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
Peter Hunt wanted to direct Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and would have, if Lazenby had remained with the franchise. His original plan for the ending was to show Bond and Tracy driving away from their wedding, then have Diamonds Are Forever open with the shooting. When Lazenby declined to appear again, the idea was scrapped. See more »
The barn with the two ponies is clearly down in a valley, with metalled roads and the possibility of a post-office, yet when they leave on skis they're way way up among the snowy peaks. See more »
I've been saying for years, sir, that our special equipment is obsolete.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.
What we want is a location fix on 007.
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JAMES BOND 007 WILL RETURN in "DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER" See more »
Once, at the library, I had a flashback of something my history teacher once told me. "Without Soviet Union, we wouldn't have had a lot of things." Then, someone mentioned, accurately, that Bond films owe their existence to the hammer and the sickle. Then he said, "Pooh, the Bond FILMS! Read the BOOKS. They're good stuff. The films are just bunch of women and gadgets." So I went to look for Ian Fleming, and the title that caught my eye was On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which is recognized as one of the best books in the series. I started reading the book. I was surprised at how slow pace and dark it was, and how Bond wasn't this confident, suave character who always knows what to do. Sean Connery is not, I repeat, not, Ian Fleming's James Bond. Of course, he is the best film version of James Bond, but he is too good a suave character to be Bond. I can't imagine a superspy who'd say "Yeesss" as Connery does.
I must say, more than anyone, George Lazenby is the James Bond of Ian Fleming's novels. He is like Bond in the books, trying to be smooth but always somewhat unsure. He has a command of the screen, that he isn't afraid to tell you he's there. The biggest gripe I have about Pierce Brosnan is how he sometimes doesn't get a grip of things on set and his somewhat higher, softer voice (and also how he pumps endless rounds of automatic fire upon enemies who have a propensity for getting hit while he himself has to be missed by endless rounds of enemy fire). Lazenby has a voice that I imagine Bond would certainly have. I certainly don't think he was a bad Bond. I think he WAS Bond. The other four actors have played their versions of Bond, but Lazenby is the only believable, human, imperfect James Bond. And his lines aren't that bad, come on. The only poorly delivered line was, "He had lots of guts." I think he should have delivered that with a bit more Connery, but that's a minor detail.
The stunts are great and so is the scenery, and the only bad cinematics are in the ski scenes when they show closeups from the front. They look very fake, but that must be forgiven for 1969 when it was made. They did not have Handicams and they certainly did not have Photoshop to blend projected images as well as we can nowadays. But they certainly do not distract the excitement from some of the best snow scenes in 007 films. The ski chases which became trademark of James Bond started here. It's funny how in the book, Bond is very worried about skiing, since he's rusty from not having skied for a long time. The sled chase is excellent also.
OHMSS is the only film where Bond drinks beer and gets married. Which brings me up to the next point, that Diana Riggs as Tracy Draco (later Bond) happens to be perhaps the best Bond girl ever. Without doubt, she is full of excitement and danger, not afraid to strap on a couple of skis amid gunfire and avalanche. Certainly not a certain Natalya Simonova. She is Bond's identical counterpart, experienced but having gotten nothing out of relationships, and quite a driver also. She's the only Bond girl to really connect with the audience, to make herself more important in comparison to Bond, but that's part of the excellent novel on which the movie is based. Whatever happens to her touches the audience more than whatever happens to Bond (who, as we all know, will always somehow make it). Her surprise appearance at the Christmas celebration brightens up everything in an instant, and the ending is probably the only genuinely sad scene in all 20 of the Bond films.
The opening scene is great in terms of action, but I found it rather disappointing that for no apparent reason, baddies want to kill Bond. The book does it a lot better, and it wouldn't have been much more difficult to do what the book did, although that would not have provided the proper material to introduce the new Bond with the immortal, "This never happened to the other fellow." See, how it is told in the novel is he spies on Tracy as she tries to drown herself, and by this time Bond knows her. He is spied on by Draco's men who take him in, and the rest of the story is told in flashback, with a car chase leading up to the casino scene and rendezvous, without all this fighting mysterious bad guys in between. But I thought the opening sequence was quite good, even with the change-up. It's just, with what proof does Bond try to rescue Tracy? She could have been just going out for a swim. It makes much more sense when he has already met Tracy. Yet some of the additions to the movie are good, such as having Tracy with Blofeld when SPECTRE headquarters is attacked. It makes it that much more personal.
This is my first review on IMDB, and OHMSS gets a well-deserved 10 out of 10. Bond in kilts, hypnosis, world domination, and Blofeld's cat combine to make it a worthy experience. Lazenby was not the best Bond, but perhaps the only real Bond. OHMSS is easily the best Bond film, and dare I say, the ONLY Bond film.
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