Monday, 20 July 2015

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE TRAILER...



This trailer's a bit embarrassing to be honest.  It
goes overboard in drawing attention to the fact that
it's a 'different' BOND, as if the viewers are too thick
to notice for themselves.  They'd have been better not
making an issue of it and letting GEORGE LAZENBY
settle into the role as the movie unfolded, instead of
trying to shoehorn him into it in advance.

The trouble was, aside from George having no real
acting experience to speak of, he was too much in the
SEAN CONNERY mould, while at the same time not
being quite enough like Sean to carry it off, paradoxical
as that may sound.  George reprised his role as 007 in
the TV movie The MAN From U.N.C.L.E. - The
15 YEARS LATER AFFAIR in the early '80s.

Had he been able to lose the Australian accent,
and with a little more experience, I think George
may have turned out to be quite a decent Bond.
Alas, we shall never know for sure.

11 comments:

TC said...

Lazenby had a thankless task. It's one thing for Bond fans to say, "I prefer Connery as James Bond" (or Weissmuller as Tarzan, Rathbone as Holmes, Pertwee as Dr. Who, or whatever). But a lot of fans and critics acted as if Lazenby was committing a crime by attempting to play the part in the first place. He definitely received a lot of mean-spirited criticism that he did not deserve.

"The Fifteen Years Later Affair" came out the same year as Octopussy and Never Say Never Again. Connery, Moore, and Lazenby were all playing the same character in different locations at the same time.



DeadSpiderEye said...

I suspect Connery regrets missing this one, it would've been an excellent end to his association with the role. As it stands, I quite like Lazenby in the role, yeah he is a bit stiff but that kinda works, they over do his chick bait appeal a bit too, dressing him in that gay shirt for starters. Telly Savalas as Blofeld works,my fave Bond villain by some distance.

Kid said...

Well, in a sense he was, TC, in that he lied to the producers about the acting experience he had under his belt. However, I know what you mean. Nevertheless, Moore was off and running with the part right from the start. That's interesting about the three Bonds being concurrent in 1983.

******

Strange that Blofeld never recognized Bond after having met him in the previous film, DSE. To me, Lazenby only works in role in the later action scenes when he doesn't talk.

TC said...

In Fleming's novels, Bond and Blofeld met face to face for the first time in OHMSS, and had their final showdown later, in You Only Live Twice. The movies reversed the order, so that YOLT came before. That makes it confusing, and (in the movie) the whole business of Blofeld not recognizing Bond on sight, and Bond having to verify Blofeld's identity, makes no sense.

Telly Savalas seemed an odd choice to play Blofeld. He usually played tough guys in war movies and crime dramas, and was about as different from Donald Pleasance as anyone could be.

Kid said...

Savalas wasn't sophisticated enough for someone trying to lay claim to a title. I suppose we're meant to assume that Blofeld has had plastic surgery to change his appearance (he's supposed to have had it on his earlobes, so why not his face?), and perhaps the producers were hoping that Bond's new look would somehow explain Blofeld not recognizing Bond, but being shot out of sequence certainly confused matters.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I don't really view it as part of the same continuity but it's reasonably clear, I think, its intended to be a prequel, it's alluded to in the script somewhat obliquely. Bonds resignation scene has him, somewhat incongruously, regarding the souvenirs in his desk from past adventures, he hasn't got anything from Japan, so You Only Live Twice hasn't happened yet. Blofeld also suffers a serious, near fatal, back injury, which could account for him being somewhat dumpier in ...Twice, given some enthusiastic surgery from a quack, keen on removing vertebrae.

Or you could argue Bond's Hilary Bray disguise, the glasses, is as perfect as Clark Kent's.

Kid said...

Nah, pants, DSE - it was never intended to be a prequel, it's just a cock-up in continuity. As for the glasses, you could argue that, but you'd have to be desperate.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I dunno, I think that's a teensy bit of a stretch to claim that Bond's encounter with Blofeld in ...Twice was somehow overlooked during the production process. The prequel point is open to debate however, it's pretty evident to me, the script was tweaked to imply that but I suspect, that the script was revised during shooting, with an allusion to the events in ...Twice, being an option, depending upon how the Piz Gloria editing turned out.

Kid said...

They'd have alluded to it being a 'prequel' if that's what they'd intended, DSE. Perhaps they were simply ignoring the discrepancy in the belief (or hope) that most people wouldn't notice it. And, if they did, the absurd line "This never happened to the other feller" (taking an in-joke too far) is a nod and a wink to the audience that this is a new guy (as emphasized in the trailer) and covers Blofeld's failure to recognize Bond. Or it may simply be down to the books being shot out of sequence. If it had been a comic, there would have been a caption saying "This adventure occurs before the events in YOLT". Blofeld's new look can be attributed to plastic surgery, but Bond's disguise is far too superficial to work, so it could have been handled better. Savalas having a line like "You surely didn't expect your ludicrous disguise to fool me, did you? It might work in comicbooks, but this is real life, Mr. Bond!" would've gone some way to papering over that particular crack. As for there been nothing from YOLT when Bond is reminiscing while looking at various objects from past missions - well, he could hardly fit Little Nellie in his desk, could he?

DeadSpiderEye said...

Well the, hope they don't notice approach, is the way I view it but it makes sense in the context of the problem of transposing the order of films with that of the books, to be aware that Blofeld's ignorance of Bonds appearance isn't a problem, if On Her Majesty's Secret Service it's treated as a prequel. That's not to say it doesn't cause other continuity problems, it makes the events in ...Twice seem rather odd retrospectively. Which I think is the reason the for the fudging, ie not stating explicitly the relationship between, ...Service and ...Twice and hedging their options with things like the Blofeld line you quote.

As for the desk scene, I don't see a serious problem with including a memento from ...Twice that'll fit in the drawer, maybe a fan?. I believe that the Pinewood stuff was at the top of the shooting schedule in Bond flicks, so you might be able to see an indication, if that scene were edited to conform to the final continuity.

Kid said...

Well, retroactive editing would solve a multitude of problems with the Bond movies (especially Casino Royale), and while the viewer can take the approach of OHMSS being a prequel if they want to view it in that context, I don't think that the producers ever thought of it in that way. As for the things in the drawer, the lack of anything relating to YOLT (and I haven't seen that scene in years, so maybe there is), is more down to the fact, I'd say, that there was really nothing significant in the movie (apart from Little Nellie) that would suggest it in the minds of the audience. A mere Japanese fan would be far too wussy a thing for Bond to keep as a memento.

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