6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian Fleming shaken, not stirred
This was the first Bond movie I ever saw in the theater, Dec.31, 1969. For a young kid like me, it was the greatest way on earth to usher out the Sixties. Years of Bond hype, Bond toys, and Sean Connery worship finally came to a head. Yet this was the new guy, a somewhat blasphemous situation to be in. Still, no one ever entered a movie theater with higher...
Published on June 17 2004 by Rob
3.0 out of 5 stars The grinch that Stole Christmas
Ok, after reading the reviews, I'm going to be the Grinch that Stole Christmas. It has been a long time since I saw this film and waited in a long que on Netflix. I sat down and turned on the DVD. The transfer was very good: clean with decent sound. However, about half way through, the DVD quit playing; it got stuck and I couldn't get it clean enough to play through...
Published on Dec 25 2003 by Allen Eaton
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian Fleming shaken, not stirred,
This review is from: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Special Edition) (Bilingual) (DVD)This was the first Bond movie I ever saw in the theater, Dec.31, 1969. For a young kid like me, it was the greatest way on earth to usher out the Sixties. Years of Bond hype, Bond toys, and Sean Connery worship finally came to a head. Yet this was the new guy, a somewhat blasphemous situation to be in. Still, no one ever entered a movie theater with higher expectations.
Let me just say this: from the opening credits I was transported to a wonderland of excitement and delight. The music, the villain, the fights, the women, and especially George Lazenby made it a great, great, great Bond movie. To this day, I regard it as possibly the film I have enjoyed more than any other I have seen. Briefly, let me dissect what made it such a great 007 film:
1.The Villain-Telly Savalas should have been Blofeld many more times. He is menacing and a good physical opponent for Bond. Savalas was doing many villains at this time in his career (Dirty Dozen, etc.) mainly because he was so good at it. Telly's Blofeld is very true to Ian Fleming. Along with Robert Shaw and Gert Frobe, I rate him among the best of the Bond villains.
2. The fights-the editing is outstanding, creating fast, violent brawls. Lazenby is quite formidable and believably dangerous-the way Bond should be and hasn't been since. The best Bond fight scene that stands alone is certainly with Oddjob, but the numerous fights in OHMSS are the most realistic and violent.
3.The Women-Diana Rigg (need we say more)-a real actress and the fantasy of every pubescent boy watching The Avengers. Also plenty of eye-candy in the chalet of Blofeld. And throw in Frau Bunt who seems resurrected in the Austin Power movies-she's a pure Fleming character: an evil sexless matron.
4.The music-definitely high-style John Barry. It is a departure from his earlier Connery films and very original. It's just great adventure music and the main title is damn dangerous to be listening to when driving your car. For fun, my kids and I have synchronized it to driving the mountain route in Sega Gt 2002-it's the perfect soundtrack. As an Album alone OHMSS is a proud possesion in my record collection.
5.Finally, (and ladies and gentlemen, I could go on and on about this) dear Mr. Lazenby. How anyone could be at the top, with the highest profile movie persona in the world, and then drop to almost total obscurity is lamentable to the most Shakespearean proportions. George was so young (stil in his twenties!) during OHMSS, he could have been Bond into the mid-nineties. I saw him playing a Bond-like character in some cheap John Stamos movie and he was still exciting to watch-too bad Stamos was the star. Bond must provoke intrigue, sophistication, sex, and violence. George Lazenby had it all. To you, Mr. Lazenby, wherever you are, I lift my glass in a toast to your James Bond of OHMSS.
I promised to be brief and so I end with so much unsaid about this terrific movie. New Year's Eve 1969 was an unforgettable movie experience. How many films can you remember the exact date you first saw them?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Bond 007,
Cela est un des meilleur film de James bond, George Lazenby interprete bien son role, a mon avis. Ce film me rapelle de bon souvenirs, je suis bien heureux de l'ajouté a ma collection de L'Agent double Zéro Sept (007). Le film est aussi en Francais,pour ceux que sa intéresse. La qualité des image est exellente.
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond has seldom been this good.,
Lazenby was shabbily treated by almost the entire production crew, and still managed in most scenes to be the best Bond. When he failed, it was clearly because the director's simply ignored him and concentrated on the special effects and, now and then, the women. In the case of Diana Rigg, that was just fine. She knew her way around a set and is still the best "Bond-girl" ever. Even Halle Berry pales by comparison. Time, however, has been cruel to her wardrobe. The skating costume in particular is now only worth a few giggles, not the sex appeal it was meant to have. But the lady herself is stupendous. And Lazenby, with only a commercial for acting experience, was able to keep up with her. Why not have cast him in the next Bond film? He wasn't known, so had no other offers, and when the Bond people dumped him and refused to even send him on the publicity tours, they killed his career. But he is the best. Trouble is, that outside of the sections directly involving Rigg and precious few others, this was a weaker than usual script. And not even Connery could have carried off the kilt sequences that are thrust on Lazenby.
And Lazenby and Craig have also been by far the least sexist and emotionally immature of the Bonds. Unless Dalton's dour Bond is considered by some to be a mature rendering. But I see him as a spoiled brat of a Bond, unable to do anything but sulk.
P.S. I disagree with some of the other comments made in previous reviews regarding Telly Savalas. I can't see him without also seeing a lollipop in his mouth, and that doesn't scare me at all.
The weakest Bond? Let Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton fight it out over that one. And they each got more than one chance at the part, and had stronger scripts to work with.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very underrated bond film, the biggest sleeper hit in the entire bond series,
This review is from: On Her Majesty's Secret Service [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Loved the movie, almost as good as Connery's early films and way better than most of Moore's films, heck even Brosnan and Dalton's. George Lazenby passes as a decent Bond in my book but the movie itself is phenomenal and the ending is perfect.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and exciting James Bond movie has been overlooked!!,
This review is from: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)XXXXX
This is the sixth "official" (meaning EON productions) movie in the James Bond series.
It is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by the late Ian Flaming. This movie follows the plot of this novel quite closely.
This is the only Bond movie to star George Lazenby as fictional MI6 agent James Bond, code number 007. (Sean Connery had quit after starring in five Bond movies.)
After "Dr. No" (1962), this is the only Bond movie with solely instrumental opening credits theme music. (This music is still quite thrilling to hear after all these years.)
Yes, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) is Bond's nemesis in this movie. In fact, this is the second in what is considered to be the "Blofeld Trilogy." (This means that the Bond movie before this one had Blofeld and the Bond movie after this one had Blofeld. In all three cases, Blofeld was played by a different actor. In this movie, the legendary Telly Savalas plays a superb Blofeld.)
What is especially unique about this movie is that Bond meets, falls in love with, and eventually marries Contessa Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo (well-acted by Diana Rigg). Note that Rigg is the main Bond girl but there are twelve more. These dozen Bond girls are Blofeld's unwitting "Angels of Death."
During the Bond and Tracy courtship, there is the song "We have all the time in the world" sung by the incomparable Louis Armstrong. This song is special since this is his last recorded song.
I liked the little things the writers put into this movie. I'll mention just a few of them:
(1) The gun-barrel sequence was slightly different from the ones Bond fans were used to seeing at that time. (2) At the end of the opening sequence, Bond actually talks to the audience. (I don't think this has occurred in any other Bond movie.) (3) During the opening credits sequence, there are outtakes from previous Bond movies. (4) In one scene in this movie, Bond visits his office and takes out from his desk drawer gadgets from the previous Bond movies "Dr. No," "From Russia with Love," and "Thunderball." (Interestingly, this movie has minimal gadgets.) (5) In another scene, a janitor can be heard whistling the theme from "Goldfinger."
There is much debate about George Lazenby's James Bond. Personally, I liked him as Bond since he looks and moves like Bond. Due to the nature of the double plot, he had to be both sensitive and ruthless. He pulls it off. Unfortunately, Sean Connery was so closely identified with the role at the time such that people had a hard time seeing Lazenby in the role. (Lazenby, despite being offered a seven-movie contract deal, quit the role on advice from his agent.)
The only problem I had with this movie is that it take a long time to set up and viewers may get bored because of this. But the wait is worth it! The last hour of the movie is essentially one long, thrilling action sequence. After watching this accompanied by the specially-composed instrumental music (described above), you might feel like going out and saving the world from evil!!
Beware that this movie ends on a sad note but the ending is realistic considering the nature of Bond`s job.
This movie was filmed on location in Switzerland, Portugal, and London, England.
It grossed eighty-seven million dollars worldwide (that's a respectable five-hundred and thirteen million in today's dollars). It was one of the highest grossing movies worldwide at that time.
The DVD (released in 2009) is flawless in picture and sound quality. This movie has been digitally restored and I'm sure the picture is just as good (if not better) than when it was released forty years ago. There is one extra, an audio commentary.
Finally, here is some information to consider. This DVD is actually the first disc of the two disc "Ultimate Edition." Bond fanatics may want to purchase this two-disc Ultimate Edition since the second disc has "the best collection of special features ever assembled for Bond." (Unfortunately, the Ultimate Edition is no longer available but can be purchased second-hand.)
In conclusion, this is a unique and exciting James Bond movie that has been overlooked!!
(1969; 2 hr, 20 min; wide screen; 32 scenes)
<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>
5.0 out of 5 stars le premier James Bond 007,
J'ai encore pris plaisir à le revoir.
Le premier de la série 007 (James Bond) film qui est un peu oublié
et c'est dommage.
5.0 out of 5 stars On His Lazenby's Secret Service,
This review is from: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Special Edition) (Bilingual) (DVD)The most underrated movie in the biggest film franchise of all time,OHMSS is highly regarded by 007 movie fans as the best movie.One of the reasons it hasn't topped Goldfinger ,due to the fact James Bond was not portrayed by Sean Connery, but an Australian model in his first acting job.
George Lazenby took on the role of 007 when Connery exited after You Only Live Twice (1967).Although lacking Connery's charisma (like the later Bond actors), Lazenby was a superb choice and did a wonderful job despite filling some big shoes.
But what really makes this movie so great is the story itself.Based from one of Ian Fleming's last Bond novels,It deals with Bond taking a leave from MI6 to track down Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savales).He teams up with Italian crime boss Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti) who offers to help Bond in exchange for him to marry his daughter Tracy (Diana Rigg).Bond goes undercover to Blofeld's mountaintop lair in Switzerland to uncover Blofeld's new plot of world domination,all the while in an uncharacteristic move, he falls in love with Tracy and marries her.
OHMSS spectacular scenes includes chases on skis, cars and bobsleds,as well as the destruction of the villian's lair.The most disturbing image of all Bond movies is the end scene after Bond and Tracy's wedding.
Although a hit at the box office in late 1969, it didn't perform as well as previous Bond films.Lazenby also departed the role, fearing that Bond pics would disappear after a while (!!!).Connery would return for one last time in Diamonds are Forever(1971), while Lazenby became a footnote in the Bond legacy.Many have wondered if Connery would've stuck it out to play in OHMSS (or Lazenby doing DAF).Either way,OHMSS will always be the most debated if not the most spectacular Bond film of all time.
4.0 out of 5 stars Best or Worst??,
This review is from: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Special Edition) (Bilingual) (DVD)Some say it's the worst of the Bond's, some say it's the best. What's the truth? Well, here's my take: Lazenby is more human, more boyish and more vulnerable than Connery, which makes him less exciting to watch but probably closer to the original character as authored by Ian Fleming; his acting has frequently been called "wooden" but strangely enough the real Bond from the books is sort of wooden himself. Although the film is relatively slow and action free in its first hour, that's not so different from other early Bond's; the difference here is that the script is less tight, frankly more amateur and needed a good pruning. Diana Rigg is one of the few Bond girls who can really act, and gives a fabulous performance. Savalas is also very good. The plot is solid and strong, and the business of Bond getting married to Tracy and the tragic ending is unusual and interesting - I personally find it moving too. The witty throwaway lines in this film are rather less witty than in the previous Bond's, and if you look carefully you have the impression they may have been overdubbed in post-production by a team desperate to give the film a bit more panache. But what I love most about this film is the extraordinary mountain scenes, the night skiing, the helicopter attack on Piz Gloria and the cable car action. Boosted by John Barry's marvellous score (one of his best, and surely the Barry Bonds must take five of the top ten of all time) this is the bedrock of the film and represents some of the finest Bond action anywhere, anytime. Watch it on a (very) big screen if you can, and for this alone it rises (for me) from a 3-star movie to a 4.5.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best of the Bonds,
This review is from: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Special Edition) (Bilingual) (DVD)A lot of 007 fans argue over this one to this day, but I still think this is one of the best James Bond films ever made. The directing is first-rate, the action scenes electric, the snazzy soundtrack felt organic and still feels very 60's, and you had Emma Peel from THE AVENGERS as one of the best of all Bond girls.
It sounds like Diana Rigg is a bit dismissive about her action babe roles in the 60's (she complains that THE AVENGERS was not "the sum of my career") and I've seen her in some serious roles (she was great and chilling in a Brit mini-series called
George Lazenby had impossible shoes to fill, but I'm glad they went with a new actor (John Gavin and Adam West had been named as possible Connery successors). Lazenby's face has moments of Bond's cold killer side that hasn't been seen since (Brosnan came close a couple times in GOLDENEYE and when he kills Sophie Marceau in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH) and you believe him in the action scenes. No, he wasn't Sean Connery, but he was James Bond--especially in the final haunting scene.
Telly Savalas makes a physically-threatening Blofeld and his thuggish bid at a "legitimate heritage" reveals how nutty his supervillian really is (in the other films, they're insane only through their crimes or Bond just proclaiming, "You're insane").
I'm not sure if Director Peter Hunt was jettisoned when this film failed to perform as well as previous Bonds at the box office, but the producers should have really given him another film to do. He'd been an editor on previous Bonds and he really brought an exciting energy to the fights and chases.
OHMSS is right up there with FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, GOLDFINGER, and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME as far as my favorites go (I include SPY because it was so darn fun).
5.0 out of 5 stars The most intimate of the Bond's,
This review is from: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Special Edition) (Bilingual) (DVD)My title refers to the character of James Bond, not the film itself. In all the arguments over the REAL James Bond one usually advances Sean Connery (my pick), Roger Moore (the worst) or Pierce Brosnan (close second). Perhaps it's because I read all the books which features Sean Connery and he comes closer to matching the descriptions (physical and emotional) in the book.
Yet this performance of the greatest of the Bond books by Lazenby is priceless. All reviewers know the story but at last BOnd has found love...only to lose it again. The evil Russian Rosa Kleb is just magnificent as the ideal representative of the Evil Empire and Diana Riggs - who would have thought it?
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On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Special Edition) (Bilingual) by Peter R. Hunt (DVD - 2000)
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