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On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Review And Info




James Bond 007...George Lazenby 
Tracy Vicenzo...Diana Rigg 
Blofeld...Telly Savalas 
Gabrielle Ferzetti 
Ilse Steppat 

Directed by...Peter Hunt 
Produced by...Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli 
Screenplay by...Richard Maibaum 
Music...John Barry

Running Time...131 minutes


    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 Connery.

By Jeanette Bond, December 14, 1999

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