Did the Craig Era influence the modern reception of OHMSS?

SeanCraigSeanCraig Germany
edited December 2016 in General Discussion Posts: 732
Hi there!

First a little background and introduction:
When I became a Bond fan I did so through the first TV airings of the Connery Bond films in Germany starting 1984. Since then James Bond was and remained Sean Connery and while I enjoyed all of the movies, nothing came close to Goldfinger, Thunderball, From Russia with Love or Doctor No ... and Sean Connery.

First aired in 1986, also On Her Majesty's Secret Service was not among my favourites - I disliked Lazenby (simply because he was not Connery - even they had the very same german voice) and I found it slow and dragging back then (but: I was just 12 years old for 3 days when it was shown in TV 1986).

Then came Moore, Dalton, Brosnan after that. The first Bond movie I saw in the cinema was "Licence To Kill" (and every following entry day one it was released) and with the exception of the second half of "Die Another Day" I enjoyed them all. But still ... James Bond "was" Sean Connery and there were the guys who just "played" him.

Then Daniel Craig came around and I was very, very sceptical about him - but he and the whole movie of Casino Royale blew me away. Since then there are 2 different James Bond out there - Sean Connery *and* Daniel Craig. Where Connery is my "escapist" Bond, Craig is my "reality" Bond - and both sides of that same medal I appreciate a lot for their own qualities.

I was never a big fan of the "campy" Bond Moore and Brosnan played. In between there remained Dalton and Lazenby. While I liked Dalton I somehow more or less forgot OHMSS and Lazenby.

(Introduction ends here)

Once Craig and with him a new Bond settled in my mind, I rediscovered OHMSS. Things I found weak back then I now started to enjoy a lot: The fight sequences, the soundtrack and especially the story itself. It was like I saw a new movie even I watched (but never enjoyed it so much) throughout the years. I still find Ruby a bit annoying but that's about all criticism I have today for the picture.

So my question is: I know OHMSS is a highly rated movie among Bond fans for quite some time (and originally I really wondered about it) and since there for sure are first-moment fans of this movie it definitely was long forgotten and not well-received during it's original run and also not for many years to come. However, today it appears to me as if it is a lot more appreciated also by people like me who at first did not know what to do with it.

Do you think the Craig movies influenced how we receive and appreciate the movie? Personally I saw it again during Christmas and I never enjoyed it more. Did I have to get older to appreciate it more - so it's more of an age thing than anything else?

I was not able to find out when this late appreciation of On Her Majesty's Secret Service started - I do compare it to Hitchcock's "Vertigo" at times - a highly rated and appreciated movie today it was long forgotten and a box office flop back in 1959.

What do you think?


  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    I was 14 when I first saw OHMSS (in the cinema) and it was only my second Bond film. I loved it from the beginning. I had wanted to see it for years, ever since seeing a still from the movie in a comic strip magazine.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,282
    I was around 12 or 13 when I saw OHMSS for the first time. I had rented it. I really enjoyed it on my first watch of it too. And that was a good 3 years before CR came out.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited December 2016 Posts: 23,883
    I deeply disliked OHMSS & Lazenby as a kid, but enjoy the film very much now (it's a top 10 entry for me).

    My relatively new found appreciation for it has absolutely nothing to do with Craig however. It's more to do with me growing up (and experiencing failures and disappointments in life as we all do), and OHMSS being a more realistic and mature Bond film compared to others. I still like the Moore entries (they are actually my subjective favourites along with Connery's), but can appreciate OHMSS as well, for different reasons.

    I feel the same way about LTK and Dalton. Completely despised it when younger, and now it's a top 10 entry.

    So just speaking for myself, with age comes an appreciation for realism and angst (but not too much angst, as I'm pretty much done with it in the Craig era to be honest).
  • Posts: 11,188
    I think it was the late 90s that OHMSS started to be appreciated more.

    Like I've said before, it was featured in the "Best Ever Bond" documentary in 2002.

    I always enjoyed OHMSS but it's certainly one of those films you appreciate even more as an adult.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    The ending will certainly put off kids.
  • Posts: 11,188
    I remember being quite shocked by it when I first saw the film at around 12 years old.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    It s the only real downer ending in the whole series. Series of films, that is.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    I've always thought of OHMSS as one of the best. When I watched it as a child adults who like Bond always told me the same too......it's class.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    edited December 2016 Posts: 39,743
    OHMSS and GF are probably the two installments I've changed my mind on the heaviest - used to not care for either when I was a bit younger (lack of appreciation for a lot of the more technical bits, such as the cinematography or score), but now, they're some of my favorites, particularly the former which hit my Top 3 in the last couple of rankings I've done.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 39,743
    What possessed them to purposefully show it out of order? Seems like it would've had a much greater word-of-mouth if they had shown in in two parts that were in order.

    Still crazy to think that that was your first impression/viewing of it, @Birdleson, and you had to wait a good decade or so to see it again.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,138
    I remember seeing OHMSS shortly before GE came out in the cinema so I would have been 10. I always liked it but remember finding it odd that Lazenby only made 1 film and that Connery came back. As I've gotten older my appreciation for the film and all the work that went into it has only increased. It sits in my top 5 easily and wont ever leave that spot.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    OHMSS was the last film in the series I saw, circa 1990 or 1991.
    I immediately loved it and thought oh cool, that Lazenby guy may just well be my favourite Bond after Dalton.
    I was quite disappointed to learn later that there are no other Lazenby Bond films.

    Some Bond films never left my Top 5.

    CR almost made it too, but now after 10 years it slipped out of my Top 5.

    Seeing OHMSS three times this year I think Lazenby indeed would be my No 2 Bond actor had he made more than one.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,017
    Excellent post, @SeanCraig!

    I'm afraid for some people, OHMSS will always be "that" Bond film, "that" being either a good thing or a bad thing. "Yeah, it's that film with that guy who did only one Bond film," is a phrase I keep hearing even from people who otherwise consider themselves fairly apologetic Bond fans. Even some of the worst Moore or Brosnan films get away with it a lot easier than OHMSS sometimes. The negative aura that still surrounds OHMSS is difficult to wash off, I'm afraid. People who discover the brilliance of the film in a natural way are typically more inclined to end up liking it. Also, it helps in my opinion to have read some Fleming and to know a thing or two about the production history of the Bond films to truly appreciate OHMSS.

    Twenty years ago, when I was in my early teens, nobody told me I should or should not check this one out. I did because I was a Bond fan, turning into a bit of a Bond connoisseur, at least compared to my class mates, and I wasn't going to leave any stones unturned. I had read a couple of notes about the film in the little booklet that came with this CD:


    and couldn't have been more intrigued. James Bond will marry? No happy endings? Who? George Lazenby? Of course it helped that I had already seen most other Bond films, and so something clicked. "Wife killed...", "He was married once...," okay, now those things started making sense. I had to check this film out. Still, the prospect of a different actor terrified me. What if everything would be different? I HAD to know. So I bought the film on VHS - remember those, kids? - and took it home, sat down, and to my surprise, I loved it! In fact, I spent an entire week watching OHMSS after lunch every day. (Christmas holiday season; little Dimi was home, no brothers or sisters, only a television set and a VCR; I have stories to tell about being an only child...) Thing is, my fears had been unjust. OHMSS wasn't any different at all. The Bond actor was, but the rest of the "formulaic elements" had been kept in place. In a way, it's the anti-NSNA, where only the actor is familiar, and everything else isn't, much to that movie's detriment.

    But try as I may, I failed to get friends and family convinced of the awesomeness of OHMSS. After a few 'accidental' viewings, my mom at one point spoke favourably of the film and finally set down to experience it in full. And then her enthusiasm died again and she returned to Brosnan. I was beginning to think that something was wrong with me...

    Then CR happened, and suddenly it's "gritty Bond" everywhere. And not just gritty Bond, but "alternative Bond", "unique Bond", "fresh Bond". Forget the safe, been-there-done-that Bonds. People were beginning to see the appeal of the more adventurous (in terms of treading unfamiliar ground) Bond. No more crying over "it's not Sean Connery or Roger Moore", but instead, "hey, let's see what this new guy can bring to the game". And many folks who had until this point neglected many of the Bond films that weren't Connery's or Moore's or Brosnan's, were slowly being seduced by the "dangerous outlaws" of the series, i.e. OHMSS, TLD and LTK, films which also happened, on average, to pack a little more punch than most others.

    Still, in my experience, the increased interest in the Lazenby and Dalton Bonds, remains somewhat limited to that portion of the casual viewers and the die hard Bond fans who are prepared to contemplate Bond rather than merely watch an occasional Bond film and leave it at that. Of the following types of people,

    "Yeah, yeah, James Bond, yeah, I love James Bond, eh Goldfinger and Die Another - eh - what was it, the one with Madonna and Grace Jones, oh wait, no, Grace Jones was in another one wasn't she?, whatever, yeah, sure I love James Bond."

    people like our good members

    only the latter type typically has an opinion - often a favourable one - about Lazenby, Dalton and their films.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    I have deflowered three young guys during the last 24 months.
    They were all Bond virgins.

    All three of them like OHMSS best and find Timothy Dalton to be the best Bond.

    Quality succeeds in the end.
  • Aziz_FekkeshAziz_Fekkesh Royale-les-Eaux
    Posts: 403
    Compelling question. I came to age during CR and kind of started my fandom hating OHMSS. But there was a small camp that fought for the film even in 2004-05. It was the QoS of its day. Now the love for OHMSS is at a record high and shows no sign of receding. It has the positive momentum and the Craig era showing us what can be done OHMSS doesn't seem like too much of an outlier anymore and just a solid, well made movie.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,282
    I was instantly sold on OHMSS with the opening beach fight and of course John Barry's killer tune. Not the biggest fan of Lazenby though. He certainly has the moves and physicality but something about him has me ranking him lower than others but I don't have him on the bottom though.
  • Posts: 4,325
    I also was instantly sold on OHMSS (although not necessarily on Lazenby, except for his abilitities in the fight scenes). Watched it for the first time in 1998 at the age of 12, and was genuinely moved by the end of film.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,054
    Ah, @DarthDimi - I had and still have that album, on cassette. It's why I know all the themes up to LTK off by heart, but I got nothin' after that. (In hindsight, I should have paid more attention to my A levels and less to memorising All Time High.)
Sign In or Register to comment.