in play. A beautiful Contessa appears and Bond cleans out Lord somebody or other before joining Kristatos for dinner. Bond shows off his gastronomic knowledge and they get to business. Accusing Columbo of heroin smuggling, Kristatos points him out at a nearby table, sitting with the Countess Lisl. (The Countess is played by the late Cassandra Harris, wife of a certain Pierce Brosnan. Whilst filming the couple dined with Cubby Broccoli and this is almost certainly when Brosnan was first noticed as a future 007) Columbo has a stake in the Casino and Kristatos suggests Bond kills him. The camera zooms in – unless 007 has zoom-vision – to show Columbo wears... Dove cufflinks!. Smoothly, the waiters change the table, one taking the lamp, which is unscrewed to reveal a micro-cassette recorder. Now in his office at the Casino, Columbo (The legendary Topol) munches on pistachios and listens to Bond's conversation with Kristatos before returning to his table and triggering a pre-arranged scene with the Countess, who acts as if he insulted her and throws a glass over him before leaving. Taking advantage of the potential lead, Bond borrows Kristatos' car to take the Countess home to her seaside villa. In a fantastic bit of tongue-in-cheek, Bond tells the driver he won't need him tonight and follows her inside.
When she's tiddly, the Countess drops her accent, revealing she's a Liverpool lass. She admits Columbo primed her to find out more about Bond and they make love. The next morning the two take a romantic walk on the beach, a dive-boat at anchor nearby - but several beach buggies appear, driven by Locque and henchmen (Including Dance). Bond shoots a tyre out and one flips, but Lisl panics and runs back down the beach. The poor girl doesn't stand a chance and is mown down by Locque. Bond has no time to grieve, as Charles Dance pulls up and points a luger at him. Locque menaces Bond with his own PPK, but Dance gets a spear from a speargun in the back, from the divers coming ashore – Bond kicks the Walther from Locque's grip and the baddie roars off. Bond pays his respects to the 'Contessa' – a classy move that earns him a whack to the nut. (And for laughs, try counting the number of times James Bond has been knocked out – after proving invincible in a fight – by a simple whack to the head. You wonder why he doesn't dribble.)

Bond comes to in the cabin of a sail yacht and is brought to the stateroom, where Columbo plays him the tape of his meeting with Kristatos. Columbo tells Bond he should go after Kristatos and that Locque works for the latter. Gold, diamonds, cigarettes – even pistachios – he admits smuggling these, but never heroin. He goes further; Kristatos works for the Russians and was a double agent during the war. Now he's murdered Columbo's woman, Lisl. Bond is sceptical, but Columbo invites Bond to see for himself – tonight they will go to Kristatos' warehouse in Albania. Offering Bond a drink, his host seems insulted when he declines. Showing faith, Columbo gives the PPK back to its owner and Bond accepts that drink. Darkness falls and the yacht sails quietly into the harbour, a Hilltop fort dominating the scene. Columbo, as ever incessantly munching on his pistachios. At the dockside, bales of paper are being loaded, supervised by Locque. Striking the sails, Columbo's men swarm ashore and battle is joined. In the fight, Columbo saves Bond from a bullet and Locque dashes inside. His men have Armalites, but they are soon cornered inside amongst the giant bales. Cautiously moving forward, the allies uncover boxes of pineapple grenades and a J.I.M. Deep-sea diving suit for salvage work at depth. Hmmm...

Wily as ever, Columbo throws a handful of his pistachios out across the floor as Bond discovers one of the 'bales' is seeping raw opium. Worse, there are several seamines in the warehouse, (The same kind that blew the St.Georges to the sea floor) Locque is busy wiring one of these with plastic explosive, but his men step on the pistachios alerting Columbo and co. Severing the ties holding a bundle of bales, they send them bouncing and rolling over the goons, flattening them. 007 spots the rigged mine and they get out just as Locque sends the place sky-high and drives off. The only way out for cars is a tunnel leading up to the fort and Bond spots a winding stairway, charging up it trying to catch the car. He gets a few shots off, but the car speeds off. By now breathing like a racehorse with one lung, Bond somehow gets out just as the car breaks out atop the hill. In the now-famous Bond pose, 007 fires hitting Locque and sending the car spinning through a wall to a halt hanging off the cliff. Bond throws Locque the dove pin he found in Luigi's hand and, in one of the most-debated moments in the series, gives the car a hefty kick to send it spinning and crashing down the cliff, Locques' mangled corpse thrown clear onto the rocks. (And, for the record, I agree with Sir.Roger Moore – it was a Bond-like thing to do, but not in keeping with his portrayal of 007. It helps the film along though, plus this scene adds much needed grit to the series.)
An underwater scene, divers use lifting bags to recover artifacts from an ancient temple. Melina works on the site, using one of those underwater hoovers to suck the sand from the floor tiles.**** Joining her, James swims up and they go up to the Triana (But not before she removes her scuba tank, leaving it on the seabed – for no apparent reason. Is she psychic?.) In Sir.Timothy's study, Bond explains Melina's father was using the temple dive as a front – the St.Georges must have gone down in the area. Max, Sir.Timothy's pet parrot provides some light relief, repeating whatever is said to him. Looking over Sir.Timothy's logs, Melina explains he wrote them in shorthand. He made several surveys in Neptune – his mini-sub, spotting a diving bell in the area and a wreck. It was then he was murdered. James and Melina take Neptune for a closer look at that wreck. The sub glides along just above the bottom and, gradually, the stern of the St.Georges emerges through the gloom. Working on mixed gases – Oxygen and Helium, James estimates they have no more than eight minutes dive time. They suit up in the airlock and prepare to exit Neptune, unaware that Neptune has triggered a proximity alarm topside, where Kristatos' salvage craft lies.

James and Melina enter the wreck through the hole made by the mine, a shark gives us all a start and then the grim task of exploring the communications suite – the bodies of the crew still trapped. James has a waterproofed diagram explaining the layout of the A.T.A.C. Room and the de-activation procedure for the thermite self-destruct charge and they go for'ard. Bond finds the self destruct primed, but unfired and sets about dismantling the device. (Ominously, a fresh perspective and the sounds of breathing warn us audience types of imminent trouble) Cautiously, he cuts the wires and retrieves the A.T.A.C just as the hulking form of the J.I.M. Deep-sea suit explodes into the cramped compartment. Effectively a series of jointed steel spheres, the J.I.M. Is not so much a dive-suit as a suit of heavy armour, complete with massive pincers instead of hands. James gets a bash to the helmet (ouch) and Melina is rammed up against a bulkhead, her hose rupturing. Grabbing the thermite charge, James yanks the pin and slaps it (its magnetic) onto the back of the J.I.M. Suit, the sudden loud ticking giving the stooge in the suit something to think about, but also a chance for the pair to slip past. Wrenching the precious A.T.A.C. From the suits steel grip, 007 is sent backwards, the thug knocking a heavy metal cabinet down to trap him. As the seconds count down on the timer, Bond just manages to wrench his way clear as the suit goes up in a gout of flame, the shockwave and gases erupting around our two heroes and almost killing them. (Look out for some fantastic miniature work here.)
ABOVE: The model of the St.Georges filmed at Pinewood.
Back in the safety of Neptune... did I say safety? - a submersible named Mantis appears from the murk and rams into the little sub. The Mantis is well named, it's mechanical claws ripping out vital electrical connections and then, holding the little sub firmly in one claw, trying to push a drill-bit through the glass cupola. Luckily, Neptune is bigger, and has more thrust, Bond guns it, ramming the Mantis backwards into the wreckage of the St.Georges where it gets firmly stuck. James takes the sub up to be hauled aboard the Triana. Surprise, surprise Kristatos is waiting for him, along with Kriegler and assorted goons. In Sir. Timothy's office, with only Max the parrot as witness, Kriegler, looking blonder than ever, wants to deliver the A.T.A.C. To his KGB superiors and then bring Kristatos his money. Kristatos isn't stupid, insisting on an exchange at a place called St.Cyrils.

On deck, James and Melina have their arms around each other. Surely there's a time and a place? - but no, they've been tied together. Evil old Kristatos plans to drag them behind his motor yacht. Over a reef. Ouch. ***** The yacht tows a paravane (A sort of underwater kite) – behind it a coil of rope, as it pays out Bond and the girl are wrenched from the Triana's stern and dragged through the water above the reef. Somehow, Bond succeeds in turning them so that he, not Melina, takes the first sickening blow, blood blossoming out into the water behind them. Mercifully, they manage a gulp of precious air as the boat turns for another run, Bond diving down to the rocks in a desperate attempt to sever their bonds. As he saws away, the first shark circles...

Once again they are drawn across the razor-forest, once more Bond takes the wound. A gentleman even in death. Another turn and Bond's last chance, his arms free he's able to dive faster and he manages to reach a rocky outcrop swimming around it and bracing hard as above, the boat starts towards the reef, coming to an abrupt halt. The helmsman opens the throttles and the rope is at full stretch, parting suddenly to send the paravane whipping from the water and knocking a goon into the sea, the sharks flashing up beneath him. As he meets his awful fate, his boss spots James and Melina on the surface, Bond unpicking her Bonds. So to speak. Kristatos orders them to be run down, Melina has an idea and they dive down to the temple where she left that convenient tank of air. As our two heroes sit safely on the bottom buddy breathing, Kristatos is sure the sharks have them and the baddies leave, leaving James and the girl free to regain the Triana. Despondently, James sums it up – Kristatos is probably in Havana and the A.T.A.C. lost. Proving himself a loyal British parrot and no commie stooge, Max the parrot helpfully sparks up with “ATAC to St.Cyrils-ATAC to St.Cyrils”. Technically now an MI6 Agent, Max's information saves the day...

The town of St.Cyrils, a Wedding is in full swing, dancers in local costume and revellers celebrating. Bond enters the church and a confessional. 'Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.' Before we can digest this oddness, the 'Priest' answers – 'That's putting it mildly, 007.' Of course it's Q, complete with false beard and Priest get-up. 007's signal sent Whitehall into meltdown – there are hundreds of St.Cyrils, with no clue which one Kristatos has gone to. Bond has an idea who to ask...
ABOVE: In the early eighties it was still acceptable to show 007 surrounded by beautiful women. We show you these pictures just to show you how unacceptable it is now... honest.
A file of Monks walk a mountain path, Brother Columbo is followed by 'Brother' Melina, James etc. St.Cyrils is an abandoned monastery perched atop a massive sandstone pillar, a spectacular setting; Columbo and Kristatos hid from the Germans there during the war. The approach is daunting, even for an experienced climber. A sheer face with an overhang is the only way up, armed guards patrolling the monastery. If Bond makes it, there's a winch and a basket to bring the others up. Inside, the A.T.A.C. sits on the altar – the prize guarded jealously by Kriegler and Apostis, one of Kristatos' most trusted men. At the base of the cliff, 007 begins his climb.

Bibi is doing her exercises, when Kristatos enters. The skater is restless, she belongs on the ice and isn't impressed when Kristatos tells her they are going to Cuba. Bibi rebuffs him and he blames Jacoba Brink for this rebelliousness, leaving Brink trying to mollify Bibi. An angry Kristatos sends his man out to check the guard and look for the helicopter that Kriegler has called in. The climb is dangerous, demanding all of Bond's concentration. Startled, ironically enough by some doves he nearly falls, clinging on as, above, a guard peers over the edge. Bond sets up a belay, using a piece of cloth to muffle the noise, he knocks in a piton with his climbing hammer. The climb continues.

Bond finally reaches the top and gets a kick in the teeth from Apostis that sends him sliding back off the rock and into a sickening fall. (An incredible stunt by Rick Sylvester – famous for his base jump at the start of The Spy who Loved Me) 007 falls what has to be eighty feet, his rope bringing him up short with rib-cracking force. Far below, Columbo's team are showered with debris and fear the worst. Stunned, Bond dangles in space, the cliff beyond reach due to the overhang, only his pitons keeping him alive. Quickly fashioning a 'prusik' or ascending device from his bootlace, Bond starts the laborious business of climbing back up the rope, but Apostis has roped down to reach the topmost of Bond's pitons and knocks it free with his pistol butt. Falling again, Bond doesn't give up, climbing hard at full pelt. Again, a piton is knocked free and, as Columbo's men and Melina watch helplessly out of range, Bond takes yet another fall. With only one piton straining to take his weight, James Bond is surely doomed. The henchman moves around and reaches down to start hammering that last piton, Bond's climb seemingly for nothing. Getting a glimpse of his would-be murderer is enough, Bond takes a blade-edged piton and throws it to stick into Apostis' chest. The man falls forward with a long echoing scream, the body crashing to the rocks by Columbo's party. At first they fear the worst, but Columbo identifies the corpse and the very much alive James waves them forward, grabbing the late Apostis' rope just as his last piton is about to fail.

007 sneaks past a dopey guard into the winch room, sending the basket down for the others. As he returns, even Mr.Dozey can't fail to notice the winch is running and, finding the doors to the room bolted instead of raising the alarm he gets a crossbow bolt to the chest. Bond drags him in and orders him to be tied up. Unaware of the impending assault, Kristatos is impatient, but Kriegler reassures him. Indeed, a Soviet passenger helicopter is inbound, carrying General Gogol. Melina gives the man she shot first aid and Columbo administers anaethesia. Sneaking forwards, a pair of suitcases emerges from a door – followed by Jacoba Brink; she's doing a runner with Bibi, agreeing to help Bond if he helps them get away from creepy old Kristatos. The guard's quarters next, the night shift sleeping in their bunks are quickly woken and rounded up. Bibi strides into Kristatos' apartment and demands to know where Brink is, getting a slap for her defiance. Speaking of slaps, Columbo and Bond are getting into it with two of the guards who aren't lying down easily. The fight is vicious, one thug pushing Bond – and himself through an ancient stained-glass window (Presumably made of ancient sugar glass) to crash into the apartment below. Kriegler is about to shoot 007, but a spirited Bibi knocks his gun away, getting a brutal backhander for her trouble.

Bond's punches and kicks have no effect – Kriegler is in peak condition and an Iron Curtain iron-man to boot. He batters Bond and tries to skewer him with an iron candelabra before picking up a heavy stone flower planter to finish him. Only the sight of Kristatos sneaking out with the A.T.A.C. causes his attention to waver and Bond rams him through the window behind with the candelabra. Kriegler falls to his death, landing last week. Now it's between Columbo and his old enemy as Kristatos tries to get the A.T.A.C. to the landing helicopter. Columbo fights valiantly, but is knocked down the slope and Bond grabs the precious device as Melina arrives. With her crossbow. James pleads with her, insisting that Kristatos be turned over to the Police. She is immovable, her heart set on revenge. Bond reminds her of the Chinese proverb, but Kristatos has a flick-knife!. He gets a knife between the shoulder blades – thrown by Columbo with the last ounce of his strength.

General Gogol arrives, with a guard, his Uzi covering Bond. The General has a smile of triumph as he reaches out to claim his prize. Turning in resignation, Bond swings, launching the A.T.A.C. spinning out into space to smash into fragments on the rocks far below. James makes a joke; it's detente as neither side has it. Gogol sees the funny side and leaves. Columbo puts his nuts into Bibi's hand – pistachios (What were you lot thinking?. Honestly...) and it seems Bibi has her new sponsor.

The Triana sits at anchor. Bond kisses Melina, while in London the Minister and Chief of Staff impatiently wait for Q to patch through the satellite comms and link-up to Downing Street. (On a mish-mash of old M.O.D. Radio kit) Aboard the yacht, Melina wants a moonlight swim, but Bond's (Now appealingly retro) Seiko pages him – come in 007... Hanging the watch on Max's perch, the two lovers take their swim. Over the radio-link, Q mistakes Max's mimicry for Bond and patches the call through...

Ten Downing Street. In the kitchen, the phone rings and a lady pulls off her marigolds to answer. It's Maggie! - yes Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister... (played to a 'T' by the wonderful impressionist Janet Brown, John Wells playing a grinning Denis – her husband.) She thanks 'Bond' for his services and the feathery imposter replies 'Gissus a kiss' sending the communications room into a panic and the Minister yanking the plug. Max drops the annoying watch over the side as two silhouettes swim through the temple.

The End
James Bond will return

*The ongoing legal disputes of the time prevented the use of the name.
** The 'Essex' Esprit Turbo was the first Turbo Esprit, made initially to commemorate the Formula-1 deal with sponsors Essex Petroleum. Two of these beauties were delivered to EON Productions, the second in the copper livery to avoid disappearing against the snowy Cortina background.
***I am 95% certain the youngish man to the left of James in the lift is Willy Bogner, the skiing legend responsible for filming some of the greatest ski stunts ever seen on film. Bogner's distinctive skiwear makes an appearance of its own – the 'B' on Bonds blue ski jacket stands for 'Bogner', not Bond.
**** Due to a sinus condition, Carole Bouquet was unable to do underwater scenes – look carefully and you'll notice the bubbles from her regulator are superimposed – her hair was wafted around using fans and the film slowed down to produce a convincing effect.
*****This grisly method of murder was lifted from Ian Fleming's novel Live & Let Die – it wasn't featured in the film, so fits in nicely here.

Look out for the stunt cage as the 2CV is righted.
Bond and Melina dive on mixed gas – but their voices sound normal, not high-pitched.
In a few scenes, look out for the crew reflected clearly in car windows.

The 2CV was driven by Remy Julienne, the French stunt Legend.
General Gogol is played by series veteran Walter Gotell, who first appeared in From Russia with Love as S.P.E.C.T.R.E. operative Morzeny)
St.Cyrils was supposed to be abandoned, in reality the location, the Metéora, a complex of ancient orthodox monasteries was occupied by Monks who protested production by hanging their washing out on shooting days.
Yes, but that's not an unqualified yes... this film isn't one of the better outings for 007. It has a grounded feel – it has credibility, but reviews at the time were mixed and at times you do start to look at your watch. It's hardly The Spy who Loved Me. One of those Bonds from my late childhood,
by the early eighties the series was running a losing race to Science Fiction movies. British filmmaking in general was starting to appear quaint against the latest Spielberg offerings. This in itself is ironic; all the 'best' Hollywood films seemed to be made in England; everything from Star Wars to Raiders had core components filmed here. The one area we didn't dominate was in producing and directing. Roger Moore – now of course Sir. Roger was showing his age – you start to suspect he's still there because the Broccoli family loved him and he was cheap. In particular, the climbing sequence and the chase up the stairs would hardly have been credible for Roger Moore in 1970. Moore's performance, however is good; he's not my favourite 007 for nothing. The popular myth of an eyebrow raising ham is one I hope will be dismissed by an overall appraisal of his work. Sadly, most of his films didn't offer much scope for acting – but in FYEO you see glimpses of his range and it gives as much depth as the script would allow. Much as I actually adore Moonraker, had the producers followed that line Bond had nowhere to go, but off to the Moon itself. Sensibly, they opted to turn away from all that and bring Bond back to Earth. Never really anyone's favourite, For Your Eyes Only remains a watchable film, the laughs are there, if toned down, the locations are easy on the eye and the whole thing holds it's own against other mid-range offerings such as Tomorrow Never Dies and Thunderball.

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