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Topic: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Today we take a look at "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (or OHMSS), released in 1969.  With Connery leaving, Eon was scrambling and found George Lazenby, an unknown Australian model who looked the part.  He lied to Eon about having acting experience, but when they found out, they were so impressed with him that they didn't care.  Mid-filming, Lazenby decided that this would be his only movie since he didn't think the Bond series would survive long, due to the influence of the counter-culture promoting a culture of peace.  Some people rank this movie as one of the best Bond films while others didn't like it very much.

PROS

  • Bond doing espionage as Sir Hilary Brey.  Classic!  I love it!

  • Lazenby a believable human Bond who is not too macho or perfect

  • The films abandons the tech and the gadgets for a realistic experience

  • Has it's own mood and atmosphere, unique to most Bond films

  • Blofeld is a much stronger villain here with a unique heinous plan

  • The snowy alps are memorable scenery for chases and action scenes

  • Tracy is a strong character and the romance/compassion elements work

CONS

  • Sometimes Lazenby's inexperience in acting shows

Overall Thoughts

  • This movie is said to be one of the most authentic to Fleming's writing

  • Lazenby wasn't an exceptional actor by any means, but he was great for this one.  I wouldn't have wanted to see Connery here.  Plain and simple, Lazenby was hungry and wanted it more.

  • I couldn't have seen Connery thrilled at the sight of a dog wanting to play with him, getting married, or actually caring about people in general.

  • Hilary Brey disguise was quite funny.

  • Blofeld wasn't too smart in locking James Bond in the gears room.

  • Considering the misogyny of the earlier films, OHMSS is a big step up in terms of giving women characters actual strong personalities.

  • It was hard to find contemporaries reviews on this.  Most of the ones online are in hindsight.  Let me know if you found one.

  • I'd consider it an overall improvement over You Only Live Twice, even though both are different kind of movies.

Last edited by Absolutely_Cart (19th Sep 2015 18:41)

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

No cons for me, it's Number 1 in my book.  ajb007/cheers

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another"

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The cons of this movie that I put down weren't significant for me.  I personally rank it among my favorites.

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

I agree with TP, no Cons for me either  ajb007/martini

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

No one taking issue with the movie yet?  Where are the Lazenby-haters when you need them?! Lol

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Nobody's mentioned the score yet- if this isn't the best, it's second or third. John Barry at his peak.

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

I do like the theme song.  As a standalone, the theme song is alright, but when you hear it in the chase sequences, it is really good.

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The Ski Sequence still takes my Breath away  ajb007/martini

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Barbel wrote:

Nobody's mentioned the score yet- if this isn't the best, it's second or third. John Barry at his peak.

And the score is a MAJOR plus ! My favourite by a country mile  ajb007/martini

Best movie in the franchise for me too - and I love Lazenby in this film ajb007/martini

YNWA 96

The Unbearables

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Always blows my mind that Lazenby decided to pack it in mid-film after he hit the jackpot!!  The guy must have really had his ego stroked to do something that stupid in his first film.

Im guessing since he fluked his way into the role he would have signed whatever contract EON put in front of him and was probably on peanuts???

Its a shame he never stayed on for a couple or just another, I know he is a bit Marmite but can't imagine OHMSS without him.

Def one of my faves though don't like the 'other fellow' line

The soundtrack / score is poss the best in the series also  ajb007/cheers

Last edited by welshboy78 (21st Dec 2014 14:13)

Instagram - bondclothes007

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Sir Miles wrote:
Barbel wrote:

Nobody's mentioned the score yet- if this isn't the best, it's second or third. John Barry at his peak.

And the score is a MAJOR plus ! My favourite by a country mile  ajb007/martini

Best movie in the franchise for me too - and I love Lazenby in this film ajb007/martini

You beat me to it whilst I was typing!!  Thought it was odd the score was not mentioned since its one of the highlights!

Instagram - bondclothes007

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

welshboy78 wrote:

Im guessing since he fluked his way into the role he would have signed whatever contract EON put in front of him and was probably on peanuts???

Lazenby was offered a multi-picture deal with an increasing pay packet...I don't think he would have done too badly out of it  ajb007/lol

YNWA 96

The Unbearables

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Sir Miles wrote:

Lazenby was offered a multi-picture deal with an increasing pay packet...I don't think he would have done too badly out of it  ajb007/lol

Yeah crazy stuff - guess sex, booze & drugs does weird things to ones mind  ajb007/biggrin

You kind of feel sorry for him in EONs Everything or Nothing Documentary when he tugs the heart strings but then your swiftly reminded he was a bit of an animal and still has a bit of an ego.

Instagram - bondclothes007

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

I think Absolutely Cart has summed everything up perfectly  ajb007/martini

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Barbel wrote:

Nobody's mentioned the score yet- if this isn't the best, it's second or third. John Barry at his peak.

OHMSS is great, but I like the ' no-nonsense' parts (Osato Office fight) and the asian elements a bit better, so YOLT is my favorite Barry score.

I wish that the movie was 1 hour longer - that's the only flaw that I can find with OHMSS  ajb007/martini

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

What if Misty Eyes had played Bond in OHMSS Higgins?  ajb007/shifty

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Oh, the Horror!  ajb007/insane

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

AlphaOmegaSin wrote:

The Ski Sequence still takes my Breath away  ajb007/martini

Totally agree. I saw OHMSS in Bluray a couple of weeks ago and it's hands down the best ski chase in the whole franchise. Tense, dynamic, realistic...Amazing.

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

When Bond is sitting on the Ice Rink, he looks generally knackered and terrified  ajb007/martini

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

To be honest for a first acting job, I thought Lazenby did a fantastic Job. ajb007/martini

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another"

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The only CON I can think of in OHMSS is that Lazenby's performance is inconsistent. Sometimes he's great, other scenes he's not into it. Meaning, Lazenby nails the key scenes like Bond's proposal to Tracy, Ski Chase (just look at his face when he's killing the henchman with the ski,he means it), Tracy's murder,... In others it's as if he was thinking "well, I'm not going to do this, I want to grow a beard and go to a music festival".

Also, I think it was a big, big mistake opening with the line "this never happened to the other fella".

The movie overall is still a pure joy. I hadn't seen it in a long time, and I just watched the movie and read the book back to back. They really captured Ian Fleming's novel.

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The only CON I can think of in OHMSS is that Lazenby's performance is inconsistent. Sometimes he's great, other scenes he's not into it. Meaning, Lazenby nails the key scenes like Bond's proposal to Tracy, Ski Chase (just look at his face when he's killing the henchman with the ski,he means it), Tracy's murder,... In others it's as if he was thinking "well, I'm not going to do this, I want to grow a beard and go to a music festival".

Also, I think it was a big, big mistake opening with the line "this never happened to the other fella".

The movie overall is still a pure joy. I hadn't seen it in a long time, and I just watched the movie and read the book back to back. They really captured Ian Fleming's novel.

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Sir Miles wrote:
welshboy78 wrote:

Im guessing since he fluked his way into the role he would have signed whatever contract EON put in front of him and was probably on peanuts???

Lazenby was offered a multi-picture deal with an increasing pay packet...I don't think he would have done too badly out of it  ajb007/lol

IIRC, Lazenby was paid the same for OHMSS as Connery got for DN.

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

But when he was offered the 7 movies deal, the pay would have been significantly better?

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: Pros and Cons: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Virgil37 wrote:

The only CON I can think of in OHMSS is that Lazenby's performance is inconsistent. l.

I like Laz. But their are bits where he struggled

He does a good job but there are a couple of scenes where he needs help. Theres a scene with him charging into the room at the end and he has to glance about him. Its look left. Its look right. He needs to be directed more. He hasn't, like Miss Rigg, got that acting experience which carries him through. Peter Hunt should have given him more assistance.

Laz did well in the movie - but not enough to keep the press from the door. Once they scented blood the press were after him..

1. For Your Eyes Only      2. The Living Daylights    3 From Russia with Love  4. Casino Royale  5. OHMSS  6. Skyfall