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LAZENBY BOND FIRST/LAST: ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE

year: 1969
No matter who’s playing James Bond, the most important scene of any 007 film is the action-packed opening: setting the stage for the entire show. But ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, the intro is rushed and edited badly... a fight scene at the beach leading to a forced one-liner with the new Bond, a stiff and dapper George Lazenby, looking into the camera saying: “This never happened to the other fella.”

Thankfully the rest of the movie is pretty decent. Although Lazenby doesn’t offer the laid back charming humor of Connery (and Roger Moore), he has the right amount of physical prowess as the Ian Fleming icon.

Bond is hired by a millionaire named Draco to keep watch of his maverick daughter played by Diana Rigg – one of the best Bond girls of the entire canon. Sans the affected breathy “Oh James” airhead, Rigg is an assertive natural beauty. This romantic sideplot turns into the real mission as Bond ventures to into snow-plush Switzerland.

Diana Rigg rules
Going undercover as a nebbish ancestry expert, Lazenby, formerly a magazine model, turns in a decent performance. By toning down the womanizing role amongst a harem of brainwashed ladies at Blofeld’s mountaintop outpost, the spy is truly undercover. Meanwhile, the bald nemesis, using a different name and race, has a subtle plot of world domination – more of a whimper than a bang.

SERVICEScore: ***
Telly Savalas brings a creepy, sinister edge to the character; he needs no lap cat or reverberating laughter to seem nefarious and formidable. Most of the action occurs on the slopes, and while there’s a bit too much skiing (like THUNDERBALL spent too much time underwater), the scenes have energy and always lead to something better: the real climax involves a terrific bobsled chase! And overall there is a pretty good flow despite contrived camera angles too reminiscent of the psychedelic era...

While Lazenby remains the red-haired stepchild of the Bond series, he does all right – but something’s just not there. Having made the choice during filming to never play Bond again, perhaps he felt it too. Yet no one can deny (spoiler alert) Lazenby's importance to the overall canon: he's the one who took part in the doomed marriage, mentioned in Bond films to come, and really important in shaping the Ian Fleming character years before shining on the silver screen.
This Grungy, Unkept Long Beach Record Store LP was adopted and gained a Signature from George Lazenby
Cover art from the back of the LP, not including the flag surrounding
BUY DVD AT AMAZON
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