Last Bond Movie You Watched

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  • BennyBenny Shaken not stirredAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,964
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

    Ever since I first saw this film, on my eleventh birthday, I have loved it.
    Up till that point it was the only Bond film, I hadn't seen. I was set with Connery and Moore, and then there was this new Bond actor, George Lazenby. Being a youngster his acting wasn't an issue for me, but the story and visuals drew me in. Here was a Bond film that was different, in style and tone. It was clearly still a Bond film, but aside from the obvious change in Lazenby it just felt different.
    On reflection there are times when Lazenby's acting shows, but never to the extreme of ruining the movie. In fact, I'd go as far as too say, it's a pretty bloody good debut for actor who'd never starred in a film before, let alone taking over from Sean Connery in one of the biggest roles in cinema.
    The film itself is a true epic affair. Bond rescues Teresa DiVicenzo from suicide on a beach in Portugal, only to be set upon by a group of un-named assailants.
    The usual tussle ensues, resulting in a breaking the fourth wall with Bond addressing the audience. Thankfully it doesn't happen again and comes early in the film. By the time the titles have finished, we've forgotten all about this faux pas.
    The film begins with Bond being taken by his assailants for an 'appointment'
    This turns out to be with Marc-Ange Draco, a underworld crime boss and father of the girl Bond rescued Tracy.
    Draco asks Bond too to see his daughter some more, as he thinks a figure like Bond can help his daughter. Bond also realises the opportunity that Draco could have in getting him information in finding Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
    Draco bribes Bond into seeing Tracy some more and Bond returns to London. Only to be relieved of his hunt for Blofeld. Enraged Bond resigns from the service, only for Moneypenny to change his request to two weeks leave.
    During this time, Bond continues his search for Blofeld using information from Draco, at the same time a real and loving relationship begins between Bond and Tracy.
    On his return to duty, Bond reveals to M, he has been working on his search for Blofeld in his downtime and has strong evidence to further his pursuit. M agrees and Bond goes undercover as Sir Hilary Bray from the college of arms. Blofeld has expressed a desire to be recognised as the Counte De Bleuchamp.
    In the guise of Sir Hilary Bray, Bond arrives at the mountaintop lair of Blofeld, Piz Gloria. There he finds his nemesis is posing as a Count who is treating beautiful girls in an allergy clinic.
    Bond soon learns that the girls are being brainwashed for a far more sinister scheme. But not before he's bedded at least two of the girls, with others alluded too. Whilst this is a 60's Bond film, and the treatment and writing for women in the Bond films wasn't as strong as it would become in more recent entries. Bond bedding these women could be seen as doing what must be done in order to achieve his mission. But it could just as easily be rewritten to have Bond remain loyal to Tracy, especially as we had a lovely sequence earlier, with Bond and Tracy falling in love accompanied by the song, We Have All The Time In The World sung by Louis Armstrong. They even look at wedding rings!
    For Bond to bed women at the clinic like this seems a little off, considering the love story that holds the film together. Could just be me though.
    Bond needlessly gets caught out with one of the beautiful patients and his cover is blown.
    Blofeld then goes on to explain his devious plan using his 'Angels of Death' as he calls them to release Virus Omega causing infertility in all living things. After being looked up in a relatively easily escapable room, Bond flees the mountain top lair on skis, quickly followed by Spectre and Blofeld.
    For me, this is the first real big action sequence of the Bond series. Sure, we've had some great action scenes before this one, but the ski chase of Majesty's is truly epic. From the beautiful camera work and excitement, too Bond skiing on one ski. This is breathtaking to watch, even too this day.
    On arrival in the village below, Bond attempts to avoid capture by hiding amongst the large crowd gathered for a local Christmas festival. Here he is rescued by Tracy in a nice little role reversal from the early part of the movie. Usually, a scene placing Tracy in such a situation would come across as trite and weak storytelling. But because of the well written story and the love story between Bond and Tracy, it makes sense to have Tracy seeking out Bond.
    As the two escape, they are seen by a Spectre heavy and once again are pursued through icy roads and onto a stock car track during a race. The resulting race results in the Spectre assailant's car crashing and bursting into flames.
    Bond and Tracy escape the scene, but not before being caught in a strong blizzard causing them to seek shelter in a barn for the night.
    As they bed down for the night Bond takes the moment to ask Tracy to marry him. It's a lovely scene sold by the Lazenby's vulnerabilities as an actor and Dame Diana Rigg's ability as an actor. With the use of All The Time In The World as an instrumental piece, we are given a wonderful and memorable scene for the Bond series.
    Of course, it isn't long before Spectre catch up with the pair again, soon after Bond and Tracy continue on skis. The resulting chase sees Blofeld cause an avalanche covering Bond and having Blofeld take Tracy with him.
    Back in London Bond and M learn that Blofeld is asking for amnesty for all past crimes and recognition as Counte De Bleuchamp.
    When M won't assign a task force to take on Blofeld and rescue Tracy, Bond enlists the help of Draco and his men. The climatic battle is still one of the best in Bond history. Beautifully shot and exciting. The resulting climax sees Tracy rescued and Bond chase Blofeld as Piz Gloria explodes. But not before Blofeld and Bond fight it out on a bobsled speeding down the mountainside, which results in Blofeld being caught by the neck in a tree branch, and Bond surviving the ordeal.
    Considering the importance of Blofeld as a villain, it seems odd that Bond nor anybody else don't seek to get Blofeld's body to confirm his death!
    The film ends with Bond and Tracy at their wedding. A tearful Moneypenny consoled by M, as Bond and Tracy drive off on their honeymoon.
    However, as Bond removes the many flowers from his Aston Martin, and silver Mercedes roars past firing at Bond and his new bride. As Bond gets back into the car to give chase, he's made aware of the nightmare situation of Tracy's death.
    As a motorbike policeman arrives, Bond cradles his dead wife in his arms and breaks down as the credits role and the Bond them blares out.

    It's a deeply moving scene that can at times still cause my eyes too well up. Lazenby is fantastic here, and his inexperience helps sell the scene. One wonders if the effect would have been so effective had Connery still played Bond.
    Majesty's is a rarity for the Bond series, not only because it was the sole film of George Lazenby, but also the sole directorial film of long-time editor and collaborator Peter Hunt.
    Sadly, this would be the end of Hunt's association with the series which is a shame. I'm sure some of the seventies films could've benefitted from his input.
    The supporting cast surely help Lazenby, as we have Diana Rigg as Tracy and the wonderful Telly Savalas as Blofeld. Savalas is a completely different take on the character than previously seen, unlike both Donald Pleasance and the unseen Blofeld from FRWL and TB. This is a much more dangerous Spectre number 1, who gets in on the action. It helps the hard-hitting fight sequences that would be a major part of Lazenby's Bond.
    Visually Majesty's is a true epic, it looks beautiful especially in the mountainous Swiss setting, but it's also a very good story.
    Certain aspects of the film have aged, but the story still holds up quite well, and its a film I still enjoy watching.
    I still wish Lazenby and Hunt had returned for Diamonds Are Forever, but that remains one of life's, what if moments.
    At least we got a mostly faithful adaptation of one of Fleming's best novels, resulting in a Bond film that still holds up as one of the best.
  • brown7777brown7777 chelmsford
    Posts: 11
    OHMSS followed by the PTS from FYEO. A very interesting way to watch it.

    You Only Live Twice me and my friends watched it as we havent seen a James Bond Film for a while
  • Last_Rat_StandingLast_Rat_Standing Long Neck Ice Cold Beer Never Broke My Heart
    Posts: 4,483
    Watched TND with my kids as we make our way through the series in no particular order.
  • JonasTJonasT Washington
    Posts: 10
    Goldeneye on ITVx. Noticed it was cut. Couple I noticed were well done, unnoticable to first time viewers and scenes I didn't like, but still...
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 8,115
    JonasT wrote: »
    Goldeneye on ITVx. Noticed it was cut. Couple I noticed were well done, unnoticable to first time viewers and scenes I didn't like, but still...

    Once, in the mid 90’s , on a trans Atlantic flight, I watched Goldeneye; they edited out EVERY, scene that depicted an aircraft in peril. Just imagine that. Lol.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe The long road ahead
    edited June 6 Posts: 8,237
    Bond 25

    I consider this film to be this generations Die Another Day in terms of jumping the shark in many respects, but something I noticed recently is the film is structured the wrong way round. In order to have a true parallel with OHMSS (which the filmmakers are clearly gunning for) Bond and Madeline should have their child at the beginning of the film, after the titles similar to the love montage from OHMSS, before any of the big action kicks off. Then the arrival of Safin back into Madelines life and the taking of the nanobots causes both Bond and Madeline to freak out and agree that she takes their daughter to a safe place, and Bond reluctantly steps back into service to keep his family safe. This would parallel Bond making his alliance with Draco, and this way we have a clear sense of the stakes and what Bond has to lose. Making Bond and Madeline estranged was a bizarre choice, and doesn't really help do any of the legwork for the story, It's like swimming in the opposite direction. Anyway, then Bond goes on his adventure meets up with Felix, decides to team up with him, Nash and Paloma to retrieve the nanobots culminating in Felixs death and the appropriate end of act 2 raising the stakes, "its a good life, make it worth it". That moment would really resonate harder if Bond and Madeline were still a thing, we knew about their daughter, and the potential peril could befall the new family. I just think it makes more sense that way round, and having Felix dying as a bridge into the 2nd act, before we have any real sense of what the story is, doesn't really work as it is. It would be like if darth vader said "tell your sister you were right" before we found out he had a sister and luke just saying "huh?"
  • Posts: 7,014
    THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1987)
    Well, it's my birthday (And Father's Day to boot!)
    So I decided to watch one my favourite Bond films! Never disappoints, I will never forget the first time I saw it in it's original release! Though I loved Roger as 007, Dalton for me, was, and still is my favourite Bond! He is simply the best, and he elevates this film so much, there are superb set pieces ( love the Aston car chase, but am intrigued what the original idea for an Ice yacht would have been?) And the cast is excellent, adore Kara, Jeroen Krabbe as Koskov is a slimy villain, Bakers Whitaker has a great showdown with Bond, and Andrea's Necros has one of the best action sequences in the series with the cargo net fight! Great score from John Barry ( it's always with a tear in my eye, his cameo at the end, that this was his last Bond, though really even he couldn't elevate the dire Brossa era!)
    Great viewing, made my day, ( along with the cards and pressies of course 😀)
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,870
    A few very pleasant surprises, a few minor disappointments.

    GF: I was never its biggest fan, mainly because of the Kentucky scenes, but this time I had a great time with it. The dialogue alone is so much fun. It's even good enough to keep those ranch scenes enoyable. I still think FRWL and TB are better, but this one will go up for sure.

    TND: at a certain point it was my least favourite Pierce one, but now it may move up to my second favourite of his. He's excellent in it and I love that news framing scheme. I also enjoyed much of the action more than I used to, plus Wai Lin is a superb Bond girl.

    TSWLM: used to love this one more. The Liparus finale really drags and I also think Anya deserved better than to be locked to a chair during the final third. Good, but my expectations may have been too high. Overall I prefer FYEO or OP.

    TWINE: always been a defender, but afraid I had one of my least enjoyable viewings of it. Renard got on my nerves a lot this time. There were still good moments in it, though a bit too melodramatic perhaps at times.
  • FYEO: I rewatched to quantify why I dislike it, so I took some notes.

    Firstly, the FYEO short story takes a darker tone as it deals with death, and the film sort of follows (with Bond investigating instead of killing). But the car chase that follows is comedic and has janky music behind it that kills suspense and gives us the feeling Bond is totally in control (when he isn't) and Roger is quipping away (which doesn't match the feel of this moment). Similar when Bond goes from comforting Melina about her father to politely turning down Bibi because her "uncle" wouldn't approve. These tonal issues do even out later though.

    Like Moonraker, there's also a tenuous grip on the connection of locations and plot points: the Identigraph works too poorly to work that well, and Ferrara's introduction of Kristatos also feels off: we see Kristatos as a patron of the arts, who says Bibi winning will make the greatest day of his life and unloads the girl as baggage onto Bond for the afternoon. But we are also supposed to believe he was major help in a smuggling job a few years back and knows the underworld well? And the raid on Kristatos' arena feels out of place as just a "sidequest" to achieve. Like the tonal issues, these stop to the end.

    Something else I don't understand is the ski chase in Cortina: why would Locque attempt to kill Bond here? If it was in attempt to make Bond fear Colombo, then there's no need to keep going beyond the initial attempts. And if it wasn't, then surely better the devil you know? Kristatos has Bond in the palm of his hand, and surely that would be better than getting a whole new man to come and win over. Killing Ferrara makes sense (a friend with Kristatos and would put Bond on his feet), but trying to kill Bond? Twice? (If we include the hockey shenanigans, three times). And also killing Lisl makes little sense as she admits that Colombo has sent her to do a job: by then the deal is completely up as it would make no sense for Colombo to kill his own agent.

    Even in the stronger scenes, things are left wanting: the discussion between Bond and Kristatos at the casino lacks a bit of meat where Bond should be even more driven to get Colombo: I feel Kristatos should say a bit more to get us to buy why Colombo is better dead than alive, and I also need to feel Bond more desperate and willing to fall into Colombo's "trap" with Lisl, something I think Dalton could have done better (of course, Dalton wouldn't have sold Bond charming Lisl as well though).

    I also need something else, something additional to send Bond over to the anti-Kristatos side, because there's a hypothetical world where Colombo is lying. I feel that Bond would need harder facts to prove that Kristatos is a bad guy: like perhaps Colombo has a watermark or change on the dove that Locque doesn't have (or something like that).

    Conti, despite fouling up the other actions sequences, does a good job with the climbing sequence, and the understated climax works well. I think this film goes up a little bit based on the watch though, because of its correction of many of the previous issues near the end.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited July 1 Posts: 3,487
    FYEO: I rewatched to quantify why I dislike it, so I took some notes.

    Firstly, the FYEO short story takes a darker tone as it deals with death, and the film sort of follows (with Bond investigating instead of killing). But the car chase that follows is comedic and has janky music behind it that kills suspense and gives us the feeling Bond is totally in control (when he isn't) and Roger is quipping away (which doesn't match the feel of this moment). Similar when Bond goes from comforting Melina about her father to politely turning down Bibi because her "uncle" wouldn't approve. These tonal issues do even out later though.

    Like Moonraker, there's also a tenuous grip on the connection of locations and plot points: the Identigraph works too poorly to work that well, and Ferrara's introduction of Kristatos also feels off: we see Kristatos as a patron of the arts, who says Bibi winning will make the greatest day of his life and unloads the girl as baggage onto Bond for the afternoon. But we are also supposed to believe he was major help in a smuggling job a few years back and knows the underworld well? And the raid on Kristatos' arena feels out of place as just a "sidequest" to achieve. Like the tonal issues, these stop to the end.

    Something else I don't understand is the ski chase in Cortina: why would Locque attempt to kill Bond here? If it was in attempt to make Bond fear Colombo, then there's no need to keep going beyond the initial attempts. And if it wasn't, then surely better the devil you know? Kristatos has Bond in the palm of his hand, and surely that would be better than getting a whole new man to come and win over. Killing Ferrara makes sense (a friend with Kristatos and would put Bond on his feet), but trying to kill Bond? Twice? (If we include the hockey shenanigans, three times). And also killing Lisl makes little sense as she admits that Colombo has sent her to do a job: by then the deal is completely up as it would make no sense for Colombo to kill his own agent.

    Even in the stronger scenes, things are left wanting: the discussion between Bond and Kristatos at the casino lacks a bit of meat where Bond should be even more driven to get Colombo: I feel Kristatos should say a bit more to get us to buy why Colombo is better dead than alive, and I also need to feel Bond more desperate and willing to fall into Colombo's "trap" with Lisl, something I think Dalton could have done better (of course, Dalton wouldn't have sold Bond charming Lisl as well though).

    I also need something else, something additional to send Bond over to the anti-Kristatos side, because there's a hypothetical world where Colombo is lying. I feel that Bond would need harder facts to prove that Kristatos is a bad guy: like perhaps Colombo has a watermark or change on the dove that Locque doesn't have (or something like that).

    Conti, despite fouling up the other actions sequences, does a good job with the climbing sequence, and the understated climax works well. I think this film goes up a little bit based on the watch though, because of its correction of many of the previous issues near the end.

    I really agree with this, excellent review and very much matches mine (especially the tonal inconsistency), I'll add some points as well:

    I'm also having a problem regarding Melina's role in the film and Bond's interaction with her, first is, the plot of this film was supposed to revolve around Melina, given that the objective of Bond's mission was something regarding Melina's father and Melina herself should play a bigger role in it, but instead, she's kept mostly at the background, the thing is, why Bond never let Melina to go with him while meeting with Kristatos? Hence, leaving her clueless.

    Bond had been insisting on Melina's innocence when at the beginning of the film, she's the one who's doing the investigation for herself and saved Bond when she killed one of Gonzales's men, so at that point, Bond should've known better that Melina was no longer the innocent girl he's making her out to be, that point, he should know that Melina already knows something, she's already involved for him to take her out of the game.

    It's the same with the digging of two graves quote, when again, he saw Melina saved his life by shooting Gonzales's henchman with an arrow bow.

    And this film just doesn't have the memorability it should have because it's very low key, low key in a sense that it felt like a TV movie, shot like a soap opera episode, it even makes Licence To Kill, more of an HD film in comparison, the cinematography is bland, just dull, it's not the film I could see myself being thrilled to watch in big screen (for a re-release) and would be fine to watch in TV premieres.

    It also lacked some Bondian qualities and elements into it, people were once again, claiming Licence To Kill for lacking any Bondian elements, but at least there's a bit of bombastic style in it towards the finale and even when Bond was sneaking inside the wavekrest or the Isthmus scenes. This film felt like a drama episode, it doesn't feel Bondian enough, even From Russia With Love also has some Bondian qualities to it, this film just doesn't have it.

    All in all, it's a film that doesn't stand out among others, and not memorable for it.
  • Yes, I ignored the dig two graves quote and the revenge nonsense that tries hard to be a subplot. Bond even allows Melina to kill Kristatos if she wants, kind of ruining this whole "revenge is wrong" nonsense and making worse than if it had stood in itself. And Melina has already gotten her revenge and felt no ill effects.

    I can see the TV feel here and I agree it is more dramatic here than in Licence to Kill. But if FYEO tried to go big for its finale it would have fallen flat and the climbing is the sort of small scale drama that this film needed. That's why the raid on Kristatos' place feels very flat: it goes too big for this movie (and also Kristatos' introduction has him all wrong to be the sort running this operation).
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