On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

A vacationing James Bond (George Lazenby) rescues the stunning but wayward girl Tracy Draco (Diana Rigg), who coincidentally happens to be the daughter of crime boss Marc Ange Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti).  When James Bond’s usual intelligence sources fail, M (Bernard Lee) takes him of the case and orders him on a holiday.  Bond not giving up enlists the aid of Draco to track down Ernst Blofeld (Telly Savales), frontrunner of the evil criminal consortium known as SPECTRE. The trail leads Bond to Switzerland, where he infiltrates Blofeld’s hi-tech headquarters and encounters a bevy of seductive women.  However none are more beautiful than Tracy who Bond pledges his eternal devotion to her, and her only.   However more immediate concerns are at hand as SPECTRE is poised to unleash horrific germ warfare weaponry that will endanger every living thing on earth.

Based on the 1963 novel “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” by Ian Fleming the tenth book in the series that was actually written in Jamaica while Dr No was being filmed. George Lazenby had it tough, coming from TV commercials and stepping into an already big role would be hard enough without always being compared to Sean Connery.  The critics didn’t really give the guy much of an opportunity to find himself in the role, which is sad because he really is a good Bond. Tracy is by far the best bond girl to ever appear in the entire series in my opinion.  She is stronger than her previous counterparts, much more complex, effortlessly beautiful and with her fervent independence, caustic wit and love of adventure it is no hard to see why James Bond chose to marry this girl.  Early drafts of the script had a subplot of Lazenby getting plastic surgery to explain the change in appearance, which actually would have been pretty cool and knitted in well with the next instalment.  Nonetheless this was cut and the producers decided to have a simple nod at the camera during the dramatic pre credit sequence to say “This never happened to the other fellow”.  This was then strengthened by the pre-title sequence which is actually one of my favourite of the series.  The vamped up James Bond Theme  composed by John Barry  is played over the imagery of silhouetted lady’s and clips from all the previous bond girls, in an attempt to further convey to the audience that this 007 is still James Bond.  On Her Majesty’s Secret Service actually nods back to all the other missions throughout the movie, you will hear someone whistling “Goldfnger” and as Bond rummaged through his desk drawer he pulls out souvenirs of previous missions.

Why did I choose this movie, well this one is one of my all-time top Bonds it is the one that stands out the most in my mind as a kid, and always gives me the “Christmas Time” feeling for some reason, possibly because the movie is set at Christmas.  It has been said that if Connery had of played Bond then it would have been the best in the entire series. However I believe to say this is just an insult.  Truth is by this time Connery was bored in the role and if he had of played Bond it would have ruined a fantastic movie.  This film is the most romantically resonant in the series, a softer Bond who relies more on his emotions, grit and even on others to help him survive, a take that Connery could never have pulled off.  On Her Majesty’s Secret Service builds to the most emotionally charged finale of any film and though killing Bond’s wife makes this entry oddly morose, and extremely anti climatic it does introduce a recurring device for his anger and bachelorhood throughout the rest of the series. Everything works in this film, The Bond, the girl the villain the story all of it comes together with perfect balance of romance intrigue and some of the most exciting sequences in the entire series.  Exciting, thrilling and boundless entertainment a definite one to watch…James Bond will return in Diamonds Are Forever

My Rating: A
Format: DVD
I Own This Movie
Artwork by: The Essence of Bond
Bond: #6

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