A Divisive Chapter in the Bond History: George Lazenby’s Bond

When hearing the name James Bond, one cannot help but picture the image of Roger Moore, Sean Connery, or perhaps, Daniel Craig. These actors held the role of the iconic spy for over a decade each, with Craig seemingly wrapping up the story in the newest film.

Yet, the conversations about the new James Bond are still ongoing. As the anticipation grows, people are placing bets on the next potential actor on online casino Bovada, among the following options – Rege-Jean Page (+250), Michael Fassbender (+1200), Jamie Dornan (+1600), and more. However, as of now, there are eight men in total who have portrayed the character on big screens – Australian George Lazenby being one of them. A controversial star left his mark in Bond history through the action-packed fifth installment of the series.

 

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”

Based on Ian Fleming’s beloved novel “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, the film had high expectations. Most critics seem to agree that it met the expectations.

The film’s director Peter Hunt perfectly captures the James Bond tone, which walks between intense action and comedy. The movie is accompanied by the score of the iconic John Barry, who wrote the music for the first film in the franchise, “Dr No”. The performances and set pieces are stellar, and action scenes are highly dynamic.

 The plot itself revolves around Bond trying yet again to stop one of his biggest enemies, Ernst Blofeld. This time from poisoning the world’s crops through manipulating his “patients”. Initially, the trail on Blofeld was cold, until, the spy got a lead from an Italian mobster Draco, who in exchange asked him to get close to his suicidal daughter Tracy.

Throughout the events of the film, she and Bond fall in love with each other. After defeating Blofeld, they even agree to marry each other. This speaks volumes considering how careful Bond always was not emotionally attaching himself to anyone based on the nature of his job. Tragically, though, the spy’s instincts and fears turned out to be correct, as the movie ends with him holding his dead loved one in his arms. One of the only times in the history of the twenty-six film franchise, where James Bond cries.

At its core, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is a story about duty and responsibility, clashing with the human heart. James Bond is an incredibly intelligent, resourceful, skilled spy, but in addition, he is human. While acknowledging the potential danger of being even slightly associated with his name, he still got attached to Tracy, who solidified herself as one of the best Bond girls in the franchise by being caring and sympathetic, as well as, competent and strong. As for the villain, Blofeld has a fantastic actor behind him, perfectly bringing out his desire for control and domination.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service Puns and One-Liners

The alleged toxicity during production

 Production of a film is an extremely difficult process, especially when there is no chemistry on set between the actors. Of course there, is the infamous instance of George Lazenby not pulling his punch and knocking out a stuntman during auditions. Ironically, this demonstration of his real life combat experience helped him secure the role. The biggest controversy regarding the production is the bad relationship between Him and the actress of Tracy, late Diana Rigg. Allegedly Lazenby never took Bond seriously and was constantly late on set.

 

Response to the film

Response from the public is extremely divisive. There are fans who neglect this film, but there are also ones who proclaim it the best in the franchise. At the moment, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is at 60% audience rating on popular websites. It is very interesting though, seeing how many well-known directors have a soft spot for it. Guy Ritchie, Steven Soderbergh and Chris Nolan have publicly stated that they appreciate the film. In Nolan’s case specifically, he has said that set pieces from the film such as Piz Gloria inspired his own locations. The resemblance is truly undeniable.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service Movie Poster

Aftermath of the release

While being a big box office success, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” did not quite live up to its predecessor, which engrossed twice the amount of money worldwide. Many have speculated that this was because of the oversaturation of the spy movie genre in the late 1960s.

Ironically, because of James Bond’s fame, many screenwriters and directors tried to copy the formula, most of them unsuccessfully. Because of this, people assumed that the iconic character of Bond was archaic, and would not see the light of day in the new era of the 70s. Unfortunately, George Lazenby, as well as his manager held the same opinion.

 

Why there is only one Lazenby Bond film

 Getting the Bond role was extremely impressive for an actor whose only prior experiences were commercials. However, George did not see it that way. The official reason as to why he left is that the contract was too demanding, that his talents were better spent elsewhere. Of course, his predictions about the franchise not lasting was wrong, since James Bond is still going strong.

 


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