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on July 30, 2014
This is perhaps the most `realistic' and `personal' James Bond film (prior to the tremendous `Skyfall').

"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" did not have the same level of Box Office performance as the earlier `Sean Connery' movies, but it contained Four unique `enhancements' =
1) A more realistic, down-to-Earth scenario whereby James Bond actually loses some of his patent over-confidence, and actually `resigns' from the British M-I-6 secret service!
2) Bond falls in love, and even marries the woman he considers his complete `equal' in nearly every way (played by the incredibly charismatic Diana Rigg, who fully matches Bond in the areas of charm, confidence, intelligence, bravery and especially thrill-seeking!)
3) This story has a much darker (even melancholy, to some degree) tone about it - don't want to give away the ending, for those who have never seen it yet (even over 40 years hence*) ==> but the Finale is actually a bit hard to bear, and unlike anything you will see in any other Bond film, before or since.
4) The Music composed by ingenious John Barry is particularly awesome, and you even get to hear a quite moving original Song sung by the immortal Louis Armstrong! (just can't beat that!)

Seriously, this version is quite `different' from the conventional portrayals = George Lazenby is realistically `low-key' (wouldn't you think real undercover spies should be hard to detect/notice), and he has genuine interest in getting to really `know' the exceedingly beautiful Teresa "Tracy" Draco-di Vicenzo (aka Diana Rigg) = she is not simply a `Bond-girl' pin-Up/ screen-Saver!
They seem authentically & believably drawn to (and made for) each other - most intriguing!

But don't misunderstand ==> there is plenty of fast-paced action (and the typical explosive `smack-down') in the penultimate scenes (with a very subdued and painfully realistic Ending).

Also, Telly Savalas is exceptional as the evil (i.e. the Real Dr. Evil to be exact) Mastermind: Ernst Stavro Blofeld! But even the villain here seems more complicated & multi-dimensional than usual (Savalas being a truly exceptional master-thespian!)

I always liked those Movies that presented a more realistic rendition of the true life of a Spy/ secret service Agent, and the idea that it certainly was/is a real job, with genuine consequences - and not simply an excuse to sit-around a Roulette table all-Day, sipping martinis (shaken, not stirred, of Course!)

note*: unfortunately too young to have seen it originally in theaters, circa 1969 = I first really watched this in the mid-Eighties, on ABC TV (when they used to cycle thru all the Bond films, with commercials no Less!)
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on December 9, 2014
Not the best, but not horrible. You can't be a half-decent Bond fan without watching it. My son has gotten into Bond in the last couple years and we're working our way back. I had warned him that the older movies don't have as many cool gadgets and intense action scenes, but he said that it was better than he expected.

There are some funny references to previous Bond movies, like in the opening scene when Bond says something like "This never happened to the other guy", or some of the gadgets. It's kind of cool to pick up on those.
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on May 6, 2017
I'd say out of some the classics, Lazenby's outing definitely stands out. The ending too, Bond seems like he's ready to become a more civilized person. Some of the plot doesn't canonically add up with Connery's films that came before, but it's not a biggie.
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on January 12, 2007
Always the underdog and never the Top Dog, OHMSS has a bad reputation that it doesn't deserve. I honestly don't know what Bond fans really want in their movies as they hate anything that has too many gadgets and set pieces and turn their nose up at anything that represents Ian Fleming's true vision of Bond. Lazenby, like Daniel Craig, suffered a press backlash before the film was released that swayed public opinion against OHMSS.

The story has Bond taken off the Blofeld case after failing to apprehend him twice and sent on a 2-week holiday. He soon falls in love with Contessa Tracy Di Vicenzo who's daddy is the boss of one of Europe's largest crime syndicates. Daddy, has a deal for Bond. Make his daughter happy and he'll point him in the direction of the elusive Blofeld and give him a £1,000,000 bonus. An offer he can't refuse huh? It turns out that Blofeld (Television Savalas, the best incarnation of the character) is hiding in the Swiss Alps and Bond goes undercover as Genealogy expert Sir Hilary Bray to smoke him out. Bond just happens to be a bit of a Genealogist himself (this movie has him discover that the Bond family motto is 'Orbis Non Sufficit'...interesting)and reckons he bluff his way through it.

Blofeld's world conquering plot this time around is kinda Austin Powers-ish but it's thankfully played down. Bond, stripped of his stupid gadgets, must rely on his cunning and wits to outsmart Blofeld and defeat his evil schemes. I particularly like the scene where Bond is locked in a cable-car gear-room and his attempts to escape. Despite the obvious rear-projection a ski-chase, car chase and bobsleigh chase are all very well done.

John Barry's score is also noteworthy and his main OHMSS theme is brilliant. If there was ever anything that could come close to replacing the signature Bond theme while still retaining that familiar sound then this is it. Hunt it down, check it out. The scope cinematography is also a standout and often has some nice, atmospheric shots. Something not often seen in a Bond film.

I first saw OHMSS when I was a kid and I remember reading about how it was a flop when it was released in theatres. Which is actually a total lie, it DIDN'T flop. The mediocre review in the horrid tabloid newspaper I read made me, as a 10-year-old, dislike the the film. I don't feel that way now though. And despite remembering how it ended I was still pretty shocked when it came. It's far more dramatic and memorable than typical Bond endings. Is this what turns most people off OHMSS? Who the hell wants same-old same-old? Yes, there are a few continuity problems, such as Bond and Blofeld not recognizing each other but since their only face-to-face was with Connery and Donald Pleasence (the most parodied Bond villain performance) it would be absurd for Lazenby and Savalas to be familiar with each other.

Too bad Lazenby didn't come back for Diamonds Are Forever. It would have been better for him to be given a nice little double-feature instead of Connery returning one last time. The youngest Bond actor (he was 29 at the time of filming), he certainly looked athletic and believable but apparently his youthful cockiness onset ruffled the producers feathers too much and his own doubts in the series and himself as an actor prevented his return.

Don't let the ancient bad rep put you off. OHMSS is just as worthy as another other superior Bond film.

The Blu-ray is in brilliant 2.35:1 1080p with a pretty decent DTS HD-MA sound design. Extras are plentiful.
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on April 18, 2011
Growing up I was a big fan of the Bond movies, but I never saw this one until recently. It tends to be overlooked, merely because it's the only one with George Lazenby. To start with, Lazenby was an excellent Bond. He has all the character traits that make Sean Connery and Daniel Craig great Bonds, and the look of a James Bond. Roger Moore followed Lazenby with 7 movies, but lacked both of these qualities - particularly the thuggish virility that makes Bond so attractive to women. Pierce Brosnan was similarly tame.

The other two main characters, Diana Rigg as Tracy Bond and Terry Savalas as Blofeld are also excellently played. Rigg makes Tracy probably the most formidable Bond girl in the series, and her character is actually greatly improved from the book. Other Bond movies have tried to have strong female roles, but it usually makes the "Bond girl" routine feel more trite and worn-out rather than less. Here it works brilliantly. Her crime-boss father (Draco) is also a powerful and well-played character. Savalas is possibly the best Blofeld, though he plays the character differently from the others. He's not the typical freak lampooned by Dr. Evil, destroying the world and doting on a cat because he can't get laid. Rather, he shows a joy and self-aware humor in being the villain (which Goldfinger fans will love), and comes across as a likeable guy who just randomly happens to own a cat.

Finally, the plot is one of the best and closest to the books. It has some small flaws - length, implausibilities, and a couple tacky reminders of the Sean Connery films (meant to reassure contemporary viewers it wasn't a "reboot"). However, these are small issues. With all the movie's virtues, I think it ranks among the very best Bonds - namely Sean Connery's first three films and Daniel Craig's Casino Royale.
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on March 6, 2011
If this is such a bad film, why is it one of the highest priced to buy on dvd ? George Lazenby was far and above most of the portrayers of the spy hero. There's all the action one would want, a plot that makes weird sense in todays world, and so much action, the skiing scenes are the best ever. Lazenby as Bond has all the qualities for the part, even showing a romantic and understanding side. Diana Rigg was perfect as the spoiled daughter , Telly Savalas a perfect villian, along with his entourage.The scenes in the Alps were breathtaking, the action top notch. This was for me, the best Bond film ever and I have always been sorry that Lazenby didn't get to carry on, but who could blame him, from what I understand he got paid a mere $50,000. for this appearance, and he was so much better than those that followed. Brosnan was a snooze, Craig a good athlete, and that's all. Somebody please tell me why the studio, later, and after all this, didn't pick Adrian Paul to succeed Connery, as for appearance he could have been Connery's son, and far more talented. OHMSS is
my favorite of all the Bond films.
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on November 5, 2013
OHMSS to me is the best James Bond film. Best score, best story, and best car.
Yes, no Connery, but who cares, it's James Bond in the 1960's, and you get Diana Rigg, Portugal, Switzerland, Telly Savalas, Peter Hunt at the helm, Gabrielle Ferzetti, Ilse Steppat, and a very good Lazenby.
Who could forget the fight scene on Guincho Beach, Piz Gloria, Those Girls, the Aston Martin DBS, the wedding, the final hat toss, Tracy's Cougar, the hotel fight scene, the midget whistling "Goldfinger," Marce Ange Draco's scene with Bond, Gumbold's safe, the centrefold, Steak Piz Gloria, Polite Society, This Never Happened to the Other Feller, and the Final Scene?
Very underrated film.
Best of the series, I say...
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on January 1, 2015
George is not Sean, but he did a fair job in this part. And, I enjoy the story line in this one. James has a life outside of MI6. Plus, he is human to a degree and falls for a woman. In Fleming's book JB was a few notches above a thug. Hired assasin for Great Britian. That character was rough, had a scar and man handed most people, in a suit. Sean added to that and created for the "viewers" ( vs readers) a Bond that was a bit different then Fleming's, but at the time the movies wanted that and so landed at the optimum time for spies. Sean also has a flair for a womanizer and what a "flair". George does not have Sean's character ability but in his own way pulled it off in my humble opinion, and, a much better job (again in my opinion) then that fxxking peacock Sir Roger Moore....who I also think stunk in The Saint. That about does it.
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on August 2, 2013
This really is the best Bond film, period. (The second best, IMHO, is From Russia with Love; by the time Goldfinger came along, I think the series was moving just a hair too far into cheeky humor and self-parody...); this is not to say OHMSS doesn't have its share of bad puns and adolescent humor, it is just that those moments are balanced by the film's more mature themes. I love the editing and overall direction of this film, and the soundtrack is the best of all Bond films---I encourage everyone to pick up the enhanced CD available on Amazon, which includes many tracks not on the original LP release (On Her Majesty's Secret Service). The plot is, again, ridiculous, but is more than compensated by the serious take on Bond's romantic relationship with a woman he grows to truly respect and love. Diana Rigg's Tracy is so good you can actually understand why she stands alone among all the other "Bond girls" in the series, and is the only one Bond ever married. There are so many memorable scenes: the opening and title sequence, Bond's meeting with Draco, Bond's 'firing' by M, the romantic montage played behind "We Have All the Time in the World"---I could go on and on.... And as for the eternal discussion of Lazenby vs. Connery vs anyone else---what difference does it make, really? Lazenby absolutely nailed this performance, and I am really sorry he so soured his relationship with Broccoli and Saltzman that he was essentially uninvited from the party.
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on April 26, 2006
This DVD is marketed by Ohio State, and is obviously a highlight of Buckeye tradition as it was a big win that gave them the 1968 national title. But as a USC alum I heartily endorse this for your Trojan collection, as Troy indeed did, in the words of former L.A. Times sports editor Owen Bird, "fight like Trojans" in noble defeat. It is a great piece of "time travel" in beautiful "living color," brought to you by the NBC peacock with the legendary Curt Gowdy at the height of his game, along with Kyle Rote. The Rose queen introduces it with fabulous big 1968-69 hair, but the images of the Rose Bowl, the snow-capped San Gabriels, the Arroyo Seco, are the same as today, which is why this is the "Granddaddy of 'em all."

The Buckeyes were one of the best teams ever, but so were the Trojans. Jack Tatum laid some wicked hits in this game for Ohio State, but observing O.J. Simpson in his prime is proof that as good as Reggie Bush is, he has nothing on Juice. O.J. was big, swift, shifty; better than Jim Brown? Maybe, maybe not, but very close. As good as any college back ever. It was also reminiscent of Bush's last game when his fumble hurt SC in the loss to Texas at the '06 Rose Bowl. O.J.'s and Steve Sogge's fumbles cost the '68 team, as well!

This was one of those number one vs. two games, a rarity before the BCS, one for the ages.

Fight On! and congratulations, Ohio State. . .

STEVEN TRAVERS, author of

THE USC TROJANS: COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S ALL-TIME GREATEST DYNASTY

BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN

USCSTEVE1@aol.com
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