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CBn Reviews 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'


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#61 Nicolas Suszczyk

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 09:01 PM

Excelent film. Very faithful, lots of action. Loved it.

#62 Richard

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 07:50 AM

My favorite Bond film is the one I'm watching when I'm watching Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. As entertainment, as cinema, and as art, they are each a 10.

Richard

#63 DamnCoffee

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 09:38 AM

Lovely film. Used to be my favorite, but has dropped to third place, in favour of The Spy Who Loved Me and Casino Royale.

#64 danielcraigisjamesbond007

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 03:17 AM

Not my personal favourite Bond film. However, it's ten times better than, say, DAF. The only thing I don't like about OHMSS is Lazenby, IMO.

#65 Nicolas Suszczyk

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 09:29 PM

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is considered, by many fans, as the quintaessential Bond film.
The sixth adventure in the James Bond franchise stands out agains all the first adventures from the sixties, starring Sean Connery.
Featuring an unknown star, George Lazenby, as 007, and a well-known co-star, Britain's most loved avenger, Diana Rigg, as Tracy, the ill-fated Mrs Bond, it's the first Bond epic to depart from the big extravaganzas loaded of technology (i.e. You Only Live Twice , Thunderball, Goldfinger) and feature a remarkable script, written by Richard Maibaum, very faithful to Ian Fleming's novel.
Despite being an unknown model, Australian-Born Lazenby showed the spectator (as the film trailer claims) he's "the different Bond". Tough he obviously tried to imitate Sean Connery, he proved to show a human and romantic side of Bond, necessary for the film's romantic background between Bond and Tracy, lively played by Mrs. Rigg. Also stands out in the movie the future Kojak, Telly Savalas, who played a classy, menacing, and hard to forget Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the best of the three credited actors who portrayed the role in the EON film series.
This is also the first film in featuring thrilling ski chases. Coordinated by Willy Bogner Jr and filmed by the late Johnny Jordan, these scenes are really breathtaking. Certainly a tour de force in the history of cinema. The fighting sceneas also adopt a unique style trademark of editor and future Bond director John Glen.
Much of the credit for the film's (delayed) success goes to Peter Hunt, editor of the first five Bond films, who passed with flying colours in directing his first and only 007 film, allowing the audience to take a deep look at Bond's feelings. Michael Reed's sharp cinematography of the beautiful Swiss panorama is stunning, and, altogether with John Barry's superb and majestuous score, makes On Her Majesty’s Secret Service one of the most distinguished Bonds of all the time (in the world).

10/10

#66 chrisno1

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:52 PM

In 2008 I watched all the Bond movies and wrote a series of reviews for another site. The aim was to watch them in order in the run up to the premiere of QOS. I succeeded and the reviews were well received.
However, subsequently, I have re-read my reviews and re-watched a number of the movies (the BFI had a whole 007 season earlier this year and I saw quite a few on the big screen again!).
This is my updated review for On Her Majesty's Secret Service.


ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE
REVISED REVIEW 10/O1/10


While You Only Live Twice completely ignored its source novel, the producers bravely took a different approach to the next Bond project. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service had been considered for adaptation as early as the second movie, but the logistics of the story, its Alpine setting and its set pieces, always prevented the producers from tackling what many consider Fleming’s best work. But having introduced Blofeld to the public, it was felt the time at last was right.

OHMSS is, in adaptation terms, the very best of the Bond films. Richard Maibaum’s script follows the novel so closely they almost seem a mirror image. Certainly he embellishes it with more sex and violence, but the plot and the characters are intact and the dialogue is lifted as if from the page - witness Bond’s introduction to the Capu of the Union Corse, his seduction of Tracy, his meeting with Hilary Bray and the Red Cross helicopter ruse.

There is much to enjoy in OHMSS. It starts off with three furious fight scenes that surround a game of chemin de fer and a bout of love making. Maibaum then spends a long time developing his plot. We head to Switzerland and meet the major protagonists in the story: Blofeld, Irma Bunt and a bevy of beautiful girls, the latter of which are unknowing pawns in a game of biological warfare and psychological hypnosis. It is a credit to director Peter Hunt and editor John Glen that this period of the film doesn’t drag, indeed without the slow build up of tension the following hour of mayhem would not seem half as exciting.

Once Bond’s cover is blown, his capture and escape are well constructed and brilliantly executed. We have a heart-in-the-mouth cable car stunt, two glorious ski chases, an avalanche, a delirious stock car rally, a fight in a bell tower and a pursuit of hide-and-seek through a Swiss town on Christmas Eve, all with John Barry’s music pounding in the background. And we still have the climatic mountain top battle and a bob-sleigh fight to come. It’s hard to know who to congratulate first: the skiers, the aerial cameramen, the ski cameramen, the stock car director, the fight arranger, stunt arranger, even the photographer or editor. Despite the passage of time, it is still one of the best sustained continuous sequences of action in a Bond film, only slowing for a tender moment when our hero proposes to his beloved heroine Tracy.

And that moment gets to the heart of OHMSS. Bond is different in this film. Yes, there is a new actor, but it isn’t only George Lazenby who is different. The sentences he speaks are less rasping, less contrite; he displays affection; he falls in love; an amiable persona begins materialise. To quote Lazenby: “This never happened to the other fellow” and rightly so. Lazenby brings a lot of charm to the role. He isn’t as rough around the edges as Connery was in his debut and he does a very competent job. His action scenes are outstanding - physically he’s in better shape than Connery ever was - while during the scenes at the Piz Gloria research clinic, he is very effective at impersonating a knighted baronet. He even manages the romantic interludes well, something Connery never had to do.

It’s disappointing then that the director, and perhaps the producers, never show enough faith in him. In the pre-title sequence John Barry uses two recognisable Bond tunes before we have even set eyes on Lazenby, spoiling what should be a memorable introduction. This continues for the first fifteen or twenty minutes as Maibaum, the writer, reminds us through a series contrived scenes that this is James Bond of Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Lazenby just about settles into the role when his own vocal chords are taken away from him and George Baker’s voice is dubbed over the top every time Lazenby is impersonating Baker’s character, Sir Hilary Bray. It is an unnecessary and mystifying intrusion that distracts us from an otherwise sound debut performance.

To compensate for Lazenby’s debut, the producers found a heavyweight cast list that amply makes up for any perceived short comings. Telly Savalas, always a great baddie, is an athletic and cultured Blofeld, the most convincing of the actors to play the super-villain. Ilse Steppat’s role as Irma Bunt reminds me of Rosa Klebb, an ugly squat woman, rarely off her guard, she plays matron to the girls and watchman over Bond. Gabrile Ferzetti is fine as Draco, Bond’s future father in law, an urbane, sophisticated criminal who appreciates the finer things in life, such as good wine, good food, beautiful women and family loyalty. He is as macho as Bond, but older and wiser. It’s one of the best supporting roles in a Bond film and Ferzetti’s scenes with Lazenby are similar to those between Armendariz and Connery in From Russia With Love, the old pro and the young buck, both in the story and in the acting.

The women in OHMSS are many. There are a dozen at Piz Gloria and this induces a short-lived, off-beat, if accidental, tribute to the Carry On films, both in Barry’s sexy, jaunty clarinet theme and the witty dialogue. It’s an amusing few minutes, with Bond initially playing it straight (“I know what he’s allergic too” says English rose Joanna Lumley). Later, having bedded one girl, Bond is surprised to find a second waiting at his bedside. “Coming to my room was an inspiration,” he says, “And you’ll need to be.” Here Angela Scoular strikes a slightly dull note as Ruby, the commoner from Morecambe Bay, her interpretation a million miles from Fleming’s dainty girl who wouldn’t sneeze.

But above all these gorgeous Bond Girls stands Diana Rigg as Tracy, Bond’s lover, his true love and his soon-to-be wife. Rigg is perfect as Lazenby’s foil. When Fleming describes her, in Bond’s thoughts, Tracy is “beautiful, in bed and out, she’s adventurous, brave, resourceful, she’s exciting always...she’s a lone girl, not cluttered with friends” and Maibaum takes time to interpret this in the script (Tracy doesn’t actually say much in the novel) and Rigg conveys it wonderfully in her manner, her expressions and her body language. In 1969 she was also one of the most beautiful women on the planet; that sort of thing helps.

OHMSS ends on a tragic note. But there is no need to be sorrowful about the film. It may not have made as many millions as its immediate predecessors, but it did allow the 1960s to end the Bond franchise where it began, safely in the lap of Ian Fleming.

The film delivers on many levels: action, direction, acting, editing, photography and music are all of the highest quality. Costumes, stunts and set design are not far behind. Yet it is Maibaum’s clever and insightful adaptation that creates the tone and allows a delicate heart to flutter at the centre of an extraordinary adventure.

RATING 10 from 10


#67 Cuish

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:05 PM

10/10

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is my all-time favourite Bond film. Why? read on...

1. Barry's score

The Bond films are very consistant with good music. Even the worst films usually still had a decent musical score. But this is one of the best of Barry's scores and is the best Bond score period. Louie Armstrong was an interesting addition and his song, "We have all the time in the world" is a absolutely fantastic one and by far grabs the #1 spot for the best song in the series (with lyrics that is). All the orchestration in general is sheer phenomenal and if the score for The Spy Who Loved Me by Marvin Hamlisch got a best score nomination, then this film was seriously robbed of a nomination (and win), amongst Barry's other Bond scores.

2. Action

If there's one thing the Bond films are known for, it's the action. It is without a reasonable doubt that On Her Majesty's Secret Service features the very best action in the series. The ski chases, the stock car chase and the bobsled chase have all been replicated later on but have only paled in comparison. The stunt work itself though is nothing short of amazing and some of the cinematography is breathtaking.

3. The ending

Now, if there was a film that deserves the best ending title, this easily grabs that title. Everything is happy and great and then... what?! This really gives the character a much more human side, here we have a Bond that isn't wise-cracking and being superman. Plus Barry's scoring for this scene really helps the emotional impact and particularly the first I saw this film, I absolutely burst into tears. Lastly, it's a real pity that Diamonds are Forever didn't follow this up with Bond looking for revenge.

4. Story

While most films in the series have over-the-top plots and the characterization of Bond is usually flushed down the toliet, this film really gives the character a much needed focus. Furthermore, the film faithfully adaptes one of Fleming's best stories and again, isn't over-the-top or silly.

On a side-note, it's a pity that the next film took the route that You Only Live Twice started because the next film really should've been Lazenby's Quantum of Solace.

5. Pacing

While more or less every other film in the series just jumps into the mission, the mission of this film doesn't really get going until about an hour in. Furthermore, there's not really any action until about the last three-fourths of the film. When it kicks in, the film is literally a roller coaster of a ride. Lastly, we get a very well acted scene when Bond dictates his letter of resignation to Moneypenny and after the second ski chase, the scene where M refuses the attack on Piz Gloria.

6. Cinematography

The film also beautifully captures the scenery of the Swiss Alps, particularly when Bond is in the helicopter being taken to Piz Gloria and some of the action scenes.

7. George Lazenby

On Her Majesty's Secret Service stars George Lazenby as his one and only Bond film. I feel that the film is somewhat misunderstood concerning Lazenby; by that time in the series, Sean Connery was bored with the character and wanted to move on to other projects and if he had starred in this one, his lack of interest would have been more apparent. Just look how bored he was in Diamonds are Forever, would you want that lack of interest in this film? Lastly, for someone with zero acting experience, he was alot better than I thought he would be and he really had the potential to be better than Connery if he'd stuck around for more.

8. Tracy

The main thing that makes this film stand out from the others is the romantic angle of the story. With a typical Bond film, the action comes first and the love interest comes second. With this film, it's the other way round. As previously mentioned, the film's action doesn't kick in until about the last three-fourths of the film and the mission doesn't get going until an hour in. This all helps if you have a strong leading lady and this film does, in the form of Teresa "Tracy" Draco, greatly played by Diana Rigg.

9. Blofeld

Every great Bond film needs a great Bond villain and this film gives us one of the best, if not the best. Even though Telly Savalas doesn't fit the description of the character in the novels, he perfectly nails the character. Furthermore, not for a second do you believe that Savalas's Blofeld didn't mean business and rough business at that. Lastly, as previously mentioned, it's a pity that the next film (and the film before) ended up featuring parodies of the character and merely served as the forerunner of Dr. Evil. Which brings me to my final point.

10. Opening Credits

Last but not least, another thing that Bond films are known for are the opening credits that accompany the title song. The credits to this one are again, absolutely fantastic with the recap of the five pervious films and the instrumental theme is a phenomenal one and is easily my pick for best Bond song ever, instrumental or otherwise.

To conclude, the only other Bond film to come close to this film is Casino Royale. Furthermore, the next film is one of cinema's greatest missed opportunities and it wasn't until 1981 that the series got back on track with the serious and down-to-earth storylines that are for the most part, the best films in the series. Simply put, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is my all-time favourite Bond film.

#68 Mr. Somerset

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:14 PM

10/10 for me as well. Simply one of the best in the series. Long live the Laz!!!!!

#69 elizabeth

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:28 PM

A 9.5. Right below TMWTGG on my list. It had everything: a Bond who knew how to play the part, a great Bond girl, and an ending like Othello. Hey, what can I say? I'm an English nerd!

#70 Lachesis

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:00 PM

Nothing I can add to what has already been said in the excellent reviews above, I make no pretence to suggest Lazenby is the best Bond of all (I don't think he is) but in this case every element and every diverse aspect of Bond is working in hharmony to make the whole so much more than the sum of its parts, imho this is the best Bond film of them 10/10 (and one of my top ten films of any kind).

#71 Attempting Re-entry

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 11:25 PM

Fantastic movie except for Wooden George. He wasn't just wooden, he was solid 100% Prime Sequoia wood. If only this movie had Sean or even Roger...

Brozza's 2 cents ->"George seems to be an unhappy camper about Bond. He gets pissy and spits the dummy out. Tim was fantastic. He really had the balls to go out there and play it on the nose - Ian Fleming undiluted. But where were the laughs? Sean was brilliant, he played it dead on the money. And Roger really made it his own and went for the laughs. I think those two were the best."


Ugh. I disagree.

I'm tired of the Lazenby can't act. Now, was he as good as an actor as Connery or Craig or Dalton, obviously no. But he was believable as Bond. He didn't look like he was acting to me. Especially in the fight scenes. He engrossed himself in the Bond character, instead of mimicking what he thought it should be.

Give me 10 minutes of Lazneby's wooden dialouge over all of Moore's childish penis jokes any day.


"Just a slight stiffness coming on..."

I realise I'm quoting a three year old post here...but come on, I just watched this and Lazenby is awful.

#72 Guy Haines

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:33 AM

Almost my favourite, almost. One of the best leading ladies, one of the best (and most underrated) villains, a very good supporting cast, a screenplay that was surprisingly close to the original novel - I say "surprisingly" because one can imagine the pressure to repeat the excesses of its predecessor, but it didn't.

A brilliant music score. I've seen posts on other threads about later Bond films, claiming that this film or that film's score was the "best ever". Most of the rest can't hold a candle to Barry's work on OHMSS - and I include Barry's later Bond scores here.

One of the best directed, by Peter Hunt - why he wasn't brought back to direct again is beyond me. And the director had the guts to insist on leaving that ending in, even though it might have the audience leaving the cinema on a bit of a downer. Interesting how they got around a similar problem in Casino Royale - a moment to grieve, a pep talk from M, a message from beyond the grave and we're all set for the next film before the current film has ended.

I can't help wondering, though, what Connery would have made of Bond in OHMSS. I agree with the film reviewer who thought that the end of the film, with Connery's Bond left as a widower only moments after becoming a husband, could have been a "bombshell" of a moment in the series. Lazenby didn't lack confidence and was competent enough, but he was put in an impossible position - almost anyone following Connery in the late 1960s would have struggled to convince critics and audiences alike that he was James Bond. But it would have helped Lazenby no end if he had had a bit more acting experience.

I can't be too critical about OHMSS though, hence the 9/10 I've given it. OHMSS introduced me to Bond, which lead me to the Connery movies and the Fleming books fairly quickly. That combination has coloured my views of what I liked and disliked about the Bond films ever since.

#73 Frank Mean

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 08:42 PM

7/10. In my point of view, Lazenby is as convincing as Connery. Diana Rigg interpret Tracy very well and Telly Savalas propose a better Blofeld than the other actors : he takes part in action and he's more "physical".

Amazing and beautiful soundtrack composed by Barry. That's correspond to the film. "We Have All The Time In The World" too.

#74 blueman

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 01:50 AM

Great review here, agree with much of what the writer says/relates as his expereince with the film. :tup:

#75 right idea, wrong pussy

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 05:05 AM

5/10 - recommended for fans of Fleming and for Bond completists. Works as "rainy Saturday afternoon entertainment" for people not obsessed with finding the meaning of life in Bond and Tracy's romance.

Pros:

Diana Rigg (unlike her "Avengers" counterpart Honor Blackmun) does a sterling job in her role. She is the first (and so far one of the only) Bond girl who can really act. In fact her self-possession is almost too good - she seems willfully and almost joyfully self-destructive, rather than the weak "bird with a wing down" of Fleming's novel. Fortunately, she never becomes pathetically emotionally dependent on James, the way her novel counterpart does. Her combination of self-possession and love for Bond makes her an intriguing character. Her scene with Blofeld where she recites that "For You" poem may be the best acted scene in any Bond film.

While I am not a Peter Hunt fan, the man could direct scenes with a great deal of tension in them. Offsetting all the bad things I'm going to say about Hunt are the scene in Gumbold's office, the scene where Bond clambors out onto the line holding up the cable car and the scene where Bunt and her goons chase Bond through the town. All are excellent. The look of fear on Bond's face when he bumps into the man in the bear suit is a great touch. Pity Hunt couldn't handle the romance angle or most of the action scenes (the Piz Gloria battle is handled alright, though).

John Barry gives a weird score (that's meant as a compliment) that conveys the tension and claustrophia of the world Bond finds himself in. It's amazing that Barry could compose three wonderful scores in a row in YOLT, OHMSS and DAF, and yet have them be so different in character. David Arnold FINALLY seems to be learning this trick, but it's taken him a lot longer (and with less satisfying results than Barry).

Cons: If you haven't seen this movie yet, beware the fact that many of the positive reviews come from people with sentimental attachments to the movie or who read elements from the literary Fleming into the film that aren't there onscreen. This movie isn't terrible, but a new viewer should go into it with tempered expectations, given the many faults it has.

This movie seems to have forgotten the issue of motivation, especially the fact that characters onscreen need to have motivation to do what we see them do, or the whole movie becomes unbelievable. For example, because the screenwriters didn't think we'd like a pre-credits sequence where Bond simply saves Tracy, they add a fight scene in. The problem is, we never learn who these two thugs are who are trying to kill Bond. They seemingly exist just to provide some fisticuffs. And this is hardly the only head-scratching moment in the movie.

The same motivational problem comes to play in Bond's romance with Tracy. We understand how Tracy loves Bond because it brings some meaning to her life, but there is no reason for Bond to love Tracy. In the novel he proposes to her on the spur of the moment, because she seems so needy and dependent on him. Even that reasoning is lacking here. Hunt simply gives us a montage that would be unbearably silly if it weren't backed by the wonderful song, "We Have All the Time in the World". We get to see Bond and Tracy doing stuff together, and we are just supposed to assume that they have fallen in love. Nevermind that Tracy admits afterwards that Bond doesn't love her yet, or that Bond smirks at Playboy centerfolds or beds women at Piz Gloria with gay abandon (perhaps not the right phrase to use . . .). We are just supposed to accept Bond's marriage proposal on the basis of that montage near the beginning of the movie even though events after that montage indicated Bond wasn't giving Tracy a single thought.

Telly Savalas is a good actor and does alright with what he's given, but as Blofeld, he's the least-convincing actor in the role. Ever. The script, once again, gives him little motivation for what he's doing. Even in the over the top YOLT, Blofeld was being funded by a major Asian power. In OHMSS, Blofeld has no evident source of funding, and his goal involves getting a pardon and a noble title (but no money). :confused:

Peter Hunt directs fight scenes the way Marc Foster directs chase scenes - confusingly. The fight scene in the pre-credits has Bond and some other guy wading in water and successively punching each other so hard that the other person falls into the water. This repetitiveness is made even worse by having every punch sound overly loud, like a muffled gunshot or the crack of a bullwhip. It's impossible to tell which of these two water-bound fighters is Bond, and which isn't, and after a bit it ceases to matter to the viewer. Fight scenes tend to be sped up so that they look like fight scenes from the Adam West Batman series. Action scenes that otherwise works tends to be undermined as well. When Bond almost skies off a cliff, the wire hanging on to one of his legs is painfully obvious. When Bond and Tracy are skiing for their lives, Bond finds the time to turn around and YELL a horrible quip ("He had lots of guts") in a way Moore or Brosnan, both often pilloried for their quips, would have blushed to do.

Finally, what were the producers thinking when they made this? They replace Connery with a no-name with no acting experience who manages to be less than dreadful at the basic Bond stuff, and what do they do? Do they give him a DN or LALD with lots of action to ease him into the role? Nope. They make him dress in a kilt, have his voice dubbed for many successive scenes, and try to force him to convey that he's fallen in love when the script and director have left him down. It's a miracle that Lazenby did as well as he did with the last scene (and his delivery there is perfect). Of course, the producers and Hunt then try to undermine Lazenby's last scene by blaring a triumphant Bond theme over the end credits. I can understand why Lazenby wanted to leave the series (though I'm also thankful - he was out of his depth, for the most part).

Edited by right idea, wrong pussy, 15 July 2011 - 05:28 AM.


#76 sthgilyadgnivileht

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 02:06 PM

Telly Savalas is a good actor and does alright with what he's given, but as Blofeld, he's the least-convincing actor in the role. Ever. The script, once again, gives him little motivation for what he's doing. Even in the over the top YOLT, Blofeld was being funded by a major Asian power. In OHMSS, Blofeld has no evident source of funding, and his goal involves getting a pardon and a noble title (but no money). :confused:

If motivation is to matter in a Bond film then Savalas' Blofeld is motivated by snobbery. He wants a clear name 'when he retires into private life..' However, that said I don't think we're meant to believe Blofeld is actually going to retire. Isn't behind this the idea that Blofeld is going to make full use of his pardoned status to facilitate future criminal activities?

#77 Mr_Wint

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 09:50 PM

John Barry gives a weird score (that's meant as a compliment) that conveys the tension and claustrophia of the world Bond finds himself in. It's amazing that Barry could compose three wonderful scores in a row in YOLT, OHMSS and DAF, and yet have them be so different in character.

I agree that YOLT-OHMSS-DAF are Barry's absolute best work. He was at his very best around the late 60s and early 70s. This is why it is so sad that he never did LALD since that film offered so much new stuff for Barry to dig into (Moore, Black magic, New Orleans etc.).

Peter Hunt directs fight scenes the way Marc Foster directs chase scenes - confusingly.

No, OHMSS is way better than that. This series is full with dynamic and fast-paced fight scenes. This is not the same as a constantly shaky camera (even when there us no fight going on) which QOS will be remembered for.

Finally, what were the producers thinking when they made this? They replace Connery with a no-name with no acting experience who manages to be less than dreadful at the basic Bond stuff, and what do they do? Do they give him a DN or LALD with lots of action to ease him into the role? Nope. They make him dress in a kilt, have his voice dubbed for many successive scenes, and try to force him to convey that he's fallen in love when the script and director have left him down.

Maybe they were not happy with YOLT and wanted to go in a different direction?

Of course, the producers and Hunt then try to undermine Lazenby's last scene by blaring a triumphant Bond theme over the end credits.

After all these years I now appreciate the Bond theme over the end credits. If Tracy is alive, Bond (as we know him) is dead. She dies, Bond is back. Works for me.

#78 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 12:38 PM

I find OHMSS to be unwatchable, and for one simple reason: George Lazenby cannot act. And the real tragedy of it all is that the source material is fantastic. The actors, the production designers, the script; everyone and everything gives their (or its) all to make a truly fantastic film. OHMSS had the potential to make FRWL look like DAD ... and yet, it did not. All because of Lazenby. From the moment he smirks at the camera and says "This never happened to the other fella", he admits that he is not James Bond and never will be. Everything from there on in is cringeworthy. Casting Lazenby as Bond would be the same as Francis Ford Coppola casting Shia LaBoeuf as Michael Corleone.

DAD was an embarrassment. OHMSS is worse - it's squadered potential.

#79 Andy Bond

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:37 PM

Back to form with a bang here. Great film, possibly the best made so far. It looks terrific, there's some great action and is one of the only Bond films to really try and make an emotional story. It's a pity the Bond films didn't continue like this because it still managed to fit in everything audiences would want from a Bond film while managing to add a bit of character development on top.

It is George Lazenby's only film as Bond after Connery quit. He's not fantastic but he's definitely not terrible or anything. He's not really charismatic enough to play the role but for someone with no acting experience, he does a decent enough job and didn't take me out of the film in any way.

It has started to get a bit of praise over the last few years but if a more definitive Bond was in it, I have a feeling that it would be a lot more people's favourites. It's a shame Lazenby never came back for at least one more film so that we got a proper sequel to this. 9/10.

Edited by Andy Bond, 15 February 2012 - 03:38 PM.


#80 Trevelyan 006

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:47 PM

Strictly As A Lover Of The Novel, And As A George Lazenby Defender, It's Among The Top Of My List Of Favorites.
The Score (My Favorite Of The Series), George As A Fresh Face, And The Piz Gloria Location All Do It For Me.

As Funny As It May Seem, I Used To Avoid The Film!
Now, I Can't Help But To Watch It Every Now And Again.

#81 PPK_19

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 05:15 PM

Wow.

Now, i have some major apologising to do.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service used to be the black sheep of the Bond films for me. It was always the one 'with that Aussie guy who couldn't act and only did one Bond film'.

I've only watched it once or twice when i was a teen, and didn't really like it. But yesterday i was in the mood for watching a Bond film i hadn't seen in a while. My eyes fell on the black sheep. So i shoved it in my dvd player. And WOW.

I'm in my mid twenties now, and like to think i can appreciate a good film when i see one. And after watching OHMSS for probably only the third time in my life, i sat in stunned silence as the credits rolled, my opinion of this Lazenby flick completely different to the one i had about ten years ago.

What i loved:

Lazenby's physical presence in the fight scenes. He really gives it his all and is probably the most convincing Bond along with Daniel Craig when it comes to fights (Sorry Sean!). Watch the scene as he is escaping Blofeld's institute, as he comes out the lift and takes out Grunther. Wouldn't want to meet him down a dark alley.

John Barry's score. His best work by FAR. The music during the helicopter assault sent shivers down my spine. His accompaniment during the ski sequence is another standout moment.

Lazenby's scene with Moneypenny is probably his finest acting in the film. He is very hit and miss throughout OHMSS but i thought his flirtation with Maxwell was brilliant. We need some of this in the Craig era, and FAST. Here's to hoping Skyfall...

Diana Rigg. Fantastic Bond girl, beautiful, great actress and i found their love to be believable.

The bob sled chase is great, as is the 'he had a lot of guts' line!

The final scene where Tracy is assassinated. Extremely moving, i was almost in tears. Lazenby plays it perfectly. Understated, shocked, heart ripped out. The bravest end to a Bond film. They don't make 'em like they used to.

Peter Hunt's direction. I loved how this was a more serious Bond film, it's just a shame that Bond's next outing in DAF would be a carry-on-camping-esque farce.

The Angels of Death. Fit.

Irma Bunt- great villain, reminds me of Klebb.

Telly Savalas- Again, excellent. Menacing and confident.

What i did not love:

The constant reminders that this is still a James Bond film, i.e. the title sequence showing clips of Connery's films superimposed over the girls. Bond emptying his desk of honey rider's knife, the aqualung etc, is tawdry, as are the sappy musical queues that go with it.

Why didn't Blofeld recognise Bond when he saw him? I won't try and piece THAT one together.

The poor dubbing of Lazenby. After the bob sled chase when Bond is greeted by the dog, he asks him to get him a brandy, "5 star Hennessey of course" he adds, which was obviously dubbed after. This happens numerous times throughout and his mouth doesn't even move. OHMSS is the worst of the Bond films when it comes to this. No problems with George Baker's dubbing of Lazenby however.

The stock car race: boring. Just plain rubbish. I'm all for an original car chase but this was just [censored].

Bond trying to lose himself in the crowds in Piz Gloria after escaping from Blofeld's institute. He is meant to be a rock hard secret agent, whereas in this scene he just looks scared. The bit where that guy in the costume takes his picture; the look of terror on Bond's face....shouldn't be in a Bond film.


In conclusion:

Cohesively, OHMSS is a terrific Bond film. I welcome the dark tone, Tracy trying to commit suicide, the fast paced PTS, excellent score. We see Bond get married and then lose the love of his life in one film. Lazenby is a terrific scrapper too, and he looks greater thanks to good editing during the fights.

Overall, the reason i love it is because it's unique. We see things that just don't happen in other Bond films, and it's all just executed so well, despite Lazenby's erratic performance. I'd give it an 8/10, just missing out a place in my top five Bond films.

Over to you, Skyfall...

#82 00Twelve

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:17 AM

Bond trying to lose himself in the crowds in Piz Gloria after escaping from Blofeld's institute. He is meant to be a rock hard secret agent, whereas in this scene he just looks scared. The bit where that guy in the costume takes his picture; the look of terror on Bond's face....shouldn't be in a Bond film.

Glad you liked it much more in your elder years. It's ranks as my 3rd favorite Bond.

The novel really captures this scene better than the film (as is par for the course). Bond is scared. He's completely alone, unarmed, cold, tired, has Blofeld and a dozen men right on his tail, and he's unable to find much cover. This is the point in the story where Bond is pretty well convinced that he's as good as dead, and he was going to have had little to show for his mission. The moment where Tracy skates up to him is meant as the miraculous turnaround he wouldn't have survived without. Lazenby actually did an admirable job playing that entire sequence the way the character comes across in the novel. You should check it out; I doubt you'd be disappointed.

#83 PPK_19

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:30 AM

Lazenby actually did an admirable job playing that entire sequence the way the character comes across in the novel. You should check it out; I doubt you'd be disappointed.


I did start the novel a couple of years ago, but for some reason stopped reading it. I should probably give it another go now that i have a new respect for OHMSS!

#84 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:54 AM

Bond trying to lose himself in the crowds in Piz Gloria after escaping from Blofeld's institute. He is meant to be a rock hard secret agent, whereas in this scene he just looks scared. The bit where that guy in the costume takes his picture; the look of terror on Bond's face....shouldn't be in a Bond film.

I disagree. This is exactly what makes OHMSS so great. And to really have Bond be terrified would not only make the audience care about him much more, it would also make them enjoy his triumphs even more.

#85 Ren

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:33 PM

I disagree as well. In the source book Bond is also exhausted and scared.

#86 00Twelve

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:36 PM


Lazenby actually did an admirable job playing that entire sequence the way the character comes across in the novel. You should check it out; I doubt you'd be disappointed.


I did start the novel a couple of years ago, but for some reason stopped reading it. I should probably give it another go now that i have a new respect for OHMSS!

Absolutely. OHMSS follows its source material closer than pretty much any other Bond film, so reading it definitely helps one appreciate the film even more IMO.

#87 PPK_19

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:40 PM

Ok, so the general consensus is that Lazenby did a good job in that scene. But does anyone with agree with me that throughout OHMSS, he's a bit inconsistent in terms of his acting?

#88 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 06:19 AM

Yes, he is. Although I think that the character is written as a bit inconsistent during the whole story. On the hand he is deeply falling in love with Tracy, on the other hand he is flirting with the girls in Blofeld´s hideaway.

Of course, you could argue: this is his job! But... oh, well.

Also, Lazenby started probably with one of the most difficult Bond stories. He would have fared so much better in a movie like LALD or TMWTGG where he would not have had to play so many shades of grey.

#89 THX-007

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 01:46 PM

Why didn't Blofeld recognise Bond when he saw him? I won't try and piece THAT one together.

This is probably one of the more brought questions about the film. As previously stated screenwriter Richard Maibaum decided for this story to stick very close to the book. In the book this was the first time Bond met Blofeld in person and in the follow-up book You Only Live Twice Bond enacts his revenge and its the last story to feature Blofeld. OHMSS was suppose to start during the Connery's reign but for multiple reasons it was pushed back and YOLT was made first and where Bond (Connery) meets Blofeld in person for the first time. So yeah continuity is screwed up with OHMSS taking place after YOLT but then again the James Bond series doesn't really continuity or not it stopped having during Moore's era. The only thing that was brought in later films was Tracy's death (The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, License To Kill).
I have no problem with it. I didn't like YOLT so me personally I accept this as their first meeting.

I do agree about the multiple references to previous Bond films. I can see why the production team would be nervous seeing as they were replacing an actor who was known all over the world and a new guy was stepping into his shoes. They wanted to reassure the public this was still James Bond 007. The footage of the Connery films during opening credits I have no problem with. There was footage of FRWL in the Goldfinger credits.
The scene with the props was really stretching it with the music accompanying each item. Then there's a subtle reference of a janitor whistling the Goldfinger theme song and later M referencing the Fort Know incident near the end. Lazenby mentioned that Hunt would say something like, "Okay George. In this scene I want you to have a look on your face that Sean had in that one scene in Thunderball."
All in all these things in my opinion don't hurt what I consider a great film. I still think the producers should've been as timid. Granted there are some groundbreaking things about the film from things like the length of the film and of course the ending. I think the line "This never happened to the other fella" was enough. It made the audience chuckle and after that they should've left the whole "He's 007! Really!" thing alone. Just let him be. Don't shove references into the film. The audience isn't dumb. This is a Bond film, he's starring as Bond, we know he's Bond.

#90 thecasinoroyale

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:50 AM

I never noticed this until I saw part of 'OHMSS' the other day, the opening minutes set Lazenby far apart from usual Bond actors, and struck me as to why the producers make this large change.

For one, the gunbarrel blood erasing Lazenby's image, and second, that George Lazenby appears AFTER the title of the film is shown on the credits under 'Starring' as if he's a second player.

Just my first time noticing it after all these years, and just wondered how come this was their choice to be SO different.




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