At the top of Roger Moore’s third James Bond film, 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, the credit teased that 007 would return in For Your Eyes Only. However, following the massive success of Star Wars, the producers went forward with Bond in Space aka Moonraker which paid off handsomely on the field office however had been very costly. As a consequence, EON Productions went for a extra modest price range of $28 million and a way more grounded tone within the type of Ian Fleming’s novel after they lastly made For Your Eyes Only.
Rather than a sci-fi journey, For Your Eyes Only would see Moore’s Bond on a way more basic Cold War mission, trying to find a missile command system earlier than it finds its means into the fingers of the Russians.
Bernard Lee, the Bond franchise’s M because the very starting with Sean Connery’s Dr No, sadly died of abdomen most cancers in January 1981, after filming had begun.
Out of respect for the actor, producer Albert R Broccoli refused to recast him and Q’s position was expanded in his place, with the script now modified to say that M was on go away. This meant that For Your Eyes Only can be the one 007 movie with out Bond’s boss on-screen.
For Your Eyes Only famously opens with Moore’s Bond in a helicopter dropping what seems to be Blofeld in a wheelchair down a chimney, lastly killing his arch-nemesis.
The villain couldn’t be named or proven correctly for authorized causes since Kevin McClory owned the rights to Thunderball and claimed to solely achieve this for Blofeld and Spectre, which EON disputed.
Nevertheless, disposing of the baddie so casually was Broccoli’s means of telling him that the success of 007 didn’t rely on the character.
Yet McClory would go on to make his unofficial Thunderbolt remake two years later in 1983’s Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery reprising Bond and Max von Sydow as Blofeld. The rights matter wasn’t settled till 2013, solely after which did Christoph Waltz go on to play the villain in 2015’s Spectre and 2021’s No Time To Die reverse Daniel Craig.
In this For Your Eyes Only scene, Sylvester needed to act as Bond falling off the facet of a cliff, which concerned a sudden rope jerk proper down by the underside that might be deadly.
The stunt labored with none issues, however on the time he mentioned: “From the place we have been [shooting], you could possibly see the native cemetery; and the field [to stop my fall] seemed like a casket. You did not must be an English main to attach the dots.”
Heights weren’t the only challenge faced on the Greece shoot though, as the Eastern Orthodox monks living in the monastery at the top of the Meteora rock formation provided a terrible nuisance on the production.
The story goes that the monks didn’t approve of the violence associated with the James Bond movies, but a trial at the Greek Supreme Court ruled that the religious order only owned the interiors, while the exteriors and surrounding landscape was that of the government’s.
Apparently, Moore had tried to cool things down by telling them that he had been a Saint, having played The Saint before Bond in the TV series of the same name.
To protest, the monks sabotaged the production as much as they could by hanging their washing out of the windows and covering the main monastery with plastic bunting and flags to spoil shots. They even put oil drums out to stop the crew from landing their helicopters.
To get around this, the crew built a set on a neighbouring rock and filmed interiors back at Pinewood Studios on a set designed by Peter Lamont.