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
Peter R. Hunt directed this movie because the producers were impressed with his editing style, and because of a long-standing promise from producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman that Hunt would eventually direct. Hunt also asked for the position during the production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and he brought along with him many crew members, including cinematographer Michael Reed. Hunt was focused on making his mark. "I wanted it to be different than any other Bond film would be. It was my film, not anyone else's." See more »
When Bond is emptying out his desk, he takes out a belt with a knife on it and places it on top of the desk. Two shots later it is seen back in the drawer, then back on top of the desk. 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I've been saying for years, sir, that our special equipment is obsolete.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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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 Goldfinger and Thunderball (1965). *The "Flaming Car Crash" scene from Thunderball. *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, due to the change of Blofeld actors. See more »
The original version edited for American Television was re-cut in several places. The film started "in medias res" with the escape from Piz Gloria, then flashing back to the beginning of the film. The entire film featured Bond's voice over (done by a different actor than Lazenby), and included a shot before the wedding in which Bond and Tracy buy her the wedding ring and Irma Bunt's reflection is seen in the window of the jeweler's. See more »
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is a sadly under-appreciated Bond film which is stylishly-directed and features an outstanding score, like most of these early Bond films. Other than a silly self-referential line in the teaser and some sappy romantic montages, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is a thrilling adventure which sees Bond traveling to the Swiss Alps to encounter villains and partake in dangerous action sequences.
It sounds like a Bond film, alright, but this is actually quite different from the formulaic films one would later expect from the series, and the sort of film Bond was gravitating towards with "Thunderball" and "You Only Live Twice". It certainly delivers on the promise of sexual innuendo and lots of provocatively dressed women, but it's a different sort of Bond in that it seems to be more straight-faced and harsh, culminating in what is probably the saddest Bond ending. It's also probably the closest to Fleming's version of Bond outside of "Casino Royale", although "The Living Daylights" was also somewhat similar to the literary Bond. As a Fleming fan it is nice to see the Bond series take after the books.
Lazenby, who has been frequently criticized and is many people's least favorite Bond, actually does a decent job of the role. He's nowhere near as good as Connery, of course, but I thought that other than the scenes where he tried to seriously emote, he carried the film with his charisma and physical presence. I strongly believe he should have continued in the role. Lazenby fits the content of the film, which is certainly far more down to Earth than many other Bond films, and focuses heavily on hand-to-hand combat in the action scenes, which is somewhat refreshing after the overblown (entertaining, but seriously outrageous) action scenes in "You Only Live Twice". This is a genuinely good script, with a solid plot, good dialogue, and good characterization.
It's not just a throwaway action flick, it's an excellent espionage thriller with a strong dramatic core, and as fun as things like "Goldfinger" certainly are, it's nice to see one of these movies treat women as more than mere sex objects, and it's interesting to see a Bond girl paired with a Bond who reacts as a human would and not a cartoon character. Diana Rigg is probably my favorite Bond girl. She gives a strong performance and is helped by an excellent script which gives her a fair amount to do.
By staying closer to the source material, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" dramatically improves on its two predecessors and features some of the best locations in the series, although I admit my familiarity with the majority of the Swiss shooting locations gives me a nostalgic view of things. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is a strong contender for the title of best Bond film.
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