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1969 James Bond Movie starring George Lazenby

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Emotional Bond: Is it what the audience wants?

  • Apr 1, 2009
Rating:
+3
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 often suffers from a slow pace, but the set-pieces are truly remarkable (Blofeld's lair atop the Swiss Alps is truly a remarkable sight to behold). The shots of the snow covered mountains is some of the most beautiful cinematography found in any of the 1960s Bond films, and is one of the main reasons I recommend this film.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service continues where `You Only Live Twice' where Ernst Stavro Blofeld is still at large (Telly Savalas taking to role from Donald Pleasance), and, as you've probably already guessed, is already in the process of executing a new plan that should bring the world to its knees. In his time hiding from Bond he has concocted a fiendish plan to hold the world ransom using beautiful girls (who, of course, have been brainwashed) and chemicals to wipe out the world's agricultural goods. James Bond allies himself with Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) and her father, Marc-Ange Draco, who just happens to be the head of Union Corse (a major crime syndicate) for a final showdown in the Alps Blofeld's SPECTRE forces (How many henchmen does Blofeld have, anyways? He must give good benefit...).

George Lazenby does the best he can, even with the knowledge that he will be following Sean Connery; the many who basically MADE Bond. He does this by being a more sensitive, emotional Bond, going back to Fleming's novels to try and be as different from Connery's Bond as possible. All thought he pulls this off rather well he still cannot hold-up the Connery, especially when it comes to convincingly seducing women and delivering humorous one-liners. Still, the final moments of this film called for emotion I could not imagine Connery's Bond conveying without going far out of character. For this reason Lazenby manages to get a favorable response from me as a viewer, because without his good, emotion-packed performance in the final moments of this film it would not have left me with as strong of an impact. That moment alone is a reason why On Her Majesty's Secret Service is not to be missed.

This brings up the question: Do we want more emotional Bonds? I don't really think so, and I don't think the Craig films going on right now will last too long if they dwell too much on an emotional aspect of Bond. What we want in James Bond really is an invincible man who engages in fancy chases, and seduces women with ease, and when he just manages to cheat death is able to straighten his tie and deliver a comic pun or one-liner.

So while I can't say On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a great "James Bond" movie I can say that it is a mostly well-executed, emotionally driven film that is worth viewing if you don't hold it to the standards of the Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan films or you will be greatly disappointed by On Her Majesty's Secret Service. If you want to see the most emotional, heart-gripping ending of any James Bond film you certainly owe On Her Majesty's Secret Service a viewing (too bad it's so hard to find it on DVD now of days unless you buy the box set it's included in).

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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 . July 31, 2009
posted in Bond, James Bond
George Lazenby is Bond
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 …
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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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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