The screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson takes its characters and combines the plots from two short stories from Ian Fleming’s For Your Eyes Only collection: the title story and “Risico”. In the plot, Bond attempts to locate a missile command system while becoming tangled in a web of deception spun by rival Greek businessmen along with Melina Havelock, a woman seeking to avenge the murder of her parents. Some writing elements were inspired by the novels Live and Let Die, Goldfinger and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
- Roger Moore as James Bond: MI6 agent 007, who is sent to retrieve a stolen “ATAC” system that could be misused for controlling British military submarines.For Your Eyes Only was the fifth of seven outings for Moore as Bond.
- Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock: The daughter of marine archaeologists who are murdered while tracking down the ATAC’s whereabouts. Bouquet had auditioned for the role of Holly Goodhead in Moonraker, but was unsuccessful.
- Julian Glover as Aristotle Kristatos: Initially shown as an ally, later as the main villain. A smuggler planning to expand his fortune by selling the ATAC to the KGB. Glover had been shortlisted as a possible Bond for Live and Let Die, eventually losing out to Moore. Glover would go on to appear opposite previous Bond Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as Nazi sympathiser Walter Donovan.
- Chaim Topol (credited as “Topol”) as Milos Columbo: Kristatos’ former smuggling partner who assists Bond in his mission. Named after Gioacchino Colombo, theFerrari engine designer, specifically Ferrari 125, which Fleming admired. Topol suggested the pistachios as a trademark of the character, which are used in a scene to orient Columbo’s men on where to shoot.
- Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl: An ice-skating prodigy who is training with the financial support of Kristatos. Johnson was an ice skater before turning to acting, and achieved second place at the novice level of the 1974 United States Figure Skating Championships.
- Michael Gothard as Emile Leopold Locque: A hired killer and associate of Kristatos.
- Cassandra Harris as Countess Lisl von Schlaf: Columbo’s mistress. At the time of filming Harris was married to future Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, and the couple lunched with the film’s producer Albert Broccoli during filming.
- John Wyman as Erich Kriegler: An Olympic class athlete and Kristatos’ henchman/KGB contact. Writer Jeremy Black said that he resembles Hans ofYou Only Live Twice and Stamper of Tomorrow Never Dies.
- Desmond Llewelyn as Q, the head of MI6’s technical department. For Your Eyes Only was the tenth of 17 Bond films in which Llewelyn appeared. He appeared in more Bond films than any other actor and worked with the first five Bond actors in the Eon-produced series.
- Jill Bennett as Jacoba Brink: Bibi’s skating coach.
- Jack Hedley as Sir Timothy Havelock: A marine archaeologist hired by the British Secret Service to secretly locate the wreck of St. Georges.
- Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny, M’s secretary. Maxwell played Moneypenny in fourteen Eon-produced Bond films from Dr. No in 1962 to A View to a Kill in 1985; For Your Eyes Only was her twelfth appearance.
- Geoffrey Keen as Sir Frederick Gray: The British Minister of Defence, a minister in the British government. The role, along with Bill Tanner as Chief of Staff, was used to brief Bond in place of M, following the death of Bernard Lee.
- James Villiers as MI6 Chief of Staff Bill Tanner. The role of Tanner first appeared on film in The Man with the Golden Gun, although in an un-credited capacity. Villiers presumed he would play the role of M in subsequent films and was disappointed not to be asked; the producers thought him too young for the role and wanted an actor in his 70s.
- John Moreno as Luigi Ferrara: 007’s MI6 contact in northern Italy.
- Walter Gotell as General Gogol: Head of the KGB and previous ally of MI6 inThe Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
- Jack Klaff as Apostis: One of Kristatos’s henchmen and chauffeur.
- Stefan Kalipha as Hector Gonzales: A Cuban hitman hired by Kristatos to kill the Havelocks.
- Charles Dance as Claus, an associate of Locque. The role was early in Dance’s career; in 1989 he would play Ian Fleming in Anglia Television’s Goldeneye: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, a dramatised portrayal of the life of Ian Fleming.
- Janet Brown as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who appears in the closing scene alongside John Wells as Denis.
- John Hollis as the “bald villain in wheelchair”, voiced by Robert Rietti. The character appears in the pre-credits sequence and is both unnamed and uncredited. The character contains a number of characteristics of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but could not be identified as such because of the legal reasons surrounding the Thunderball controversy with Kevin McClory claiming sole rights to the Blofeld character, a claim disputed by Eon.
- Bob Simmons, who previously portrayed Bond in the gun barrel sequences in the first three films and SPECTRE agent Colonel Jacques Bouvar in Thunderball, cameos as another villain as Gonzales’ henchman who falls victim to Bond’s exploding Lotus
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