On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Review And Info
The film, On Her Majesty's Secret
Service, was somewhat of a disappointment after reading the novel it was
based on. Personally, I loved the
novel, and to the film's advantage, I noticed a lot of parallels between the two
of them. Unfortunately, the film lacked a certain appeal.
Unlike most Bond films, the plot was exactly what Ian Fleming had
written. Bond, while looking for Blofeld, finds himself in the Swiss mountains
incognito as a College of Arms associate. Blofeld
appears to be running a hospital dedicated to the healing of allergy sufferers,
but it turns out to be much more than that.
Although the writing, in my opinion, was fairly good, I didn't care too
much for the film. I found myself asking how I could hate the film that is
identical to a book I love. Was it the bad acting? Could it have been the dumb
looks as the actors and actresses fumbled through their lines? Maybe it was the
way Blofeld held his cigarette. It could have been the kilt. Or maybe it was the
script itself. The answers to these questions would have to be "Yes, Yes,
Good lord yes, Dear God yes, and Not really".
You see, it wasn't the writing at all-- it was the casting. I loved the
depth of Bond's character in this film because it allowed a closer look at his
more vulnerable side. Unfortunately, George Lazenby was a bad choice for the
part. It seemed, throughout the film, that he didn't put forth the emotion that
could have made a good script a great script. Instead, he took the film line by
line, losing the effect that the writers of the script had intended. Lazenby
lacked the "je ne sais crois" that Bond is notorious for. If Sean
Connery hadn't taken a one-movie vacation, I'm sure my opinion of the film would
be different (although I really wouldn't want to see him in a kilt either).
As a result, what could have been a fabulous movie, turned out to be a
flop. All I can do is thank MGM Studios for tossing Lazenby and bringing back
By Jeanette Bond, December 14, 1999
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