In between YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and DIAMONDS
ARE FOREVER was this odd little James Bond film.. I shouldn't call
it a little film; it's 140-minute running time is the longest of the Bond
series. It's also the only one to star George Lazenby (Never heard of
him? Neither have I.) as 007. Being sandwiched between two Sean
Connery movies makes this one look that much more amateurish in
The epic running time is absolutely unnecessary, as the real
story doesn't begin for an hour and a half, by which time most other
movies would be almost over. That first 90 minutes gives us a lot of
expository information with little action, save the traditional opening
teaser, and that's not even up to par with the other movies in the series.
Bond is still after Blofeld (who first popped in YOLT and
again in DAF and is now played by Telly "Kojak" Savales) here, but
tired enough of chasing him to take a two-week leave of absence from
the service. That's when he meets Tracy (Diana Rigg, a.k.a. Emma
Peel of "The Avengers"), the first woman he truly falls in love with. (I
guess 700 really is his lucky number.) And certainly his plans for
marriage don't have anything to do with the fact that Tracy's father, a
crime boss, offered valuable information about Blofeld's whereabouts if
Bond would marry his daughter.
So Bond rushes off to Blofeld's mountain hideout, populated
by a bevy of beauties who think he's curing them of their allergies,
when he's really grooming them to destroy Western civilization as we
know it. (Talk about your unconventional therapy techniques!) Bond
meets his three-woman quota there before Blofeld discovers that he's
not really a genealogist on research. The usual death traps and chases
ensue, including a ski run chase that would be redone and improved
upon in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME.
ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE has a little merit.
The story is decent, albeit way too overblown and long-winded, but
adding the romance aspect to the Bond series was a good idea, even if
they did have to add the obligatory young-couple-in-love song
montage. And there is a truly touching moment at the end of the
movie. But on the whole, this movie is to be viewed only by the Bond
fan who absolutely has to see every movie in the series. Otherwise, just
skip right over it and you won't miss a thing.
OHMSS has far less action than the others and George
Lazenby doesn't quite cut the mustard as James Bond. (He does cut the
cheese a few times, to the disgust of the other characters.) Rolling
Stone called Lazenby "a one-shot joke" and I have to agree. The
Rolling Stones called him "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and I have to say I
have no idea what that means.
Copyright © 1996 Andrew Hicks