The GEORGE LAZENBY Appreciation thread - Discuss His Life, His Career, His Bond Films

2456722

Comments

  • There's no doubt that Lazenby was pretty stupid, but it could be argued that EON weren't that far behind. Why the hell did they not sign him up on a deal which gave them an option for further movies right from the start? They held all the cards and surely could have given themselves opt out clauses in case the films weren't successful.
  • He was far from stupid-- just a 'fish out of water' if you will. A man who went from nothing (relatively speaking) to JAMES BOND in no time at all, and he had some terrible advice from someone he trusted. Just a shame that someone was a better agent....
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited July 2021 Posts: 13,312
    Time to pull this out again?

    Lazenby was offered a 7 Bond film contract from James Bond production company Eon before, during, and after filming of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Despite the popular belief that he quit the role or that he was fired, he actually simply was in a lengthy contract disupute, of which his saying he had quit the role was part of his negotiating ploy. There was a lengthy dispute over Lazenby's Bond contract because it was 14 inches thick and covered everything from how Lazenby should behave in public, how he should dress, what car he should drive, how he should wear his hair, that he always be cleanly shaven, how he handle his personal life, where he should dine out, who he should be seen in public with, among numerous other things over the 14 year length of the contract. Lazenby felt he needed to be paid extra money in order to keep in line with such a Draconian contract for so many years. In the end, Lazenby turned down a very large amount of money and demanded twice what he was offered, and Bond production company Eon and United Artists then removed him from there plans in the Bond franchise.

    Lazenby was offered a then huge actor's salary of $1 million to play 007 in Diamonds Are Forever by Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman and United Artists, but he demanded twice that amount and thus was never signed for the role.

    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.

    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.
  • edited January 2013 Posts: 3,314
    The fact that Lazenby could actually be fired for something as simple as not shaving every day while not even filming a Bond movie is way too Draconian and I can understand why Lazenby chose to rebel by wearing a beard and long hair in public, plus hanging out at nightclubs and bars. By the report it seems that Lazenby did everything right apart from allowing personal manager/publicist Ronan O'Rahilly final say on his contract negotiations which also seemed too Draconian for his own good. Either way, it would seem that Lazenby was caught somewhere between a rock and hard place as soon as he took on the role, though I do blame EON for not sorting out a proper contract in the first place.
    I didn't think George ever trained under Bruce- just more of an acquaintance. Bruce did teach Garner and Coburn, @bondsum-- as well as Steve McQueen and our good friend Chuck Norris!
    Bruce Lee is often credited with having taught Steve McQueen Jeet Kune Do, but McQueen was actually trained in the Korean art of Tang Soo Do by 9th degree blackbelt Pat E. Johnson. The reason why it wasn't reported much was due to him being worried he might find himself at the wrong end of a lawsuit, therefore he didn’t want his martial arts officially documented. It was his son Chad that took lessons from family friends Chuck Norris & Bruce Lee from what I've read.
  • A very detailed post by Samuel001, a lot of it news to me. Quite why they would want to hang on to an actor for 20 years or so seems crazy to me, especially as there was never any guarantee he'd be any good in the role, or be accepted by the public. Again, all the stuff about his behaviour off set, such as daily shaving when not even playing Bond, is frankly bizarre. Of course, Lazenby could have gone to the press and had a field day over it, so he had very bad PR if those allegations are true.

    Mind you, I wonder if there was a clause in Brosnan's contract preventing him making a film like The Matador while he was still Bond?
  • Posts: 3,314
    I don't think news of the Draconian contract that Lazenby was asked to sign is at all bizarre, @NapoleonPlural, especially when you think of the Hollywood studio system they were trying to emulate whereby they discovered a "talent" and then groomed and trained them for success. The process of becoming a star invaded every aspect of a person's life. The stars essentially became the property of the studio once they signed a contract. In turn, the studio did as much as possible -- even dictating social activities -- to ensure proper exposure of their best stars. It's not too far fetched to imagine Cubby and Harry devising a similar plan when they lost their prized asset Sean Connery and didn't want the same thing to happen again, hence the reason why they went for a complete unknown and the potentially long contract with its "studio system" clauses.

    Most of these types of contracts were fazed out in the 60's so it's highly unlikely that Brosnan or even Craig will have any such restrictions put upon them.
  • Quite why they would want to hang on to an actor for 20 years or so seems crazy to me, especially as there was never any guarantee he'd be any good in the role, or be accepted by the public.
    The 'shove him down our throats until we love him' method ;)
    Mind you, I wonder if there was a clause in Brosnan's contract preventing him making a film like The Matador while he was still Bond?
    I read once that Pierce had a clause in his contract that did not allow him to wear a tux in any other movie as long as he was Bond- yet he did anyway in The Thomas Crown Affair so I'm not sure how true it was. But just goes to show the silly things that could be in a big contract like that

  • edited January 2013 Posts: 1,342
    The films could still have been the same script wise even with GL......I don't think it would've made much of a difference.

    Audience prolly would've accepted him after 2-3 films , if they'd loved him is another question.
  • Posts: 1,342
    Nah , GL wasn't the biggest idiot of 20th century......that award goes to Hitler (or Anders Breivik) :D

    *chuckles*
  • Posts: 793
    Well I glad George Lazenby quit after On Her Mystery Secret Service. One of his friend told to leave because it was a Sean Connery Gig. I remember Spoof Bond role in The Return of the Man from UNCLE. First because he did one I thought he got the flick. But he quit.
  • Posts: 2,600
    Still, Lazenby is definetly the toughest Bond, I don't think anybody can deny that.

    I think Connery and Craig would give Laz a run for his money.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe JenaMaloneforBond.comModerator
    Posts: 12,228
    I read once that Pierce had a clause in his contract that did not allow him to wear a tux in any other movie as long as he was Bond- yet he did anyway in The Thomas Crown Affair so I'm not sure how true it was. But just goes to show the silly things that could be in a big contract like that

    I don't think he was wearing a bow tie in that scene (the dance?), so i'd guess that's how they were able to get around the 'no dinner jacket' clause of his contract.

  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    The 'shove him down our throats until we love him' method ;)

    Otherwise known as the Patrick Kielty method.
  • CIACIA
    Posts: 120
    Craig is severely underpaid. He should make twice as much as Brosnan per film.
  • AliAli
    edited February 2013 Posts: 319
    Wow, Craig is really getting the short end of the stick! The best Bond we've seen in years and even with a fourth movie in the wings he'll only earn half of what Brosnan took for his four?

    It also partly explains why Brosnan wasn't offered a fifth. He would have been asking for £20million plus!!! If anyone at EON is reading, I'd do it for £200 a day and some Haribo....call me.
  • Aziz_FekkeshAziz_Fekkesh Royale-les-Eaux
    edited February 2017 Posts: 403
    For a guy with no acting experience filling the most iconic role in movie history up until that point, he gave a damned commendable performance. The scene with Bond proposing and the last scene alone cement him to me as a great Bond and I don't think Connery would've been able to pull off the vulnerability that Lazenby brought to the role in OHMSS. Besides, Connery had already checked out in YOLT and would've ruined OHMSS with a lazy performance ala DAF. Furthermore, Laz was great in the fight scenes and certainly had a good "look" for Bond. Given a few more films, he would've grown in to the role. Perhaps he was lousy with the one-liners, but he had the cruelty of Connery with some decent comedic timing.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    There's plenty of these out there already for Lazenby fans.

    But I would like to correct your misinformed statement regarding Connery. Those of you who say this don't know he wouldn't have excelled throughout. You're just guessing based on YOLT and DAF that this would be so, and they are very different and simpler scripts that called for him to do very little he hadn't done before. Watch Sean when he's motivated by a script, especially a love story, you'll see how incredibly misinformed you really are. He wasn't interested in even reading this script because he didn't want to be Bond anyone, but if he had and wanted to do it, he would have been at his best and it would have truly made OHMSS the best of the series. Which it isn't for obvious reasons that go by the initials GL. Sean is a professional actor with many awards including an Oscar, and it's high time this whimsical theory from those with overactive imaginations was put to rest.

    Time to lock this one up.
  • Aziz_FekkeshAziz_Fekkesh Royale-les-Eaux
    Posts: 403
    ....but he wasn't interested in the role at that point anymore. If the first film with Connery would have been OHMSS maybe your theory holds some water but by 1968-69, after five films and a hectic shooting schedule (not to mention intense media coverage and fear of typecasting), Connery was so over the character. I agree with your assessment of him as a pro, but his skills only come to the fore if he's interested in the project. No matter how good the script for OHMSS was or could have been, the fact is Connery would have phoned in Bond #6. This fact in no way invalidates the iconic performances he gave in the first four films.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    ....but he wasn't interested in the role at that point anymore. If the first film with Connery would have been OHMSS maybe your theory holds some water but by 1968-69, after five films and a hectic shooting schedule (not to mention intense media coverage and fear of typecasting), Connery was so over the character. I agree with your assessment of him as a pro, but his skills only come to the fore if he's interested in the project. No matter how good the script for OHMSS was or could have been, the fact is Connery would have phoned in Bond #6. This fact in no way invalidates the iconic performances he gave in the first four films.

    Exactly.
    OHMSS with the Connery of DN and FRWL = awesome.
    OHMSS with the Connery of YOLT and DAF = awful.

    You are correct to state that Connery would have done a good job if he had been interested but given the choice between Sean in 1968 (with his antipathy towards Bond and EON) and Laz its George every time.

  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,231
    Poor George. Even in his own appreciation thread everyone just wants to talk about Connery! For the record, I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be fascinated to see what Sean (circa 1969) could have done with the material, disinterested or not. I'm most content with Lazenby having done it though. I'm also thankful that he stepped down from the role as it helps add to the mystique of this very wonderful film.
  • SandySandy Somewhere in Europe
    Posts: 4,012
    I think that, considering his lack of acting experience, Laz did a great job with what he had! Is Connery a better actor? No doubt. However, could he have pulled a decent performance at that time? I very much doubt. Laz, somehow despite his limitations, pulled it together and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Sandy wrote:
    I think that, considering his lack of acting experience, Laz did a great job with what he had! Is Connery a better actor? No doubt. However, could he have pulled a decent performance at that time? I very much doubt. Laz, somehow despite his limitations, pulled it together and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Not often the Wizard can applaud somebody on here for being absolutely bang on the money. I salute you Sandy.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 23
    Even though (we as fans) do not always agree, especially with the generation gaps between us, I think it is safe to say that a majority of us AGREE that we enjoyed OHMSS with George Lazenby in the lead role and would not want to change anything.

    However, Sean Connery in 1968-69, certainly would have been young enough and fit enough to have executed any psychical demands put on him. Check out the films he did right after completing YOLT. SHALAKO and THE MOLLY MAGUIRES. He certainly didn't look bored in either film, in fact, he gave two fine performances and they are both excellent films, but are hardly ever discussed.

    On the other hand, if you had replaced Diana Rigg with another actress, I believe OHMSS would have been far less appealing. It seems to me that Diana demands the viewers attention whenever she is on the screen, much like she did when she starred in THE AVENGERS. Anyway, OHMSS will always be one of my all-time favorites along with DR. NO, FRWL, GOLDFINGER and THUNDERBALL.


  • SandySandy Somewhere in Europe
    Posts: 4,012
    Sandy wrote:
    I think that, considering his lack of acting experience, Laz did a great job with what he had! Is Connery a better actor? No doubt. However, could he have pulled a decent performance at that time? I very much doubt. Laz, somehow despite his limitations, pulled it together and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Not often the Wizard can applaud somebody on here for being absolutely bang on the money. I salute you Sandy.

    Thank you Wizard. I think I should get this one framed...
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    ....but he wasn't interested in the role at that point anymore. If the first film with Connery would have been OHMSS maybe your theory holds some water but by 1968-69, after five films and a hectic shooting schedule (not to mention intense media coverage and fear of typecasting), Connery was so over the character. I agree with your assessment of him as a pro, but his skills only come to the fore if he's interested in the project. No matter how good the script for OHMSS was or could have been, the fact is Connery would have phoned in Bond #6. This fact in no way invalidates the iconic performances he gave in the first four films.

    No, this is not a fact as I've already stated. You're missing the point. My assessment of Sean as a professional actor however is a fact. History tells us that Sean was no longer interested in doing Bond at this point, so if he had still been contractually bound, then we would have seen what the results would have been and been able to give a proper assessment of his performance in these circumstances. That's the only fair way to see it, anything else is pure conjecture and not factual so since he wasn't, "what if" doesn't apply. It's the same as guessing if George would have been better than Sean in DAF. We'll never know that one either.

    When you look at Sean's work in films such as "Robin And Marian" and "The Russia House", it's more than apparent that he was capable of giving a helluva performance in this film, with this script, one that would have ranked among his best as Bond.

  • One of my favourite Lazenby moments is during the Piz Gloria battle. He enters a room and one of Blofelds scientists lobs some acid at them. Lazenby casually dodges this and pelts the scientist with machine gun fire. He looks at the burning hole in the wall and walks away like he doesn't give a toss.

    That's the definition of cool right there.
    Sandy wrote:
    I think that, considering his lack of acting experience, Laz did a great job with what he had! Is Connery a better actor? No doubt. However, could he have pulled a decent performance at that time? I very much doubt. Laz, somehow despite his limitations, pulled it together and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    That pretty much sums up my thoughts. Lazenby is probably my least favourite Bond actor but he did a good job and was the best option at the time.

    @SirHenryLeeChaChing You bang on about facts but you haven't posted any. You can't prove that the script would've motivated Connery. He's given some great performances before when he was motivated by a good script but he hated Bond at this point. He hated the attention it'd given him with the press prying into his private life and he hated the producers for not paying him enough, so who's to say that all this wouldn't have stopped him from giving a toss about how good the script was?

    If Sean had been motivated then yeah he would've been great but in 1969, I can't see anything motivating him apart from money. I think we likely would've just gotten another phoned in performance from a Bond who was only there because he was getting a million quid.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    I didn't say anything other than neither side of the theory can be proven. Sean was certainly the better actor, that's about all that can be proven here.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited August 2013 Posts: 9,117
    I didn't say anything other than neither side of the theory can be proven. Sean was certainly the better actor, that's about all that can be proven here.

    What does how good or bad an OHMSS starting Connery might have been have to do with Lazenby anyway?

  • Posts: 6,432
    OHMSS is a great movie, and George contributed to that. As much as i love Sean i don't think the film would have worked as well with him in it. OHMSS, FRWL and TB equally good for different reasons, always been my top three Bond films.
  • It has to do with people stating that he wouldn't have been any good and it's an opinion that people are claiming as fact, which it clearly isn't. People can have that opinion but fact it is not.
Sign In or Register to comment.