Website last updated: 26-2-2024

Steven Jay Rubin remember Peter Hunt on his birthday

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Peter Hunt On Her Majesty's Secret Service
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond Movie History - remembering the late British director and editor Peter Hunt on the anniversary of his birth. Hunt directed On Her Majesty's Secret Service starring George Lazenby as Ian Fleming's James Bond, by many considered to be the best film in the 007 series.

Peter Hunt (1925-2002) must be given credit for the slam-bang pace of the first four James Bond films, and the extraordinary achievement of On Her Majesty's Secret Service which marked his feature directing debut in 1969.

Hunt told me in 1977 that some of the editing style he brought to the Bonds came directly from the quick-cutting manner of television commercials of the day.

Hunt was a true wizard in the cutting room, and there are those who believe he saved Goldfinger (1964) after an early screening of the rough cut was termed disastrous.

After cutting the first four films, and shooting second unit on You Only Live Twice (1967), Hunt was given OHMSS as a reward and he dove into this epic Bondfilm with enough passion, commitment and determination to weather a very difficult shoot, and a leading man (George Lazenby) with literally zero acting experience. When you take a look at the film today, realize how carefully it was directed by Hunt, making it seem like Lazenby had been Bond all along. The latter’s comfort in the 007 role is extraordinary, and Hunt must be given credit for every frame. His revolutionary editing style is perfectly on display in that first explosive fight on the beach in Portugal, where Bond triumphs but winds up with only Tracy’s (Diana Rigg) shoes – followed by his quip, “This never happened to the other guy.”

Diana Rigg, Peter Hunt, George Lazenby, Cubby Broccoli, Switzerland
Diana Rigg, Peter Hunt, George Lazenby and Cubby Broccoli in Switzerland for On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

So let’s salute this dynamic talent who raised the standard of the series to new heights.

All text. Copyright © 2021 Steven Jay Rubin. All rights reserved.



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