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On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

M  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  18 December 1969 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 50,165 users  
Reviews: 431 user | 125 critic

James Bond woos a mob boss's daughter and goes undercover to uncover the true reason for Blofeld's allergy research in the Swiss Alps that involves beautiful women from around the world.

Director:

(as Peter Hunt)

Writers:

(additional dialogue), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ilse Steppat ...
...
...
...
'M'
Bernard Horsfall ...
Campbell
...
'Q'
Yuri Borienko ...
Virginia North ...
Geoffrey Cheshire ...
Irvin Allen ...
Terence Mountain ...
Raphael (as Terry Mountain)
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Storyline

George Lazenby steps into the role of James Bond and is sent on his first mission. For help with Draco, he must become very close friends with his daughter, Tracy, and heads off to hunt down Ernst Stavro Blofeld one more time. This takes him to Switzerland, where he must pose as Sir Hilary Bray to find out the secret plan of Blofeld. The facility is covered with Blofeld's guards as well as his hench-woman, Irma Bunt. What has Blofeld got in mind this time? Can Bond keep up this act for much longer? Are ANY Bond girls safe? Written by simon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

James Bond OO7 [German poster] See more »


Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

18 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ian Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$22,800,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Willy Bogner performed some spectacular skiing feats for the filming of chase sequences for this movie. These included skiing backwards downhill with a hand-held camera, sometimes placing it between his legs and being towed behind a bobsleigh along the bobsled course. See more »

Goofs

When Bond is locked in the cable car machinery room, the cable car travels down and is shown stopping at the support tower, but the next shot shows the car at the base station (note PRIVAT ENTRITT VERBOTEN sign). The car then leaves the tower and arrives at the base station again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Q: I've been saying for years, sir, that our special equipment is obsolete. And now, computer analysis reveals an entirely new approach: miniaturization. For instance, radioactive lint. When placed in an opponent's pockets, the anti-personnel and location fix seems fairly obvious.
M: What we want is a location fix on 007.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, images are shown of Bond girls and villains. (This is the first Bond movie since Goldfinger to feature previous movies' footage in its credits.) Specifics are as follows. *First Set. *Honey Ryder from Dr. No (1962), standing on the beach. *Dr. No from the same, in front of his underground aquarium. *Tatiana Romanova from From Russia with Love (1963), messing around with her hair. *Pussy Galore from Goldfinger (1964), in the barn scene. *Second Set. *The title character from Goldfinger. *Assorted Bond girls from the Goldfinger (1964) / Thunderball (1965) era. *The "Flaming Car Crash" scene from Thunderball (1965). *Third set. *Emilio Largo, the main villain from Thunderball. *Aki, Kissy Suzuki, and a swordsman from You Only Live Twice (1967). *Blofeld's volcano lair exploding from the end of the same. Note the strategic absence of Blofeld from You Only Live Twice, as Blofeld is played by a different actor in this film. See more »


Soundtracks

Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?
Written by John Barry and Hal David
Sung by Nina van Pallandt (as Nina)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Even if we have all the time in the world, the world is not enough.
8 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is directed by Peter Hunt and adapted to screenplay by Richard Maibaum from the novel written by Ian Fleming. It stars George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Ilse Steppat, Yuri Borienko and Gabriele Ferzetti. Music is by John Barry and cinematography by Michael Reed.

Bond 6 and 007 is obsessed with locating SPECTRE supremo Ernst Stavro Blofeld. After rescuing beautiful Countess Tracy di Vincenzo from suicide, this brings Bond into contact with her father, Marc Ange Draco, who agrees to help Bond find Blofeld in exchange for 007 courting Tracy. Blofeld is located in the Switzerland Alps at Piz Gloria, where he is masterminding a fiendish plot involving biological extinction of food group species'. Bond will need to use all his wits to stop the plan from being executed, he also has big matters of the heart to contend to as well......

Connery gone, but not for good as it turned out, so into the tuxedo came George Lazenby, an Australian model with no previous acting experience of note. It would be Lazenby's only stint as 007, badly advised by those around him that Bond had no future in the upcoming 70s, his head swelling with ego by the day (something he readily admits and regrets), Lazenby announced he would only be doing the one James Bond film. The legacy of OHMSS is the most interesting in the whole Bond franchise, for where once it was reviled and wrongly accused of being a flop, it now, over 40 years later, is regarded as being one of the finest entries in the whole series. Yes it is still divisive, I have seen some fearful arguments about its worth, but generations of critics and film makers have come along to laud it as essential Bond and essential Fleming's Bond at that.

Everything about OHMSS is different to what Connery's Bond had become, the gadgets are gone and heaven forbid, Bond got a heart and fell in love. He was a man, with real aggression, real emotions and forced to use brain and brawn instead of mechanical trickery. Changes in the production department, too, wasn't just about Lazenby's appearance. Peter Hunt, previously the Bond film's editor, directed his one and only Bond film, and Michael Reed on cinematography also appears for the one and only time. New Bond, new era, but reviews were mixed and in spite of making a profit of over $73 million Worldwide, this was considerably down on previous films. The reviews didn't help, with much scorn poured on Lazenby for not being Connery, but really it's hard to imagine anyone coming in and not getting beat with that particular stick! Box office take wasn't helped by the film's length, at over 2 hours 10 minutes, this restricted the number of showings in theatres, something that should be greatly noted.

Away from Bond anyway, OHMSS is a stunning action thriller in its own right. From the opening beach side fist fight, where uppercuts lift men off their feet and drop kicks propel them backwards, to helicopter attacks, bobsleigh pursuits (resplendent with punches and flinging bodies), ski chases and a car chase in the middle of a stock car race: on ice! There's enough pulse pumping action here to fill out two Bond movies. But the Bond aspects are magnificent as well. Lazenby has wonderful physicality and throws a mean punch, he cuts a fine figure of a man and he's acting inexperience isn't a problem in the hands of the astute Hunt. Lazenby is matched by Rigg as Tracy, the best Bond girl of them all, she's no bimbo, she's tough (fighting off a guy with a broken bottle), smart yet vulnerable, funny and heart achingly beautiful, her interplay with Lazenby is brilliantly executed, so much so that when the devastating finale arrives it has extra poignancy. A scene that closes the film on a downbeat note and remains the most emotional scene ever put into a Bond movie.

Savalas finally gives us a villain who can compete with Bond on a physical level, making the fight between them an evenly matched and believable one. He lacks Pleasance's sinister fizzog, though the bald pate and Grecian looks marks Savalas out as an imposing foe as well. The Swiss Alps setting is gorgeous, with Reed capturing the scope magnificently, while some of his colour lensing in the interiors soothe the eyes considerably. Barry's score is one of his best, lush romantic strains accompany Tracy and James, operatic overtures dart in and out of the Swiss scenery and the James Bond theme is deftly woven into the action sequences. Louis Armstrong's beautiful "We Have All The Time In The World" features prominently, perfectly romantic and forever to be thought of as part of the Bond Universe. Finally it's the great writing that gives us the best sequence involving the trifecta of Bond, Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) and M (Bernard Lee). 5 minutes of class that gives Moneypenny an acknowledged importance in the relationship between the two men in her life. It's just one of a number of truly excellent scenes in the greatest Bond film of them all. 10/10


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