Would this Bond film have been better with another 007 actor ? : ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE.

barryt007barryt007 Stalking Kara Milovy with an elephant gun and a chainsaw.
edited March 14 in Bond Movies Posts: 17,317
After reading the latest posts on the Dalton in GE thread and seeing the comments by @getafix and @Birdleson re making a thread to encompass all the films and actors,i have decided to set this up.

We can discuss each film separately and whether another Bond actor could have made the film even more successful than the 007 actor who actually got the film.

I can change the film,say,every 2-3 weeks to another one,to keep things fresh,if members are still interested,but keeping everything in here,in the one thread,for future reference.

The film I've chosen is in the Discussion Title right now.

1.TMWTGG : 17/01/19
2. SP : 30/01/19
3. TLD : 26/02/19
4. OHMSS : 13/03/19


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Comments

  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Earth, spinning in its grave.
    Posts: 30,848
    If Connery had returned yet again, who knows?
  • barryt007barryt007 Stalking Kara Milovy with an elephant gun and a chainsaw.
    Posts: 17,317
    If Connery had returned yet again, who knows?

    I wonder how different the film would have been with Connery in it x I suppose it would depend on how LALD was made.

    I think Brozza is tailor made for this one over the others.

  • Posts: 2,638
    You raise an interesting topic @barryt007 for discussion. However, had Arnold M. Picker been successful in luring Connery back for one more 007 picture, I think it should be LALD and not TMWTGG we're talking about. Ironically, TMWTGG was originally intended to be Moore's first Bond movie after YOLT, but filming was planned in Cambodia, and the Samlaut Uprising made filming impractical, leading to the production being cancelled and Moore signing on for more episodes of The Saint. Therefore I kind of feel it was already written in the stars that Moore would appear in TMWTGG from the very start. LALD not so much. Connery could easily have made this movie his own had he decided to sign on for another big paycheck.
  • barryt007barryt007 Stalking Kara Milovy with an elephant gun and a chainsaw.
    Posts: 17,317
    Thanks @bondsum x do u think it would have been made in a similar vein to the actual product or different ?
  • edited January 17 Posts: 2,638
    Similar, but I believe Connery would have handled the confrontational scenes between Yaphet Kotto much better. Connery would've brought a much more relaxed air to his performance, whilst Moore came across a bit too uptight due to the weight of expectancy that was riding on his shoulders. Moore is good in this, but Connery would've made this look like a breeze.
  • barryt007barryt007 Stalking Kara Milovy with an elephant gun and a chainsaw.
    Posts: 17,317
    bondsum wrote: »
    Similar, but I believe Connery would have handled the confrontational scenes between Yaphet Kotto much better. Connery would've brought a much more relaxed air to his performance, whilst Moore came across a bit too uptight due to the weight of expectancy that was riding on his shoulders. Moore is good in this, but Connery would've made this look like a breeze.

    I mean TMWTGG matey x same format do you think ?
  • edited January 17 Posts: 8,096
    For some reason I've always wondered how George would have done in TMWTGG – if not with Moore in the role. Would have been interesting to see him in a less dramatic Bond film. It's a rather fun and entertaining entry, just like DAF (which most likely would have been his second film).

    I think he would have done well in the scenes with Christopher Lee, and it would be really, really cool to see his take on this scene:



    It's one of my favourite scenes with Roger as Bond, and he played it to perfection. I'd argue even Sean couldn't have pulled it off the way Rog' did here.

    Really need to give TMWTGG a watch again soon.
  • Posts: 2,638
    Connery would've been better, no question. With regards to supporting actors, it's hard to say whether things would've remained the same. Take for instance Brigitte Bardot being originally approached first for OHMSS, but deciding to appear in Shalako opposite Sean Connery instead. Would Jack Palance have turned down the role of Scaramanga had Connery been James Bond and not Roger Moore? I highly doubt it. I think he would've jumped at the chance of acting opposite Connery. So tonally, the movie would've been quite different from the version we ended up with.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 946
    Interesting idea for a thread! When you think about it TMWTGG plays more to Connery's strengths. From the roughing up of Andrea Anders to the ending and the confrontation with Scaramanaga. To me, it wasn't till TSWLM that we got a Moore Bond that fit his strength's.


    When I look at this thread I would have to say if the film were the same could another Bond actor make a go of it. Lets leave the success factor out. For some reason I can't see Dalton, Brosnan or Craig making this work. I could see Connery, though not sure of Pepper scenes would work as well. I could also see Lazenby making this work or at least trying. The problem with Lazenby might be the gap between him and Christopher Lee might be too large.
  • barryt007barryt007 Stalking Kara Milovy with an elephant gun and a chainsaw.
    Posts: 17,317
    I agree re Lazenby and Christopher Lee for sure.
    He coped ok with Telly Savalas but because it was in small doses.
    An intense dinner scene with Lee would be an acting test.
  • Posts: 2,638
    To be fair to Lazenby, TMWTGG would've been his fourth Bond movie by then, plus he had written into his contract (if the rumours are to be believed) that he was allowed to star in other UA movies of his own choice in-between Bonds. Considering that OHMSS was his first acting job, it's not unreasonable to conceive that Lazenby could only have gotten better over time given the support of the studio. As I pointed out above, it's not a given that Christopher Lee would be the automatic first choice to play Scaramanga had another actor been playing Bond. I don't believe it's simply a case of everything remaining exactly the same as it is, and just swapping the leading actor around in the role. This is an argument that's been levelled at OHMSS starring Connery, but ignoring the fact that Hunt was falling behind in his schedule and that the shoot was the longest in Bond's history. Basically, there's no way Connery would've tolerated such a long and arduous shoot. One only has to look at the constraints imposed by Connery in his contract for DAF to see that had Connery made OHMSS in place of Lazenby, it would not have benefited the luxury of such a long shoot to capture those amazing shots. Take that shot where Lazenby goes to the window in Piz Gloria and opens the blinds to see a helicopter flying past. I can only imagine how long that took to set-up and get right. That shot and many others would never have happened under Connery. No way would Connery have entertained such a time-consuming piece of directorial self-indulgence. Money issues aside, it was the extensive shooting schedules that Connery opposed the most.

    So back to your original point. I don't think Christopher Lee would have played Scaramanga had Lazenby been Bond. The age difference is closer to Moore and too big a difference for Lazenby. I believe the producers would be looking at someone younger, maybe Edward Fox fresh off his The Day of the Jackal hit or perhaps even John Cassavetes? Maybe other people have their own thoughts on who could've played a younger Scaramanga to Lazenby's Bond?
  • Posts: 2,638
    It's one of my favourite scenes with Roger as Bond, and he played it to perfection. I'd argue even Sean couldn't have pulled it off the way Rog' did here.
    I agree that's one of the best scenes in TMWTGG. I can still recall seeing it fresh back in the cinema in 74 with a big giddy smile on my face. However, it was short lived when Moore swallows that navel charm Stan Laurel style, then proceeds to fight those two goons in the most unconvincing fight scene I think I'd seen up to this point in a Bond film.

    Personally, I believe Connery would've pulled that same scene off with more menace and sardonicism. That part where Moore leans in, raises his brow and says: "Francisco Scaramanga" it's too Simon Templar, not particular Bond. The rest of that scene is fine though, and I think it's Moore's best moment as Bond.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 18 Posts: 23,883
    Given it wasn't a particularly successful film financially for whatever reason, perhaps TMWTGG could have made more money with Connery. Having said that, LALD outgrossed DAF, & TSWLM & MR were very successful later in the 70s, so perhaps not.

    I wouldn't really want anyone else playing Bond in this film. I think Moore is absolutely perfect in every way here, including in the criticized Anders interrogation scene. He doesn't play that scene like Connery, who would likely approach it more like a brute (witness DAF PTS with Marie). Rather, he has a sort of finessed aggression which I find very appealing. The pressure is applied only to the extent needed. No more. It's exactly how I would expect someone like him to get the information he requires. Once he's satisfied there's nothing more to tell, the champagne comes out - vintage Moore.

    I also don't think any other actor could have pulled off his mistreatment of Goodnight as well as he did. He's quite arrogantly dismissive of her throughout (understandably perhaps), but he does it with Roger'esque style. This is the kind of smooth touch I hope we get going forward from B26 onwards.
  • barryt007barryt007 Stalking Kara Milovy with an elephant gun and a chainsaw.
    Posts: 17,317
    "Your turn will come I promise"....vintage,arrogant,suave Moore.

    Cocksure,in more ways than one !!
  • edited January 18 Posts: 2,638
    I think the point of this thread is to try an envisage another actor in the role @bondjames, not to endorse what already exists.

    I'm always curious as what and how the original duel between Bond and Scaramanga played out. Did Hamilton just shoot everything and anything to see how it turned out in the dailies? There's the curious Christmas teaser that shows a very different altercation between the two, with Moore hiding amongst the island rocks and throwing a Thermos flask no doubt full of fuel then firing at it.

  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 18 Posts: 23,883
    I recognize that @bondsum. I can't see anyone else in the role in TMWTGG as written except for Moore.

    Connery is the only other one who could have done it in my view, but adjustments would have been required.

    The others? I can't see it. A certain classic gentlemanly charm combined with necessary lethality is required for this film as written. To be frank, for most of the earlier films (up until 1987, except for OHMSS) I can only see Connery or Moore playing Bond.

    So perhaps I shall exit this thread.
  • barryt007barryt007 Stalking Kara Milovy with an elephant gun and a chainsaw.
    Posts: 17,317
    I think a TND Brosnan could have done this film,he has the charm and can flip from serious to cheeky instantly.

    His banter with Scaramanga would have been interesting to see,and he would have no problems with the ladies in the film.

    I also think he would spar well with J.W and been better than Moore at the karate school scene.
  • Posts: 2,638
    That was my point @bondjames. Otherwise this thread could quickly end up with every member just coming here and stating for the record that they can't imagine another actor in the role and to keep the movie as it is. Clearly, no one can erase time and alter what already exists. But as I also pointed out, it requires more than simply swapping the actor around or replacing them with someone untested due to all the different ramifications that might ensue. Scenes will be reshot or rewritten if they don't work on the day with one actor, though they might work better with another actor. Supporting cast members would be selected differently due to the strength of the actor in place. Certain actors that turned down the chance of working with one Bond actor, might be more tempted to work with another as it's always been a personal unfulfilled wish of theirs. For instance, I can't imagine many actors turning down the chance of playing opposite Connery in the 70s, but I can Roger Moore, especially when he's just come from television. Same goes for Anthony Hopkins opposite Timothy Dalton versus Brosnan. There used to exist a certain snobbery about TV actors versus proper movie actors back in the day. Things have changed now, but that wasn't always the case during the 60s and 70s, nor the 50s for that matter. Also consider the fact that the actors that had made that successful transition from TV to movies, such as McQueen, Redford, Newman were reluctant to star opposite other actors fresh from TV themselves.
    bondjames wrote: »
    Given it wasn't a particularly successful film financially for whatever reason, perhaps TMWTGG could have made more money with Connery. Having said that, LALD outgrossed DAF, & TSWLM & MR were very successful later in the 70s, so perhaps not.
    I can still recall all the hype for LALD. It was huge. What with the title song being very popular, the TV advertising, posters, commercials for milk, Roger Moore presenting the winning Oscar for Brando in The Godfather, etc. The producers made sure this Bond picture couldn't fail. People were going to see it regardless, no matter what the critics said. You also have to take into consideration that movie attendances were extremely low when both OHMSS and DAF were released. This is often overlooked. It was in fact The Godfather that kick-started the revival of cinema.
  • edited January 18 Posts: 2,638
    barryt007 wrote: »
    I think a TND Brosnan could have done this film,he has the charm and can flip from serious to cheeky instantly.

    His banter with Scaramanga would have been interesting to see,and he would have no problems with the ladies in the film.

    I also think he would spar well with J.W and been better than Moore at the karate school scene.
    Nah, Pierce Brosnan would only have been 18 when TMWTGG came out.

    Though I understand your sentiment, that's playing with the space time continuum. We could therefore make the same suggestion of a 32-year-old Connery appearing in 1987's TLD.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 18 Posts: 23,883
    @bondsum I get your point about how an actor's reputation and what medium he/she has primarily operated in previously could have influenced who he /she chose to work with in the past. I don't doubt the 'snobbery' aspect existed.

    I'm really not all that familiar with all these actors from the older films and how famous they were when they appeared in their respective Bond films. For instance, was Telly famous when he appeared in OHMSS? Rigg was likely known for The Avengers, but that's probably it. Many of those actors were either from the continent or English tv stars (if that). I realize things have changed these days, where EON attempts to hire Oscar bait (or winners) and such like. Frankly in this case I still feel 'the old ways are best' because the best actors from the past 25 years in Bond films for me have been the relative unknowns (to native English speakers at least).

    In terms of the effectiveness of this exercise, I think it works best when considering films that straddle a transition period, such as:

    YOLT > OHMSS
    OHMSS > DAF
    DAF > LALD
    AVTAK > TLD
    LTK > GE
    DAD > CR

    The fact that there were changes always makes for interesting 'what could have been conversation'. Similarly I think it works for near transitions, when we know that possibilities were considered, such as MR > FYEO and even SP > B25 (just see the amount of comments on this subject on this forum as well as the contortions to see how things will fit within a Craig universe, including older Bond 'girls', continuation narratives etc.). I promise you that B25 won't satisfy everyone, and a thread about 'what could have been' is likely to spring up sometime next year.
    --
    bondsum wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    Given it wasn't a particularly successful film financially for whatever reason, perhaps TMWTGG could have made more money with Connery. Having said that, LALD outgrossed DAF, & TSWLM & MR were very successful later in the 70s, so perhaps not.
    I can still recall all the hype for LALD. It was huge. What with the title song being very popular, the TV advertising, posters, commercials for milk, Roger Moore presenting the winning Oscar for Brando in The Godfather, etc. The producers made sure this Bond picture couldn't fail. People were going to see it regardless, no matter what the critics said. You also have to take into consideration that movie attendances were extremely low when both OHMSS and DAF were released. This is often overlooked. It was in fact The Godfather that kick-started the revival of cinema.
    I'm sure that title song was huge and helped things. Hopefully we get a similarly effective song to kickstart the next era too.

    May I ask why movie attendances were low in the late 60s going into the early 70s? Was it a cultural change? The advent of colour tv or something?
  • edited January 18 Posts: 8,096
    bondsum wrote: »
    It's one of my favourite scenes with Roger as Bond, and he played it to perfection. I'd argue even Sean couldn't have pulled it off the way Rog' did here.
    I agree that's one of the best scenes in TMWTGG. I can still recall seeing it fresh back in the cinema in 74 with a big giddy smile on my face. However, it was short lived when Moore swallows that navel charm Stan Laurel style, then proceeds to fight those two goons in the most unconvincing fight scene I think I'd seen up to this point in a Bond film.

    Personally, I believe Connery would've pulled that same scene off with more menace and sardonicism. That part where Moore leans in, raises his brow and says: "Francisco Scaramanga" it's too Simon Templar, not particular Bond. The rest of that scene is fine though, and I think it's Moore's best moment as Bond.

    Watching a bit TMWTGG now, and the bullet swallow/fight scene isn't half as bad as I remembered it to be, really. They could probably have filmed it more dramatically though.

    I'm quite sure Connery could have done well in that scene, but it's Moore's charm turned menacing that sells it for me. Connery would have felt more menacing overall, but with Moore's more lighthearted approach, the switch to being menacing feels more effective, IMO.
  • edited January 27 Posts: 2,638
    bondjames wrote: »
    For instance, was Telly famous when he appeared in OHMSS? Rigg was likely known for The Avengers, but that's probably it. Many of those actors were either from the continent or English tv stars (if that). I realize things have changed these days, where EON attempts to hire Oscar bait (or winners) and such like. Frankly in this case I still feel 'the old ways are best' because the best actors from the past 25 years in Bond films for me have been the relative unknowns (to native English speakers at least).
    Sorry @bondjames, I've only noticed your comment today. I'll just address whether Telly Savalas was well known before OHMSS. I'd say unequivocally YES. It's probably hard for a modern cinephile to understand just how popular television was during the 50's and 60's and how it had replaced cinema. Telly quickly became a much-in-demand actor as a guest star on numerous TV shows during this period. The list is pretty phenomenal, if you care to take a look. However, it was Burt Lancaster that was most impressed with his work and asked that he be cast as a cop in The Young Savages (1961). Soon after that he had his breakout performance in The Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) alongside Burt Lancaster again, and for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category; plus he had a role in Cape Fear (1962) that same year. Of course he shaved his head to play Pontius Pilate in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and kept his head shaved for the rest of his life immediately after that. Meanwhile, he continued to work regularly in TV, then switching back to a supporting role in the Battle of the Bulge (1965). Of course there's the huge popularity of The Dirty Dozen (1967), plus The Scalphunters (1968) and Mackenna's Gold (1969) that proceeded OHMSS. So yes, audiences were very familiar with Telly Savalas before OHMSS.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    bondsum wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    For instance, was Telly famous when he appeared in OHMSS? Rigg was likely known for The Avengers, but that's probably it. Many of those actors were either from the continent or English tv stars (if that). I realize things have changed these days, where EON attempts to hire Oscar bait (or winners) and such like. Frankly in this case I still feel 'the old ways are best' because the best actors from the past 25 years in Bond films for me have been the relative unknowns (to native English speakers at least).
    Sorry @bondjames, I've only noticed your comment today. I'll just address whether Telly Savalas was well known before OHMSS. I'd say unequivocally YES. It's probably hard for a modern cinephile to understand just how popular television was during the 50's and 60's and how it had replaced cinema. Telly quickly became a much-in-demand actor as a guest star on numerous TV shows during this period. The list is pretty phenomenal, if you care to take a look. However, it was Burt Lancaster that was most impressed with his work and asked that he be cast as a cop in The Young Savages (1961). Soon after that he had his breakout performance in The Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) alongside Burt Lancaster again, and for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category; plus he had a role in Cape Fear (1962) that same year. Of course he shaved his head to play Pontius Pilate in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and kept his head shaved for the rest of his life immediately after that. Meanwhile, he continued to work regularly in TV, then switching back to a supporting role in the Battle of the Bulge (1965). Of course there's the huge popularity of The Dirty Dozen (1967), plus The Scalphunters (1968) and Mackenna's Gold (1969) that proceeded OHMSS. So yes, audiences were very familiar with Telly Savalas before OHMSS.
    Thanks for this detailed reply and list @bondsum. I've not seen many of these films, although I've certainly heard of most (I think I've only seen Battle of the Bulge and Cape Fear, but can't recall him in either). I'm sure I'll get to these in time and will keep a look out for him.
  • Posts: 5
    Based on the fact that the film was not as lucrative as its predecessor, it may be fair to say that TMWTGG would have been as successful with another actor. Personally, I'm convinced that a serious adaptation of Fleming's novel could have been a great way to continue the saga after OHMSS, thus releasing it around 1971. After several films dedicated to SPECTRE, seeing a duel between Bond and Scaramanga could have been a nice break. The story would obviously have been very different, much less focused on comedy, but I'm sure that it would have been as successful.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 727
    Based on the fact that the film was not as lucrative as its predecessor, it may be fair to say that TMWTGG would have been as successful with another actor. Personally, I'm convinced that a serious adaptation of Fleming's novel could have been a great way to continue the saga after OHMSS, thus releasing it around 1971. After several films dedicated to SPECTRE, seeing a duel between Bond and Scaramanga could have been a nice break. The story would obviously have been very different, much less focused on comedy, but I'm sure that it would have been as successful.

    I think Peter Hunt should have directed it, with Christopher Lee as Scaramanga.
  • Posts: 367
    A very interesting question, thanks. I'm not sure if I can answer specifically whether a certain actor would be better in the role, so I'll think about this in terms of a generic 'other' actor.

    My feeling is that it wouldn't make much difference: to put it another way, it could possibly be a bit better, but could certainly be much worse.

    Of the various problems I have with TMWTGG, Moore is definitely not one of the them. I think he's in his prime here, convincing, charming, fun; he does the best he can with the material at hand. Hell, you could cast Laurence Olivier if you wanted, but that still wouldn't address things like the tedious return of JW Pepper, the slide whistle, the shoehorned Solex plot, Goodnight's tiresome pratfalling, the tricky treatment of the women in the film, and etc.

    As much as we chuckle about the safari suits and so on, this to me was Rog's home turf as Bond: some slightly more colourful and exotic globetrotting than Connery, less physicality but more panache, and a cocked eyebrow never far away.

    Ah, bless you, Sir Roger.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CA
    Posts: 25,370
    No way to the thread's title. Roger was excellent in that film. The only regret I have are with some of the script choices.
  • Posts: 5
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    I think Peter Hunt should have directed it, with Christopher Lee as Scaramanga.
    I would have loved to see that! Nevertheless, George Chakiris could have been an interesting Scaramanga, closer to Fleming's portray.
  • Posts: 1,194
    Jack Palance was Mankiewicz's original choice for Scaramanga--he would have probably been more threatening and nasty than Lee's jovial version, but even with a different Bond and Scaramanga, the film would have needed a massive rewrite to be more successful.

    Perhaps rushing TMWTGG into production was the biggest mistake, as far as box office goes. The filmmakers wanted to capitalize on the success of LALD and cement Moore as Bond, but as TSWLM showed, a lengthy wait between Bonds isn't necessarily a bad thing.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    edited January 28 Posts: 10,150
    Would Moore still have made LALD? I'm not sure how TMWTGG would have turned out with a different actor. The series would have looked in a right ol' mess: Connery x5 - Lazenby x1 - Connery x1 - Moore x1 - ????. Moore in TMWTGG is one of the worst Bond performances, really, he's all over the place. But the series desperately needed stability in the lead, so maybe it worked out for the best, in the long run.
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