OHMSS Novel Discussion

edited November 2013 in Literary 007 Posts: 4,400
I couldn't find a thread that discussed Fleming's OHMSS so I thought this would be a good place to talk about the book.

I only recently read it for the first time. I had read TB a few months back and I liked it, in particular I liked SPECTRE and Blofeld and the promise that Bond would continue the hunt for him in the novel's sequel. The big problem I had with Fleming's TB was that while the plot was exciting, Bond and the other characters really were not. Bond seemed to be something of a cypher existing purely to push the plot forward. It was surprising for me to read as so often I hear about 'Fleming's Bond' and in that book he really was nowhere to be seen. Aside of an interesting opening in Scrublands the Bond in TB represented the excess of the middle Moore and latter Connery films.

OHMSS is almost the complete opposite. The opening 50/60 pages focusses solely on character and it's very good. The first image we get is of Bond sitting on a beach thinking about his childhood as he watches over Tracy to make sure she dosen't do something reckless. The opening of the book is really where the novel is at it's best; as Bond and Tracy are really honed in on and explored. Tracy is particularly interesting, she's given a very melancholic backstory and the woman we meet is also very reckless and seemingly self-destructive. She happily sleeps with Bond but only because she knows that the next morning she's going to kill herself and despite having great sex with her Bond stills feels undernourished. It's clear he's fallen for the girl wants to help her. Soon we meet Draco and he seems like a genuinely concerned father who's desperate for Bond's help so his daughter dosen't do anything stupid to herself. He's appealing to Bond as a last resort.

This however is where the novel dips as Bond's later hunt for Blofeld dosen't make sense. First, Draco's information is of no use it's the College of Arms who get the ultimate lead. Furthermore, Blofeld has been on the run for a year now and has successfully avoided capture why would we put his head above the parapet to get an official title? It's never really fleshed out in the novel. The only reason seems to be because of his snobbery and Blofeld seems too clever to risk exposing himself for such a foolish reason. Secondly, why does Bond go to Piz Gloria as Hilary Bray? he knows Blofeld is there, why dosen't M send the calvary in? Furthermore, why after Bond has met Blofeld does he decide to stay another week? Surely he's risking exposure the longer he stays.

In addition Blofeld as a character really lacks motivation. I know he's evil and all that, but why does he want to destroy Britain's agricultural prospects? His reasons are never explained nor are his reasons for wanting to gain the Bleuville title. It all seems rather random, what does he really hope to gain from this? This is a shame as the book functions in almost the complete reverse of TB; which had a great plot but poor characters. Here we get interesting characters and a weak plot. It's a shame as Blofeld was so well executed in his brief stint in TB so it's a shame he's a shadow of his former-self in this novel.

The novel does get back on track following the ski chase, mainly because Tracy is back (she's away far too long and the film corrects this by including her heavily in the 3rd act). Bond as a character though is very interesting, even if he does also dip when he goes to Switzerland. When we meet him he is bored and wants to quit Mi6 and stop chasing Blofeld's ghost. He is also a total alcoholic, drinking anything in sight, even Tracy calls him out on it later in the novel. I love the part during the ski chase where he stops to down some booze just to give himself an extra boost of confidence and warmth. Bond also is opened up emotionally and he seems genuinely excited at the prospect of marrying Tracy and seems to be coming around to the idea that someone actually cares for him. I also found it interesting that Fleming left Bond completely physically weary after the ski chase where he's clearly exhausted and ready to collapse as later when he returns to the Alpines he seems scared of the mountain.

Fleming's decision to kill Tracy was the right one. Fleming has always made a point that Bond cannot live a normal life, he is 'The Secret Agent' and in that role he is deprived of certain virtues of life. Bond usually has accepted this fact, for instance in Moonraker when he lets Gala Brand move on with her life in the final chapter. But in OHMSS Bond seems to ignore his own advice and actually thinks he can live a normal life and despite the idea seeming so mundane he's thrilled by the prospect. It is therefore right of Fleming to snatch Tracy away from him as Bond cannot live a normal existence, his life has been corroded by his choice of profession. The final moments with Tracy are tender and effective and really reveal new shades to the character and lead for great dramatic potential moving forward.

It's clear that after writing Bond novels for so long, Fleming was slightly bored and wanted to do something new with his lead character and he succeeded I think with OHMSS.
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Comments

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,327
    Great review, @Pierce2Daniel. Please copy it here as well, for the archives. ;-)

    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/3517/james-bond-novels-fleming#Item_1
  • I much prefer the book to the film, though it's annoying in that it's obviously (to me) written for Connery, yet it's the first film he didn't do. I prefer the eerie feel of Bond up in the Piz Gloria, and his about to make a break for it, not really knowing if he's been found out or not. I prefer the nostalgic early scenes in the South of France to Portugal, which seemed to me a bit stuffy and unBond like in the film.

    For me, the book has a lighter touch than the film, which feels a bit bloated and stuffed, not so much of a guilty pleasure. Though I can see why they needed a showdown with the main villain at this stage.

    Regarding his knighthood, this is even more daft in the film as it's clear Blofeld is public enemy number one, it's like Bin Laden asking for a seat in Congress! Whereas in the book Blofeld only really had one would-be crime to his name (Thunderball), so it's more plausible he could be pardoned.
  • edited November 2013 Posts: 4,400
    I much prefer the book to the film, though it's annoying in that it's obviously (to me) written for Connery, yet it's the first film he didn't do. I prefer the eerie feel of Bond up in the Piz Gloria, and his about to make a break for it, not really knowing if he's been found out or not. I prefer the nostalgic early scenes in the South of France to Portugal, which seemed to me a bit stuffy and unBond like in the film.

    For me, the book has a lighter touch than the film, which feels a bit bloated and stuffed, not so much of a guilty pleasure. Though I can see why they needed a showdown with the main villain at this stage.

    Regarding his knighthood, this is even more daft in the film as it's clear Blofeld is public enemy number one, it's like Bin Laden asking for a seat in Congress! Whereas in the book Blofeld only really had one would-be crime to his name (Thunderball), so it's more plausible he could be pardoned.

    I disagree that the book was better than the film. The film successfully showed a more human angle that Fleming displayed in the novel. Furthermore, it improved on the novel in many ways; it made Tracy more central to the story's proceedings. In the novel Tracy exists on the outskirts of the plot in the film she is successfully integrated into the story (despite both missing her entirely from there second acts). Also Blofeld is made a more formidable presence in the film he is very lacklustre and almost a complete non-entity in the book. The film is right to give him and Bond a dialogue scene revealing his true intentions before the finale.

    I may be mistaken since its been a while since I watched the film but didn't Blofeld go to the College of Arms with a new identity? He didn't call himself Blofeld. Also the film explains (I think) that he is entitled to a huge wealth if he can prove his heritage. This is not mentioned in the novel.

    Plus following the TB novel there is no way Blofeld's crimes would be ignored, he's the most wanted man in the world!

  • Posts: 7,653
    I much prefer the book to the film, though it's annoying in that it's obviously (to me) written for Connery, yet it's the first film he didn't do. I prefer the eerie feel of Bond up in the Piz Gloria, and his about to make a break for it, not really knowing if he's been found out or not. I prefer the nostalgic early scenes in the South of France to Portugal, which seemed to me a bit stuffy and unBond like in the film.

    The book was written while Connery was in the midst of filming Dr NO, and Fleming had yet to applaud Connery as 007. I believe at this point he was not very happy about the casting choice.
    So I cannot agree with your statement.

    In YOLT Fleming did recognise Connery's greatness in the role.

  • edited November 2013 Posts: 57
    Coincidentally, I've just finished re-reading OHMSS myself.

    Probably my favourite Bond book. Great plot, probably the best action of any Fleming novel and some great supporting characters. It certainly has its faults (first one that springs to mind - MI6 can't find a trace of Blofeld, but Draco picks up the phone and is told immediately where he is!), but I really enjoy it whenever I read it.

    Even so, I'd agree that the film is a more polished version of the story.
  • In addition Blofeld as a character really lacks motivation. I know he's evil and all that, but why does he want to destroy Britain's agricultural prospects? His reasons are never explained nor are his reasons for wanting to gain the Bleuville title. It all seems rather random...
    If I remember correctly...

    Blofeld wants to use the threat of biological warfare to extort the United Nations into granting him a worldwide unconditional pardon for the events of Thunderball.

    As for the noble title... As M says, "snobbery".

  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    SaintMark wrote:
    I much prefer the book to the film, though it's annoying in that it's obviously (to me) written for Connery, yet it's the first film he didn't do. I prefer the eerie feel of Bond up in the Piz Gloria, and his about to make a break for it, not really knowing if he's been found out or not. I prefer the nostalgic early scenes in the South of France to Portugal, which seemed to me a bit stuffy and unBond like in the film.

    The book was written while Connery was in the midst of filming Dr NO, and Fleming had yet to applaud Connery as 007. I believe at this point he was not very happy about the casting choice.
    So I cannot agree with your statement.

    In YOLT Fleming did recognise Connery's greatness in the role.

    A bit of a myth that though, as in OHMSS the novel Bond confirms he is a "Scot" on several occasions in the novel, for what it's worth.
  • CraterGuns wrote:
    In addition Blofeld as a character really lacks motivation. I know he's evil and all that, but why does he want to destroy Britain's agricultural prospects? His reasons are never explained nor are his reasons for wanting to gain the Bleuville title. It all seems rather random...
    If I remember correctly...

    Blofeld wants to use the threat of biological warfare to extort the United Nations into granting him a worldwide unconditional pardon for the events of Thunderball.

    As for the noble title... As M says, "snobbery".

    No your thinking of the movie not the book. In the book; Blofeld has already used his biological weapons to kill a bunch of turkeys and he has plans that the rest of his girls kill other livestock. He seems to be carrying out his plan for the simple sake of it in the book. There is no motivation provided for his villainy which I think really a capital offence in fiction - your villain needs to have a goal otherwise he's just being evil for the sake of being evil.

    Like I said this is the biggest flaw of the book also the title-peerage thing needed to be explained better.

    Other than that i thought the character stuff was well-done.
  • Posts: 14,754
    CraterGuns wrote:
    In addition Blofeld as a character really lacks motivation. I know he's evil and all that, but why does he want to destroy Britain's agricultural prospects? His reasons are never explained nor are his reasons for wanting to gain the Bleuville title. It all seems rather random...
    If I remember correctly...

    Blofeld wants to use the threat of biological warfare to extort the United Nations into granting him a worldwide unconditional pardon for the events of Thunderball.

    As for the noble title... As M says, "snobbery".

    Exactly. Those are very good motivations, especially for a megalomaniac like Blofeld. Yes, snobbery is in the end his downfall, but that's the point! That is his hubris, the weakness of such brilliant, ruthless mind.

    Something that strikes me in the novel is that how close the time at Piz Gloria is to Dracula. You have Bond as a Harker type character going to meet in a remote location in the mountains a reclusive nobleman who is hiding sinister projects. Both Dracula and Blofeld want to spread a disease over the free world, both, both have female agents (albeit the three women in Dracula's castle remain there), both have similar appearances.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    CraterGuns wrote:
    In addition Blofeld as a character really lacks motivation. I know he's evil and all that, but why does he want to destroy Britain's agricultural prospects? His reasons are never explained nor are his reasons for wanting to gain the Bleuville title. It all seems rather random...
    If I remember correctly...

    Blofeld wants to use the threat of biological warfare to extort the United Nations into granting him a worldwide unconditional pardon for the events of Thunderball.

    As for the noble title... As M says, "snobbery".

    No your thinking of the movie not the book. In the book; Blofeld has already used his biological weapons to kill a bunch of turkeys and he has plans that the rest of his girls kill other livestock. He seems to be carrying out his plan for the simple sake of it in the book. There is no motivation provided for his villainy which I think really a capital offence in fiction - your villain needs to have a goal otherwise he's just being evil for the sake of being evil.

    Like I said this is the biggest flaw of the book also the title-peerage thing needed to be explained better.

    Other than that i thought the character stuff was well-done.

    Bond gives his motivation at the end of the 'Man from Ag and Fish' scene: 'it doesn't even matter who's paying him. He can go a bear of Sterling and make a fortune. Our currency will go through the floor - and the country with it.'
  • Posts: 14,754
    CraterGuns wrote:
    In addition Blofeld as a character really lacks motivation. I know he's evil and all that, but why does he want to destroy Britain's agricultural prospects? His reasons are never explained nor are his reasons for wanting to gain the Bleuville title. It all seems rather random...
    If I remember correctly...

    Blofeld wants to use the threat of biological warfare to extort the United Nations into granting him a worldwide unconditional pardon for the events of Thunderball.

    As for the noble title... As M says, "snobbery".

    No your thinking of the movie not the book. In the book; Blofeld has already used his biological weapons to kill a bunch of turkeys and he has plans that the rest of his girls kill other livestock. He seems to be carrying out his plan for the simple sake of it in the book. There is no motivation provided for his villainy which I think really a capital offence in fiction - your villain needs to have a goal otherwise he's just being evil for the sake of being evil.

    Like I said this is the biggest flaw of the book also the title-peerage thing needed to be explained better.

    Other than that i thought the character stuff was well-done.

    Bond gives his motivation at the end of the 'Man from Ag and Fish' scene: 'it doesn't even matter who's paying him. He can go a bear of Sterling and make a fortune. Our currency will go through the floor - and the country with it.'

    And Bond does mention Blofeld is very likely being paid too. These are good enough motivations.
  • Posts: 7,653
    Dragonpol wrote:
    SaintMark wrote:
    I much prefer the book to the film, though it's annoying in that it's obviously (to me) written for Connery, yet it's the first film he didn't do. I prefer the eerie feel of Bond up in the Piz Gloria, and his about to make a break for it, not really knowing if he's been found out or not. I prefer the nostalgic early scenes in the South of France to Portugal, which seemed to me a bit stuffy and unBond like in the film.

    The book was written while Connery was in the midst of filming Dr NO, and Fleming had yet to applaud Connery as 007. I believe at this point he was not very happy about the casting choice.
    So I cannot agree with your statement.

    In YOLT Fleming did recognise Connery's greatness in the role.

    A bit of a myth that though, as in OHMSS the novel Bond confirms he is a "Scot" on several occasions in the novel, for what it's worth.

    My apologies, please let me know where I can find those comments as I have no time to reread the whole book. And I am sure as knowledgable as you are that you have some notes on it.

  • edited November 2013 Posts: 4,400
    Ludovico wrote:
    CraterGuns wrote:
    In addition Blofeld as a character really lacks motivation. I know he's evil and all that, but why does he want to destroy Britain's agricultural prospects? His reasons are never explained nor are his reasons for wanting to gain the Bleuville title. It all seems rather random...
    If I remember correctly...

    Blofeld wants to use the threat of biological warfare to extort the United Nations into granting him a worldwide unconditional pardon for the events of Thunderball.

    As for the noble title... As M says, "snobbery".

    No your thinking of the movie not the book. In the book; Blofeld has already used his biological weapons to kill a bunch of turkeys and he has plans that the rest of his girls kill other livestock. He seems to be carrying out his plan for the simple sake of it in the book. There is no motivation provided for his villainy which I think really a capital offence in fiction - your villain needs to have a goal otherwise he's just being evil for the sake of being evil.

    Like I said this is the biggest flaw of the book also the title-peerage thing needed to be explained better.

    Other than that i thought the character stuff was well-done.

    Bond gives his motivation at the end of the 'Man from Ag and Fish' scene: 'it doesn't even matter who's paying him. He can go a bear of Sterling and make a fortune. Our currency will go through the floor - and the country with it.'

    And Bond does mention Blofeld is very likely being paid too. These are good enough motivations.

    I understand that Blofeld does have an aim in sight for what he hopes to archive but it's very vague and ill-sketched out. The 'Ag and Fish' chapter comes literally at the end of the book so for around 200 pages Blofeld's plot is kept mostly in the dark. Furthermore, he only has two brief meetings with Bond and not much more.

    Also what does he hope to archive by making England bankrupt? It's never been made clear that he hates England.

    His hunt for a title is also pretty silly. I think it was simply Fleming's latest obsession and he wanted to put it into his next novel.


  • Posts: 14,754
    There is nothing wrong with Blofeld's scheme being kept in the dark. Heck, it's normal we don't know the whole picture until much later in the story. This is pretty much what happens in investigation novels, which influenced Fleming. Read The Hound of the Baskervilles, we don't know the villain's motive (or the villain himself) until much later in the story too. And in the end, even how he could have gained the fortune of the Baskervilles remains hypothetical, even to Sherlock Holmes, who can only speculate. In the end, it is a MacGuffin, but a credible one.

    Blofeld has many good reasons to get England bankrupt: paid by the Soviet Union or China, he gains a little fortune (he won't do this for charity), if he places his money in another currency, its value is much stronger, he destroyed one important economy of the West and he thus got revenge from what they did to him in TB. It remains vague in the end? Well, fine. It's a MacGuffin. Why does everyone is obsessed about The Maltese Falcon in the eponymous novel? Why and how does Dracula want to conquer the British Empire?

    As for his run for a title, that's the whole point! Yes it is a ridiculously trivial gain, but that's what he wants, not because of its objective utility, but because of what it represents. That shows that no matter how intelligent Blofeld is, no matter organized, disciplined, he has flaws: his arrogance, his vanity, in a word his hubris.
  • edited November 2013 Posts: 4,400
    What do we make of Fleming's decision to marry off Bond only later to kill his new wife?

    I think it was a brave decision as Fleming clearly was getting bored of his own formula and wanted to shake things up a bit. It's likely one of the reasons the film fared the way it did when it came out. The Bond series was going great guns in the 1960's and those first five films functioned in a particular way and OHMSS was something of a departure just as the book was.

    Also does Blofeld genuinely believe himself to be a Count? Why else would he go fishing for a title?
  • The nod to Ursula Andress is there, as she appears at Piz Gloria, which is more of an all round spa and ski resort than in the film. Okay, but the book was written when Connery was filming No, and he had been spruced up a bit by then and had been photographed chatting with Fleming. Anyhow, Bond's bit of temper with Draco when bribed to marry his daughter seems very Connery.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    SaintMark wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    SaintMark wrote:
    I much prefer the book to the film, though it's annoying in that it's obviously (to me) written for Connery, yet it's the first film he didn't do. I prefer the eerie feel of Bond up in the Piz Gloria, and his about to make a break for it, not really knowing if he's been found out or not. I prefer the nostalgic early scenes in the South of France to Portugal, which seemed to me a bit stuffy and unBond like in the film.

    The book was written while Connery was in the midst of filming Dr NO, and Fleming had yet to applaud Connery as 007. I believe at this point he was not very happy about the casting choice.
    So I cannot agree with your statement.

    In YOLT Fleming did recognise Connery's greatness in the role.

    A bit of a myth that though, as in OHMSS the novel Bond confirms he is a "Scot" on several occasions in the novel, for what it's worth.

    My apologies, please let me know where I can find those comments as I have no time to reread the whole book. And I am sure as knowledgable as you are that you have some notes on it.

    @SaintMark, I will certainly look the novel later and get back to you with specific passages, but in the meantime, I'd ask you to have a look as these two articles on my The Bondologist Blog that deal with this area (amongst other things, you can use the search function on your computer if you wish):

    From 2007:

    http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/ian-fleming-on-james-bonds-all-scottish.html

    From 2009:

    http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/albert-r-cubby-broccoli-and-blueprint.html

    Happy reading - let me know your thoughts on these two!
  • Posts: 686
    According to The Making of Her Majesty's Secret Service:

    "While some revisionist claim that Fleming altered Bond's English origin's to match those of Scottish Actor Sean Connery background. Mirrlees' correspondence proves that Fleming was considering a Scottish background 2 years before he ever met Connery."

    Page 8.

    Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees was Fleming's contact at the Royal College of Arms.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,656
    The Bond series was going great guns in the 1960's and those first five films functioned in a particular way and OHMSS was something of a departure just as the book was.
    EON got bold only three times in their history, only the last time was as profitable a gamble as they'd hoped.
    Audiences are slow to embrace bold.
    I personally found it to be the more powerful & compelling of Fleming's novels.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    Perdogg wrote:
    According to The Making of Her Majesty's Secret Service:

    "While some revisionist claim that Fleming altered Bond's English origin's to match those of Scottish Actor Sean Connery background. Mirrlees' correspondence proves that Fleming was considering a Scottish background 2 years before he ever met Connery."

    Page 8.

    Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees was Fleming's contact at the Royal College of Arms.

    Thanks very much for that quote, @Perdogg. I have that excellent book by Charles Helfenstein but have yet to read it all. I guess that fits in with the theory in my two articles posted above, then. I too think that the link with Scottish actor Sean Connery becoming James Bond in 1961 is something of a red herring as Fleming was of Scottish heritage himself - his banker grandfather Robert Fleming was Scottish and it was from him that the Flemings derived their wealth of course.
  • Posts: 14,754
    What do we make of Fleming's decision to marry off Bond only later to kill his new wife?

    I think it was a brave decision as Fleming clearly was getting bored of his own formula and wanted to shake things up a bit. It's likely one of the reasons the film fared the way it did when it came out. The Bond series was going great guns in the 1960's and those first five films functioned in a particular way and OHMSS was something of a departure just as the book was.

    Also does Blofeld genuinely believe himself to be a Count? Why else would he go fishing for a title?

    I have met people into heraldry and ancestry researches and they do think sometimes they belong to such and such family of nobles or famous people out if the flimsiest bit of evidence. So I think Blofeld genuinely believed to be a nobleman, whatever the poor quality of the evidence. Again, hubris. In a way, OHMSS is about family, identity and belonging. It makes sense that it is set during Christmas.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited November 2013 Posts: 17,623
    Ludovico wrote:
    What do we make of Fleming's decision to marry off Bond only later to kill his new wife?

    I think it was a brave decision as Fleming clearly was getting bored of his own formula and wanted to shake things up a bit. It's likely one of the reasons the film fared the way it did when it came out. The Bond series was going great guns in the 1960's and those first five films functioned in a particular way and OHMSS was something of a departure just as the book was.

    Also does Blofeld genuinely believe himself to be a Count? Why else would he go fishing for a title?

    I have met people into heraldry and ancestry researches and they do think sometimes they belong to such and such family of nobles or famous people out if the flimsiest bit of evidence. So I think Blofeld genuinely believed to be a nobleman, whatever the poor quality of the evidence. Again, hubris. In a way, OHMSS is about family, identity and belonging. It makes sense that it is set during Christmas.

    True on the search for the great and the good being hubris. Interesting points on a part of OHMSS that really interests me. And an interesting point about the themes in both the novel and film and the Christmas point is one that I had not considered before, @Ludovico.
  • chrisisall wrote:
    EON got bold only three times in their history, only the last time was as profitable a gamble as they'd hoped.
    Audiences are slow to embrace bold.
    I can only think of two off the top of my head... What three were you referring to?
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    LeighBurne wrote:
    chrisisall wrote:
    EON got bold only three times in their history, only the last time was as profitable a gamble as they'd hoped.
    Audiences are slow to embrace bold.
    I can only think of two off the top of my head... What three were you referring to?

    I'd wager the three are OHMSS, LTK and CR. A fourth might be said to be FYEO in terms of the "boldness stakes" of Eon Productions.
  • Posts: 14,754
    I thought it was the casting of Dalton, a bet after the long Moore era that never completely paid off. I say this regardless of Dalton's qualities.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    Ludovico wrote:
    I thought it was the casting of Dalton, a bet after the long Moore era that never completely paid off. I say this regardless of Dalton's qualities.

    Sorry, I don't know how I missed that one, @Ludovico!
  • Posts: 2,877
    I feel there are only two cases where a Bond film was better than its source novel: Goldfinger and OHMSS. The film of OHMSS does a better job of tying together the major plot strands of the book by having Blofeld capture Tracy. It increases the enmity between Bond and Blofeld by adding a scene where the two openly confront each other. Additionally, whereas Fleming's Tracy becomes less interesting as the book goes on, Diana Rigg embodies a flesh and blood character, continually balancing pride with vulnerability. The only place where the movie stumbles in adapting the book is underplaying the theme of Blofeld's snobbery--the fact that he would jeopardize his entire operation to become a Count. The movie doesn't make the "hair heel of Achilles" as prominent as the book does.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited November 2013 Posts: 17,623
    Revelator wrote:
    I feel there are only two cases where a Bond film was better than its source novel: Goldfinger and OHMSS. The film of OHMSS does a better job of tying together the major plot strands of the book by having Blofeld capture Tracy. It increases the enmity between Bond and Blofeld by adding a scene where the two openly confront each other. Additionally, whereas Fleming's Tracy becomes less interesting as the book goes on, Diana Rigg embodies a flesh and blood character, continually balancing pride with vulnerability. The only place where the movie stumbles in adapting the book is underplaying the theme of Blofeld's snobbery--the fact that he would jeopardize his entire operation to become a Count. The movie doesn't make the "hair heel of Achilles" as prominent as the book does.

    True. And yes, I do wonder now if Fleming having Blofeld's hubristic snobbery over becoming a Count is his way of hitting back at Paul Johnson's charge of 'Sex, Sadism and Snobbery' against his Bond novels with having the villain and not the hero obsessed by a snobbish pursuit of heraldry.
  • Posts: 14,754
    It may be this, although I do think it is a nod at Stoker. I don't know if it was intentional, but I find OHMSS heavily influenced by Dracula.
  • edited November 2013 Posts: 7,653
    Ludovico wrote:
    It may be this, although I do think it is a nod at Stoker. I don't know if it was intentional, but I find OHMSS heavily influenced by Dracula.

    I'll bite, please do explain.
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