Peter Lorenz at the excellent, fantastic Illustrated 007 blog (a site I really can't say enough good things about)
So thinking along those lines sent me running to one of my two favorite scholarly tomes ever penned on the subject of 007 (a resource I frequently cited in film studies classes in college), specifically to Tony Bennett and Janet Woolacott's analysis (or possibly over-analysis, depending on your perspective) of that poster on page 242 of their book Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (Methuen, 1987):
Since the 1970s, this licensed adjustment of traditional norms of female sexuality has given way before an obsessive concern to effect a redistribution of phallic attributes back from women to men. Publicity posters for the Bond films of this period thus typically represented the relations between Bond and 'the Bond girl' in the form of a contest between two rival sources of phallic power and authority.Well put, no? I wonder if that's exactly what Brian Bysouth was thinking? So what is this poster to you, dear readers? Sexist, misogynist objectification of women? A desperate man's attempt to restore the symbolic order of the phallus? Or just a clever image dreamed up by a savvy marketing department who knew how to sell their product? Good art? Bad art? Please, chime in!
The poster for For Your Eyes Only, read from an anxious male perspective, is a case in point. The foreground is dominated by the buttocks and legs of a girl clad in swimming wear and seen from the rear. She stands with legs astride, the relations between her two feet - clad in high-heeled shoes - and her crotch form a triangle with the crotch forming the apex. Her right hand holds a cross-bow, sprung for action and armed with an arrow, pointing to the ground. Bond is framed within the triangle formed by the girl's legs and crotch. Diminished by the girl's domination of the foreground - his head is level with her knees - Bond is placed directly below the girl's crotch, gun in hand with his gaze directed anxiously not to the viewer or to the girl's face but to her crotch. Outside the triangle formed by the girl's legs, a variety of action scenes from the film are depicted.... The 'adventure' elements of the plot are thus relegated to the margins of the composition, a series of escapades which have a distinctly Boy's Own flavour compared with the central challenge which Bond has to respond to: restoring the symbolic order of the phallus by 'outgunning' the girl whose phallic power threatens to overwhelm him.
If you're into Freudian takes on spy imagery, also check out the post Lipstick Feminism: Gender Roles in Deadlier Than the Male (Or: When is a Speargun Just a Speargun?)