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George Lazenby's 'OHMSS' goes under review in the MI6 March Bondathon

01-Mar-2010 • Site News

To celebrate the spate of upcoming Bond film anniversaries and the pave the way to Bond 23, we thought it was high-time the forum (Keeping The British End Up) pulled together for an official review of the whole series.

A film will be presented each month for viewing, discussion and review; running in conjunction with the main site, overall ratings and a selection of the best reviews will be published at the end of the month on mi6-hq.com.

George Lazenby's one and only 007 adventure is O.H.M.S.S. and open for fan reviews in this month's Bondathon...


"Far up! Far out! Far More! James Bond is back!"... And with a new face, too.

In 1967, Sean Connery stood down from the role of James Bond, leaving the producers to find another actor to fill his spot. During the casting process some familiar names were brought up, including those of Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton. Of course, they didn't end up making the cut this time around, but they have their chance to play James Bond later on down the road. Eventually, the Bond producers decide to cast George Lazenby, an Australian actor/model, after seeing him in a very Bond-esque commercial.

Faithfully based on Ian Fleming's novel of the same name, the film pits James Bond against his arch-nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. In the pre-titles sequence, James Bond prevents a young woman from committing suicide and later on, he finds out that she is the daughter of crime boss Marc Ange Draco, intent on Bond pairing up with his daughter, Tracy, in exchange for information on Blofeld. While Bond goes along with Draco's plan, he finds himself falling in love with Tracy.

On top of introducing a new James Bond, this film holds a few other interesting characteristics. For instance, Peter Hunt stepped out of the editing room for this film and moved into the director's chair, marking his directorial debut. This was also the first, and only, English-language film that Ilse Steppat had starred in during her career. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" also gave audiences many more daring stunts and action sequences; including a wonderfully-shot ski chase on the Swiss Alps and a gripping bobsled chase during the finale. You'll also find James Bond getting married in this film, for the first and last time (excluding that "cover marriage" in "You Only Live Twice"), causing him to hang-up his double-o number. Unfortunately, though, his resignation is cut short by SPECTRE.

Following the tradition of offering stunning locales, "On Her Majesty's Secret Services" scales from London to Portugal, and ultimately on to Switzerland. The score is composed and conducted by John Barry and largely stand as a fan favourite from throughout the raft of Bond cues. Barry's contribution to this film, and to Bond filmmaking in general has made him one of the most popular and appreciated filmic composers of his age.

Having just celebrated its 40th anniversary, it seems as if "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is only growing in popularity with die-hard Bond fans. Though, it was not the highest-grossing Bond film in the history of the series (collecting roughly $115,155,535), it was still successful in many other ways. Notably, its ability to stand out amongst the other films in the series as a unique offering and be noted as one of the most faithful film-tributes to Fleming. Whether one thinks it's a "good" or "bad" offering, it will always be set apart from the franchise. This never happened to other fellas.

- Introduction by Mr. Brown

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