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 Posted:   Jun 23, 2022 - 8:06 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

"On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a 1969 spy film and the sixth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. It is based on the 1963 novel by Ian Fleming. Following Sean Connery's decision to retire from the role after You Only Live Twice, Eon Productions selected George Lazenby, a model with no prior acting credits, to play the part of James Bond. During the making of the film, Lazenby announced that he would play the role of Bond only once.

"In the film, Bond faces Blofeld (Telly Savalas), who is planning to hold the world to ransom by a threat to render all food plants and livestock infertile through the actions of a group of brainwashed 'angels of death'. Along the way Bond meets, falls in love with, and eventually marries Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg).

"It is the only Bond film to have been directed by Peter R. Hunt (with this serving as his directorial debut), who had served as a film editor and second unit director on previous films in the series. Hunt, along with producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, decided to produce a more realistic film that would follow the novel closely. It was shot in Switzerland, England, and Portugal from October 1968 to May 1969. Although its cinema release was not as lucrative as its predecessor You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service was still one of the top performing films of the year. Critical reviews upon release were mixed, but the film's reputation has improved greatly over time and it is now regarded as one of the strongest entries in the series, as well as one of the most faithful adaptations of a Fleming novel.




"The soundtrack for On Her Majesty's Secret Service has been called 'perhaps the best score of the series.' It was composed, arranged and conducted by John Barry; it was his sixth successive Bond film. Barry opted to use more electronic instruments and a more aggressive sound in the music – 'I have to stick my oar in the musical area double strong to make the audience try and forget they don't have Sean ... to be Bondian beyond Bondian.'

"Barry felt it would be difficult to compose a theme song containing the title On Her Majesty's Secret Service unless it were written operatically, in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan. Leslie Bricusse had considered lyrics for the title song but director Peter R. Hunt allowed an instrumental title theme in the tradition of the first two Bond films. The theme is built around a lament bass, which establishes the story as a tragedy. Barry's composition was described as 'one of the best title cuts, a wordless Moog-driven monster, suitable for skiing at breakneck speed or dancing with equal abandon.'

"Barry also composed the love song 'We Have All the Time in the World', with lyrics by Burt Bacharach's regular lyricist Hal David, sung by Louis Armstrong. It is heard during the Bond–Tracy courtship montage, bridging Draco's birthday party in Portugal and Bond's burglary of the Gebrüder Gumbold law office in Bern, Switzerland. Barry recalled Armstrong was very ill, but recorded the song in one take. Armstrong did, however, make some further recordings in 1970 and 1971. The song was re-released in 1994, achieving the number three position during a 13-week spell in the UK charts. The song was reused for a second Bond movie, when it was used as the soundtrack for the closing credits for the 2021 release No Time to Die.

Barry and David also wrote two other songs for the film, both performed by Danish singer Nina. One, entitled 'Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?', was featured in the film in several scenes. The other, 'The More Things Change', was recorded by Nina at the same session, but did not end up in the finished film. Instead, it appeared as the b-side of the UK single of 'Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?' and an instrumental version of it appeared on John Barry's 1970 LP 'Ready When You Are J.B.'

"The theme, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, is used in the film as an action theme alternative to Monty Norman's 'James Bond Theme', as with Barry's previous '007' themes. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was covered in 1997 by the British big beat group the Propellerheads for the 'Shaken and Stirred' album. Barry-orchestrator Nic Raine recorded an arrangement of the escape from Piz Gloria sequence and it was featured as a theme in the trailers for the 2004 Pixar animated film directed by Brad Bird, The Incredibles. Barry was the first choice to do the score for The Incredibles. However, he declined to do the score as he did not wish to duplicate the sound of his older work."

(All quoted materials from Wikipedia).




OHMSS is my favorite Bond film and the score by Barry is his best Bond score, IMO. Folks find it difficult to believe I could feel this way about a non-Connery Bond film, but for me, Lazenby was a perfect replacement for Connery. Regardless of what happened behind the scenes or in between takes, his is a commanding performance in a very excellent film.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2022 - 8:15 PM   
 By:   nocturne_cvs   (Member)

I have never seen OHSS...even though it has my favorite actress, Diana Rigg, because I'd always heard Lazenby wasn't very good...

I think I'll have to bite the bullet and see it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2022 - 10:01 PM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

I also haven't seen it except in very brief bits & pieces. Something I need to rectify. The suite linked to in this thread reminds me of just how brilliant Barry was. Very tough to argue Living Daylights was his best Bond score versus OHMSS.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2022 - 11:02 PM   
 By:   mortenbond   (Member)

I have never seen OHSS...even though it has my favorite actress, Diana Rigg, because I'd always heard Lazenby wasn't very good...

I think I'll have to bite the bullet and see it.


I can assure you Lazenby is good. The bad rep his performance got was because he was the first to step into Connerys shoes. I saw OHMSS on the big screen with Lazenby and Bond girls Martine Beswick, Maryam D`Abo and Caroline Munro. They were all very complementary towards his performance afetrwards. Here you had a 27 year old Lazenby, who never acted in a film before, showing off a lot of voltage, confidence, but also much sensitivity. A great performance in an even greater film. Lazenby IS Bond.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 1:07 AM   
 By:   moolik   (Member)

For me one of the best BOND Movies..definetly the best looking ( not the actor but the art direction and cinematography) Its also one of the best scores in the series...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 1:11 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Love the film and the score. Lazenby is very underrated as Bond, too.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 5:23 AM   
 By:   TheAvenger   (Member)

I have never seen OHSS...even though it has my favorite actress, Diana Rigg, because I'd always heard Lazenby wasn't very good...

I think I'll have to bite the bullet and see it.


You heard right. Lazenby is beyond wooden. It doesn’t help that a lot of the movie is not very good and that Lazenby’s voice is dubbed by George Baker for an extended period.

When you see it, try not to laugh too much at the under-cranked action sequence that look utterly ridiculous on TV.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 5:23 AM   
 By:   martyn.crosthwaite   (Member)

Love the film and the score. Lazenby is very underrated as Bond, too.

The score is exceptional and Lazenby was actually rather good but the movie critics never said anything positive about him both on and off the screen and is own negativity towards the Bond franchise was unfortunate . So as our 'woke' friends say today : He was cancelled.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 6:03 AM   
 By:   moolik   (Member)

@ The Avenger: I must have seen a different movie I guesssmile

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 6:43 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)


I saw OHMSS on the big screen with Lazenby and Bond girls Martine Beswick, Maryam D`Abo and Caroline Munro.


Munro and d'Abo weren't in on her majestys

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 7:01 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Lazenby was OK but nowhere close to Connery. He was was given massive support by Rigg and Savalas + Barry's score and a script based on one of Fleming's best Bond novels.

Too often Lazenby comes across as wooden and it was clear he was trying to base his performance on Connery's . In the end, one was enough and, thankfully, Connery returned for Diamonds Are Forever.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 10:01 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

Weird, but in OHMSS Lazy Boy was in a Connery Bond, and in DAF Connery was in a Moore Bond.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 10:04 AM   
 By:   henry   (Member)

My favorite Bond film and my second favorite Bond score!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   TheAvenger   (Member)

@ The Avenger: I must have seen a different movie I guesssmile

Just different tastes my friend. Diversity makes for far more interesting discussion than everyone loving the same stuff.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 11:45 AM   
 By:   johnonymous86   (Member)

Lazenby was perfectly fine as Bond considering the enormous pressure he was probably dealing with knowing that no matter how well he played the role, people would still find a reason to dislike it. I thought his interactions with Rigg were particularly good considering the interactions with Bond girls up to that point (and a good many after the fact too) felt like they'd been written by a horny 13 year old.

Connery was pretty wooden in DAF and YOLT too, if I'm being honest. And DAF has my personal favorite Bond score. Lazenby was just DIFFERENT and often, that is all people need to dislike something.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 12:03 PM   
 By:   bladerunner76   (Member)

I never saw the appeal of Lazenby. He was proof not just anyone could be James Bond. The man simply could not act to save his life. However, in spite of him, the movie is pretty decent.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 12:44 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

Also excellent in the film is German actress Ilse Steppat, who played villainess Irma Bunt. She's every bit as good a baddie as Lotte Lenya's Rosa Klebb was in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Unfortunately she died before the film was released. The end of the film hints that her character was meant to continue in subsequent Bond films.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 1:37 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

When I pull out my Bond Blu-rays, I start with this one. I think it's the strongest of the 60's Bonds (the previous four are in a tie with Dr. No bringing up the rear.). And then I dive into '70s Bond. 70's Bond is underrated.

The snowscapes here literally glitter in hi-def, and everything else about this movie just works. Lazenby is a strong James Bond. The score is also a high mark for John Barry.

This movie is over 50 yrs old, there is no excuse for anyone posting here not to have seen it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 2:13 PM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

When I pull out my Bond Blu-rays, I start with this one. I think it's the strongest of the 60's Bonds (the previous four are in a tie with Dr. No bringing up the rear.). And then I dive into '70s Bond. 70's Bond is underrated.

The snowscapes here literally glitter in hi-def, and everything else about this movie just works. Lazenby is a strong James Bond. The score is also a high mark for John Barry.

This movie is over 50 yrs old, there is no excuse for anyone posting here not to have seen it.


Agreed.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2022 - 2:42 PM   
 By:   jamesluckard   (Member)

I never saw the appeal of Lazenby. He was proof not just anyone could be James Bond. The man simply could not act to save his life. However, in spite of him, the movie is pretty decent.

I love him in the role, specifically because he isn't Sean Connery or any of the others, who were or became iconic stars because of the role.

Because Lazenby is known for only this one film, he really feels like a guy named James Bond, instead of international star Sean Connery, playing the role of James Bond, or international star Roger Moore, playing the role of James Bond. The fact that he was a complete unknown means it's the one film where I feel like I'm watching the actual character.

I love the other Bond performances too, don't get me wrong, they all have their own unique charm, but my love for Lazenby's performance is something unique in the Bond canon. smile

 
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