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

Aziz_FekkeshAziz_Fekkesh Royale-les-Eaux
edited February 2 in Actors Posts: 387
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.
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Comments

  • 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: 387
    ....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: 6,565
    ....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 Here but not
    Posts: 5,039
    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: 3,982
    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: 6,565
    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: 3,982
    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: 6,565
    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.
  • Aziz_FekkeshAziz_Fekkesh Royale-les-Eaux
    Posts: 387
    Even a great Connery performance in OHMSS could not bring out the vulnerability and humanity that Lazenby intentionally or unintentionally was able to.
  • Posts: 5,651
    I've always got time to give George any appreciation for his one and only appearance, and we say it every time, in that it's a real pity he wasn't able to continue for another release or two, if not for his interfering agent getting involved. I think Lazenby gets unfairly criticized often enough or the sharp end of the stick. Even if he was a virtual unknown at the time, or even having an antipodean play the iconic figure of James Bond, he had immense shoes to fill after Connery, and all said, did a very adequate job of things. I wouldn't swap George with any other actor in '69 for that particular release, gave us a fine and almost legendary Bond film to depart the 1960s after the (mostly) stellar efforts that had come directly before. I wouldn't change any of that in retrospect
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 6,565
    Even a great Connery performance in OHMSS could not bring out the vulnerability and humanity that Lazenby intentionally or unintentionally was able to.

    I know SirHenry won't stand for this but I think you're spot on Aziz_Fekkesh.

    Even a committed and focused Connery would still be Sean Connery movie star. You would never really fear for him like you do George when he is strangling the guy on the cliff or sitting at the ice rink.

    Perhaps the Connery of DN or FRWL might have sold it but even on the train with Grant when he is in quite a pickle you don't really have the same fears. I just think Connery is maybe too alpha male?
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache. Writer @ http://www.thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk
    Posts: 10,084
    As a big Lazenby fan (OHMSS is still my favourite film) I can only agree with the general portent of this thread.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 8,441
    Even a great Connery performance in OHMSS could not bring out the vulnerability and humanity that Lazenby intentionally or unintentionally was able to.

    I know SirHenry won't stand for this but I think you're spot on Aziz_Fekkesh.

    Even a committed and focused Connery would still be Sean Connery movie star. You would never really fear for him like you do George when he is strangling the guy on the cliff or sitting at the ice rink.

    Perhaps the Connery of DN or FRWL might have sold it but even on the train with Grant when he is in quite a pickle you don't really have the same fears. I just think Connery is maybe too alpha male?

    I am by no means Lazenby's biggest fan, but I am an OHMSS lover and I think you've both pointed out something very intrinsic to it's appeal. I have to say I completely agree.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 9,831
    Taking me this long to think of something to say of appreciation for Lazenby. So I will say this: the man could really fight, move well, and looked good in action scenes.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    Taking me this long to think of something to say of appreciation for Lazenby. So I will say this: the man could really fight, move well, and looked good in action scenes.

    Total agreement with this, that's all I have that's good to say and I haven't wavered from that opinion since 1969. And his rock star like manner as well with the ladies. The rest of OHMSS, completely different story.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 6,396
    That's what impresses me the most with GL. His unwavering self belief and his sheer bloody arrogance. And it shines through when you watch OHMSS. OK, it's pretty well agreed that in some scenes his acting does fail to deliver, pretty understandable I guess given his lack of experience, but for the most part he is terrific especially in scenes you wound't necessarily think he could pull off i.e. the barn with Tracy and the aftermath of her death. His acting for someone who hadn't acted before was right up there.

    I'm glad that GL gets a better rep these days, particularly from us within the Bond community because the level of vile that was aimed at him circa '69 was always completely overblown and out of order IMO. I often wonder whether the press in this country had in for him from the start because of the "Who is this Johnny Foreigner playing our beloved James Bond?" mentality, or whether they would have slaughtered any poor lamb that was going to take on that role after Sean left.

    I suppose things hadn't changed a great deal given the initial amount of vitriol towards DC. How quick the press forget.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 6,565
    That's what impresses me the most with GT. His unwavering self belief and his sheer bloody arrogance. And it shines through when you watch OHMSS. OK, it's pretty well agreed that in some scenes his acting does fail to deliver, pretty understandable I guess given his lack of experience, but for the most part he is terrific especially in scenes you wound't necessarily think he could pull off i.e. the barn with Tracy and the aftermath of her death. His acting for someone who hadn't acted before was right up there.

    Apart from having not the faintest idea who GT is; well said Willy.

  • edited August 2013 Posts: 6,396
    Amended ;-) Where the hell did I get GT from??? Thanks @TheWiz
  • Aziz_FekkeshAziz_Fekkesh Royale-les-Eaux
    edited August 2013 Posts: 387
    Even a great Connery performance in OHMSS could not bring out the vulnerability and humanity that Lazenby intentionally or unintentionally was able to.

    I know SirHenry won't stand for this but I think you're spot on Aziz_Fekkesh.

    Even a committed and focused Connery would still be Sean Connery movie star. You would never really fear for him like you do George when he is strangling the guy on the cliff or sitting at the ice rink.

    Perhaps the Connery of DN or FRWL might have sold it but even on the train with Grant when he is in quite a pickle you don't really have the same fears. I just think Connery is maybe too alpha male?

    That's exactly what I was gesturing towards and thank you for being so articulate, Wizard. I'm not exactly sure what most critics of Lazenby's performance think that Connery would have rectified or improved on with the character as written for OHMSS, but Laz just works for this particular film. I think him in a YOLT style or even GF style film could not have worked because Bond is basically indestructible in those films. How he would've fared in later films or in a direct sequel is anyone's guess. I'm glad people are sharing their appreciation for the man and I really think that, like the rest of the actors, he was James Bond, at least for one film. What he could've brought to the series later on had he been given the chance is onlt now idle speculation.

    And Gustav_Graves, I wanted to get my opinions known in a new thread rather than contribute to one and in which my points may not expanded upon.
  • pachazopachazo Here but not
    Posts: 5,039
    I think him in a YOLT style or even GF style film could not have worked because Bond is basically indestructible in those films.

    I must disagree about the GF part. GF Connery in OHMSS would have been amazing. He's not entirely indestructible for the whole film. He gets captured and shows a great deal of nervousness when a certain laser is aiming for his center of Bond power. There's no gadget that saves him from that predicament.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 78
    George is my secret crush. However? Don't tell Vijay please.

    Smart, and handsome, powerhouse fighter, and man, and actor. On Her Majesty's Secret Service, nobody does it better, or could have does it.
  • Posts: 719
    "Who is this Johnny Foreigner playing our beloved James Bond? mentality, or whether they would have slaughtered any poor lamb that was going to take on that role after Sean left"

    Bit of both I spose......YOLT posters didn't help either : "SC IS JB !" , many audiences were like "he ain't Bond , where's Connery ?"
  • Posts: 135
    George Lazenby is a nobody; therefore, he took part in only one Bond picture.
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