For Your Eyes Only (1981) Poster

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Moore's finest Bond.
sibisi7322 September 2001
'For Your Eyes Only' starts the tenure of John Glen at the helm of the Bond series. He had worked previously on many of the Bond movies but during the eighties he directed all 5 Bond movies, and with the exception of 'A View To A Kill', they are up there with the best of the whole series. Certainly 'For Your Eyes Only' and the follow up, 'Octopussy' are the best of the Moore years, and I don't think it would be overstating it to say that Glen may have single handedly saved the franchise.

By the end of the 1970s Bond had turned from Ian Fleming's masterspy into an entirely comic book creation, culminating in the preposterous shenanigans of 'Moonraker' in 1979. At the start of a new decade a new style is clearly apparent, with a back to basics story that actually involves some spying, and a genuine threat to world peace. It's pushing it to say that the story is believable, but it is realistically told and is certainly a more adult affair than the previous efforts.

The film starts with the final nail in the coffin for Blofeld. After years of legal wrangling over who had the rights to the character the filmmakers decided to show that they didn't need him anyway and unceremoniously dumped him once and for all. We are also immediately put in the mood for a far more serious Bond when he visits his late wife's grave, an unusual moment, not least because the movies rarely referenced previous actors in the role. Here we are reminded that Moore wasn't playing Bond at the time of his marriage. That serious tone pervades throughout the movie, with less wisecracking than usual, and a subdued villain, at odds with the expected megalomaniac we are used to. But the film is all the better for it. There are some fantastic action set-pieces including a chase in a Citroen 2CV, and a ski chase that tops even that of 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', along with a tense finale that is literally a cliffhanger. Bond is actually forced to use his wits, and much of the action and escapes are less contrived than one would expect. It's also good to see (after 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and 'Moonraker') that the filmmakers have tried to get back to Fleming's Bond, with many ideas lifted from the original stories. The scene with Bond and Melina dragged behind the speedboat, for example, is taken directly from the novel of 'Live And Let Die', and many characters appear in Fleming's short story of the same name.

Add to the mix a fine cast, notably Carole Bouquet as another strong character in the list of 'Bond women', and you have a satisfying and thrilling entry in the series.
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6/10
High adventure and marvelous underwater scenes by debuting filmmaker John Glenn
ma-cortes6 December 2010
Likable Roger Moore in an amazing adventure set on wonderful outdoors located mostly on Greece and Greek islands . This is a Bond's good entry in which faces dangerous adventures around the world . Moore's outing with overwhelming action and spectacular scenarios , the film teams Bond with an archaeologist as endearing ally ( a beautiful Carole Bouquet) in an effort to stop an industrialist from selling a mechanical artifact . After his first introduction in ¨Live and let die¨ as tough and attractive James Bond of the Ian Fleming's famous creation , Roger Moore went on playing various 007 , and ¨ For your eyes only ¨ is one of the best . The picture starts with an overblown opening , the best part of this film in which James Bond reckoning to Blofield (in previous entries played by Donald Plesance and Charles Gray , but here doesn't appear his face) . This thrilling film deals about seductive James Bond as the ultimate spy hero who is assigned by MI6 a dangerous mission to recover an important device that control over British Polaris nuclear subs . As Bond joins the search, he suspects the tough Colombo (Topol as a gregarious smuggler) and the suave Kristatos (Julian Glover) of seizing the powerful system. Bond finds an ally in the gorgeous Melina Havelock (Carol Bouquet) , who blames Colombo for the death of her parents (Jack Hedley) . Meanwhile , Bond goes to a ski station , there happens a high-octane race and Bond discovers some clues and confronting hoodlums (Michael Gothard ,Charles Dance). James is double-crossed and continues to follow the lead , deciding to investigate on the Egean sea . Following the tracks all lead a nasty billionaire , a maniacal villain who schemes the selling of the powerful machine to a Russian general (Walter Goetell).

This solid , slick thriller with magic mix of action-packed , dazzling stunts, gadgetry, and romance provided by sexy company as Carol Bouquet, Lynn Holly Johnson and Cassandra Harris (first wife of Pierce Brosnan until her death) . Roger Moore as James Bond is fine , he does remarkably well , he earns in irony, humor ,suavity and sympathy, however also has coldness ,cunning , intelligence and toughness . Here Bond is an efficient , relentless agent trying to chase obstinately the criminals , traveling around the world as always , as this globe-trotting story is set in Spain , Veneto ,Italia and Greece at Meteoro mountains and Corfu islands . Bond to achieve his aims , along the way uses violent means even pulling off brutal killings against enemies who wreak all sorts of havoc . As always Bond will use fantastic gadgets and spectacular cars (here a Lotus) provided by ¨Q¨ (Desmond Llewelyn) . In addition , there appears the usual as Lois Maxwell, ¨MoneyPenny¨ , Minister of Defense as Geoffrey Keen and Walter Goetell as Russian general .

The picture contains comic-strip adventure , sensational pursuits , silly set pieces, great stunts, tongue-in check humor, automovile chase, frantic unstopped action , an impressive tour over razor-sharp coral reefs, amazing gimmicks and stimulating images like are the happenings on the spectacular pursuits on the snow, the overwhelming underwater scenes, and the breathtaking battles . As is like a roller-coaster , as is fast-paced, light, excitement, funny and entertaining ; it's a winner for oo7 fans and non-fans alike . The chase and suspense formula wears strong in this entry .The action-packed includes , exciting underwater fights, and cliffhanging assault of a rousing mountaintop fortress filmed in Meteoro monastery .Enjoyable title song by Sheena Easton and stirring musical score fitting to action by Bill Conti (Rocky saga's composer) ,following the John Barry's classic style . Riveting and fancy main titles by habitual Maurice Binder , furthermore eye-popping production design by Peter Lamont. It's brimming with colorful and fascinating cinematography by cameraman Alan Hume . The motion picture produced by habitual producers, Albert R Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson , being professionally made by John Glenn who filmed various outings and previously directed 2nd unit and edition on some early Bond movies . He directed several entries as ¨Licence to kill, A view to kill , For your eyes only and Octopussy¨ though with no much originality . Debuting John Glenn keeps this moving at an incredibly fast pace and this story about every's favorite super-spy falling in love with an archaeologist is one of author Ian Fleming's best . The film will appeal to James Bond series's buffs but good for fans only ; because this one goes on far too long and has provoked so much debate among 007 followers . Rating : 6'5 , well worth watching .
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7/10
Roger Moore's best Bond hands down
TimBoHannon11 April 2003
After 1979's sci-fi cartoon called Moonraker, Albert Broccoli and the rest of the James Bond producers decided to change the pace for Roger Moore's fifth adventure. This included firing incumbent director Lewis Gilbert and writing a more believable plot, to begin with. The second item on the agenda was to write a script which curbed Roger Moore's obsessive tendencies to pile on the jokes. Add a few good villains and allies, and voila! a classic James Bond adventure there is. All right, maybe it was not that simple.

This time around, Bond is sent to investigate the murder of one Timothy Havelock, who was working to salvage the wreckage of a spy boat carrying a vital command system called A.T.A.C. Bond's investigation leads him to believe that the Russians are also trying to recover the system, and may be using one Aris Kristatos (Julian Glover) to carry out their dirty work. Aiding Bond is the beautiful sharpshooter Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) and an old acquaintance of Kristatos's named Milos Columbo (Topol).

As good as it is, 'For Your Eyes Only' starts out terribly. The pre-title sequence involves an attempt on James Bond's life by a bald guy in a wheelchair with a white cat (I wonder who that could be?). The scene is campy and don't get me started on the remark about the delicatessen in stainless steel (obviously put in there at the request of some actor). I understand why the sequence was filmed, but that does not make it good. Thankfully it would not be a barometer on the rest of the movie!

It may not be among the very best in the series, but believe me when I say that the difference in tone between this and the goofy 'Moonraker' is like day compared to night. It is easily the preeminent Roger Moore Bond film, and is well worth watching in every area. The villain is not trying to kill a majority of the human race for some outlandish purpose. There are no extravagant weapons or billionaire lunatics, no silly motives or doomsday schemes. Instead, we have a lean adventure that a Bond fan can actually enjoy. There are many outstanding qualities about this film, mixed in with a few notable negatives.

Any list of what went right with this film has to begin with Roger Moore. After two mediocre performances, he really nails down the part here. He is courageous, commanding, tough, and, most importantly, serious, thanks to new director John Glen (who apparently had to do some prying to slow down Moore's humor blitz).

Another BIG breath of fresh air is provided by the villains and allies, who are also treated seriously and given unusual depth of character. Julian Glover is exceptional as the ruthless and deceptive Kristatos. It is villains like this that help make the Bond series so great, and Glover is excellent indeed. No wonder Steven Spielberg cast him for Indiana Jones! In Topol, most famous for his work in 'Fiddler on the Roof', we get a terrific ally who has a great chemistry with Bond. I imagine I am not the only person who found him to be much like Kerim Bey in the great 'From Russia With Love'.

Then there is the matter of the women, who both bring good and bad qualities to the table. Carole Bouquet is somewhat wooden as female lead, Melina, but can also hold her own when the heat is on, which makes her the best Bond girl in some time. Lynn-Holly Johnson provides a lovable portrayal as Bibi Dahl, a figure skater who gets the hots for Bond (don't get me started on the age difference). Her bubble headed character makes for some humorous moments and is used to make the character of Kristatos stronger. Dahl is also enrapturing to look at, but I find her ditzy part a little too over the top, but not to the point of weakening the final product.

Unfortunately, there are a few items that bug me about this film. The first is Bill Conti's soundtrack. While it would be terrific literature for an up-tempo jazz band, it really clashes with the action more than anything. Another weakness is Roger Moore's lack of talent for fight choreography, which detracts from the action slightly. The last is Eric Kriegler (John Wyman), another invincible Oddjob rip-off that at one point picks up a motorcycle and hurls it at a fleeing Bond (!).

This is all forgivable, however, because the action, from the mountainside ski chase to the climax atop a rock cliff, is of very high standards. The absurdity of the previous chapter is shed, and we get a highly entertaining adventure that appeals to fans and non-fans alike. I can certainly live with all of the flaws any day. So grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy another great 007 adventure.
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8/10
Q provided 007 with the fastest, most maneuverable vehicle possible: the world's smallest jet the Acrostar…
Nazi_Fighter_David11 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A British fishing trawler/surveillance ship, on duty in the Ionian Sea, is sunk by an old World War II mine caught in her fishing nets…

Lost in the wreck is a top secret missile launching device which soon becomes 'something of value' in a characteristic British-Russian confrontation…

007 is seen caught in a cold-blooded feud between two Greek ex-partisans… He has to recover a transmitter that could fall into the wrong hands… He is sent to climb up the cliffs below an abandoned monastery complex, and is aided by a vigorous and decided sharpshooter whose expertise with a crossbow proved vital…

Throughout the mission 007 is aided by the brave Melina Havelock, a perfect Bond heroine determined to avenge her parents at all costs... Melina Havelock is a combination of Tilly Masterson from 'Goldfinger' and Domino from 'Thunderball.' Melina comes upon a much bigger plot, involving 007 and a Russian-British race to regain the A.T.A.C.

As Bond, Roger Moore finally gets his hair messed up, and more… He is at the mercy of a bald figure in a wheelchair who controls his destiny; chased by ski-borne motorcycles; assailed by spear-carrying fishermen and unlucky hockey players; attacked by sharks and enemy divers; tied up and dragged behind a boat along the sharp corals…

The film succeeds in introducing many mysterious characters… Three of them are:

Milos Columbo (Topol) who becomes the incarnation of Bond's old friend Kerim Bey... Known as 'The Dove,' Columbo is a pistachio-chewing Greek smuggler, ex-resistance fighter, and casino owner on the Greek island in the Aegean Sea… Between him and Kristatos, there is blood feud dating back to World War II, when both fought the Nazis as resistance fighters on Crete…

Ari Kristatos (Julian Glover) who manages to hide his treacherous nature behind a veneer of sophistication... Kristatos comes across as the most believable Bond villain in years… He introduces himself as an enthusiastic Anglophile who was a resistance fighter during the Second World War, and apparently uses Bond to murder his smuggling rival while scheming to please the KGB…

Bibi Dahl (Lynn Holly Johnson) who would do anything for Bond! She is the American figure-skating prodigy who meets 007 in Cortina D'Ampezzo, where at one point was invitingly in 007's bed…

Hate and revenge play significant part in this twelfth James Bond film… "For Your Eyes Only" follows the adventure and exotic appeal of earlier Bond movies like 'From Russia with Love' and 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'. The result is a delightful spy adventure with plenty of intriguing characters, plot twists, and romance…
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10/10
One of Roger's best!
eamon-hennedy28 April 2004
Undeniably one of Roger Moore's best outings as 007, For Your Eyes Only was an attempt by Cubby Broccoli to bring Bond down to earth after the over the top, but brilliant, Moonraker. Surprisingly this works very well, with the action sequences being more realistic (what with a car chase, ski chase and a small scale assault on the villain's residence instead), but brilliant too. For Roger Moore the film offers his best performance as James Bond. The puns are played down more here and while he does still have a little twinkle in his eye at times, his performance reflects more an older 007, a man who has lost his wife and is still fighting to save the world and right wrongs. This is demonstrated in the superb pre-title sequence in which after visiting his wife's grave, he is kidnapped by Blofeld (unofficially Blofeld however) and taken on a wild helicopter ride. The moment were he visits Tracy's grave sees Roger convey so much in one scene, he shows that he is not just the comedic 007, but he can be a serious one too. We see how the character has come to view revenge on Blofeld as he tells the dream like Melina (a beautiful and enchanting performance from Carole Bouquet) that before setting out on revenge as she hopes to do, she must first dig two graves. Some would see this as hypocrisy, whereas it is the words of a Bond who has come to analyse the hardship of a licence to kill.

With Julian Glover portraying a more down to earth villain and the plot centering around the Cold War, For Your Eyes Only is a great 80's Bond film, with scatterings of what would be developed into the Timothy Dalton years, such as the serious Bond and the more down to earth story telling. Following on the heels of two of the biggest Bond films in terms of scope and financial success, For Your Eyes Only was a risk, but it worked. While it did not outgross Moonraker, it's financial intake was close and while it does possess the entertainment factor that both Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me did, it is an artistic success, with great performances, an engrossing storyline, wonderful characterization and superb direction from John Glen in his directorial debut for a Bond film. He stages the abundance of chase scenes well and is helped by the fact that he has a good script to go with. On top of that Sheena Easton delivers a great theme tune.

A great film and one deserving of classic status.
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Down to Earth, Bond back on track!!!
darth_sidious19 November 2001
The Bond series was moving into the wrong direction in 1979 with Moonraker, John Glen takes over the directing for the next 5 adventures, beginning with 'For Your Eyes Only'.

Bond is back down to Earth with a bang, a very satisfying entry in the Bond series. The film is much more Fleming-like, that is until Dalton comes in.

The story is very interesting because it's more of a spy movie, Moore has some work to do here!!! There's no reliance on the gadgets. The Bond girl played by Carole Bouquet is very good, not just a pretty girl!

The acting is much better than Moonraker, John Glen eases into the directing quite comfortably.

The photography is wonderful, very realistic colour use.

There are some fun stunt sequences, the ski chase is fantastic.

The film score is fun, but a product of its time, unlike Barry, the music doesn't transcend the generations!

Overall, 'For Your Eyes Only' is a satisfying Bond picture. Obviously you'll be viewing it in wide-screen!!! James Bond returns in Octopussy!
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8/10
The Chinese have a saying; "Before setting off on revenge, you first dig two graves"!
Spikeopath14 June 2012
For Your Eyes Only is directed by John Glen and adapted to screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson from source stories by Ian Fleming. It stars Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Julian Glover, Topol, Michael Gothard and Jill Bennett. Music is scored by Bill Conti and cinematography by Alan Hume.

Bond 12 and 007 is assigned to locate the whereabouts of the ATAC, a secret device that transmits orders to Polaris carrying submarines. He must do so quickly because the Soviets are also in pursuit, and they appear to be aided by a wealthy shipping magnate.

In spite of the gargantuan box office garnered by Moonraker, Albert Broccoli was hurt by criticism that it had strayed too far from the basic 007 formula. Making good on his word to get Bond back to reality, he mostly succeeded in making For Your Eyes Only a stripped back thriller. Gone is the over reliance on hi-tech wizardry, Moore (in his best performance as Bond) is back to being down to earth, being a Bond using his wits and toughness to get out of tricky situations, and the film goes for short sharp shock action scenes instead of giant battles enveloped by even bigger sets. There's much tension as well, none more so than with the finale, where again the big bang pyrotechnics have been replaced by a mountain peak accent and assault; where Bond uses a boot lace to save his skin! Now that's the Bond we love and admire. We even get the return of a bit of flirting between Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) and Bond, while Q (Desmond Llewelyn) is on witty form.

Characters are strong, a major plus point in the film. Topol (charismatic and on scene stealing form) and Glover offer up fascinating characters, with Glover excellent as Kristatos, providing the franchise with a cultured and believable villain. Melina Havelock (Bouquet convincing) is tough and driven by revenge for her murdered parents, adept with a crossbow she makes a sturdy accomplice for Bond, and thankfully their union isn't bogged down mid mission by the "between the sheets" angle. Elsewhere, 007 editor John Glenn directs the first of his 5 Bond movies, impressive first outing with the underwater scenes particularly striking. Hume brings Corfu to life via his colour lenses and Conti oversees one of the series' best title theme songs, song with deep emotional beauty by Sheena Easton. His overall score is merely adequate, with decent nationalistic flavours, but the theme song is so strong it lingers to this day in the memory of all Bond fans.

It's not all great in this stripped back Bond world, though. The pre-credits sequence makes the terrible mistake of negating Bond's visit to the grave of his late wife, Tracy, by then having him jostle and jape with a bald villain in a wheelchair (is it meant to be Blofeld?): with unconvincing lines and delivery in the mix as well. Lynn-Holly Johnson's Bibi Dahl character is as pointless as it gets, out of place and superfluous to the plot. While some chase sequences, as fun and pulse raising as they are, are over extended and stretch the running time to longer than required. No mind, though, with Bond back to being a man again instead of a button pusher, and brilliant scenes like the keel-hauling peril, For Your Eyes Only was a major hit that raked in over $195 million at the World box office. James Bond's appeal, and that of the man playing him, was very much in vogue. 8/10
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9/10
The best Roger Moore Bond, and a lot of fun.
roddmatsui4 August 2005
The discarding of Blofeld at the beginning (he is humorously depicted--to the offense of many!) serves another purpose besides being just the discarding of Blofeld--it is almost as if the film is making a statement about choosing to discard cartoonish villains and goofy humor, in one move. This scene provides a convenient rug to yank out from under the audience: The film that we get is more straight serious than we might suspect, based on this introduction. So the beginning of this film really sets us up for a surprise.

Out of all the Roger Moore Bond films, this one is most reminiscent of Connery's Bond. The violence repeatedly shows a mean, hard edge, and the joking (while there) is kept to a minimum. Guess what? This film works very nicely!

There are a lot of things I liked about this one. The requisite special effects, models and stunts are there, but used to surprisingly subtle effect. The story is simple and small, and allows the film to focus on believable human character details. Carole Bouquet's vendetta-driven "Melina Havelock" is well-acted and believably serious. She's excellent.

Character actor Michael Gothard (THE DEVILS, WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS) is very memorable as gun-for-hire Locque, who has no lines of dialogue whatsoever! Gothard delivers his performance entirely through visual expression. I imagine he must have had a wonderful time with this role, easily one of his best. Roger Moore's character, generally cool and under control, nonetheless grows impatient with Locque and seems to display some genuine, heartfelt anger when he finally...well, I don't want to spoil it, so you'll have to see the movie. Suffice it to say that it is one of my favorite "the bad guy gets it" moments in just about any movie.

I also recall that when the film was new, the application of synthesizers in the music (most obvious in the title song, and more subtly applied in the score) was very cutting-edge and tasteful; there were clearly synthetic effects to be heard, but they were not poured on liberally.(Everything in moderation?) It's a little harder to notice in this day and age of synthetic everything, but the careful incorporation of obviously synthetic sounds lent extra style. (Take note of those moments involving the "Dove" pin.) It helped the film achieve a modern character, and is doubly interesting and appropriate because the action scenes do not depend primarily on high-tech gadgetry. All in all, a classy application of synthesizer. Maybe I'm going on about nothing here, but I remember noticing this quality when the film was new, and I've always liked it.

So basically, without rambling on further, this film is good, and very enjoyable.
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10/10
Possibly my favorite Bond film of all time...
Aaron137522 November 2002
For Your Eyes Only is one of my favorite James Bond films. It and the Spy Who Loved me constantly via for the top spot in my mind. Sadly, this one did not perform as well as other Roger Moore James Bond movies as it did not do nearly as well as the previous film, Moonraker. I enjoyed this one more than Moonraker, which I did enjoy, but I felt it was a bit of a retread of The Spy Who Loved Me, while this one went in another direction by not having an eccentric wealthy person wishing to establish a new world order. At the same time, this one features action sequence after action sequence and location after location which made this one a fun romp. Perhaps it is the fact that this was not t he only Bond film released this particular year as Never Say Never Again featuring Sean Connery was put out the same year so it may have turned people off to see both. Me, I never cared to Never Say Never as it is simply a remake of Thunderball which is one of my favorite Sean Connery Bond movies. It and From Russia With Love via for the top spot for the Connery movies. I guess it matters little these days, and why should I care now that I alone think this is one of the best Bond films.

The movie features a lot of action, but the mission is almost a rather unremarkable one. A spy ship is sunken with a mine and a decoder device that is on board is something that the Russians would love to have. The British have a man working on retrieving it, but he is promptly killed along with his wife in front of their daughter. James is sent in to find the hit-man responsible, but he soon finds a lot of people involved which takes him from one exotic location to another as he tracks down the one responsible for the death of the man charged with recovering the coding device. He will team up with the daughter whose parents were killed and soon try to salvage the device themselves; however, there is another who is after the device as well so he can sell it to the Russians.

This one has so many action sequences in it that it goes by at supersonic speed. It opens with an action sequence in a helicopter that is unrelated to the decoding device plot, but it is fun to watch and the only time Blofeld and Roger Moore's Bond cross paths. There is an awesome car chase scene which features a very non typical Bond vehicle, a ski chase, a warehouse raid, a deep sea battle and a fight on a mountain monastery which has an awesome rock climbing scene. The Bond girls here are okay, just not as attractive as say Goodnight from Golden Gun or XXX from Spy. A lot of people complain about Bebe being to young for Roger, but he never shows any interest in her throughout the film so not sure why her character is criticized. She is just there to advance the plot in the Cortina portion of the film and to make Bond squirm a bit. The villain is good too as if you are watching it for the first time, you are not quite sure who the villain is until midway through the movie.

So, no, this Bond is nothing like the previous two Bond movies which were very similar. Heck, it isn't even like Live and Let Die or Man with the Golden Gun either. It is not even like the next two Bond films. It stands on its own and is really fun to watch. I loved this one as a kid as it and Spy were tops for me at a young age too. This one I sometimes place on the top, because Spy is so similar to Moonraker; although, this one was supposed to follow Spy, but thanks to the space craze they decided to put Bond in space instead. I sometimes wonder had Moonraker not been made, if this film would have been vastly different as Jaws could very well had been in this one as he survived Spy and if there is no Moonraker where he turned good he could have showed up here to torment 007. So, while it is not apparently everybody's cup of tea, For Your Eyes Only stands near the top and is one of the more enjoyable and fast paced Bond films there is.
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