Saturday, January 06, 2007

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

1969, UK, directed by Peter Hunt

My fond memories of this as one of the better Bonds seem misplaced on re-viewing the film after a long gap; perhaps it wasn't as obvious, then, how substantial a downgrade George Lazenby is when compared to even a going-through-the-motions Sean Connery. Along with the 2006 Casino Royale, this is one of the most domestically-minded Bond films, with hints that James might be ready to settle down (though he happily beds an entire harem while preparing himself for nuptial bliss).

Like its immediate predecessor, You Only Live Twice, this film brings arch-nemesis Blofeld out from the shadows, robbing him of much of his menace (especially since he's played here by a rather genial Telly Savalas), while Blofeld, for all his alleged smarts, has to learn the hard way that failing to dispatch 007 using one of the traditionally foolproof methods is bound to come back to haunt the average over-reaching criminal mastermind. Though Lazenby can't hold a candle to Connery, Diana Rigg is one of the most appealing Bond girls, lighting up the screen when she's around, and displaying some independence of spirit (which clearly wouldn't do, though the conclusion of the film is lifted directly from Ian Fleming's novel); the skiing scenes are also a pleasing distraction, even if some of the back projection work is unconvincing.

No comments:


List of all movies

Most of the images here are either studio publicity stills or screen captures I've made myself; if I've taken your image without giving you credit, please let me know.

About Me

Boston, Massachusetts, United States