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The film:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Fans have questioned and debated for decades as to whether or not the vicar is in on Blofeld's plot to kill Bond, given the omnious sign of the cross he gives towards Bond as the helicopter takes off.
    • Bond talking Melina out of revenge makes him look like a hypocrite in the wake of Licence to Kill (and even his killing of not-Blofeld and Loque). Or is he trying to avoid her going down his path?
  • Awesome Music: As you would expect from Bill Conti, aka the Rocky composer.
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    • The title song by Sheena Easton.
    • The theme that plays when Bond regains control of the helicopter in the Action Prologue.
    • "A Drive in the Country" and "Runaway".
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • The death of Blofeld. Particularly if you have watched the movies in order and have seen all the atrocities he commits yet gets away with every time, as well as him just disappearing from the movies for a decade due to legal issues.
    • The death of Locque also counts, particularly after what he did to Ferrara and Lisl.
  • Contested Sequel: The film is often regarded as a step up from the over-the-top Moonraker, if you're in the "realistic Bond" crowd. To fans of the more bombastic and humorous style, however, For Your Eyes Only is sometimes regarded as one of the more average Bond entries, or at least suffers a bit from Tough Act to Follow compared to The Spy Who Loved Me. Take your pick.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Melina Havelock is considered one of the best Bond Girls in the franchise: an independent and strong woman who manages to save Bond on several occasions (and she doesn't have to be saved by him at the climax, unlike Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me), and who only romantically engages with him at the end of the movie, after her parents' murderer was finally punished.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The spy ship is sunk by an underwater mine, presumably from the war...but Kristatos' Albania warehouse stores one of them - maybe he deliberately sinks ships to help his salvage operation. Or else he may have sank the St Georges to get his hands on the coding machine, knowing how valuable it would be to his Soviet clients.
  • Fridge Horror: For a character who proves to be a first-class Action Girl throughout, the underwater scene in which a Groin Attack supposedly happens to Melina is clear proof that even she isn't immune to distress.
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  • Fridge Logic: While The Teaser at the cemetery appears to have no relevance at all to the plot, Blofeld's actions are a huge tipoff as to the underlying theme: revenge. He wanted to get back at Bond for events past, but he made so many major mistakes in his plans that 007 wound up getting revenge on him (without intending to) for ruining his private moment. Then we look at the scene where Melina's parents were gunned down in cold blood, while she was below deck. As she watches the offending plane fly off, the close-up on her eyes says it all.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Countess Lisl was played by Australian actress Cassandra Harris, married to an up-and-coming television actor named Pierce Brosnan (who came to visit the set). She always wanted to see him play 007; unfortunately, by the time that happened Harris had died of cancer (in 1991).
    • The scene where James Bond climbs up a cliff and almost falls to his death can seem like this, since it would later be revealed in GoldenEye that, like in the books, his parents died in a climbing accident.
    • When settling down after their (hectic) first meeting, James tries to talk Melina out of taking revenge. Melina tells Bond, "I don't expect you to understand. You're English. And I'm half-Greek. And Greek women, like Elektra, always avenge their loved ones." Another woman named Elektra takes Melina's sentiment to heart in The World Is Not Enough.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This wouldn't be the last time Julian Glover faced off against a James Bond actor. Bonus points for both of Glover's characters initially starting off as an ally only to turn out to be Evil All Along.
    • Speaking of Glover, Charles Dance is his henchman in this film. Three decades after, the roles are inverted and is Grand Maester Pycelle, who serves Tywin Lannister.
    • Speaking of Dance, as mentioned above, he plays a henchman in this film. Eight years later, he would feature in the made-for-television biographical film Goldeneye...as Ian Fleming himself.
    • Anime fans might look at the high-pressure diving suit which menaces Bond and Melina and be reminded of D-type Evangelion armor.
    • At a certain point in the film, Bibi tries to seduce Bond, but Bond gently rejects her for being much older than her. Actress Lynn-Holly Johnson was 23 at the time of production, only one year younger than Carole Bouquet, the actress who plays the film's main Bond Girl, Melina, with whom Bond gets involved at the end. And yes, they were both 30 years younger than Roger Moore.
      • The situation gets even more hilarious two films later in A View to a Kill, where the main Bond Girl in the film, Tanya Roberts, was also 30 years younger than Roger Moore.
  • Ho Yay: Locque and Kriegler look and behave vaguely similar and Bibi mentions that Kriegler never shows any interest in women. Might not sound like much to go on, but that's not prevented a slightly shocking amount of slash fiction involving these two.
  • Narm: "Blofeld" pleading for his life, as Bond dangles him from a helicopter, saying "Please, Mister Bond! I'll buy you a delicatessen! In stainless steel!" note  before plummeting down the chimney while emitting a Bomb Whistle.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Charles Dance appears as a Mook.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Bibi Dahl is usually regarded as rather off-putting, being a teenage girl who comes on to much older men. She is also unnecessary in the plot, and it doesn't help that Melina Havelock and the Countess Lisl are much more interesting and complex Bond Girls.
    • Eric Kriegler is often derided as being a dull "Red" Grant ripoff with very little characterization.
    • The Big Bad Kristatos is not hated by the fandom, but is generally considered a forgettable villain. The reveal of him as the villain is no longer as shocking as it once was, and he isn't particularly eccentric or memorable otherwise.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Up to this film, the Bond series had entirely straightforward stories where he’s given a villain to defeat and keeps fighting until he does it. The reveal that this time he’s been going after the wrong guy while his supposed ally is the true Big Bad was mind-blowing at the time, while nowadays this kind of plot twist is entirely expected in an espionage thriller.
  • Special Effects Failure: In the climbing scene, where Apostis (a henchman of the Big Bad) attempts to drop Bond off the cliff by loosening his hooks, the moment where Apostis starts falling off the cliff himself after Bond throws one of his hooks at him, right behind him "on top" of the cliff a part of the actual filming room can clearly be seen.
    • The gunbarrel sequence, in the bit after the bloodied barrel scrolls around the screen, doesn't "open up" to reveal an establishing shot; it just vanishes.
  • Vindicated by History: The film did not appear to have had a strong first impression among fans and critics at the time of release. Today, it is considered by many to be one of the best films of the Roger Moore Era, and is praised for its emphasis on a more realistic and serious plot.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: A medical condition meant that Carole Bouquet could not film scenes underwater. All the underwater close-ups of Bouqet and Roger Moore were dry-for-wet faked, using a combination of lighting effects, slow motion, wind and CGI bubbles.note  The effect is convincing enough that even today, most viewers would never guess unless they were told that they weren't really underwater.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: An innocent woman is brutally run over by a goon who wasn't even aiming for her. Bond also kicks a man inside a car off a cliff, in cold blood.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Widely regarded as a return to form after the exaggerated silliness of Moonraker, opting for a much more down-to-earth plot against the backdrop of the Cold War.

The book:

  • Values Dissonance: In "The Hildebrand Rarity", Bond muses that "the only trouble with beautiful Negresses is that they don't know anything about birth control." Admittedly, he was having a conversation about Nigeria at the time, where contraception is indeed less prevalent, but the line's still jarring.


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