Roger Moore in FYEO

Bond is Back! To celebrate the life of Sir Roger Moore, the main studio MGM, the film restoration experts Park Circus, and EON Productions have announced in a joint statement that there will be special screenings of two of his 007 movies, The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only, at selected cinemas in the UK and other countries from 31st May.

In Britain, the main cinema chain involved in the project will be Odeon Cinemas. This fantastic opportunity to see two classic Roger Moore Bond movies on the big screen should not be missed. The newly restored 4K versions of both films will be screened in aid of the charity UNICEF.

Sir Roger became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 1991, and was passionate about their work for children across the world. He travelled widely to help publicise the charity and raise money. In a press release, the EON producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said: ‘In honour of Sir Roger Moore, we are delighted these Bond screenings will benefit UNICEF which was the charity closest to his heart’.

Similarly, Gary Barber, who is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of studio MGM, commented: ‘Sir Roger Moore left an indelible imprint on audiences worldwide. There is no better way to remember Roger’s legacy than bringing back his iconic performances as James Bond to cinemas across the world while aiding UNICEF, the charity he steadfastly supported’.

The third 007 movie to star Roger Moore, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) was directed by Lewis Gilbert and had some highly memorable stunts, a submersible Lotus Esprit car, and some truly breath-taking sets designed by the award-winning Bond film design veteran Sir Ken Adam, including a massive tanker set which held three kidnapped submarines. With a screenplay by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum, the movie saw 007 confront Karl Stromberg, a shipping magnate who is determined to start World War Three so that he can re-build a new civilization under the oceans. The film also introduced newcomer Barbara Bach (playing Major Anya Amasova) to the world. Sir Roger commented on a number of occasions that the movie was his personal favourite 007 film. It was also Cubby Broccoli’s first Bond film as solo producer.

The fifth James Bond film to star Roger Moore, For Your Eyes Only (1981), directed by John Glen, was a much more down-to-earth and realistic kind of 007 adventure, which is generally seen as the least gadget-reliant of the Moore Bond films. Screenwriter Richard Maibaum, with the assistance of Michael G. Wilson, put together some key storyline elements from two short stories by Ian Fleming, and developed a plot that involved revenge, double-dealing and rivalry between drugs smugglers, set against a Cold War backdrop of continued tension between East and West. An unused keel-hauling sequence from Fleming’s novel Live and Let Die was also added to the film, providing Moore and Carole Bouquet (as Melina Havelock) with one of their best scenes in the movie. The pre-credits also saw the brief return of an (un-named) Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Full details of the special screenings will be made available by Park Circus.

Did You Know?

When For Your Eyes Only was given its Royal Premiere at the Odeon, Leicester Square, in June, 1981, unbeknown to the excited ticket-holders who packed out the Odeon aisles, there was a future 007 sitting in the cinema audience that night: Pierce Brosnan accompanied his wife Cassandra Harris (who played Lisl in the movie) to the premiere.

The Spy Who Loved Me - Gun barrel