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Old 10-04-2022, 08:30 PM   #1
zen007 zen007 is online now
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Oct 2019
Default On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

The 6th Bond film is one of the Christmas watches for many. Beautifully shot in the Swiss Alps (Piz Gloria), the film not only has stunning ski stunts but also one of the best background scores of the franchise. This is also the only adventure of George Lazenby as 007.

If I am not wrong, this was supposed to be the 5th Bond film. Since it did not snow as much as the filmmakers would have liked, they proceeded with shooting You Only Live Twice (1967).

Which brings the question -> what if Sean Connery had done this film? Looking at Connery going through the motions in You Only Live Twice, I am not sure if it would have worked as well as we may want to imagine. This film would have required a much better effort from him. By and large, George Lazenby does a good job especially in action sequences, and in the company of Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, and Gabriele Ferzetti.

Though having this as the 5th Bond film would have helped with the chronology of Blofeld's character, who actually met Bond in the previous film. Therefore, it may be best to view On Her Majesty's Secret Service more as a standalone film, and where Connery’s Bond pursues Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever after Blofeld's escape in You Only Live Twice. Having said that, For Your Eyes Only, which begins with Bond paying his respect to Tracy, works well as On Her Majesty's Secret Service follow-up film.

After You Only Live Twice, this film goes back to following Ian Fleming's books relatively more closely. Director Peter Hunt also went for a more grounded approach.

Over the years, I have enjoyed this film for many of the points already discussed including the soundtrack, the cast, locations, stunts, and of course the story. I like how Blofeld tries to charm Tracy too. However, the film does have a few weaknesses as well such as the "Angels of Death" parts, and Bond's interaction with them may get tiring at times. The acting from the angels and Irma Bunt (played by Ilse Steppat) can appear amateurish in certain segments.

Talking about Blofeld, we have great expectations from whoever plays the character. Savalas is good but not necessarily groundbreaking in a relatively extended and hands-on role (translating to more scope) for the character (and when compared to what actors playing villains such as Dr. No and Goldfinger have achieved for example).

Overall, this remains one of the strong Bond films for its memorable background score, Alpine locations, and story, however, the weaker segments may prevent it to age as well as fans would have preferred.

How do you rate this film? ... Do you try to watch it during the Christmas Holiday Season? ... Have some of its segments aged as well as you would have liked? ... Would you have liked it if George Lazenby had been smart enough to do one more Bond film?

Last edited by zen007; 10-04-2022 at 11:27 PM.
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