Only Bond film, to date, in the official franchise not to feature M. It was the first Bond film not to feature Bernard Lee as M, who had played the role in the previous eleven films in the franchise. Lee died of stomach cancer on January 16, 1981, after the filming of this movie had started, but before his scenes were shot. Although Bernard Lee was dying of stomach cancer, he did try to film at least one scene in the movie, but in the end, it was too much for him, and he had to bow out. He died not long afterward. As a result, Q's role in the film was slightly expanded to fill the gap. As such, several scenes, originally intended to include M, were re-written with Q, (for example, the confessional scene). As a mark of respect, Producer Albert R. Broccoli refused to re-cast the role, changing the script to say that M was on leave. The television movie Climax!: Casino Royale (1954) also did not feature M.
Steven Spielberg had been very much interested in directing a James Bond spy film in his earlier years prior to Bridge of Spies (2015), and had talks with Bond franchise Producer Albert R. Broccoli about directing one, but Broccoli told him he only wanted British directors to helm the Bond series. Shortly afterwards, George Lucas offered Spielberg an iconic hero of his own, in the form of Indiana Jones, in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Moonraker (1979) was a huge financial success, but fans and critics complained that the series had become too focused on wild gadgets, outlandish plots, over-the-top villains, and screwball comedy. As a result, producers decided to return to a more realistic storyline in this movie, using From Russia with Love (1963) and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) as models. Therefore, this film contains many story elements similar to those films; the A.T.A.C. is similar to the Lektor, Kriegler is similar to Grant, Columbo is similar to Kerim Bey, and the winter sports sequences are similar to those in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
In the movie, James Bond rejects Bibi's (Lynn-Holly Johnson's) advances, presumably due to her being too young for him. Bond later has a relationship with Melina (Carole Bouquet). Melina is presumably much older than Bibi in the movie. In reality, the two actresses are only a year apart in age.
To enter the identigraph booth, Q enters a five digit code. Those five digits were the first five notes to the chorus of "Nobody Does It Better", the theme to The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). James Bond responds by entering the final two notes.
Begging Bond to spare his life, Ernst Blofeld baffles viewers with the cryptic line "I'll buy you a delicatessen, in stainless steel!" It is reported that the phrase is attributable to Albert R. Broccoli, who recalled accounts of 1930s New York mafia gangsters offering full-service delis as a bribe to cohorts, complete with stainless steel countertops.
A major problem occurred during production which threatened to stop the filmmakers filming. The monks, who lived in the monastery on top of the Meteora Mountain, placed sheets and plastic on top of the roofs and external infrastructure so as to halt filming. They allegedly did not like the violence associated with James Bond. Reportedly, Sir Roger Moore told them that he had once been a Saint (a reference to The Saint (1962)). A special hearing of the Greek Supreme Court was convened, where a panel of judges decreed that the monks only had rights over the interiors of the mountain-top monastery, but the exteriors were the domain of the people and the local government. The film crew were eventually able to film at the location, which included a gigantic fall by Stuntman Rick Sylvester. They did not film inside the monastery (known as St. Cyril's in the film), but built a set on top of a neighboring rock for some of the hideout's exteriors. The interiors were filmed back at Pinewood Studios on a set designed by Peter Lamont.
Sir Roger Moore's vertigo made the rock face climax especially hard to do. Moore has said that he took a small amount of Valium, and drank a tall glass of beer before some of the scary climbing sequences, which helped him through the close-up shots. Stuntman Rick Sylvester performed most of the work. Moore only had to dangle over a four-foot drop, while Sylvester dangled over a twenty-foot drop.
The film saved United Artists from financial ruin. At the time of the film's release, the studio was still reeling from Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1980), a notorious forty million dollar bomb, that was about to force United Artists to file for bankruptcy. When this film took in a worldwide gross of one hundred ninety-five million dollars, the studio was saved, and afterwards turned its focus toward blockbusters and less on personal films.
In the opening sequence, James Bond visits his deceased wife's grave at Stoke Poges Church, adjacent to Gert Fröbe's golf course, from Goldfinger (1964). The scene was written when Sir Roger Moore was considering retirement from the franchise, to provide story continuity between different Bond actors. Ironically, the teaser scene has absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the movie that follows, leaving it more connected to earlier Bond films, than to the one it opens.
The title song is the first in the Bond series in which we see the person who is singing, in this case Sheena Easton. The song was a Top 10 hit on both the UK charts (number eight) and U.S. charts (number four, July 25, 1981). It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song, and was featured in a song and dance number at the Oscars on March 29, 1982. It featured dancers dressed as villains and henchman, such as Dr. No and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, as well as the real Harold Sakata and real Richard Kiel, reprising their roles as Oddjob and Jaws, respectively. A dancer played James Bond, and at the end of the sequence, he took off in a rocket with Sheena Easton, who had been singing the title song live. This was just one of a medley of five song and dance numbers for each Best Song nominee on the night and it also acted as a preamble to the presentation by Roger Moore of the Irving Thalberg Honorary Award to Albert R Broccoli in honor of the James Bond film franchise. Starting with this film, and the rise of the MTV Generation, all Bond films have had music video tie-ins.
The close-ups of Carole Bouquet and Sir Roger Moore for the underwater scenes were filmed in slow motion a studio with a wind fan to produce the effect of floating hair. The bubbles were added in later.
The closing scene with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, marked the first time a real-life head of government was portrayed on-screen in a James Bond movie. She was portrayed by Janet Brown, who was well known for performing impersonations of Thatcher.
The camera recorded at seventy-two to eighty-four frames per second, and then played back at twenty-four frames per second, to simulate underwater inertia when Bond and Melina are dragged along by the boat. The bubbles were added in close-up by simply adding Alka-Seltzer, which were then imposed over the negatives, when Bond and Melina opened their mouths.
The stunt of Bond falling off the cliff was dangerous, since the sudden rope jerk at the bottom could be fatal. Derek Meddings developed a system that would dampen the stop, but Rick Sylvester recalled that his nerves nearly got the better of him: "From where we were [shooting], you could see the local cemetery; and the box [to stop my fall] looked like a casket. You didn't need to be an English major to connect the dots." The stunt went off without a problem.
This was the first Bond film to be based on one of Ian Fleming's short stories (instead of one of his novels). Interestingly, there are several scenes in this film lifted from other Fleming tales. Examples: The assault on the smugglers' boat and warehouse was lifted intact from a short story titled "Risico", and the sequence featuring Bond and Melina being dragged through the coral was lifted from the climax from the book, "Live and Let Die". The Identigraph appeared in a slightly different form in the book, "Goldfinger".
Director John Glen stated that there had been some discussion of bringing back the Jaws character for a third time, but eventually, the idea was rejected, as it they felt he did not fit the film's more serious tone.
When Bibi flirts with Bond (Sir Roger Moore), she states that Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover) is much older than Bond, and while Bibi pursues Bond, she later tells Kristatos that Kristatos is "too old for her". Kristatos is also a 1939-1945 World War II veteran. In fact, Glover was born in 1935, and is eight years younger than Moore.
After viewing Flash Gordon (1980), the producers at one time wanted to cast not just Topol (Zarkov) in this film, but also Timothy Dalton (Prince Barin) as Bond, and Ornella Muti (Princess Aura) as Melina, even writing the part specifically for her. Dalton eventually became Bond in 1986, after Sir Roger Moore retired from the franchise.
When shooting the still for the movie's main poster, photographer Morgan Kane allegedly asked his model to put the swimsuit on backwards, as it hung too low over her legs. After the poster had been released, some newspaper editors felt that there was too much buttock shown in the poster. To show less skin, the swimsuit was extended, or shorts were added to the hips in the posters. The original poster caused outrage amongst various groups, causing Saskatchewan, to rate the film "Special X", despite being rated PG or equivalent virtually everywhere else. That rating was later lowered. Apparently, the model's identity was not known for some time. More than one model alleged that she was the owner of the legs, but it was finally revealed they belonged to twenty-two-year-old New York City model Joyce Bartle.
The story involving the sinking of the ship the St. Georges off the Albanian coast was inspired by an international incident on April 11, 1968, when a Soviet submarine was blown up, and sank in the Pacific Ocean. Seventy personnel died, and the U.S. Navy located the wreck using the nautical Glomar Explorer, a mission funded by Howard Hughes, on whom the Willard Whyte character in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) was based.
Since flying a helicopter through a warehouse was thought to be too dangerous, the scene was shot using forced perspective. A smaller mock-up was built by Derek Meddings' team closer to the camera that the stunt pilot Marc Wolff flew behind, and this made it seem as if the helicopter was entering the warehouse. The footage inside the building was shot on-location, though with a life-sized helicopter model, which stood over a rail. Stuntman Martin Grace stood in as Bond, when the Agent is dangling outside the flying helicopter, while Sir Roger Moore was used in the scenes inside the model.
Although an accomplished cross-country skier, Sir Roger Moore wasn't insured to do any downhill skiing. Willy Bogner handled all the skiing for him. Any close-ups with Moore were done with him strapped to a sled pulled downhill, while Bognor skied backwards while looking into the camera. Moore tried to learn downhill skiing in Gstaad. His children had school afternoons there, and were embarrassed that he kept falling over. But, he eventually became quite reasonable at it.
Maurice Binder decided to include Sheena Easton in the title sequence, because he thought she looked striking. After meeting her in person, he told Producer Albert R. Broccoli, "I MUST have that face!" However, shooting Easton in the title sequence proved to be a problem, since Binder was using soft-light focus, and a very high resolution film stock. On extreme close-ups of Easton's face, the smallest, most imperceptible head wobble would blur her image on the film. Binder finally had to resort to putting Easton's head in a steel clamp, which kept her head perfectly still. The tongs of the clamp were hidden in her hair, with the support hidden behind her back. "It was the most painful thing I've ever worn", Easton later recalled. "But he got my face, in 70 millimeter!"
In the Identigraph scene, Bond installs a removable disk pack in the disk drive cabinet. Each pack consisted of several platters, and typically held only about one megabyte of data. They were obsoleted by vastly smaller and cheaper floppy disks. The particular disk pack used, had three platters: one top platter, which held data only on the bottom side of the platter; one bottom platter, which held data only on the top side of the platter, and a middle platter, which held data on both sides. This was because the space between the platters was designed to accommodate the read and write heads for the platters. The top and bottom sides of the platters were not used for data, because they protected the data-carrying sides of the disks.
The whole film is strongly reminiscent of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). In both films, Bond is with a Countess, on a beach, threatened by mooks, kicks a gun out of a mook's hand, and he's wearing a tuxedo sans jacket. Both films show Bond at a casino with the aforementioned Countess. Both times the women are losing at Baccarat. The opening teaser sequence shows Tracy Bond's grave, and Blofeld in a neck brace. Also, in this film, Melina is half-English, half-Greek. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Tracy was half-English, half-Italian. Both films have Bond allied with a crime syndicate figure, who doesn't sell drugs. Bond also escapes in both films by riding in the car of the female lead, who does the majority of the driving. Both films have a wedding scene, and Bond riding in a helicopter piloted by someone else. Both films have Bond speaking with a "priest" at some point. Both films are set in the Alps at one point, show a Bond Girl on ice, have Bond on skis getting shot at, and have a bobsled track fight or battle sequence. Mountain climbers are shown in both at some point. Both films have a Germanic female character, who is in charge of a girl or girls. Finally, in both films, Bond and his crime syndicate ally assault a mountaintop lair.
It was an early intention of the production to put James Bond in a scene with Greece's classic architectural building, the Parthenon. Old world architecture had previously been a backdrop for Bond in From Russia with Love (1963) (Istanbul and The Basilica Cistern) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) (Cairo and The Pyramids). But in this case, permission was refused to film at The Parthenon.
The opening scene, where Bond visits his wife Teresa's grave, was written as a way to introduce the new Bond actor, thus linking the new actor to elements from previous Bond films. Namely, Timothy Dalton, who was approached to take over as Bond in this film. Dalton declined, as he disliked the direction the franchise was taking at the time.
The producers of the film wanted Blondie to perform the title song. The band wrote a song titled "For Your Eyes Only", but decided to decline the offer when they discovered the producers wanted a recording of Bill Conti's song instead. It appears on the 1982 album "The Hunter". Surprisingly, Sheena Easton and Debbie Harry (former lead singer of Blondie) appeared together in Body Bags (1993).
The Royal World Premiere of this movie was held on June 24, 1981, at London's Odeon Leicester Square Theatre in the presence of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer (Princess Diana). The Gala Charity Premiere Benefit was held in aid of the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation. The launch was attended by then future James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, with his then-wife, Cassandra Harris, who had appeared in this film.
"For Your Eyes Only" was the first collection of Ian Fleming James Bond short stories, and was first published on April 11, 1960. The collection was subtitled "Five Secret Occasions in the life of James Bond", and was the eighth James Bond book. It included the short stories "The Hildebrand Rarity", "Quantum of Solace", "From A View To A Kill", "Risico", and "For Your Eyes Only". These stories were originally conceived in the 1950s as scripts for a never-produced James Bond television series. The last two of these provided material for this film, along with some story elements from the novels "Goldfinger" and "Live And Let Die". Fleming's working title for the "For Your Eyes Only" story, was "Man's Work", while its title, when it was written as a television episode for CBS, was "Rough Justice", then as "Death Leaves an Echo".
It was originally planned for production and release in 1979, as the follow-up to The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). It was announced as such in the closing credits of the earlier film. However, it was decided to make Moonraker (1979) instead, which delayed production of this movie for two years. Following the release of Moonraker (1979), some newspapers erroneously announced that the next James Bond film would be called "The Sea Wolves". Sir Roger Moore made a film titled The Sea Wolves (1980), but it was not a Bond movie.
The title of any Bond film is also a line of dialogue in the movie; in this film, it's Melina who says "For your eyes only" to Bond at the climax. It's also on a classified report that Bond reads in M's office.
The name of the Jamaican Bond girl "Judy Havelock" in the "For Your Eyes Only" short story, was changed to Greek Bond girl "Melina Havelock" in the film. The Cuban Major Hector Gonzales also comes from this short story. The Lisl Baum character, from the "Risico" short story, also had a name change to Contessa (Countess) Lisl Von Schlaf for the movie. The Aristotle Kristatos and Columbo ("The Dove") character names also come from "Risico", but Henrico Colombo was an Italian in the book, the movie changed him to Milos Columbo, a Greek.
Carole Bouquet had visited the set of Moonraker (1979), as she is French, and interiors, and some exteriors of that movie, were filmed in Paris, France. She was remembered when it came to casting this movie. Two actors in the movie appeared in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967). John Hollis (Bald Man in wheelchair, a.k.a. unofficially Ernst Stavro Blofeld) played a monk, while John Wells (Dennis Thatcher) was Q's assistant Fordise.
The helicopter in the pre-title sequence, G-BAKS, was destroyed in an accident, on November 14, 1997, near Chichester, West Sussex, England. Unfortunately, the pilot was killed when the aircraft hit the ground.
Melina Havelock is the first vengeful Bond Girl out to settle a score with Hector Gonzales, who murdered her parents. In Quantum of Solace (2008), Camille Montes seeks vengeance upon General Medrano, for murdering her father, and the rape and murder of her mother and sister.
This film draws its inspiration from three real-life events. First, the disappearance of the British trawler "Gaul" during a storm in the Barents Sea in 1974. Rumors abounded that, like the St. Georges, it was actually a spy ship monitoring Soviet forces, and was lost as a result of an espionage mission gone wrong (over forty years later, the wreck was discovered, and proven to have sunk purely as a result of bad weather). Second, the crippling of two British destroyers in 1946, by sea mines laid by the Albanian Communist regime in international waters. Last, the recovery of codebooks and components of the Enigma cypher machine from the sinking German armed trawler "Krebs" during World War II, which proved invaluable in deciphering secret German communications.
In the theatrical release of the movie, a short sequence of the Identigraph processing the image, was shown between the time Bond finished working with Q to build the wire-frame image of Locque, and the printing of his image on the printer. The sequence showed a Burroughs B90-series computer doing the processing, with lights above the keyboard flashing. There is no indication of why the sequence is no longer included. The flashing lights were actually indicators of the status of the function keys located above the keyboard, not an indicator of the computer processing. Those function keys were used in a fashion similar to click buttons on an input form, on modern desktop and laptop computers. If the light was on, the function key was enabled. Typically, the function keys were used by the operator to tell the currently running program what to do next (rather than typing in a command), though the computer could only run one program at a time. The computer operator could place a replaceable stencil, with text, over the lights to show what action the function key would cause the program to take. Since the computer could be used by different people, running different programs, and the programs may use different function keys for different purposes, there might be several stencils used by different people.
Twelfth James Bond movie in the EON Productions film franchise. Fifth Bond film to star Sir Roger Moore as James Bond. It was the eleventh to feature Q, the tenth to feature Desmond Llewelyn as Q, and it was the fourteenth Bond movie overall.
Product placements, brand integrations, and promotional tie-ins for this movie include: Olin skis; Bogner ski suits; Seiko Time (U.K.), including the Seiko H357 Duo Display and Seiko 7549-7009 watches; Diner's Club; Philips Industries; Garmont boots; Mitsui Yamaha UK motorbikes; Tyrolia ski bindings; Visa Card; Lotus cars, S.A.; Citroën automobile; American Express; Kellogg's; Interflora Florists; Scubapro diving equipment; Jewel water buggies; Osel Mantis one-man submersibles; Perry Oceanographic submarines; and Normalair-Garrett (NGL) Deep Dive 55 sea diving helmets, wetsuits, and breathing equipment, including the Deep-Dive 500 lift support system.
Wide public interest in the 1980 Lake Placid USA Winter Olympics was the inspiration for the production to use a Winter Olympics location, and to include story action within its associated sports. The film used the Italian Alps location of Cortina D'Ampezzo, which had hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics. As such, there are sequences set at Cortina D'Ampezzo's Winter Olympic venues. Winter sports featured in the film include: the biathlon, ski jump, ice hockey, downhill skiing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and bobsled toboggan run. Lynn-Holly Johnson was a professional ice skater, noticed by Albert R. Broccoli, for her turn at acting in Ice Castles (1978). Her character in this movie, was an aspiring Winter Olympic medalist, funded by Aristotle Kristatos.
The literal translations of some of this film's foreign language titles include: Only For Your Eyes (France, Italy, Spain); On A Deadly Mission (Germany); Agent 007: Strict Confidence (Denmark); From A Lethal Viewpoint (Sweden); Top Secret (Finland); 007 For Your Eyes Only (Brazil); Only (strictly) For Your Eyes (Norway), and 007 Only For Your Eyes (Portugal).
Vehicles featured include: two Lotus Esprit Turbo 2.2 sportscars, one white, and one copper metallic to contrast against the white snow, after the other is blown up; a yellow Citroën 2CV fitted out with a Citroën GS 4-cylinder boxer engine, for a drive in the country to escape two black Peugeot 504 sedans; black Yamaha XJ 500 and Yamaha 500 XT motorcycles; Hector Gonzales' black, yellow, and white Cessna U206G Stationair Amphibian seaplane; a remote controlled Universal Exports red and white Mi6 Augusta and Bell 206B Jet Ranger helicopter; Aris Kristatos' black Everflex top white Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow or Silver Wraith II car; a white two-person Neptune lock-out submersible exploratory mini-submarine; a PZL-3A, PZL Mi-2, Polish Mil Mi-2 standard Soviet light helicopter; Colombo's yacht, the S.S. Colombina; the archaeological research vessel Triana; a black and yellow one-person atmospheric submersible Osel Mantis mini-submarine; the fishing trawler electronic surveillance spy ship H.M.S. St. Georges, containing one A.T.A.C. device; Emile Locque's black Mercedes-Benz 280SE; a black GP Beach Buggy; and Aris Kristatos' motor yacht, the Santa Mavra.
The character at the start of the movie, billed as "Man in Wheelchair", is unofficially Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but not called that for legal reasons, due to the Thunderball (1965) lawsuit with Kevin McClory. Blofeld is the franchise's earlier archvillain of James Bond. The surname of the Ernst Stavro Blofeld character, was allegedly named after Thomas Blofeld, with whom Ian Fleming went to school, at Eton College. Also known as Tom Blofeld, he was a Norfolk farmer, a fellow member of Boodle's, and the Chairman of the Country Gentleman's Asssociation. His son is Cricket Commentator Henry Blofeld. Ernst Blofeld's date of birth in the literary James Bond stories, is the same date as Fleming's birthday, which is May 28, 1908. Moreover, Ernest Cuneo was a friend of Fleming's. According to the book "Martinis, Girls and Guns: 50 Years of 007" (2003) by Martin Sterling and Gary Morecambe: "Cuneo may have also have inspired Blofeld's forenames, it is but a short leap from Ernest Cuneo to Ernst Stavro." According to the book "For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming + James Bond" (2009) by Ben Macintyre: "Alternatively, Blofeld may owe his name to China scholar John Blofeld, who was a member of Fleming's club Boodles, and whose father was named Ernst." In addition, the book "The Bond Code: The Dark World of Ian Fleming and James Bond" (2008) by Philip Gardner states: "The name is also revealing, in a psychological way. Ernst is Teutonic for 'earnest', and Stavros is Greek for 'victor', and so he is the 'earnest victor'", and "the name Blofeld means 'blue field', a swipe at his own blue blood rampant in the field, like heraldry", and moreover, "As the creator of SPECTRE, Blofeld is, in reality, the spectre of Ian Fleming, that looms ever present within his divided mind."
This movie is one of a few action-thriller films made around the mid 1970s to the early 1980s, that used a mountaintop monastery in Greece. The others being Sky Riders (1976) and Escape to Athena (1979).
In the German dubbed version, the name "Lisl" is changed to "Lisa". This was probably done because "Lisl" or "Liesel", both nicknames of "Elisabeth", are only used in Southern Germany and Austria, and even there, they have become slightly outdated. The character is supposed to be of Prussian heritage, therefore "Lisl" would probably have led to confusion, or even laughter, among German audiences.
The music score and title song for this movie was recorded at, what was known at the time as, The Music Centre, located in Wembley, London. It later became known as CTS Wembley. It was demolished in the early 2000s to make way for the new Wembley Stadium.
Ernest Stavro Blofeld appeared uncredited in this movie. He was uncredited in order to avoid a lawsuit from Kevin McClory. However, after two years, Blofeld appeared in the non Eon Bond movie Never Say Never Again (1983). After For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Never Say Never Again (1983), Blofeld appeared in the Eon Bond movie Spectre (2015).
The first line of the Ian Fleming short story read: "The most beautiful bird in Jamaica, and some say the most beautiful bird in the world, is the streamer-tail or doctor humming-bird." The last line read: "She fell in behind and followed him, and as she walked she pulled the tired bits of golden-rod out of her hair and undid a ribbon and let the pale gold hair fall down to her shoulders."
Robbin Young was the Winner of the "Be a James Bond Girl" Competition as Girl in Flowershop. Playboy Magazine, which had a long association with James Bond, ran a competition in their magazine for a reader to become a Bond Girl in 1980. The prize was a cameo in this movie, and a photo spread in the magazine. Young appeared in the flower shop scene when motorbikes crash into the florist's front window. Playboy published some of the James Bond short stories by Ian Fleming, including "The Hildebrand Rarity" in 1960, while James Bond was seen reading a copy of the magazine in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), and Bond has a Playboy Club membership card in Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
Directorial debut of John Glen. He previously worked in three other Bond films as an editor. Due to the film's success, Glen returned to direct all of the Bond films of the 1980s, a total of five films.
The expression, "For Your Eyes Only", is a variation on the real-life espionage term "Eyes Only", meaning restricted viewing to certain personnel. The Free Dictionary website defines "Eyes Only" as meaning "meant to be seen only by the addressee; confidential" and "official classification for documents; meant to be seen by only the person to whom it is directed."
The film, short story, and compilation novel title, is a variation on the real-life espionage term, "Eyes Only", meaning restricted viewing to certain personnel. The Free Dictionary website defines "Eyes Only" as meaning "meant to be seen only by the addressee; confidential" and "official classification for documents; meant to be seen by only the person to whom it is directed."
It was an early intention of the production to put James Bond in a scene with Greece's classic architectural building, The Parthenon. Old world architecture had previously been a backdrop for Bond in From Russia with Love (1963) (Istanbul and The Basilica Cistern) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) (Cairo and The Pyramids). But in this case, permission was denied to film at The Parthenon.
To pay tribute to the passing away of Sir Roger Moore, two James Bond films, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and this movie, Moore's two favorite of his Bond films, as well as the two he considered his best, were re-released on selected dates in selected territories around the world within a few weeks of his passing, with fifty percent of the proceeds going to Moore's beloved charity, U.N.I.C.E.F., for which he was a Goodwill Ambassador.
Robbin Young: The Winner of the "Be a James Bond Girl" Competition as Girl in Flowershop. Playboy Magazine, which had had a long association with James Bond, ran a competition in their magazine for a reader to become a Bond Girl in 1980. The prize was a cameo in this movie and a photo-spread in the magazine. Young appeared in the flower shop scene when motorbikes crash into the florist's front window. Playboy published some of the James Bond short stories by Ian Fleming including "The Hildebrand Rarity" in 1960 whilst the James Bond character was seen reading a copy of the magazine in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and Bond has a Playboy Club membership card in Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
A line of dialogue had to be cut from the opening helicopter sequence for legal reasons. The bald man could not be called Blofeld, as Kevin McClory had won a court case several years previous, and owned the rights to the use of "SPECTRE", and "Ernst Stavro Blofeld". Unofficially disposing of Blofeld so early in the film was Albert R. Broccoli's way of telling McClory that the success of 007 did not depend on him, and he got rid of Blofeld (supposedly) once and for all. McClory later released an unofficial Bond movie, Never Say Never Again (1983), in which Blofeld was played by Max von Sydow, which directly competed with the official installment Octopussy (1983). Blofeld would not appear in an EON produced Bond film again until Spectre (2015), after the rights matter was finally settled in 2013.
Sir Roger Moore hated the final scene with Margaret Thatcher. He felt it didn't suit the serious tone of the rest of the film. He also didn't like getting a clue about the A.T.A.C. from a parrot. Moore thought it the type of silliness his Bond films were usually criticized for being.
Sir Roger Moore was not happy about the scene, where he cold-bloodedly kills Locque by pushing his teetering car off of a cliff. Although Moore acknowledged that this was a Bond thing to do, he didn't feel that it was a Sir Roger Moore Bond thing to do. Michael G. Wilson also added that he and Richard Maibaum, along with John Glen, toyed with other ideas surrounding that scene, but ultimately everyone, even Moore, agreed to do the scene as originally written.
The assassination of Melina Havelock's parents was first intended as part of the pre-credits sequence. The reaction shot of the murder was intended to cut to a close-up on her face, whereby the look of anger and revenge in her eyes would then segue into the main titles.
The first scene in this film shows James Bond visiting his wife's grave to lay a bouquet of roses on her grave, then finally get his personal vengeance on Blofeld. As this is the twelfth film in the James Bond franchise, and half of the film franchise is the sixth film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). Bond was meant to end his vengeance on Blofeld after another six film hiatus in the events occurred in the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).