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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Project Bond: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

"This never happened to the other fella"



Sean Connery is out and a new Bond is in. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was the last Bond film of the Sixties, released on 1969 OHMSS stars George Lazenby in his only outing as 007. It also stars Diana Rigg as Contessa Teresa (Tracy) Di Vicenzo and Telly Savalas as Blofeld.

The film starts with the title sequence that show shots from the previous films to show that although there is a new actor, this is still the same man. We get a few quick glimpses of the new Bond as he heads to a beach where he watches Tracy through a telescopic lens. She is heading into the sea (for some reason) so Bond runs after her and rescues her and introduces himself in the classic Bond way. He is then jumped by some thugs but soon fights them off. Lazenby seems like a legit tough guy, he is bigger and more muscular than Connery and holds his own in the action scenes.

Next Bond is back at the Baccarat table in the Hotel he is staying at where he meets Tracy again and after some more fisticuffs with an intruder in Tracy's room, they end up back at Bond's room. When Tracy won't answer why people are after her, Bond slaps her around a bit (still 60's Bond then) and obviously beds her. We later find out the people who keep showing up are being sent by Tracy's Dad who wants Bond to make an honest woman of her as she's going off the rails a bit.

The central plot is that Bond is still looking for Blofeld but the trail has gone cold, M takes Bond off the case so 007 spits his dummy out and resigns from MI6. Luckily, Moneypenny changes Bonds letter of resignation to a request for 2 weeks leave. So Bond uses his leave to spend time with Tracy and possibly falling in love. He also continues looking for Blofeld and after getting a lead from Tracy's Dad, he find Blofeld is posing as a possible heir to a Counthood and trying to claim the title. 007 tracks his nemesis to a scientific institute in the Swiss Alps where he is conducting experiments into allergies.

Bond goes undercover posing as a Genealogist trying to verify Blofeld's claim to the title. Bond is soon rumbled though when he sneaks into a few of the female patient's rooms for evening liasons. I like this portrayal of Blofeld - he seems more aggressive, more powerful and more 'Hands on' than the previous incarnation He reminds me of Kingpin in the Daredevil Netflix series. However he hasn't learned from previous encounters with Bond and Blofeld proceeds to tell his entire plan (which is something ridiculous about making plants and animals infertile and demanding the UN give him a pardon for past crimes and give him the Counthood he wants. Bond escapes and there is a thrilling ski chase.

Bond is rescued by Tracy and they escape and Bond asks her to marry him. But they are tracked down by Blofeld and his goons who cause an avalanche and kidnap Tracy. Bond is told the UN will give Blofeld what he wants and that he will get no help from MI6 in rescuing Tracy so he enlists Tracy's Dad and his men for help and they attack Blofeld's base but Blofeld escapes on a Toboggan (they are in the alps after all).

Tracy is rescued, Blofeld is defeated (and seemingly killed), Bond is triumphant and marries Tracy. However, when they are on their way to their honeymoon, Blofeld shows up again with his Cronie Irma Bunt and they shoot at the Bonds' car. James is ok and realises that it's Blofeld but Tracy is shot dead and the film ends with Bond cradling Tracy in his arms with Louie Armstrong's 'We have all the time in the world' playing in the background.

This film is not as bad as it's reputation. George Lazenby is not the best actor and is a bit wooden at times but he's ok, the rest of the cast are brilliant and the story is pretty good too. Apparently Lazenby was a nightmare to work with and a bit of a dick during promotion so this along with the fact that it was the least successful Bond film to date means that it's no surprise he wasn't asked to reprise the role. My only real problem with this film was there were a lot of scenes that seemed to have been put in just to remind you that this was the same James Bond as in previous films.



Project Bond will return with Diamonds are Forever.

Well, that's all for now.

S

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1 comment

  1. My love and my respect is not enough for Lazenby. Ο.Η.Μ.S.S. is not as ”Casino Royale”, where Bond is at the beginning and has no past. Lazenby looks more like a young bodyguard – or like Bond in the early years – and not with the agent 007 that the movie needed. The movie was a success. The success (the smallest in the history of the series) is due to the dynamics of the Bond films, in the particularity of the film, in the experience of the actors in the other roles, in director and the curiosity for the new Bond. Until now the producers did not provide the role of Bond in a model that is no actor and is totally inexperienced. The film was shot as in the book. Bond is an experienced man in the book and movie. Connery is Bond for the audience. So I ended in Stanley Baker ( 1928-1976 ). He looks like Connery and play like Bond ( see ”Ιnnocent Βystanders” 1972 and secondly ”Last Grenade” 1969 ) and he was one of the best actors in his time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8CT-4LvqHc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vstr-jhCjVY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn7ZNjpMwQU

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