Jan 23 2013

Review: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Welcome to my review of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the sixth part of my challenge to review all of the James Bond films. I’m watching each film in turn and trying to figure out which one is my favourite. For more information, see my introduction here. You can read my review of the previous film, You Only Live Twice, here. Spoilers follow.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
(dir. Peter Hunt, 1969)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service trailerWhen you’ve just watched 5 Sean Connery films back-to-back, George Lazenby comes as a bit of a shock to the system. It’s not his performance—that’s completely fine. It’s his looks. It’s his slightly over-large chin, his full head of hair (Connery wore a toupee in every single Bond film he made), the clothes that remind me slightly of old photos of my father (despite the fact that my dad wouldn’t have been seen dead in that ruffled shirt or even the cardigan Bond affects when he’s in disguise as the bookish Sir Hilary Bray).

The change of appearance clearly throws the characters in the film too. Blofeld (this time played by Telly Savalas) doesn’t immediately recognise Bond, which is weird because they came face to face in the previous film. This makes sense in the books (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service comes before You Only Live Twice in the series) and apparently the film makers were going to throw in a line about Bond having plastic surgery as part of his mission, but as it stands this is a bit of a weird oversight in the film.

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Jan 2 2013

Which Bond is best? A challenge for 2013

I’ve been given an interesting challenge to kick off 2013: pick my favourite James Bond film.

That’s quite a feat, I think. The series has been created over 50 years, with 6 lead actors and 23 films (so far), so picking any one film as a clear favourite is a tough call. Like most people, I’ve seen a fair few Bond films already, so I’m coming into this challenge with a number of preconceptions that, frankly, I need to shake.

Firstly, even though the last few Roger Moore films and those of Timothy Dalton were released in my lifetime, I didn’t see Bond at the cinema until Pierce Brosnan made his debut in Goldeneye. For a long time Brosnan equalled Bond to me, even after watching films starring the other actors. My first task, then, is to remember that there are 6 James Bonds, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Secondly, my father hates Roger Moore.

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