1969 - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
￼Alternate Title - On His Widowed Mental Breakdown
PG - 142 minutes
Director - Peter R. Hunt
Stars - George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas
Move over, Sean Connery. Let this goofy bastard play the part for once. This felt like a make-a-wish foundation granted to a special boy that wanted to play Bond. It would explain why we never see him again in the franchise.
This movie starts so detached from what we know Bond to be. He spots a woman trying to kill herself by wandering out to sea and Bond saves her. This scene looks more like an Old Spice ad than a movie. Just so that it’s said once, the famous, “This never happened to the other fellow” line is fucking stupid. It isn’t clever and it isn’t funny. He’s wearing a stupid shit-eating grin the entire line as if he just couldn’t contain himself while spitting out that hilarious joke.
Bond slaps a woman and she’s instantly horny for him. His slap must be an aphrodisiac because it happens a few times in the series. I’ve tried that in my life and it only results in domestic abuse charges and a record.
Bond quits his job for all of two minutes before going on vacation. M is an icy prick towards the new man playing Bond which makes you wonder if M hates special people. There is then a dating montage of Bond and a girl which feels out of place in a Bond movie. He’s proven himself more of a bang ‘em and leave ‘em at all cost type of man and here he is legitimately dating a woman.
The villain, Blofeld, wants to control or destroy the economy of the world and is doing so from the Swiss Alps between sessions of curling and bobsledding. The movie from here on is mostly shots of Bond superimposed over snowy settings to show that he’s a world-class skier. He survives an avalanche in typical Bond fashion; pure fucking luck.
Bond later returns to the mountains for more snowy action. The villain escapes the fortress and they then literally get involved in a bobsledding chase (a sentence I never thought I would write in my lifetime). During the chase a grenade blows up in Bond’s face and not only does he not explode into bits but it actually helps him in the chase. He is thrown off of the bobsled and cuts off the villain enough that he jumps onto his bobsled and they fistfight. Is it the same power that gives him aphrodisiac hands as the one that makes his body explosion-proof? How he kills the villain was then later reused at the end of Speed where Keanu Reeves pushes Dennis Hopper’s head up and removes it with a light. In this movie he pushes the villain up and he gets caught in a tree. Not as exciting but it was pretty cool. Although, maybe I thought it was so cool because this was the exact moment the bobsledding sequence ended.
Cut to: BOND WEDDING. That’s right. Bond gets fucking married. Moneypenny is in attendance and she looks like her life just ended. She will have to find someone else to pointlessly obsess over for the next 20 years. Q gives a short speech to Bond at the wedding that felt like ‘the sex talk’ parents give to their sons. I expected him to hand Bond a condom and tell him about STD’s. As if he wasn’t riddled with them anyway.
After being married for all of twenty real-time minutes, Bond pulls over to remove all of the wedding bullshit that people put on cars. He probably should have waited because a car shows up with Blofeld (in a neck brace) and shoots the shit out of the car and his new wife. She is fucking dead. Already.
Bond loses his shit after she is shot. A cop pulls up to the car on a motorcycle and Bond says while holding her, “It’s alright. It’s quite alright, really. She’s having a rest. We’ll carry on soon. It’s no hurry you see, we have all the time in the world…” END OF MOVIE.
Overall, it was a good movie. A bit too much skiing for my tastes but it didn’t subtract from anything else. Lots of action and a rare peek into Bond’s feelings. Sure the feelings were horrible and they were borderline insanity as Bond loses his wife but it was interesting. I wouldn’t assume Bond would recover from his trauma and maybe that’s why Connery comes back in the next one. Lazenby’s version of Bond is locked in a padded room somewhere on the Queen’s dime. Or quid. Or whatever the translation of that idiom would be in England.