Yes, I’ve now reached the first Bond movie not to feature Sean Connery as 007.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service introduced us to a new but, ultimately, one time only 007, George Lazenby. As well as a new face we also get a new and emotional James Bond movie.
When we’re first introduced to Lazenby it’s on the beach while he’s trying to save Tracey. While doing that he gets into some fisticuffs with a few bad ‘uns. From the off Lazenby shows off some cracking fighting skills as Bond, proving he’s got the toughness for the part. He also does very well with the large emotional part of the story. It’s a big part as Bond falls in love and, well, 007 fans will know the ending. He probably isn’t as cool as Connery but personally, although not overly skilled as an actor, Lazenby does a good job and I wish I’d seen more from him.
His love interest is Contessa Teresa Di Vicenzo (Tracy) played by the wonderful Diana Rigg. She plays a different type of Bond girl from what we’ve seen before. She steals the heart of 007 in a James Bond love story. It’s also very easy to see why she’s a favourite with Bond fans all over.
The villain? Kojak himself, Telly Savalas as Blofeld. Played in a completely different manner to Donald Pleasance in You Only Live Twice he’s great on screen.
I do kinda wonder how Blofeld wouldn’t recognise Bond in this after YOLT and why Bond would go undercover after someone who should recognise him. Not great continuity but as a standalone movie it’s not a problem
Bond’s ally in this is Draco, Tracy’s father, played by Gabriele Ferzetti. He’s really great as both father and ally.
Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewellyn all turn in their roles and, as always, do their bits great.
There’s also Blofeld’s “Angels Of Death” featuring early appearances from Joanna Lumley, Catherine Von Schell and my personal favourite and from just down the road from me in Morecambe Bay, the late Angela Scoular as Ruby Bartlett.
Theres a great plot, wonderful music by John Barry, glorious settings (Piz Gloria is just to die for), lots of emotion (the ending still chokes me up) and great action sequences. This is, in my own opinion, a super Bond movie. It’s one of my favourites and I think one of the best that stays closer to the book than some others.
I’ve always wondered what might have been if Lazenby stayed on. Diamonds Are Forever could have been so different.
I really do enjoy this 007 outing.
All comments welcome.
As always, Cheers and many thanks for reading………