While doing some research on my latest Bond article, I came across a fascinating (to me) piece from the NY Times, Feb. 1, 1970. "What Sex! What Violence! What Else Is New?" In it, J. Marks has a take on On Her Majesty's Secret Service that is worth reading. Search for it if you have a NY Times account. I'll post this short section of the piece:
"Why was I so disturbed by the lavish violence which had previously amused me so much? Was it possibly because I had been in Chicago and seen real people and real friends bashed and battered? Was it because I had seen young Bob Kennedy cut down in the pantry of a Los Angeles Hotel and the Hell’s Angels brutalize a crowd at a rock festival in Altamont, Calif., or because I was desperately sick of the useless obscenity of death in Vietnam?"
I love this stuff. I like the fact that we have here a preserved artifact of the times and culture from which OHMSS came, as well as that cultural response to it. I am certain Hitchcock's Frenzy was met with a similar response: all that violence in the 50s and 60s seemed just fine. The 60s counterculture changed everything, not just in movie-making and the creation of ratings, but also in the tastes of the audience.
Oh what an era for OHMSS. It's fitting that in that era of change, Bond too changed, from Connery to Lazenby.