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On Her Majesty's Secret Service [1969 film]…

On Her Majesty's Secret Service [1969 film]

by Peter R. Hunt (Director), Richard Maibaum (Screenwriter)

Other authors: John Barry (Composer), Albert R. Broccoli (Producer), Gabriele Ferzetti (Actor), Ian Fleming (Original novel), George Lazenby (Actor)7 more, Desmond Llewelyn (Actor), Lois Maxwell (Actress), Diana Rigg (Actress), Harry Saltzman (Producer), Telly Savalas (Actor), Angela Scoular (Actor), Ilse Steppat (Actor)

Series: James Bond Movies (6)

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James Bond tracks Blofeld to the Swiss Alps.

One of the better 60s Bond films (faithfully adapted from one of the better books). It's too long (for no good reason), and doesn't have much style or fun (despite some off attempts at the latter). But it does have characters - a first for the series.

Concept: B
Story: C
Characters: B
Dialog: D
Pacing: D
Cinematography: C
Special effects/design: C
Acting: C
Music: B

Enjoyment: B

GPA: 2.2/4 ( )
  comfypants | Nov 12, 2015 |
Rating: 4.5* of five

Again a reminder that this is a review of the 1969 film, not Fleming's novel. I found I wasn't able to get past the outdated attitudes in the novels. I think because books are important to me, enduring documents of their times, and films are slight and insubstantial entertainments, I judge films much less harshly. After all, I take them so much less seriously.

(I do have to say that this novel presents Bond as a much more human, emotional character, and that's not all to the good. Also Blofeld is a much larger part of the novel's warp and weft than he is of the movie's.)

This is only a 4.5-star experience because Lazenby's only outing as Bond was stylish and cool. It earned bad reviews for Lazenby, which endears him and his performance to me. Film critics in general are so full of hot air and bullshit that I love reading bad reviews so I can go and enjoy the panned product. I liked Heaven's Gate, for example, and I'd've never gone to see it if the critics hadn't howled their lungs out about its crappiness.

Anyway, Blofeld the recurring villain is played by Telly Savalas in this film. It's the absolute worst Blofeld I've seen. He got no pointy objects hurled at him, however. Hmmm.

Diana Rigg is The Girl. Okay, whatevs. The fact that her "father" is played by an Italian actor pretending to be Spanish and she's as British as shepherd's pie (and about as attractive, but then I'm pretty much immune to female aesthetic appeal), well it's a Bond film so one goes with it.

Joanna Lumley plays one of Blofeld's Angels of Death. The camp factor of this film just went up 2500%. It's also a little sobering to realize that Lumley was a comely youff when the film was made, and is now a grandmother. Tempus do fugit, eh what?

So that rating...is it purely contrarian? No. The film is very well made. The plot, while ridiculous, lacks gaping holes, unlike other entries in the series. The cinematography is as lovely as the series' standard, the script as witty as the best entries in the series, and Lazenby is very very very nice to look at. I also think he turned in a fine performance, and it's only butthurt Connery diehards who can't see that. This role isn't one for a Dramatical Genius to play, it's one for a film star to play. Lazenby COULD have been a long-run Bond. I think it's a shame he wasn't.

Pleasant way to pass a few hours, nice to look at, oh and the song! The song is sung by LOUIS ARMSTRONG!!!! Oh be still my heart. "All the Time in the World." I liked it. It's not up there with "Live and Let Die" or "Goldfinger" but it's a damn good song qua song. ( )
  richardderus | Dec 11, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hunt, Peter R.Directorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maibaum, RichardScreenwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Barry, JohnComposersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Broccoli, Albert R.Producersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferzetti, GabrieleActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fleming, IanOriginal novelsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lazenby, GeorgeActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Llewelyn, DesmondActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maxwell, LoisActresssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rigg, DianaActresssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saltzman, HarryProducersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Savalas, TellyActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scoular, AngelaActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Steppat, IlseActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Bond learns that Blofeld is headquartered in a remote part of the Swiss Alps. In order to infiltrate Blofeld's mountain fortress - an allergy clinic filled with beautiful women - Bond disguises himself as a stuffy genealogist. Unable to withstand the overwhelming temptation surrounding him, 007 blows his stuffy cover but discovers Blofeld's sinister plot in the process.… (more)

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