George Lazenby steps into the role of James Bond and is sent on his first mission. For help with Marc-Ange Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti), he must become very close friends with his daughter, Teresa "Tracy" (Dame Diana Rigg), and heads off to hunt down Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas) 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 henchwoman, Irma Bunt (Ilse Steppat). What does Blofeld have in mind this time? Can Bond keep up this act for much longer? Are any Bond Girls safe?Written by
Only movie in the EON Productions film franchise with extensive scenes set explicitly during the Christmas and New Year's holiday season. See more »
When Bond escapes Piz Gloria on skis, it's night time. During the chase sequence, it's clearly daytime. 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I've been saying for years, sir, that our special equipment is obsolete.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 »
The DVD R2 release differs slightly from the most recent (complete) VHS version. Notably:
the shot of the shadow of a cable car moving across a cliff side when Bond's helper (Bernard Horsfall) is climbing a cliff is missing.
The music starts differently when Herr Gumbold leaves his office prior to Bond breaks into the office's safe.
When Bond speaks the line "I told you the crowd would discourage them" after the stock car race, he was previously shown saying so in close up, now the line is only heard as Bond and Tracy speeds away.
After viewing "Die Another Day" recently, one thing I noticed was that the filmmakers were trying to do things a little differently. In the latest Bond, the producers and director Lee Tamahori give hit and miss results. Bond is tortured, held captive, and made to seem much more falliable than before. Halle Berry's Jinx is certainly the most active female in the series to date (save maybe Michelle Yeoh). I think the latest Bond film was overall good, and while the film scores points for trying to mix the serie s up a bit, ultimately the experiment is a hit or miss affair.
What "Die Another Day" should have modeled on was the vastly superior "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", the only Bond movie to really stray from the formula (babes, bombs, gadgets)effectively. Both "OHMSS" and "DAD" are Bond films about Bond maturing. Here, in "OHMSS", Bond matures enough to actually settle down with a woman and marry her. Diana Rigg's Tracy is that woman--probably running neck and neck with Honor Blackman (who also played Emma Peel) as Pussy Galore for the title of Best Bond Girl ever. Blofeld (played here by Telly Savalas, and not nearly as good as Donald Pleasance's Blofeld but superior in every way to the guy who played Blofeld in the awful "Diamonds Are Forever")--Bond's archnemesis--is Bond's equal in ruthlessness, as demonstrated in the shock ending. This is a key difference, for most bond villains are total buffoons.
Lastly, the key and unignorable difference in "OHMSS" is George Lazenby as Bond. He's not the best Bond ever, but after the rollicking and brutal beach fight ("This never happened to that other fella") in the opener, I accept him as Bond. Really, I only need to accept the actor as Bond, not have him be the best ever (or live up to Connery--an impossible task). In this manner, Lazenby passes.
Lazenby's performance is unique. Another post mentions that Lazenby's modeling background gave him a looser, more slinky demeanor. I wholeheartedly agree. If Connery is the Bond who is fierce and macho, Moore is Bond The Old Man, Dalton playing Bond as Shakespeare, and Brosnan's Bond as a modern Connery, then Lazenby is the only actor to really convince me that Bond is a SPY. His nimble movements are nicely balanced with blasts of ferocity, and the sublime, Hitchcockian safecracking scene really reflects this superbly. Several times in the film, Bond is forced to don disguises, something we rarely see him do. In fact, I can't think of a Bond film where the quieter "spy" moments outshine the action.
The romance is quiet too, and when Bond finally beds Tracy, it is earned rather than conquered. The score, and especially Louis Armstong's "We Have All the Time In the World" (so delightfully ironic)highlight these themes beautifully.
"Die Another Day" could have exploited differences in the Bond formula to fabulous effect, but the film really just is a string of sex, quips, gadgets and explosions (albeit above average ones). For those seeking a truly different James Bond film seek out "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". The purists should love it as well, for gadgets aside (radioactive pocket lint? c'mon Q, you can do better), the film has a great opener, a great villain, a superlative female lead (as well as a bevy of babes for Bond to be tempted by--in a Swiss chalet no less), plenty of hard hitting action (bobsled chase!), and globetrotting. "OHMSS" is easily the most effectively well rounded Bond film, second only to "Goldfinger".
P.S. For posterity, here is how I rank my top five Bond films: 1. "Goldfinger" 2. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" 3. "GoldenEye" 4. "From Russia With Love" 5. "You Only Live Twice"
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