31 March, 2007 Leave a comment
Following 5 installments of Sean Connery as 007, Australian George Lazenby stepped into the role for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
“This never happened to the other fellow”
While the film contained some good action sequences, the above line from the pre-title sequence is perhaps somewhat prophetic in that Lazenby at times seemed to imitate Connery rather than put his own spin on the role. As it turns out, this was Lazenby’s first major acting role and filling the shoes of Connery is a big ask.
The film heads to Switzerland where Blofeld (head of the evil organisation SPECTRE) has a hideout in Piz Gloria at 2970m atop Schilthorn (a place I’ve actually visited!) As an aside for some trivia, the complex was only partially constructed when film locations were sought and EON Productions paid to have it finished in return for exclusive use during filming.
Being in the Alps you’d expect some outrageous chases on snow and you won’t be disappointed. The ski chase with machine guns is often imitated – notably in the Schwarzenegger comedy/spoof True Lies.
The film is a little thin in the gadget department with the most obvious being the somewhat impractical safe cracker and combined document photocopier that was the size of a large suitcase!
Much to the disappointment of Moneypenny, Bond settles on one woman and marries her at the end of the film, but I’ll leave it you to see how that turns out…
If you step back from comparing Lazenby to Connery, O.H.M.S.S. is a good film with both action and romance and is definitely worthy of it’s place in the saga.