Friday, November 6, 2020

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

I don't think George Lazenby is bad.

Most everyone can agree that this movie is great but Lazenby is the weak link, I politely disagree and say George Lazenby does a fine job and I couldn't imagine the film any other way. I couldn't see Connery settle down, Moore quite possibly but never Connery, so I'm happy Lazenby got his one Bond film and is it one of the greats. Set two years after the volcano lair siege, James has been relieved of tracking down Blofeld and subsequently resigns from MI6 and decides to go after Blofeld as a rogue agent. Meanwhile he meets a young lady named Tracy who he is very intrigued by and a romance begins to bloom over time and James Bond has finally found the woman he can call his wife. That's all you need to know story wise, and they handle it so incredibly well giving ample time for both the espionage and the romance. Previous editor of the series Peter Hunt directs this installment with a more cinematic and visual style, coupled with fast paced frenetic editing that accentuates the action quite well, though I could see why some people would say it's choppy and scattered. Cast this time around could not be better, George Lazenby though having no former acting parts holds his own incredibly and is able to make Bond his own and not simply walk in Connery's shadow, with a penchant for heavy handed combat and an entirely believable romance with Tracy. Some people say he is quite wooden in certain scenes, but I see a lot of charisma and many of the Bond characteristics in him that we will continue to see for weeks to come. Diana Rigg is perfection as Countess Teresa de Vicenzo or Tracy to her friends, I cannot ever look anywhere else when she is on screen the sheer magnetism and acting chops she has is no doubt what makes the film so highly regarded amongst fans, I cannot love her performance more. Telly Savalas is an interesting choice for Blofeld after the dead eyed, accentuated Pleasence but has a menace and surprising charisma of his own which again suits the film quite nicely despite the continuity issues it creates. Ilse Steppat has to get a mention, for a henchwoman that doesn't do much villainous things I simply could not forget her performance, bringing humor and a subtle uneasiness to the location of Piz Gloria. Speaking of which, you can totally visit the mountain top restaurant used as the primary base for Blofeld in this movie and I for one love the design and set pieces for each room. I noticed a hell of a lot more action this time around, running the whole gambit of fist fights, car chases, shootouts, and even throws in a thrilling and quite impressive ski chase for good measure, all of which done superbly. And I want to talk about the ending, I really really want to talk about the ending, and I should because it's a very moving and shocking end to an already great movie but I just refuse to spoil it for those that haven't seen it. I will however say the mood and ending is practically assassinated by the choice of music as the credits roll, I mean really? Really?? Could you imagine if they just picked a different song? That is the one major problem with this movie, and I hate it with the fury of a million suns. Oh God, it is the worst thing. Maybe not in the history of the world but it's pretty bad. We were on the verge of greatness, we were this close. Moving on now, do I like it more than You Only Live Twice? Yes. Do I like it more than Goldfinger? Oooh, I don't know. Yes Goldfinger is a solid movie, but this one has impact on the series and it did what other Bond movies couldn't truly do for decades. While it may not be as iconic as Goldfinger, it's a diamond in the rough, and if I'm judging them one to one I have to go with OHMSS. If only by a tiny smidge. 4 stars, 8.5/10, I probably upset some people but I feel the way I feel. So Lazenby left his multi-picture deal unsigned and took his agent's advice that James Bond was heading out the door, and departed the series. So what could you possibly do now? Well

, it's just a jump to the left...

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