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Golden Anniversary: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

By: Greg Bechtloff
On Her Majesty's Secret Service 50th Anniversary
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), George Lazenby's first and only outing as Ian Fleming's 007, proves that one Bond film is enough if it's the best one. This is the fourth and last part of the Four-Way James Bond anniversaries in 2019 series written by FSWL contributor Greg Bechtloff.

We do not have to present some long and involved essay here. The main legacy of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? It can be said in two words. Lazenby. George Lazenby!

Tribue trailer for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) starring George Lazenby

Once dubbed the redundant actor by no less than Roman Polanski, George Lazenby now stands as James Bond Emeritus. With Roger Moore gone and Sean Connery in reclusive silence, Lazenby is the oracle of James Bond from a long-ago era.

Like a rock and roll grandfather, the earthy and salty George Lazenby consistently entertains us with his “war stories” on getting and losing the role of James Bond. Oh and plenty of “kiss kiss bang bang” along the way as well.

Lazenby solidified his status in the James Bond stratosphere with the 2017 film Becoming Bond. This artful blend of recreations from George’s life inter-cut with the man himself was a triumph.

Funny and sad in different moments, we were shown a man that definitely had regrets and had to work his way back in the public’s estimation from the trivia question that he had become.

I do not really see a point in going over the Bond movie here. You can search out the many articles and chapters written about it. Suffice it to say, real Bond fans have known that OHMSS is pretty high on the list for some time now. Lazenby’s interpretation of 007 plays a large part in the film’s rehabilitation and elevation.

Steven Soderbergh has extolled Majesty’s virtues. Christopher Nolan paid tribute to it in his film Inception. John Barry’s music soars. Louis Armstrong’s love song “We Have All The Time In The World” tugs at the heartstrings of even the most stony hearted Bond fans.

Like the milestone that it has reached, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is all gold.

Previous articles in this series include the 20th Anniversary of The World Is Not Enough, the 30th Anniversary of Licence to Kill and the 40th Anniversary of Moonraker.



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