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George Lazenby makes the best 007 in the all time classic Bond movie.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the best of all the 22 Bond movies that have been made. Also one-time James Bond star George Lazenby made a real Bond. Lazenby's incredible physical prowess, absurd suaveness, amazing ultra alpha-male status, tremendous arrogance, classic matinee-idol handsome looks, and very cocky strut, combined with John Barry's wonderful music score, and Diana Rigg as a very, very good Bond girl, make this a truly different type of Bond.
The ski chase sequence towards the end of the film where Bond is being chased, is without any question the greatest piece of film ever in any Bond movie, and any action movie in general. It is also one of the greatest sequences in movie history period.
The last scene of the film is one of the bigger plot twists in film history, and by far and away the best acted scene in any Bond movie. This scene is certainly one of the more memorable moments in movie history. There have been very few endings in movie history that left an impression like this one on the people that were exiting the theatre.
And as to Lazenby, it is beyond me how this guy still gets a bad rap. Of course he was marketed that way back in the early 70's after he quit the role and they got Connery back for one more film, then Roger Moore to take over from there. This of course is marketing 101, which they tried to use to explain this film making less money at the box office than its predecessors as being all because of Lazenby. Lazenby's time as Bond was basically squelched until the advent of home video. Until that time most people had completely forgotten about him. This movie had very rarely been seen on TV.
Of course, what is not said about the movie's box-office gross was that it actually grossed $64.6 million, with a budget of only $7 million (IMDB says $9 million, but that's wrong, it actually was $7 million). It was also the number 1 movie in the world for it's first 3 weeks of release, was number 1 in the UK and US for it's first 3 weeks of release. The movie set 3 different box office records in its first 3 days of release, including the opening day, single day, and opening weekend records. It was the 2nd highest grossing movie in the world of any film released in the year 1969 (behind only Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid), and was the 9th highest grossing movie for the year 1970. It was knocked out of the number 1 spot at the box office in its 4th week of release in 1970, by only Easy Rider. The net box office profit of $57.6 million($283 million in today's dollars) should show anyone it was far from a flop. And of course, in 2003 dollars its gross is $318 million. $318 million and supposedly Lazenby had no box office power.
This is in addition to the fact that the film had the worst marketing campaign of any Bond movie to this day, and that Lazenby was the only Bond that was not marketed. In fact they kept him a secret leading up to the film's release as much as possible. His face was even blacked out of almost all of the movie's posters if you can believe that. This of course was later admitted by United Artists as being box office death and a huge mistake by them. United Artists later admitted that the lower box office was all because of their stupid marketing and had nothing to do with Lazenby.
Needless to say, $318 million($283 million in profits) in today's money, and on a $35 million budget in today's money is hardly a flop. It's a blockbuster mega-hit. So too was the notion that Lazenby was fired an incorrect myth. He actually quit the role before the movie was even released. By him quitting before the movie was released, there is no way that he could have been fired due to the movie being a box office failure. Also Lazenby was offered a 7 movie Bond deal, and was hand-picked by Bond producer Cubby Broccoli as early as 1966(3 years before Secret Service's release) for the role of Bond. He was also Cubby Broccoli's personal answer as best Bond when he was asked the question who he thought the best 007 was in a BBC interview years later.
With all this being said, the question remains, so why now after so many people have seen this movie over the years, does Lazenby still have this bad rap even though he finishes 3rd out of 5 on most best Bond actor polls these days. And of course Brosnan, who finishes second on these polls, it should be noted that the current Bond actor has always finished higher in polls while they are currently Bond, then drop afterwards, with the lone exception being Connery.
The answer is of course the usual, typical attitude that Lazenby only made one Bond movie and had no prior acting experience, and Connery came back after Lazenby for one film, then Roger Moore took over, so therefore Lazenby had to be a bad Bond. And actually Lazenby did make commercials for 3 years before playing Bond, and also had a small role in a 1965 spy movie. So actually him being a model with zero acting experience when cast as Bond is yet another incorrect myth.
Never mind that the Bond producers and director of Her Majesty's all said he was a better Bond than Sean Connery, nor that Lazenby quit and turned down a 7 Bond movie offer and made the Bond producers very mad because as they said, Connery looked terrible at that age, and Moore was much worse than Lazenby for a Bond.
I guess sometimes people just never can get past media statements and what is just culturally stated as being true, even if it is not. But regardless Lazenby is anything but a bad Bond, he is in fact a terrific Bond and makes the three who have followed him look pathetic. He is much better than Moore and Dalton, and he is far, far superior to Brosnan in every aspect.
The film suffers mostly because of this attitude that Lazenby isn't really Bond. Well the truth is that for anyone who doesn't care that he only made one Bond movie, and who just says so what if he made one, he's Bond in this one, he is a fabulous Bond, and the movie then is terrific. It is certainly the best Bond movie, even better than the first three Bond movies.
And finally, just to give Lazenby the credit he has long deserved for so long, he was by far, easily the best Bond actor ever.
Marc Mato, agente S. 077 (1965)
So this is what Bond star George Lazenby did before he was 007.
Wow, interesting, an Italian made Bond-rip-off, made around the Goldfinger/Thunderball Bond mania days. This spy film is certainly one of the best of all of the Bond spy rip-offs made in the 60's, maybe the best.
It is one of the ones you should see if you like those types of films, if for nothing more than it features former James Bond star George Lazenby in a small role before he became Bond.