Bond villains of the '80s — sometimes all too real: For Your Eyes Only

Bond villains of the '80s — sometimes all too real: For Your Eyes Only

As the 1980s came through, James Bond was going to be a familiar face: Roger Moore. For Your Eyes Only was initially the title for 1979's offering until it became Moonraker.

The new decade brought about a change of pace and scale. This time, Bond would be more realistic, and in the line of Dr No's description of Bond being a "policeman".


The film opens with Bond at his wife's graveside. The helicopter sequence was superbly staged and filmed. The actual flying was breathtaking, and of course, the unnamed villain was despatched satisfactorily.



The main story involves the sinking of a disguised surveillance vessel and the retrieval of the ATAC system. A marine biologist, Havelock, had been hired by the government. When he and his wife are killed, Bond is called upon to investigate. 


At first Emile Locque appears to be the clear villain, but he was not the lead villain. Bond kicking him to his death was original. Roger Moore had huge reservations about playing Bond with this coldness, and Director John Glen had to talk him into it. The realism was satisfying and worked superbly.


For Your Eyes Only has a rare case to portray: the viewer is continually wondering who is the villain and who is the ally. At first, we are led to believe that Milos Columbo, played by Chaim Topol, is the main villain. 


It soon emerges that the person who Bond and MI6 thought was an ally, is actually the main villain: Aristotle Kristatos. He was played smoothly and superbly by Julian Glover. Kristatos was assisted by the muscular John Wyman as Erich Kriegler.


The climax of the film involves some incredible stunt-work by Willy Bognor, doubling for Roger Moore. It was all the more heart-stopping because you could see how dangerous the stunt climbing was. It looks like Bond is about to be knifed in the back during the climax, but Kristatos is killed by a knife thrown by Milos Columbo. 



The ATAC system is thrown away by Bond to prevent the Russians from obtaining the device: an unusual end for a Bond film. Emile Locque was played by the actor Michael Gothard. He had a career playing good looking but dangerous men. His breakthrough role was in the horror film, Scream and Scream Again. He also played a torturing priest in Ken Russell's The Devils. He sadly took his own life in 1991.


Chaim Topol, throughout his long career, made a few English language films. His first real worldwide hit was when he played Tevye the Dairyman on stage and in the film version of Fiddler on the RoofHe's continued to act, and he provided the voice of Hagrid in the Israeli release of Harry Potter.


Kristatos was a charmingly urbane man of the world, with too much interest in a young athlete he was "sponsoring". The keel-hauling scene is still one of the best-photographed attempts to kill 007 in all the Bond films, and it's among Alan Hume's best work. 


Julian Glover has been a presence in television, theatre, and film since the 1950s — often plying middle-ranking officials and officers. In the 1980s, he managed to lend his presence to such films as The Empire Strikes BackThe Fourth ProtocolIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He's still acting.


John Wyman played Erich Kriegler: a biathlon champion and sidekick of Kristatos. His impressive physique and striking looks made him an effective henchman. Whyman's last listing was in an episode of Nash Bridges in 2000.

Martin Wright

Martin's love affair with James Bond started when he went to see On Her Majesty's Secret Service upon its release in 1969. He is trained in photography, Photoshop, and video editing.

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