On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) Movie Review: You Want Action? We’ve Got Action

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: whenever you see a little Lady Tyrell in Diana Rigg’s delivery

on_her_majestys_secret_service-diana-rigg

Or even a little Margaery

Take a Drink: for body tosses

Take a Drink: for subterfuge

Take Two Drinks: if said subterfuge involves a kilt

Take a Drink: for self-aware quips

Do a Shot: for a Very Bond Christmas

Do a Shot: “He had lots of guts”

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –

Sometime in 1966, the relationship between Bond star Sean Connery and Bond producers Albert Broccoli and Howard Saltzman went south, kicking in a love/hate cycle that would encompass some of the more unique Bond and Bond-adjacent  films.  1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service put a new actor in Bond’s tux- Aussie model George Lazenby.

sean-connery-model

Keeping that Zoolander casting rolling

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service finds Bond following a trail gone cold in the hunt for SPECTRE.  An encounter with a willful, beautiful heiress (Diana Rigg) puts him back on the right path, heading towards an Alpine showdown with old foe Blofeld (Telly Savalas).

A Toast

You will hear many a high profile director like Steven Soderbergh profiles their love for this Bond flick over all others, and its influence is clear in films as varied as Sam Mendes’s Skyfall and Christopher Nolan’s Inception.  The resource for this is clear- the directing abilities of editor turned rookie helmsman Peter R. Hunt compared to his predecessors are night and day.

OHMSS

My God!  A competently framed shot!

Hunt’s editing background is apparent in his groundbreaking, fast-cutting action sequences that look like and clearly influenced modern-day action films, and Reed’s clearly having fun experimenting with new angles and vantage points to capture the thrilling Alpine setpieces.  Richard Maibaum’s cracked, often humorous dialogue and John Barry’s soaring score, with bonus Louie Armstrong (this really is a snapshot of the late 60s), brings it all together.

Here, Telly Savalas replaced Donald Pleasance as Blofeld, for my money turning in the best iteration.  His effete, cultured, deep-voiced almost predatory menace reminded me of Javier Bardem’s in Skyfall, who clearly took some notes.

Bond’s usually on the other side of the rapiness.

Diana Rigg is another significant feather in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service‘s cap, finally proving a match, if not an overmatch, for Bond.  She commands the screen whenever she’s around, leading up to a truly ballsy ending that the franchise would immediately march back in Diamonds are Forever.

Beer Two

Lazenby has solid dramatic chops and even a bit of Cary Grant-ish charm, but honestly, I just don’t like his face.

george-lazenby-robogigolo

Looks like one of those robogigolos from A.I.

The plot also takes its time getting moving, and suffers a bit in the middle when Rigg’s not around.

Verdict

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service may well feature the Best Bond Girl, the Best Blofeld, the Best Action (to that point), and the Best Direction (until now).  Nobody will make the case that it has the Best Bond, but does that disqualify it for the title of the Best Bond film?  Not in my book.

2beers

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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