TV SERIES REVIEW
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Year Released: 1969
Runtime: 2h 22m
Director(s): Peter R. Hunt
Writer(s): Simon Raven (additional dialogue,) Richard Maibaum (screenplay,) Ian Fleming (novel)
Cast: George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Gabriele Ferzetti, Ilse Steppat, Lois Maxwell, George Baker, Bernard Lee, Bernard Horsfall, Desmond Llewelyn
Where To Watch: Available to stream on most major streaming platforms
RAVING REVIEW: What tomfoolery is this? This isn’t Sean Connery; where is my James Bond? No, seriously, I know all about why, I just found it funny that the film even points it out.
This feels like one of the Bond entries that gained popularity over the years. I can’t imagine this going over well when it initially came out. Although I could be wrong, I wasn’t there when it happened, but I think that with how bad recastings go in the present day, there’s no way this first Bond recasting went over without issue. Probably amplifying the situation was that Lazenby waited until production to tell the team that this would be his only take on the character (after being offered a seven-film contract.)
The film itself felt overly long and cheesy at the same time. I will say that the “this never happened to the other fella” line is possibly one of my top five favorite Bond quotes now! The meta aspect of it made it even more powerful; looking back, I think it was a critical moment with the ever-changing face of Bond. Allowing this franchise to do something that I don’t believe any franchise has done successfully like it. The closest I can think of is Batman, but those storylines regularly contradict themselves, and even though Bond has “reset,” the continuity tends to stay there.
Generally speaking, many people give this credit as one of the best Bond movies; I won’t say that it’s terrible, but for me, it doesn’t have the same pizzazz and magic that so many others do. I honestly think the early Connery films cemented the role, while the Craig and Bronson years modernized the character. I’m excited to revisit everything in between, especially those that I haven’t seen yet.
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