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1969 James Bond Movie starring George Lazenby

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So much like a spy under the radar, it's missed by everyone

  • Jul 31, 2009
Rating:
+4
Including myself.  I found it apalling that when ABC fought for the rights to get the Bond movies a few years ago, they snubbed this movie from airplay.  Sadly I left it out when I talked about From Russia With Love when talking about the most serious and mature of the Bond movies.  Looking back now after watching it again, I really feel ashamed.  Talk about a sleeper!!

The biggest thing this movie has going against it is it's the one non hit wonder of Austrailian model turned actor George Lazenby.  Lazenby got lambasted by almost everyone for simply not being Sean Connery during the 60's and as a result that even though Bond was winding down at the time and that the movie is close to the book material (and the book is one of the best Bond books Fleming had written) the movie pulled in less money then any other Bond movie at the time.  Never mind that it was still a money maker, Lazenby (for too many reasons floating around) was gone and people were wondering if Bond would be in fact back.

The story has MI6 trying to follow Bond's progress as he has been on assignment for two years on Operation Bedlam, a mission to trackdown and stop S.P.E.C.T.R.E. head Blofeld.  When Bond's trail goes cold he gets in contact with Union Corps head Marc Ange Draco, a rival crime boss for assistance and ends up falling in love with his carefree daughter Tracy.  Bond fins the clues he needs and goes undercover at Blofelds allergy clinic in the Alps to stop his biological warfare scheme.

I'm gonna say it here.  I like Geroge Lazenby.  He had Connery's toughness and Moore's sense of humor in a great combination.  People ridicule him for not being a compitant actor but the only scene I don't find him effective in are his scenes with Bernard Lee's M.  Maybe it's that M is too cold and indifferent to Bond in this film but it's the only kink I found.  Diana Rigg who plays Tracy may not be the sexiest Bond girl but certainly the most charming and has the right mix of damsel and tough Bond girl.  I always hate it when they hype the hell out of Bond girls being "Bond's Equal" and granted the tough ones are always better then the wimpy ones (except Jane Seymour) but always pushing the issue in our face annoys me.

Telly Sevalas is here and brings some creedance to Blofeld over Donald Pleasance's turn in You Only Live Twice.  People complain about him being too much like some Chicago gangster with a cig in his mouth and leather jacket but between the three Blofeld's we've seen he's my favorite.  Physical and intimidating he's also the closest to the book Blofeld then the other two as well.

John Barry's score rocks and is probably my favorite of his music for Bond.  An impressive brass section with alpine horns fill the air with the movies killer instrumental theme playing during the action scenes.  Even the cloing Christmas Trees song that plays while Bond hides in a skating plaza to avoid Blofeld's soldiers helps create a mood.

The length of this film though is just too long.  A good half hour longer then the others which run two hours and that half hour is spent with us following Bond around and getting used to him as well as setting up some of the story.  If they had ignored this and kept it to the regular two hours, it wouldn't feel so bad.  When Roger Moore took over the mantle 4 years later, they ignored the boring set up.

The only other problem I have here is that the editing of the fight scenes hurky jerky, especailly the first one in the precredits.  Bond can be pulling back for a punch, and then cut right away to the guy already on the floor with Bond halfway in the air jumping on him to fight him.  Later on in a bobsled chase, the bluescreening behind the actors is all over the place making you wonder what kind of course they are chasing each other on.

Last but not least is that this movie is a love story.  Once Bond starts courting Tracy, you believe they are in love and Bond suddenly becomes a one woman man.  It wasn't until Casino Royale some 35 years later that this topic resurfaced again.  This is a special piece of Bond movie topics that isn't uncovered much and in both movies you really believe that it's love and not just sex he's after.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is forgotten by so many for a simple reason because of Lazenby and that is such bullshit.  A website some years ago juxtaposed Connery as Bond in a theoretical sense of how the movie may have looked and if I remember correctly, they dubbed it the best of the Bond movies.  Lots of action, romance, espionage and even some sad drama it may not be the best Bond movie, but it is the most emotional, right up to the end....
George Lazenby is Bond Diana Rigg as Contessa Tracy Telly Sevalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld Blodfelds Blofeld leads his men in the field Raiding Blofeld's Piz Gloria headquarters

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More On her Majesty's Secret Servic... reviews
review by . November 04, 2011
posted in Bond, James Bond
Without question OHMSS is my favorite Bond film.  The film is the only true romance in the entire series.  Bond has had many girls in his movies, but only married one.  Actions, exotic settings, romance, tragedy, and exciting villains all add up to make this the most exciting film in the series.    The scenes in the Alps are beautiful.  Some of the best shots in movie history of skiing are in this film.   And few things compare to location of Piz Gloria, Blofelds …
review by . April 23, 2009
On Her Majesty's Secret Service in my opinion was the best film of the series. I felt that George Lazenby was unfairly slagged by the critics for his performance. He did the best that he could. His acting fit very well for his character and his portrayal is more faithful to the original source material. The direction moved the film at an even pace. The action set pieces were impressive and Diana Rigg was hot. Telly Savalas was excellent as Blofield, he gave the character a suave touch underlying …
review by . April 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
The sixth entry in the James Bond Franchise `On Her Majesty's Secret Service' is a questionable Bond film, probably being the most dramatic in the early years in the franchise and the fact that it introduces one-time Bond actor George Lazenby, who for the most part holds his own, even with the heavy burden of being the actor to follow-up Sean Connery who had already helmed five Bond films (and would return after Lazenby left for one last go in Diamonds Are Forever).     The film …
review by . September 12, 2007
Although George Lanzenby only played James Bond once, he did a great job in "On her Majesty's Secret Service". The film has good acting and amazing action sequences. Diana Rigg does a phenomenal job as "Tracy Bond", the only woman to have actually married James Bond. Blofeld is well performed by Terry Savalas. I really enjoyed Lanzenby as Bond and I wish he had done more. This is truly a fantastic movie and one of the best James Bond films.
review by . September 12, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Although George Lanzenby only played James Bond once, he did a great job in "On her Majesty's Secret Service". The film has good acting and amazing action sequences. Diana Rigg does a phenomenal job as "Tracy Bond", the only woman to have actually married James Bond. Blofeld is well performed by Terry Savalas. I really enjoyed Lanzenby as Bond and I wish he had done more. This is truly a fantastic movie and one of the best James Bond films.
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John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Wiki

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) is the sixth spy film in the James Bond series, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, and the only one to star George Lazenby as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. In the film, Bond faces Blofeld, who is planning on unleashing a plague through a group of brainwashed "angels of death" (which included early appearances by Joanna Lumley and Catherina von Schell) unless his demands are met. Along the way, Bond meets, falls in love with, and eventually marries Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo.

This Bond film is the second in what is considered the "Blofeld Trilogy", coming between You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever. This trilogy is of interest not only for the three different Blofeld actors (Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice, Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever) but for its two Bond actors (Sean Connery, then George Lazenby, and back to Connery).

This is the only Bond film to be directed by Peter R. Hunt, who before was a film editor or second unit director on every previous film. Though its theatrical release was not as lucrative as its predecessor You Only Live Twice and Lazenby's performance was much criticized, On Her Majesty's Secret Service grossed over $87 million worldwide and was met with positive critical reviews.

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Details

Director: Peter R. Hunt
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Runtime: 140 minutes
Studio: United Artists
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