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Plot: 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. Runtime: 142 min Release Date: 19 Dec 1969
Best and the ONLY James Bond film ever (by wontgetfooled622)
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 <more>
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.
This never happened to the other Fella (by Dock-Ock)
Let me give it to you straight, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is an absolute, 100% triumph. All the elements work well, firstly there is Peter Hunt's direction. Hunt should have been handed the Directors reins on a Bond movie long before this. He adds action and excitement and blends this in the most stilted and calm manor. In truth On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a return to the less Gadget and Comic Book laden world of the likes of Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice, and echoes the Flemmingesque thriller world of Dr No and From Russia With Love. Those who dont like the <more>
first two additions to the Bond series dont flinch, On Her Majesty's Secret Service has a strenghth and style beaming with enegy and excitement twinned with realism. never seen in a Bond Film before or since.This will always be remembered as George Lazenby's go at Bond. It is also remenbered as the one Bond that flopped at the box office. Well, on a budget of $9million and with worldwide grosses of $80million, hopefully the notion of disapointment will disapeer. There is also the fact that the Video and DVD versions of the movie consistently outsell all other Bond Titles worldwide. George Lazenby is an absolute revelation as Bond. I had my doubts but was still interested to see how he did. Lazenby rivals Connery in the Romantic and Action scenes and does pretty well with the dramatic scenes. In truth he is the most under-rated Bond. He makes a very believable Flemmingesque Playboy. He looks good in a tuxedo, on ski's, with women, in punch ups. Lazenby is helped by a strong support cast. Diana Rigg is beautifull and very believable as the Contessa, Tracy, with whom our James falls in love with, and eventually marries. Rigg displays a full range of acting and beauty to make her the most memorable of Bond Girls, and for one, wich i dont mean to sopil, inparticular. Telly Savalas is a very creepy, chilling and enjoyable Blofeld. It could be said that he is the most memorable of Blofeld's. He is obviously having the time of his life with the part and it is a pitty he didn't play the character in future outings. There is also the return of M, Q in a rather quiet outing this time, and a Moneypenny, heart broken at the notion Bond could marry anybody other than herself.Now, if you add to all the above some of the finest action set pieces in motion picture history you have an idea of the scale of this epic. The Alpine sets, and Skiing and Bobsled chases really bring out the purest sense of adventure. On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the most memorable Bond Movie from my Childhood. I remember watching this one Christmas eve with my Grandparents, and their house looked very much like Blofelds Alpine Fortress [Without the Ladies, alas]. The movie has really thrilling ski chases, you really do believe a man can ski, and once more think you are skiing with him.This is very much THE Christmas Bond movie. It is also soaked with some delightful christmas themes by the master John Barry, composing perhaps his best Bond theme. We Have All the Time in the world, sung by Louis Armstrong is a beautifuly moving song, made all the more so by Tracy's fate at the end of the movie. There is also Barry's rousing On Her Majesty's Secret Service Theme, unlike anything ever heared in cinema's or movies before.But it is the realism between the characters and the story that helps make On Her Majesty's Secret Service work. By far the most under-rated of the Bond movies, and a strong contender for the Best Bond Movie of all time. This is the greatest. Bond movies should try to be to be like this in future. Go and see it for yourself, dont listen to the the negative reviews. You have all the time in the world.
Even if we have all the time in the world, the world is not enough. (by Spikeopath)
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 <more>
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
The James Bond Series: Best of the Bunch. (by Captain_Couth)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969 in my opinion was the best film of the series. I felt that George Lazenby was unfairly slagged by the critics for his performance. He did the best that he could. His acting fit very well for his character.The direction moved the film at an even pace. The action set pieces were impressive and Diana Rigg was hot. Telly Savalas was excellent as Blofield, he gave the character a suave touch. But you call tell that underneath his mack daddy act he was all business, and violent business indeed.Everything about this movie had a cool aura to it. The stunt <more>
scenes were amazing for it's era and the cinematography was beautifully shot. I had one bone to pick with the film. The in jokes got a bit heavy handed. Other than that it's a fun film. Too bad George Lazenby was demoted to B-Movie hell after this flick at least he got a three picture deal with Golden Harvest where he made three classic action films .I have to give this movie a high recommendation. If you love the James Bond series you'll enjoy this one.
"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 <more>
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. 9/10
The most moving film in any Bond picture... (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
Like "From Russia With Love," "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is filled with mysterious characters and realistic action Blofeld's plot involves germ warfare and his stronghold this time is a converted Swiss allergy clinic The film is loaded with actionski chases, bobsled chases, car chases, helicopter attacks, fights in the surf, fights in the hotel, fights in the office Peter Hunt succeeded in distracting the audience from noticing that a new Bond was on duty The new Bond pauses to take a finger of caviar... Dom Perignon'57 and five-star Hennessey <more>
brandy are his mouthwashes of choice... He discovers that he lived with his aunt in Pett Buttom, and his family motto is 'The World Is Not Enough.' He impersonates a genealogist to gain entrance to Piz Gloria... He wants to take the head of SPECTRE to Augsburg West Germany to verify certain records regarding his claim to a title... He spurns a Mafioso one million gold dowry; uses telescopic sight from a sniper's rifle to spot a beautiful young woman on the beach; wipes away a Contessa's tears; drives his Aston Martin wearing a hat and smoking a cigarette, and turns to the viewer saying in perfect seriousness, "This never happened to the other fella."The sixth Bond film takes place all over Europe with a united nations of glamorous babes called 'angels of death,' where 007 finally meets his female match, falls in love, and gets married The motion picture is an emotional story that reveals more of the world of 007 It starts with Bond, ready to resign from the Secret Service for being taking off Operation Bedlam... With John Barry's best music, Bond reminds us of a whole bunch of familiar faces... He begins to look over his mementos which include Honey's knife belt from 'Dr. No,' and the strangler watch from 'From Russia with Love.' The sequences from all the previous Bond films reinforced the idea that this new Bond is still a member of the same team, a man who answers to a crusty retired Admiral, and still is engaged in sexy banter with a loving secretary...It is Draco's daughter though, the ravishing Tracy Diana Rigg , who adds a bit of class to the role of the Bond girl, and makes the film quiet interesting... Tracy is the troubled woman who steals Bond's heart... She is a spoiled woman wandering fully clothed into the sea... She is dangerous with her red Ford Cougar, a broken bottle, and at the baccarat table...Gabriele Ferzetti is one of the most sympathetic Mafia dons ever to charm the screen Draco likes the fact that Bond is interested in his daughter, and he's determined to help her find the right husband Telly Savalas' Blofeld does reveal sides to his character previously unseen: the class snobberywhich M remarks upon, and the vanity which Tracy flatters to force him off his guard, and his irritation with one of his skiers who ends up in a tree... Posing as a world-famous allergist, this bald arch-villain would only give up his deadly scheme throughout the world if offered a complete pardon for past crimes and a title...Irma Bunt was perfectly portrayed by German actress Ilse Steppat, who, unfortunately died soon after the film's release She is Blofeld's second-in-command, who keeps the Count's attractive 'patients' under control...Angela Scoular Ruby becomes Bond's first conquest when she writes her room number in lipstick on 007's inner thigh Moneypenny Lois Maxwell hands her boss a request for two weeks leave rather than Bond's dictated resignation... Her act results at once funny, moving and warm: 'What would I do without you?' ask both Bond and M separately once she's settled their contretemps..."On Her Majesty's Secret Service" features Barry's exquisite song, "We Have All the Time in the World," which is sung with real emotion by Louis Armstrong...
To understand the controversy behind `On Her Majesty's Secret Service,' one must understand the events so impacting the spy genre by the time of its production in 1969. After the back to back tremendous successes of `Goldfinger' and `From Russia With Love,' every hack producer and distributor rushed to make spy movies. There were serious ones `The Spy That Came in From the Cold,' `The Ipcress File' , satirical ones `Our Man Flint,' `The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,' `Get Smart' , and incredibly silly ones `The Silencers,' `Last of the Secret Agents,' <more>
`Casino Royale' . `Casino Royale' was especially damaging, since it was VERY LOOSELY based on a Fleming novel, and used the character of James Bond, 007. In fact, in `Casino Royale,' nearly EVERYBODY played `James Bond'. `If we don't know what we are doing, how will the enemy,' was the explanation `James Bond' David Niven gave to explain why MI6 was calling all its agents `James Bond'. To protect their franchise, the producers of the `real' James Bond movies emphasized in their promotion `Sean Connery IS James Bond.' In a demonstration of `gratitude,' Connery up and quit the series, leaving `On Her Majesty's Secret Service,' which was shortly to go into production, without a `Bond.' Arguably the most ambitious and difficult to shoot of ALL the Bond films at least to that time , it's a miracle ANYTHING works in OHMSS. Much of the time it works VERY well, though the shaky underpinnings of the first hour frequently threaten to undo it. There is so much choppy editing and dubbed dialogue, one begins to suspect he is watching a foreign film. The second hour plus works much better, all the more surprising since it was shot first. One reason may be that the film went WAY over both shooting schedule and budget, and there was enough made up `bad' press to put a great deal of pressure on the producers, first time director, Peter Hunt and star, George Lazenby. In the middle of it all, Lazenby's publicist announced that Lazenby was not going to do another Bond Lazenby is credible when he says that announcement was not his idea. One suspects, from the bonus material, that Cubby Broccoli planted that story to discredit Lazenby, should the film fail . Add to all this the films' tacked-on, unhappy ending planned to be the prologue for `Diamonds are Forever' , which plays completely against the humor of earlier moments, and it's a wonder the film was NOT a dismal failure. Quite the contrary, OHMSS is one of the BEST of the Bond films, filled with nonstop action, outstanding stunts, incredible sound, the best score along with `Goldfinger' and a credible enough romance to lend it genuine poignancy. Lazenby overcame many tremendous handicaps: having to replace one of the best known and popular actors in the world; he was 28, younger than Connery when he made `Dr. No'; he was completely inexperienced as an actor OHMSS was Lazenby's FIRST movie, not just his first starring role ; his accent thick Australian outback and the INCREDIBLE physical demands Lazenby did many of his own stunts . Considering all this, Lazenby is downright remarkable. Certainly, in my opinion he is better than either the snooty Timothy Dalton or the lightweight Roger Moore were in ANY of their outings as Bond.. The bonus feature on the DVD concludes with strong evidence that Lazenby became a scapegoat, despite the eventual financial success of OHMSS. Lazenby, refreshingly displays no bitterness that his career nearly ended as soon as it began. He's had a reasonably busy career playing character roles and we have OHMSS. Not a bad deal at all.
I must admit I initially never gave this entry much of a chance. Whenever it was on TV I tried to watch it, but I just couldn't get into it. Then last year, I saw a widescreen tape version on sale and decided to buy it. When I finished watching it I was sorry I had ignored it for so long. It's very good. I thought Lazenby did a good job as Bond, and Savalas turned in equally good work as Bond's nemesis. And Rigg is as sharp as she is lovely. This is one for the collection.
One of the best (by ThomasHayden)
Giving the series a radical twist after the glorious Connery's farewell to 007 movies in You Only Live Twice, the producers intended for the first time to introduce a new take on Bond, returning to the literary roots of the character, as originally described in Fleming's novels and short stories. So Maibaum this time faithfully adapted one of Fleming's most successful and appreciated works: On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The screenplay is so close to the book that actually the movie is somewhat contradictory with previous Bond installments: Bloefeld and Bond don't know <more>
each other ??? , and, in order to make the plot line look more logical, by changing the physical appearance of the villain, the part was given to Telly Savallas, who looks too amiable to be the bad guy, instead of the scarred and terrific Donald Pleasance. The plot is also very different from what the usual fans expect from Bond movies, being mainly focused on the romance between Bond and Tracy during the first half, then moving to Bloefeld's stronghold in Switzerland, and ending with 45 minutes of extremely exciting, non stop action.The film's pacing is pretty irregular. The romance is probably the best part, at the best of Bond tradition, mainly thanks to Diana Rigg's inspired performance as Tracy, perfectly depicting an emotionally unbalanced, yet appealing and glamorous, woman. Lazenby's OK at least at this part of the movie , but he lacks the masculinity and roughness Connery showed, what ultimately damages the movie, specially during the disastrous sequences which take place in Bloefeld's research facility in the Swiss Alps, which are laughable . There's nothing remarkable about them. what a silly conspiracy!! , but 45 minutes spent, which make the movie overlong. When everything seems ruined, the film revives and takes us on a wild ride on an action packed roller-coaster ski chase, Bond and Draco raid on Bloefeld's base , with a brief romantic rest as Bond and Tracy talk about their future life in common Bond a journalist? ,a very touching scene. The ending remains as one of the top Bond moments, tragical and romantic. The stylish pre-credit sequence is equally brilliant,showing the natural elegance and "joie de vivre" we all associate with Bond. A question: what if Connery had accepted to play Bond this time? I think this could be the best Bond movie ever made. But the producers came up with a martial arts expert with no experience in acting, which sadly overshadows many good points on Lazenby's defense, it was his first performance , but this film still intensely shines as an interesting, strange gem in the Bond canon.