My favorite James Bond movie. After five successful movies like the secret agent 007, Sean Connery declares to be fed up with the character of James Bond. Connery he wanted to try his luck with other types of roles. He urged agent 007 to find a new face and adapt to changing times. The replacement would not be easy as Connery was so attached to the character that it was almost impossible to imagine another actor in his place. I suppose it was unimaginable to think that 50 years later his saga would continue to make a profit and be among the highest grossing worldwide. Time has shown that neither actor changes nor the fall of the iron curtain can with this franchise. James Bond he’s quite the survivor but his movie series is even harder to kill. But we know all this now, in 1969 none of this was known.
The producers of the James Bond franchise, Harry Saltzmann Y Albert R. Broccoli, They decided to continue the saga with another actor. They offered the role to Timothy Daltonwho rejected it because he considered himself too young, since Roger Moore, who rejected it for being contractually linked to the El Santo series. They both ended up playing James Bond in due time. After much pondering and almost in extremis the chosen one was an unknown Australian advertising model with hardly any experience named George Lazenby. The truth is that Lazenby’s agent recommended that he dress and cut his hair in the places where Connery and Broccoli went. It was at the hairdresser’s where the hairdresser told Broccoli that he had a client who would be ideal to be 007. Many tore their clothes in the same way they did 35 years later when the chosen one was Daniel CraigBut in both cases I think they were wrong. Obviously, Lazenby did not have the charisma of Connery (his later careers confirm this) nor was he a good actor, but to be James Bond it is not necessary to be a great actor, it is enough to have a good hanger and know how to put on a poker face (ask him a Roger Moore). According to Lazenby’s own account, he was hired verbally since he never signed any contract. That’s how things were done in the late 1960s. What he did have to take was a diction course to disguise his Australian accent and another crash course in acting. It is said that the filming was not easy due to the inexperience and growing ego of a Lazenby who did not stop making suggestions. One example, for the famous opening gunbarrel scene, Lazenby insisted that his knee touch the ground despite the director’s instructions to the contrary. Well, there was no way, Lazenby did the only gunbarrel in which 007’s knee touched the ground. There were not only frictions with the director. People say that Diana Rigg she ended up eating garlic before the love scenes with Lazenby to annoy him. Nobody would say it watching the film.
Already from the first scene, the script is aware of the change of actor and is ironic about it. While Bond is engaged in a fight against some thugs who were going to kidnap a girl, she runs away from her without even saying thank you. The new Bond looks at the camera and says “This didn’t happen to the other guy”. Phrase that Lazenby affirms that she came up with him. The change of actor implied more than just a change of face. For the first film without Connery, the producers decided to turn to greater spectacularity and at the same time increase the irony of the series.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service continues the path that the previous 007 films had circulated and that had given such good box office results until then and continue to do so today: luxury cars, casinos, beautiful girls, spectacular landscapes and fast-paced action scenes. Within this last section I think the film contains 3 of the best scenes in the entire saga: the cable car scene, the chase on skis (the first in the saga) and the final scene at Bosley Circuit. The Bond character appears somewhat more human, he is not just a seducer without feelings or a killing machine. James Bond evolves, falls in love and even gets married. What’s more, in this film he is willing to leave everything for a woman: Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, played by Diana Rigg known among the general public for the television series the Avengers and, much more recently, by Game of Thrones.
In the villains section, Blofeld and his terrorist organization Spectra (the inspiration for Al Qaeda?) continue to do their thing. Blofeld appears this time played by telly savalasin my opinion the best incarnation of the archenemy of 007. Their enmity turns into something here staff. However, it is curious that Bond and Blofeld do not recognize each other when they had already met in You Only Live Twice. Consistency has never been the forte of this franchise.
The address of peter hunt it is more than efficient as well as psychedelic, in keeping with the times: a lot of camera movement, close-ups, zooms and other effects that in 1969 were very modern although they have aged somewhat poorly. Some fight scenes are especially confusing and dizzying. Usually, the film suffers from the evils of the cinema of the late sixties but those same evils make it unique within the saga.
As usual, the best is the music of a john barry especially inspired. His music blends perfectly with the action scenes, creating moments of authentic adventure cinema. the magnificent ballad We have all the time in the world interpreted by Louis Armstrong is probably the best song ever composed for a 007 film. You can listen to the version of Iggy Pop Y david arnold here.
Despite its undeniable qualities, fans rejected the film. It is said that it was a box office flop, but that year it was only surpassed in revenue by two men and one destiny. It did not reach the collection of the previous films with Connery but it was not a flop. In addition, its subsequent release on video was highly profitable, gaining a good number of followers and becoming almost a cult film. Lazenby never played James Bond again because fame overwhelmed him and he did not like that his off-screen image had to be adapted to that of the character. When he went to the premiere of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with beard, Broccoli harshly reprimanded him since that was not the image that the public expected to see from an actor playing 007. Lazenby received a succulent offer of one million dollars, this time in writing, to continue playing 007 for 6 films but he preferred to reject it. Lazenby was going to participate in 4 films with Bruce Lee, but the premature death of the martial arts star put an end to the project. Lee’s films were released after his death, complete with doubles and archival footage, and their impact was much less. Ultimately, Lazenby ended up participating in the endless erotic saga Emmanuelle. Who did play James Bond again was Sean Connery (thanks to an exorbitant million-dollar check at the time) in 1972 with Diamonds for eternity. However, Bond does not seek revenge on Blofeld nor is anything commented on their marriage. By the way, Connery would play James Bond again in 1984 in Never say never although this film is not listed as official within the saga.
For years it seemed that the franchise ignored the events narrated in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as if it were a bad dream. It was not until the prologue of only for your eyes (already in 1981 with a stiff Roger Moore) that are assumed and tied certain loose ends left by the film at hand. This meant acceptance of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as a full member of the franchise. It is never late if happiness is good.
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On her Majesty’s secret service (1969) – Rock The Best Music
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