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A few words about...™ On Her Majesty's Secret Service -- in Blu-ray

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#21 of 38 John Hodson

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Posted October 28 2012 - 10:29 AM

John: Critic/film editor Glenn Erickson (aka DVD Savant) agrees with you about the editing: http://www.dvdtalk.c.../s4017serv.html

I'd agree with that; and Glenn hints that it's Hunt as much as Glen (whose outings as director are very flat) with his hands on the editing wheel. It's the masterful handling of the action scenes that makes Lazenby look at the least serviceable. Isn't it true that when he first met Lazenby, Hunt told him: "You can't act can you?", Lazenby took a gamble and decided to be honest. And Hunt smiled and said: "Oh, we're going to have fun with this one!"
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#22 of 38 alter filmnarr

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Posted October 28 2012 - 11:08 AM

I respectfully disagree. This is the ultimate Bond film. Diana Rigg is the best Bond girl. It's got the best Bond score, the best stunt work, a brilliant camera team taking full advantage of one of the most beautiful mountain locations in the world, and a memorable ending unlike any other in the series. And all of this in a film that had to compensate for the absence of Sean Connery, who was synonymous with the character of Bond. A first-rate job done by all.

But the 'ultimate Bond film' is missing one vital ingredient Bill surely? The best Bond... BTW, IMHO, it's also the best edited, certainly of the 'classic' era.

True, but George Lazenby was so good, and the movie surrounding him was so REALLY good, I soon stopped noticing that I wasn't seeing Sean Connery. It couldn't have been easy for George to step into that particular role, especially in the Bond-crazy 1960's.

To me this gets better every viewing, and has become the best film for me. It is the closest the films ever came to Fleming, and the brilliant script only tightens up a few plot points from the novel. Despite being inexperienced, George does effectively put across the general sense of malaise that 007 is supposed to be feeling throughout the story that only furthers his own personal turmoil. This is fully expressed in Bond's introduction in the teaser, which is quite easily the best Bondian moment of the entire series. Bond is tired, feeling his age, pissed off, disobeying and ignoring orders and begins to hurtle his car through a cliffside road at dawn. Then he is passed by a stunning girl at speed (Pure Fleming) and shifts into gear after her. Of course we've seen this in Goldfinger, but five years later things are different. Now Bond throws caution to the wind and doesn't cut himself off with a quip. The score is Barry's finest Bond, and Peter Hunt finally got his shot at directing. This is what makes the film. Hunt knew 007 inside and out and knew exactly what worked for a Bond film.

I was 14 and after I've seen "Dr.No" first and "Diamonds Are Forever" in it's first run, I was a complete "Bond addict". As soon as possible I bought the "Diamonds" Soundtrack, tried to get photos etc. of the rest, read all books and was SO curious about the other movies. I was lucky - my beloved Cinema around (a few) corner(s) announced two weeks with all the available Bonds at this time, and You can imagine how impressed I was. I have to confess, that here my real passion for movies began. I loved them all. The last one was "OHMSS" scheduled for one day only. When I entered the theatre, I was really confused, that there were only maybe 5 other persons attending the show... OK, nevertheless I was looking forward the movie, most of all because of Diana Rigg - everybody here in Austria watched "The Avengers" and every boy of my age collected her Photos... I did not hear anything at all about the problems with Connery/Lazenby and just watched the movie like an innocent boy - AND I LOVED IT. As You all said before: the story, the landscapes, the colors, the actors (even Lazenby - a guy who is married by Diana Rigg CANNOT BE SO BAD AT ALL ;-)) and the REALLY wonderful Soundtrack. And I cried at the end... For me "OHMSS" always was something special and I rewatched it whenever it was possible. Later I learned, that also for other BOND fans it was "something special", but for many of them in an opposite way! But now it seems to me, that this movie gets the appreciation, it deserves. The members of a German Bond Forum voted "OHMSS" for the 2nd best the other day! That's nice... And even, if the BD is not as perfect as it could be - I'm sure, I will enjoy it very much in my little HT - projected on MY SCREEN... Sorry for my English - I'm coming from Austria (NOT AUSTRALIA ;-))

#23 of 38 Richard--W

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Posted October 28 2012 - 12:08 PM

http://www.amazon.co...TF8&me=&seller=

#24 of 38 David_B_K

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Posted October 29 2012 - 04:43 AM

True, but George Lazenby was so good, and the movie surrounding him was so REALLY good, I soon stopped noticing that I wasn't seeing Sean Connery. It couldn't have been easy for George to step into that particular role, especially in the Bond-crazy 1960's.

I'm not quite as big a fan as you, in that I thought Lazenby's inexperience showed. I do wish he'd stuck around, though, because he showed really great potential. He had a good look, and physically, he seemed surprisingly comfortable in the part. However, it is obvious to me that he was frequently post-dubbed, frequently shot from behind when he was talking, and several of his witty bon-mots are dubbed when he is out of frame. It's a shame he was thrown into such a big production and forced to learn on the job. He did a great job under the circumstances, and I would have loved to have seen him continue in the part. In subsequent acting roles, he definitely improved as an actor. I agree that Peter Hunt directed/edited the movie brilliantly. It's one of the most exhilarating films of the series.

#25 of 38 ackbak

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Posted October 29 2012 - 08:31 AM

Count me as another one who likes this movie more with age. When I was younger I don't think I ever gave the movie a fair shake as it was the first movie without Connery, and also the only movie by Lazenby. I also agree that Lazenby has moments when he is quite good, and moments when he is not so good. I believe that if he would have had a few more films under his belt, he could have been ranked right up there with Connery. That said, Rigg is probably my favorite Bond girl and the story is very good. Love this one. Definitely in my top 5 favorite Bond movies. Imagine what Lazenby's career could have been...

#26 of 38 ackbak

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Posted October 29 2012 - 08:32 AM

Yeah, and the dialogue has serious phase issues every time they try to pan it to the side speakers. This is definitely the sloppiest 5.1 remix of the lot.

Sloppy is being kind.. Did the audio mixer actually listen to this before they approved it? Very poorly done the worst of the lot for me so far for the added channels.

#27 of 38 David_B_K

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Posted October 29 2012 - 08:41 AM

Odd how they went so directional with the dialog during the conversion to 5.1; while movies from the 50's and 60's that were recorded with directional dialog get their voices mixed primarily to center channel. :confused:

#28 of 38 Mikey1969

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Posted October 29 2012 - 08:52 AM

I agree that this film has been long underrated and plays very well today. Lazenby gives a very credible performance as Bond, and I'm glad Connery didn't do it. I doubt he could have played it with the sensitivity and sincerity Lazenby brought to the role. Rigg is indeed a fantastic leading lady, and one the best actresses to appear in the Bond films.

#29 of 38 Worth

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Posted October 29 2012 - 09:19 AM

Lazenby gives a very credible performance as Bond, and I'm glad Connery didn't do it. I doubt he could have played it with the sensitivity and sincerity Lazenby brought to the role.

I agree that it's one of the best Bond films, and Lazenby fares reasonably well for an amateur, but I think any of the other Bond actors would have done a better job in the role.
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#30 of 38 JoshZ

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Posted October 29 2012 - 09:45 AM

Sloppy is being kind.. Did the audio mixer actually listen to this before they approved it? Very poorly done the worst of the lot for me so far for the added channels.

The mix has some effective moments, including the ski chase. Personally, I find the wild volume swings in Live and Let Die more annoying.

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#31 of 38 Richard--W

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Posted October 29 2012 - 10:09 AM

I agree that this film has been long underrated and plays very well today. Lazenby gives a very credible performance as Bond, and I'm glad Connery didn't do it. I doubt he could have played it with the sensitivity and sincerity Lazenby brought to the role. ...

Sean Connery was always sincere and committed to every role he played. It is preposterous to suggest that he could not play "sensitive" roles. Connery played "sensitive" roles in a succession of made-for-tv films in England, including the brain-damaged boxer Mountain McClintock in Requiem For a Heavyweight (live, 1957), John Proctor whose wife is accused of witchcraft in The Crucible (live, 1959), as Hotspur / Harry Tracy in Shakespeare's Henry IV (1960), as Macbeth in Macbeth (1961) and as Count Alexis in Anna Karenina (1961). On the big screen he played Lana Turner's romantic boyfriend in Another Time, Another Place (1957), the love-struck Irishman in Disney's Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959), and the feuding poet Samson Shillitoe in Irvin Kershner's romantic comedy A Fine Madness (1966). Connery had a broad emotional range before he took on James Bond, and many roles he played before and after Dr. No (1962) called on his range for crucial scenes here and there. More to the point, he exudes empathy in the romantic scenes in both Dr. No and From Russia With Love. After Thunderball in 1965, Connery thought he would be doing On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1966. If he had, he would have been brilliant. I agree George Lazeby's inexperience shows, but he carries the film well and does fine. He is a solid James Bond.

#32 of 38 ian spector

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Posted October 29 2012 - 01:03 PM

After Thunderball in 1965, Connery thought he would be doing On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1966. If he had, he would have been brilliant. I agree George Lazeby's inexperience shows, but he carries the film well and does fine. He is a solid James Bond.[/quote] I can't envision Connery doing OHMSS especially after see him kinda sleep walk thru YOLT.

#33 of 38 Mark Oates

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Posted October 29 2012 - 01:30 PM

Wasn't it the press and fan attention he got in Japan that soured Connery to the role? I think faced with a juicy script like OHMSS and a solid performance to play against, he'd have upped his game. And probably stayed with the role a few more years.
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#34 of 38 cineMANIAC

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Posted October 29 2012 - 02:29 PM

Never really thought much about it but now it's bothering me the way Lazenby's credit was relegated to "Starring George Lazenby" where everyone else was introduced as "Saltzman/Broccoli presents (insert actor name) as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007". Were the producers really that upset that they hired an Australian? Also, the film's opening credit sequence is the only one where it's mostly made up of clips from previous films - a further insult. IMO Lazenby portrayed Bond fairly well despite his inexperience (he got all the mannerisms right) and really looked the part. On top of that the film is highly entertaining and it's now one of my favorite Bond films. Personally, I think Daniel Craig is the least "Bond-looking" of all the actors but that's for another thread....
 

 


#35 of 38 Richard--W

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Posted October 29 2012 - 03:00 PM

I can't envision Connery doing OHMSS especially after see him kinda sleep walk thru YOLT.

Oh, come on. What else is there for an actor to do in that movie? It was all about gadgets and set pieces and not about drama or character. Connery was required to fill the suit and do the athletics, nothing more. But if you really think he's sleepwalking, you better look again. He had agreed to do a different Bond film (OHMSS), and he made his disapproval of this substitution known at the outset. Also, it was a difficult shoot in which the actor was not protected by security. On location, fans and journalists followed him everywhere, even into the bathroom where they snapped pictures of him standing at the urinal, etc. The hallway outside his hotel room door was filled with a mob. He and his wife couldn't go out and did not have much privacy in. Further, those were the days when actors did not have the rights that are taken for granted now. An actor was the hired help, with no say in anything. Connery had salary disputes with producers Broccoli and Saltzman and with United Artists. He wasn't being fairly compensated for the physical risks he was taking nor the money he was making for them. The producers admitted some time ago that they were at fault. They tried to bully him (always a mistake with Sean Connery) into accepting financial arrangements that were insulting. To avoid a repeat of the problem, the producers treated the actors who followed Connery much nicer. If you were familiar with Connery's earlier performances, in previous Bond films and in non-Bond films, you'd have no trouble seeing him in the part.

#36 of 38 Oblivion138

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Posted October 29 2012 - 05:51 PM

OHMSS was initially planned as the follow-up to Goldfinger. It got pushed aside for both Thunderball and YOLT. Honestly, I think that a post-Goldfinger/pre-Thunderball version of OHMSS, with Connery as Bond, could have been the best Bond film in the existence of the franchise, and quite probably untoppable in perpetuity. Alas, it was not to be...though the version we got is still excellent. Still, one can't help but wish that Connery were in the role for it.

#37 of 38 brioni

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Posted October 29 2012 - 10:07 PM

I'm not quite as big a fan as you, in that I thought Lazenby's inexperience showed. I do wish he'd stuck around, though, because he showed really great potential. He had a good look, and physically, he seemed surprisingly comfortable in the part. However, it is obvious to me that he was frequently post-dubbed, frequently shot from behind when he was talking, and several of his witty bon-mots are dubbed when he is out of frame. It's a shame he was thrown into such a big production and forced to learn on the job. He did a great job under the circumstances, and I would have loved to have seen him continue in the part. In subsequent acting roles, he definitely improved as an actor. I agree that Peter Hunt directed/edited the movie brilliantly. It's one of the most exhilarating films of the series.

This is how I’ve always felt watching the film. There’s a lot in there that’s detrimental to Lazenby’s performance or maybe there wasn’t enough of a performance and they had to make the best of what they got? Constant references to the previous films in the titles and gadgets to remind you it is the same film series further undermine it. And breaking the forth wall didn’t work for me. Then the films marketing – hiding Bonds face, they just didn’t fully back him. The first film, Dr No is ALL about Connery. He is an absolute powerhouse in that film. Lazenby can’t make the same impact- not many could although its unfair to compare as they both have completely different backgrounds. I hated this film when I first saw it as a kid but do now appreciate it and it’s in my top 5 – maybe top 6 now that SKYFALL’s arrived ;)

#38 of 38 JoshZ

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Posted October 30 2012 - 03:27 AM

Using clips from the earlier Bond films in the opening credits was the producers' attempt to reassure the audience that this was going to be the same James Bond they'd gotten to know, even though the actor may be different. For the same reason, Bond has a later scene where he rummages through his desk and fishes out artifacts from the previous movies. They wanted to assert continuity. OHMSS came way before the notion of a "reboot" was popularized. The producers were terrified that the audience wouldn't accept any new actor in the role. A lot of that was their own fault. After all, they'd marketed You Only Live Twice as "Starring Sean Connery, the one and only James Bond."

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