Something of a Must With Me ~ OHMSS Appreciation

edited March 2011 in Bond Movies Posts: 281
I managed to salvage this from the old forum (RIP)...may as well post it again here.

Before I get going I'd like to draw attention to wonderful review of the film I stumbled on at Amazon.com by user sleepingsheepsnake:

"Here's how you break the James Bond formula completely, in a vain attempt to destroy the franchise forever, only to end up with a film that is cherished by fans 30 years later:

When the foundation of your success, Sean Connery, quits, you audition 400 actors for the role, and then you hire a guy with no acting experience at all, who has the word 'lazy' in his name. It's hard to tell if he even qualifies as good-looking (note: he does). You then work with a script that has a big gap in the action not far into the story, in order to focus on--of all things--the romance! So that Bond can fall in love! You give Bond no gadgets, you have him try and quit (a couple of times, actually!), you dub his voice for a large part of the film, and just before you marry him off (what kind of nightmare are we trapped in here??!!), you have a chase scene that ends with him parking himself on a bench, looking disconsolate as various gunsels close in on him, right up until his future wife skates up and saves his bacon. I wouldn't believe it myself if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes fifteen or twenty times. Yes, this is my favourite Bond film.

Formula-breaking is an essential part of running a series. If you're running the same routine by your audience over and over again, sooner or later it all gets a little too familiar. And in that light, you have got to give the folks behind OHMSS credit for guts. They had a lot of guts. They picked the moment Connery left to risk blasting the formula to smithereens with a love story and Lazenby. I wouldn't have had the nerve. I would have made Goldeneye first. I would have gone with Formula right down the line. But every aspect of OHMSS makes you think they had all lost their minds--every aspect, that is, except the wonderful action sequences that make this film a James Bond film.

But then, Lazenby got the part because of the way he moves. He moves like a tiger. There's a power and physical grace when Lazenby enters combat, prepares to throw a knife, even crosses a catwalk while reloading a machine-gun. Watch him move. I've never seen this kind of power in a guy who's not supposed to have a clue what he's doing.

And while we're on the subject, let me address Lazenby's dramatic performance right here and now: It works. Is it just luck? This film demands a more vulnerable Bond, a Bond unceremoniously shoved into a script where the woman MUST look more dynamic than he does in a few key moments, so that we know they are a team, they are meant to be. That it's real. Marriage for this man must mean that, previous to him committing his heart, she must save him when even he has given up and sat down, uncertain what will happen.

I will always wonder what this film would have been like with Sean Connery in it, but I can't find the portal to the correct parallel universe--so, I'm left saying that it makes sense that this rule-breaking freak of a Bond flick have a George Lazenby in it, so that he could absolutely nail that last tragic scene. So that he could have that great fight on the beach, so that he can crouch with a knife in his hand as if ready to take on the world--but also look and act like a deer caught in the headlights of love.

Daniel Craig had it a bit easy. We all expect a new Bond. But Lazenby stepped in after Connery, and they threw him in a formula-breaker. But it's actually a masterpiece.

By the way, can I try and explain away something that is thought of as a continuity error in OHMSS: There's this contention that Blofeld should be able to recognize James Bond at this point, since they crossed paths in You Only Live Twice. But--wasn't Bond disguised as an Asian man in that film, while here he is again in disguise as Sir Hillary Bray. Admittedly, the disguises are not that convincing to us, but isn't that where artistic licence and suspension of disbelief come in?--Of course Connery and Lazenby are not going to spend a good part of their Bond films in impenetrable disguise. We just have to accept that the disguises are more convincing than Movieland would permit.

No? You're not buying it? Bond was out of his disguise by the time he met Blofeld for the first time, you say? Y'know, I can't remember...it's been too long since I watched You Only Live Twice."

This review is a terrific example of the effect this wonderful film has on some of its fans. This film has been blessed with a certain something-- a spirit about it that distinguishes it from the rest of the Bond canon. It's not something that everyone seems to pick up on, but those that have consistently display a degree of astonished admiration and reverence to the subtle charms of this movie-- a phenomenon that is unrivaled among the other Bond films. We all have our favorites, but fans of this particular movie seem to be characterized by a certain extra degree of devotion. What is the source of this affection? Looking at the film itself it's easy to see how it is set apart from the rest of the movies on the surface. It's the only one: with Lazenby, where Bond gets married, that really devotes itself to the character of Bond, that most completely divorces itself from "the formula", and so on-- and yet that's not quite it. Something else resonates from this film, a unity of spirit and sense of time, place and identity pervades it-- and until recently I've not been able to put my finger quite on why this was.

Personally, I think it boils down largely to the fact that this is one of the few Bond films-- and arguably the last, to take itself entirely seriously on its own terms. Starting with Goldfinger, the films were laced with varying degrees of nonsense-- and while it worked on some levels, it ultimately conveyed that the producers lacked a certain degree of faith in either the character or the material-- perhaps both. The thing that sets OHMSS apart from I would say just about every other Bond film is the degree of faith in and respect for the character and material that pervades it. Couple this with the fact that this was the film that the filmmakers really put their heart and soul into making the "epic" Bond film and I think that, behind it all, it is this that some people sense when they watch the film-- that thread that seems to pervade, unite and leave it with an almost ethereal glow. There are many, of course, who would balk at this-- but this thread is not for them. This thread is for those of us who appreciate and love this most unique of Bond films for what it is-- an artistic, cinematic and utterly Bondian masterpiece.

As for me, I love this movie; moreso each time I view it. I love the gun-barrel opening, with Bond dropping on one knee-- right off the bat it strikes you as a nice little unique touch and it sets the stage for the dynamic physical grace of George Lazenby. I love the stylish introduction to the new Bond, and that awesome fight on the beach. I love the ripping opening theme-- easily the most exciting piece of music Barry has ever composed, and one which still weaves a potent spell despite 38 years and more listenings than I could possibly remember. I love all the nipples in the background as well. I love the look of the casino at the Palacio, with the purple backdrop, and the arc of the camera around Lazenby as he strolls down the stairs. I love the outfit that Tracey wears to her rendezvous as well as the sound of Lazenby's fists and the look on his face as he lays out that thug in her hotel room. I love the music as Bond is apprehended by Draco's men the next day, and the way he slams the gate back as he is ushered through the office. And then there's that fight outside the door. I love Olympe, her long beautiful legs, and the way she purrs "as you wish" when she leaves Draco and Bond. I love the Look on Tracey's face when she recognizes Bond's car at the bull fight. I love the way Bond wipes Tracey's tears away with the beginning of that fabulous ballad in the background. I love the office scene, the way Lazenby flirts with Moneypenny, the way she demonstrates her motherly affection towards him. I love how crusty M is in this movie, and how, when Bond loses patience with him he simply says "that's all, that's all" and continues to overpower Bond with his gaze, letting him know who's in charge. All of this is touched off beautifully at the end of the scene when he expresses his gratitude to Moneypenny for not actually typing Bond a resignation letter-- we sense a genuine fatherly affection here (moreso than with any other film, save perhaps, oddly enough, Moonraker).

I love the exchanges between Bond and Blofeld in this movie. Telly comes across wonderfully-- you get a definite sense of egotistical menace from the man. Lazenby, too, handled these scenes better than he has ever received credit for. During his first meeting-- when he was dubbed even-- his facial expressions as Blofeld tells him that "the methods of the great pioneers have often puzzled conventional minds" are subtle and classic-- you can just tell that inside Bond is like "get over yourself buddy". And later on, when Blofeld says "the documents you have received" and Bond cuts him off with "can answer many questions but not all"...you get a definite impression that Bond is trying to push the buttons of one who is not used to being crossed.

I love the imagery of Lazenby in the kilt at the dinner table, surrounded by beautiful women, perfectly scored by Barry. And the way Nancy and Ruby flirt with him during dinner. I love the fact that he uses the exact same line on two different women on the same night (the old devil). The whole idea of the bad guy having a bevy of beautiful women atop a mountain fortress that he is hypnotizing to go out and do his bidding...Fantastic! Fleming deserves a pat on the back for that one. I love the scene of Bond's escape from Piz Gloria, how he deftly lays out that guard, how the OHMSS theme mounts as he straps on his skis, the alarm sounds, machine guns roar, anonymous German voice heard, Blofeld's men take to their skis, the theme rips into action and we are treated to one of the most exciting pieces of action cinema in history. I love the look of genuine fear registered on Lazenby's face as Blofeld's men pursue him through the village, and then the look of sheer relief when Tracey skates up to him and his eventual proposal to her. I love how Blofeld is able to kidnap Tracey and force Bond to mount an attack on Piz Gloria to save her. I love love love Barry's use of the old school Bond theme during the Piz Gloria attack, the cool way Laz slides down the ice on his chest and procedes to storm the building. That big black guy with the flame thrower, too, has always impressed me. This is probably the best "attack" sequence in all the Bond movies. I love the look on Lazenby's face when that chemical melts the glass, and the way he rips after Blofeld. I was genuinely touched by Lazenby's handling of Tracey's death. I loved that Lazenby was willing to return and we got a Peter Hunt directed DAF in which Bond pursued Blofeld and avenged his wife's death. Oh wait... Anyway, I think you all get the point It really is tragic that the general public has yet to recognize this film as the artistic triumph and stone-cold classic that it is (almost as tragic as the fact that we didn't get to see Lazenby develop as Bond).

Again, looking back, it's almost as if some higher power intervened, realigned the planets and allowed the fireworks and spectacles to be put on hold for one movie so that the filmmakers could make a movie from their heart, so they could tell a story without sacrificing its integrity on the altar of crazy gadgets, whimsical plotlines and futuristic sets-- and I think it is this quality that gives OHMSS its true pulse, that quality which, to me, makes it stand out more and more as the best film of the series with each viewing. Goldfinger and Thunderball may have embedded Bond firmly in the collective popular consciousness, but On Her Majesty's Secret Service captured perfectly the soul of Bond-- and it hasn't been topped since.

To paraphrase a tribute once given to a great historical personage: To a traveler standing near a mountain range many eminences seem to have approximately the same altitude; it is difficult to disengage Everest from its lofty neighbors. But as the range recedes in the distance, the highest peak lifts more and more above its fellows, until it alone fills the horizon. So it has been with On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
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Comments

  • Posts: 2,310
    wow that is a lot of text.you wrote it?anyway yea it is best Bond movie,actions scenes arent bad but only thing i dont like it....well sort of is the end.The end was little sudden,his wife dies and......that is all.How will Bond recover from this?will he get Blofed?many questions are unanswered.This is definitely best Bond movie (if not best top3 for sure) and it deserved its victory in SG tournament
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 13,108
    I know off topic, by maybe some will find it useful. If any new members (and I mean new) want to read this, it's the story of why Lazenby only did one Bond film:

    Ever Wondered Why George Lazenby Only Made One James Bond Movie?

    The question of how come George Lazenby only played 007 in one Bond film has long been one of those great movie trivia questions. There are many conflicting reports and stories on why George Lazenby was only in one 007 movie, and there seems to be a real dearth of the actual facts or story being printed in the press or known to most of the public as to why he only donned the famous Bond tuxedo and played the world's most famous film character just once.

    The following is the true and complete account of why George Lazenby only made one James Bond film, a subject that has baffled many people for years, who have often wondered how a previously unkown model/actor from a small town in The Outback of Australia could have been in his right mind to leave what was at the time the world's most coveted celebrity status position, and thus end up being known as the proverbial and quintessential one-hit wonder. The following article about Lazenby's Bond contract negotiations is based on the historical accounts by United Artists film studio and Eon Productions Company that detailed these particular events in question.

    Why George Lazenby Didn't Have All The Time In The World

    It has often been reported that George Lazenby signed only a one film movie contract to make On Her Majesty's Secret Service, choosing to decline the 7 film contract that he was offered by Eon and United Artists. However this is in fact incorrect. In October of 1968, Lazenby turned down the 14 year/7 film contract that he had been offered and instead chose to sign a 7 year/4 film contract instead. Lazenby also agreed in this contract to sign a Legal Letter of Intent to play James Bond 007 in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, which was to follow Lazenby's first 007 movie, 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

    It should be noted that Lazenby felt he wasn't going to make another Bond film during the middle of On Her Majesty's Secret Service's production because he had grown extremely tired of the treatment he was receiving on all accounts. However this does not change the fact that he was still under contract, and that the Bond producers always thought he was going to make the next Bond film. The producers simply believed this was a ploy by Lazenby's managers to get him a better deal, which it in fact was. The fact that Lazenby already felt he was done at that point changes none of the below.

    Also some of Lazenby's comments in interviews have been largely taken out of context to make it seem like he implied that he only was signed and obligated for one Bond film. That is absolutely wrong. Lazenby was only paid for one Bond film, with an additional first payment for his next Bond film. Meaning then, that because he had only been paid for one, that was the only one he had to make legally, providing he was not released from his contract. This has then been taken out of context and skewed by numerous media reports and "non-biased" interviewers as to mean he was only signed to a one picture deal, which is totally incorrect.

    The 7 year/4 film contract that Lazenby signed was at industry minimum standard pay for a lead actor in films as big as the Bond films, with the built in industry pay increases for each successive film. This did not sit well with the Bond producers who wanted the young Lazenby locked in to his contract for 7 films at the minimum pay rate they wanted him to get. Lazenby's managers however advised him that it would be better to sign a smaller contract at first, then re-negotiate his longer 7 film deal later on, so that he could demand more money for future films after he had already made some Bond films.

    It has been widely reported that when Lazenby announced he was quitting the role of Bond during the filming of On Her Majesty's Secret Service that he indeed was only obligated contractually to make that film. But that is not accurate. Lazenby was in fact signed and obligated to make 4 Bond films over a 7 year period. During filming of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the Bond producers constantly offered him the 7 film deal. Meaning he would then sign for 3 extra films in addition to the 4 that he had already signed on for. This offer to Lazenby was eventually extended to 7 Bond films after On Her Majesty's Secret Service, or 8 Bond films in total, and then finally to 7 Bond films after On Her Majesty's Secret Service, in addition to 5 non-Bond films made by United Artists. Lazenby wanted to sign the contract that included the 5 non-Bond films, but his personal manager told him not to.

    It was announced to the press once again that Lazenby was leaving the role of Bond at the premiere of Secret Service. It was Lazenby's publicist that actually made the announcement. Lazenby also said he was leaving the 007 role while on an airing of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. By this point Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli were furious with Lazenby and did not know what to do with him. Contrary to popular belief, Lazenby was not free from his contract at this time. He was still obligated to make 3 more Bond movies. Also contrary to popular belief, Lazenby was not fired at this time. Instead the Bond producers decided to let Lazenby out of his Bond contract the day after the premiere of On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

    The big dispute between Lazenby and Bond co-producer Cubby Broccoli was over the rules in Lazenby's contract. He actually could be fired for something as simple as not shaving every day while not even filming a Bond movie. There was even a clause in his contract that stated that he had to get his dinner guests approved by Cubby Broccoli before he could be seen dining out with them in public. There were numerous clauses of this nature in his contract and none of them sat well with Lazenby.

    The Bond producers finally realized that they had to let Lazenby out of his contract because he was not going to behave as they wanted him to unless they did so. For example, Lazenby's wearing a beard and long hair in public, hanging out at nightclubs and bars, and saying he was quitting the role numerous times. This sort of thing was done by Lazenby so that he could get the 7 film deal he wanted, but minus all the Draconian rules it had contained within it. In order to do that he first had to get out of the original contract that he had signed.

    Although Cubby Broccoli didn't want to take these clauses out of Lazenby's deal he realized he had no choice, so Saltzman and Broccoli released Lazenby from his deal. They then began negotiating with him on his new contract. The many reports that he was by this time officially no longer Bond are wrong. At this time Harry Saltzman and Lazenby negotiated with each other directly, minus Broccoli and Lazenby's managers. Saltzman had been given full power by United Artists and Broccoli to get Lazenby whatever deal he wanted as long as it stayed within the salary range they wanted to pay him. Lazenby would then take the offers to his manager for approval.

    Saltzman then offered Lazenby a contract for 7 more Bond films and 5 non-Bond films minus all the Draconian clauses in the deal. However, the offer was still to start at the minimum industry standard pay with the same built in industry standard increases for each successive film. Lazenby and his now rather infamous top personal manager/publicist Ronan O'Rahilly, a well known British producer who created Radio Caroline, worked for The BBC and who also managed The Beatles for just one week's time (although some people say it was actually for just one day's time), turned that offer down. They countered it by asking for twice the pay rate offered, as well as Lazenby getting twice as big a dressing room, twice as big a limo, twice as big a trailer, twice as big a personal expense account with Eon, and also with a clause in the contract that stated that Lazenby would keep all the Saville Row suits, Rolex watches, and Bond cars used in his films.

    Although Saltzman, and in particular United Artists, were willing to meet these demands, Cubby Broccoli was not. Broccoli insisted that since Sean Connery did not even get much of that treatment, it did not make sense to give it to Lazenby, even though he would essentially become the world's biggest movie star if he signed the deal. Broccoli remarked how Richard Burton had made similar demands from Eon and UA while he and Lazenby were the final two candidates for the Bond role, and that they wouldn't give Burton what he wanted. In Broccoli's mind he felt that George Lazenby was better for Bond than Burton, but he also felt that if Eon and UA weren't willing to give Burton the sort of perks that he had wanted, it would be foolish to give them to Lazenby. Broccoli therefore would not agree to Lazenby's demands.

    Studio heads from United Artists then met with Saltzman and Broccoli in New York and instructed them to offer Lazenby a longer term deal, termed "a lifetime contract", in the hopes that this would entice him to take the money being offered, as it would ensure that Lazenby would be at the top of the movie business for many years. The thinking behind this was that Lazenby would take less money and perks than he was asking for if he had a guaranteed, extremely lucrative, and heralded gig for the rest of his career, and that this would then firmly establish in the public and press that Lazenby was Bond for life and that Connery, or no one else was going to be Bond.

    Eon offered Lazenby 10 additional Bond movies, which would have given him a total of 11 Bond films in all. The contract was to cover a period of 20 years beginning in 1970 and ending in 1990. Lazenby's last Bond film was to be shot in 1988, and released in 1989. This film eventually became Licence To Kill starring Timothy Dalton, who in a strange twist of irony was actually offered the role of Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service before auditions for unkowns were held.

    Cubby Broccoli felt that it was of absolute top priority that they establish in the minds of the press and the public that Bond was Lazenby's gig exclusively and that he be known entirely for Bond. In Broccoli's view, Eon could fully groom Lazenby for the Bond role since he was known simply for it and had not been a professional actor; and that by having everyone know Lazenby had a lifetime contract that would cover two whole decades, it would make the public not only change their mind's that only Connery was clearly Bond, but it would also eventually lead to Lazenby replacing Connery in the public's minds as the definitive Bond.

    When Lazenby was offered this deal he was anxious to sign it, but he still had to get approval for it from his managers. This was because Lazenby had signed an agreement with his managers that they had to approve of all of his deals. He had signed this agreement just days after he had won the Bond casting. Lazenby felt that his biggest obstacle and hurdle in playing Bond was the public's belief that Bond was Connery's gig, so the lifetime contract was the perfect way for him to overcome that, since everyone would be told that he was signed for the next 20 years. This would stop any sentiment amongst the movie-going public that Connery could be brought back if people were hard on Lazenby and stayed away from his films at the box office.

    When Lazenby showed the contract offer to his main manager, he was advised by him that Bond would not last that much longer past the early 1970's because it was no longer a viable character for the times. He advised Lazenby that the tuxedo-clad super-spy had become a cultural dinosaur that was out of touch with the realities of the popular hippie culture of the time. He also advised Lazenby that by signing this contract, he would become completely type cast in the Bond role and then find himself stuck in a star role that was no longer fit for the times, and one that would not enjoy even half the success that it had in the earlier 1960's Sean Connery era. Lazenby did not agree with this advice and wanted to sign the contract, but his managers would not approve of it, and because he had signed the agreement with them that he couldn't sign any deals without their approval, he could not accept the offer.

    When Lazenby then had to turn this offer down, Harry Saltzman broke off contract talks and went back to United Artists along with Cubby Broccoli to discuss their options. At that point they first considered looking for a new Bond, and also offering a huge contract to Sean Connery. They then decided to sign American actor John Gavin to the Bond role as an insurance policy. Gavin's contract stated that if they could not get Lazenby or Connery signed in time to make the scheduled filming start of Diamonds Are Forever, that Gavin would then make the film. However, if either Connery or Lazenby could be re-signed to make the film, Gavin would then receive a one-time $500,000 severance pay, and no longer be attached to the role. UA and Eon could not simply delay the film because they already had sold some of the film's overseas merchandising profits to various investors, and if the film was delayed they could then be sued for that money.

    UA and the Bond co-producers finally decided to simply offer Lazenby a film contract for Diamonds Are Forever at a salary of $1 million. Saltzman met Lazenby in London, in February of 1970, and offered him $1 million to make Diamonds Are Forever, and told him that after that film was completed that they could then either negotiate further films for Lazenby, or that if Lazenby wanted to then quit he could. Saltzman explained to Lazenby that they did not have time to cast another Bond, that it had cost them over $1 million just to cast him, and that they could not take on neither that task, nor cost again at the time. So Saltzman told Lazenby that, Eon needed enough time to prepare for Bond 007 actor casting again if it had to be done over. He also informed Lazenby that Eon/UA had to make the scheduled production start of Diamonds Are Forever, because if they did not, John Gavin would get the role, and they didn't want that to happen.

    Lazenby was also willing to sign this deal. However when he brought it to his main personal manager he was told that the salary was not high enough. Although Lazenby just wanted to take the deal, he still had to get the approval from his managers. Lazenby was told to tell Saltzman that he would make just one more 007 film for a salary of $2 million, and that he would then not make any more Bond films after that. When Lazenby told this to Saltzman, he was informed that the producer had only been authorized to offer up to $1 million by his partners, and that he would have to discuss the $2 million demand with them.

    Saltzman flew back to New York to meet with Broccoli and studio heads from United Artists to discuss his last meeting with Lazenby. When Saltzman informed them of Lazenby's final demand, Cubby Broccoli became outraged. Saltzman and UA were actually willing to pay the $2 million salary but Broccoli refused. He was particularly angry at Lazenby not only demanding such an astronomically huge salary at that time, but also the news that even if Lazenby got such a pay he would still not make another Bond film. The $1 million film salary that they were offering to Lazenby to star in Diamonds would have made him the highest paid male lead for base salary in movie history. Broccoli therefore felt that Lazenby's $2 million asking price was simply an out of line demand, especially considering Lazenby would not commit to more than one more film.

    It was then that United Artists decided that Lazenby was out of consideration for the Bond role. United Artists executive David V. Picker, then ordered Saltzman and Broccoli to re-sign Sean Connery at any cost. They offered Connery a then huge base salary of $1.25 million, as well as 12.5 percent of the film's net US profits, extra pay for the film going over the set shooting schedule, and also funding for Connery to produce and star in 3 film projects of his own choosing.

    This was seen as the biggest deal ever for an actor for a single film to that point. In the end, Connery ended up earning a reported $6 million total for Diamonds Are Forever (three times the amount Lazenby had asked for), and he donated his entire $1.25 million base salary that he earned from the film to the Scotish International Educational Trust, which Connery co-founded. Only one of Connery's 3 non-Bond films allocated in the deal was actually produced, and Connery claimed that Bond co-producer Cubby Broccoli never paid him the $4.75 million of the film's profits that he was owed, although there was never any legal verification or ruling that was true. Connery signed the deal just days after Lazenby's handlers had made their final salary demands. Gavin was paid his $500,000 contract buyout by United Artists.

    Lazenby, for having signed a Legal Letter of Intent to star as 007 in Diamonds, had been given an early initial payment of his salary for that film prior to the time that Connery had been officially signed to return the Bond role. Under the agreement in Lazenby's Legal Letter of Intent, if he did not star as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever, he would have to reimburse Eon for the initial payment he had received for the film. Lazenby reimbursed Eon for this money after Connery signed.
  • Fascinating read...thanks for posting.
  • haserothaserot has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season.
    edited March 2011 Posts: 4,158
    managers/agents... i tell yeah, sometimes they don't know what is best for their clients.... granted, it's easy to look back now, and realize how colossal of a mistake that was for them to make - but even if the franchise started falling apart in the late 70s, that would've still given Lazenby several more $$$ in his pocket - certainly more than he probably had at the time... i feel bad for the guy - but i'm sure he's made his peace with whole thing, and has probably moved on from it decades ago....

    ..but i would still be furious at my managers - and i probably would've fired them not long after..

    Mod edit: Please don't use that language again.
  • Quoting haserot: i feel bad for the guy - but i'm sure he's made his peace with whole thing, and
    has probably moved on from it decades ago....
    I thought I read somewhere than although his acting career basically tanked after Bond, he actually became a very wealthy and successfully businessman. In fact, I think he may be the wealthiest of all 6 Bond actors, not from films but from his success in business.
  • Posts: 2,310
    is there some actor that was screwed more than George?
  • Posts: 13,108
    I'm glad those who read the article enjoyed it. It's a great read and I always like it - no matter how many times I read it. It's such a shame it turned out that way and makes me think less of Cubby for it.
  • George and Hunt teamed up for DAF would have been amazing. It's almost heartbreaking to think about actually.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 13,108
    Hunt may not have returned even if Lazenby did. On Her Majesty's Secret Service doing as well as it did, prompted a change of thought which meant Hunt was out. Maybe things could have been slightly different if Lazenby had stayed though I doubt he'd have cared who directed his next film. I hope he'd have not objected to Hunt again mind.

    With Connery leaving perhaps the only way for the series to continue was with the way it did. It shocked the public but they came round in the next fews years and knew Bond would always be Bond.
  • Posts: 281
    Hunt has stated that had Lazenby returned he would have stayed on to direct. Oh what could have been lol
  • Posts: 2,029
    Welcome back, GL! B-)
  • Posts: 281
    Cheers sir.
  • echoecho Piz Gloria, I hope you enjoy it.
    Posts: 2,480
    Great post, GL. Fleming's Piz Gloria is a setting and setup that has never been topped, with a bevy of Bond girls who are integral to the point, for once!

    To have Bond, of all characters, play gay while surreptitiously seducing several women works on so many levels. The film also has the right sense of humor about itself--the banana eating shot always makes me chuckle, as does Bunt's (undoubtedly dubbed) giggle just before Bond is knocked out.
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    I find it facinating that this movie is almost never seen on TV. Everyone and his brother has seen "Goldfinger" on TV at least ten times; OHMSS hardly ever appears on the small screen. Anyone have any ideas as to why this is?
  • Posts: 13,108
    I find it facinating that this movie is almost never seen on TV. Everyone and his brother has seen "Goldfinger" on TV at least ten times; OHMSS hardly ever appears on the small screen. Anyone have any ideas as to why this is?
    It's a Bond film, with an actor that only played Bond once, a one-off so to speak, so ITV at least must think "what's the point?". Sad but true.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    edited July 2011 Posts: 3,501
    Indeed. We, as Bond fans, may love it, or some of us do, but the critics don’t. They would rather see a Goldfinger-equse film, I’m afraid.

    @Samuel001 great article!
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 7,755
    It's such a shame it turned out that way and makes me think less of Cubby for it.
    Fascinating reading but I dont think it reflects badly on Cubby. After all George was a nobody and for him to be dictating better terms than Conners and Richard Burton would be simply unaccpetable from a buisness point of view. It seems to me that EON and UA offered him pretty fantastic contracts for someone who had done one picture in his life.

    The real villains here are these idiot managers who, whatever their thoughts about the series being on its way out (which to be fair it could have looked like at that post Connery time), must surely have realised that a 20 year contract was unprecedented and advised their client to sign. George himself has to take a bit of the blame too for not going with his instinct and firing these fools and signing.

    At the end of the day it seems its just one of those tragedies in life where no one individual is entirely to blame and where it is very easy for us to sermonise blessed with the gift of hindsight.

    Its almost enough to make you weep to think that we could have had 7 or 8 Lazenby Bond films (with more than a couple directed by Peter Hunt). But then there would have been no Sir Rog and for whatever faults there are in his films who in their right mind would want to live in a world without any Roger Moore Bond films? Anyway who is to say that the public might never have accepted George and diminishing returns might well have sunk the series in the mid 70s - which almost happened even with Sean and Rogers star power. The series was (both creatively and box office wise) on its arse after TMTWGG and it took a massive injection of chutzpah from Cubby to get it back on track with TSWLM.

    And like James Dean or Marilyn Monroe, George goes down a legend because he is frozen in his moment of perfection and we never had to see him sitting next to JW Pepper, riding in a gondola hovercraft past a double taking pigeon or doing a tarzan impression.
  • Posts: 4,715
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service has always been down on the list for me. While it does have some pretty nice action and a good story, it is extremely boring from the time that Bond is captured by Draco's men up until Blofeld sees through Bond's disguise. Also, I don't have that much love for Lazenby as 007, although he's not horrible. It's just in the middle for me. Out of 22, it would be about 14 maybe.
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    I saw the movie when it premiered on the big screen in December 1969, I had just turned 14. At the time I was a MAJOR James Bond fan, I thought they were the greatest movies I had ever seen. I was also a great fan of "The Avengers," and I was IN LOVE with Diana Rigg! All of that said, my memory of the film when I first saw it was that it was ok (I really liked the ski chase scenes) but the dark ending was a total surprise and a real downer. The image of James Bond sitting in a car weeping just made me cringe. As I mentioned, the film is hardly ever shown on television. Even during the Bond marathons they'll show TWINE and GF two or three times over a two week period and never show OHMSS. I think over the course of 41 years I've caught part of the movie (I always seem to come in in the middle) two or three times maximum! It's as if the producers just want to forget about that film and pretend it never existed, although every once in a while Bond's marriage is referenced in later films (FYEO, LTK). So after reading this thread I borrowed the movie from the library last Wednesday and saw it all the way through for the first time in 41 years. So here's my take on it. The first half of the movie is VERY SLOW. The whole boy meets girl, boy rescues girl, boy falls in love with girl part of the film is quite simply BORING! So too is the Hilary Bray disguise at Blofeld's mountain retreat. It really isn't until the first ski chase scene that the movie takes off. So from that point through the bobsled fight just before the ending the action scenes are quite good. And then you have that incredibly dark ending, unlike anything you see in any other Bond film. And I'm sorry, it's still a downer 41 years later and I still don't like it. And I see why it's not shown on TV. The average Bond movie goer is not a film critic and is not looking for Bond to go "in a different direction." They essentially want to see the same movie they liked as a kid over and over again, same music, same sex with beautiful women, same fast cars, same gadgets, same henchmen, same villains!
  • I don't know about now, but when I was watching all of the (at the time) old Bond films on TV in the early 80's OHMSS was shown pretty frequently. If memory serves DN was probably the one they showed least, and GF was the one they showed most often.
  • Posts: 532
    Precisely because it is so different is why OHMSS stands out. It's hard to imagine Connery playing that end scene after Tracey is shot. DAF was such a huge disappointment as a follow up. Connery snoozed his way through it.
  • Posts: 2,341
    This is by far my favorite Bond film. I liked the way the producers were ready to take chances back then. It was so obvious with the Brosnan films that they were so afraid (risking so much money I guess) they choose to play it safe. I would think that the name of james Bond and at the time Pierce Brosnan would guarantee success but no they too scared. Sometimes I wish they would cut the budgets and then maybe the film makers would be more creative.

    That being said, it is a travesty that this movie is never shown on tv and the fact that it has not been remastered or put on blue-ray is horrible. The cinematrography is beautiful the action sequences fantastic, the soundtrack is top notch.

    This is the first Bond film I saw newly released in theaters (I had seen the others on return and double bills years earlier) so it has a special appeal and fondness for me. I saw it the day after Christmas and loved it. The christmas theme, the love story (BTW like all adolescent boys of the day I had a crush on Diana Rigg).
    It is like EON is ashamed of this outstanding effort. The cast and crew are top notch and did a great job with this material. Recent movies (especially Brosnan's) have these mega budgets and fall so short. Like I said, maybe they should lower the budgets and force themselves to be more creative.

    Anyway, OHMSS is a triumph and should receive more respect.
  • Well said, OHMSS69. Great username too! What a fantastic first Bond to experience in the theatre...I'm jealous haha. The biggest tragedy of the franchise imho is that we never got to see a proper followup to this, directed by Hunt and starring Lazenby.
  • Great post from IMDB:

    "The Saddest Death in Cinema History

    I have seen a lot of characters die in my life as a movie viewer, but none made me as sad as the death of Tracy, or as I like to think of her, Contessa.

    She was just such a perfect character, and made me think with great longing of what it would be like to marry such a woman. With James Bond being the quintessential bachelor it would take a character this perfect to make him settling down believable and she pulled it off admirably. Charming, intelligent, witty, passionate, learned, classy.

    Him saving her from her own recklessness at the casino was a masterful way of introducing the character and illustrating the nature of their relationship up until that point. James was at that point her savior in spite of herself. Her father, despite his occupation, showed great wisdom in trying to convince James to marry her.

    When he was on the run in his darkest moment of need she turned up like an angel on skates, a reversal of their roles when she was first introduced. When they made their escape she never flinched or whined like other Bond Girls. Due to who her father was she seemed to fit right in with James' hectic lifestyle, and yet at the same time was a promise to take him away from all of it.

    Her attempts to falsely charm Blofield showed her poetic side, and added to her Shakespearean allure...

    I just watched the film for the first time since I did as a child. I did not remember most of it except the sad ending, though perhaps I would have forgotten even that if not for being reminded later on in the movies further down the timeline and from things I had read. I knew what was coming.

    I told myself they needed to kill her off for "the series" but part of me was screaming that they did not and that in this case they chose the series above the story. I watched with growing sadness as the plot resolved itself, knowing what was to come, a weight bearing down on my mood. I usually like dark endings but I found myself longing so much for a happy one here. She was truly Bond's equal and she will be missed. The girls who came later could never hold a candle to her and surely Bond knew it as well. She left a hole in his heart that they could never fill.

    I feel like the world has quickly forgotten about Contessa... even moments after her death they were blaring the generic Bond Adventure Theme Song over the credits, which felt wildly insulting to the moment and like the only severe misstep in the film to me, so perhaps one can say even her own film forgot about Contessa the moment she was gone... but I will always remember her."
  • Posts: 1,492
    Thanks for bumping this. It makes a nice counterpart to the "I havent got the attention span to appreciate OHMSS" threads that have been popping up recently.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 10,955
    actonsteve wrote:
    I havent got the attention span to appreciate OHMSS

    Why are you so rude ? Just because someone doesn't like OHMSS doesn't mean he's soft in the head.... Why do you keep calling people dumb when they don't follow your opinions ? You really seem to have a problem accepting that people may disagree with you.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 11,483
    I like OHMSS. Lasenby is my least favourite bond, but that doesn't mean I don't like him, it just means I like the others better.

    Lasenby is probably the toughest bond, there's serious stuff and more light hearted stuff, OHMSS is a great bond film.

    I think maybe if they had put more of the big bond stuff in, like Q, gadgets, maybe the DB5, then OHMSS would've been more popular at the time. I think that people just didn't want such a big change back then, the same thing happened with LTK.
  • Posts: 4,715
    actonsteve wrote:
    Thanks for bumping this. It makes a nice counterpart to the "I havent got the attention span to appreciate OHMSS" threads that have been popping up recently.

    I do have the attention span actually, in fact, much more than other teens my age. I simply find OHMSS a dreadful bore not in its length, but that its run-time isn't filled with quality Bond stuff. Casino Royale is just about as long as OHMSS, if not longer, and I really like it, even in scenes where Bond is playing the card game, which features NO action, mind you. I don't have to have constant action/explosions/fighting onscreen every minute to enjoy a movie. Also, the reason I started the thread about OHMSS over-rated is because I wanted some feedback from the community on what their opinions were of OHMSS, not to simply throw mine in someone's face, because I realize that some people won't agree with me, and I'm very much so fine with that. After all, diversity makes the world a lot more fun, so I'm open to it!
  • Posts: 162
    Interesting reading. Not sure whether Lazenby killed the offers or his manager did
    or both did. If the repeated offers were true, it says that the producers tried their best to keep Lazenby a relatively unknown then even after the OHSS film. If this story is true then the problem was not with the producers.
  • echoecho Piz Gloria, I hope you enjoy it.
    edited March 2012 Posts: 2,480
    I saw Lazenby at a screening last year. He said that it was his manager who advised him that Bond was over--which was not an unreasonable assumption in the late '60s.

    He was charming and unfiltered. He indicated that Rigg was annoyed that he was sleeping with so many of the women on set--seeming to think it was unprofessional. At one point he talked about reluctantly becoming a father later in life but that now his kids "have him by the balls."
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