Nobody Does Bond Better, 002: George Lazenby, A Model Bond

bond-george-lazenbyIt’s nothing all that spectacular to make a case that Sean Connery was “the best” James Bond. Anyone can do it. In fact, most everyone who is a die-hard Bond fan, at one time or another, has done it. Scan over the comments made on the first part of this series that covered Connery’s tenure—you’ll see there are few surprises. A lot of people think Sean Connery IS James Bond. Wasn’t there even a slogan to that effect? (Answer: Yes.)

Do people accord him this adulation because he was the “first” to play Bond?  Because he wasn’t the first, of course. Anyway, if “firsts” were automatically the best, we’d all be talking about how Elmo Lincoln was the untoppable Tarzan, Charles Ogle the finest Frankenstein’s Monster, and Maurice Costello the elementary choice as the screen’s most scintillating Sherlock Holmes. Did Barry Nelson really give the definitive 007 performance in the “Climax!” broadcast of Casino Royale?

Want to get really sticky? Connery isn’t even the first person to appear as James Bond in the official Eon series. Stuntman Bob Simmons is—since he is the person who walks into frame during the famous “gunbarrel” opening of Dr. No.

Connery didn’t make the most films in the official series, either. In this respect, he falls behind Roger Moore by one, Connery’s six to Moore’s 0-0-7. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Never Say Never Again doesn’t count.

Australian model/actor George Lazenby got—and continues to get, in my opinion—sort of a bum rap when it comes to his performance as Bond. He only had one movie to prove himself (a self-inflicted term limitation, to be sure), but he served as Her Majesty’s deadliest secret agent in the most important story of the series. And, onscreen at least, he did everything right.  

A Model Bond

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Lazenby wasn’t the first choice to replace the departing Sean Connery, but Timothy Dalton had the good sense to turn the part down as he felt he was too young. More on Dalton later, of course. Roger Moore, popular as television’s The Saint, similarly was unavailable to become the new James Bond. More on Moore later, of course. It was a TV commercial that originally brought Lazenby to the attention of Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, who took a gigantic chance on the ruggedly handsome actor with little experience after seeing the dapper Lazenby in person getting his hair cut at the barbershop—a “chance” meeting that Lazenby reportedly went out of his way to arrange. Sealing the deal for Broccoli and co-producer Harry Saltzman was the athletic prowess Lazenby displayed during fight scene screen tests.

The single Bond film starring Lazenby would turn out to be perhaps the most faithful adaptation of any of the Ian Fleming novels, boasting a fair amount of the series’ “bests.” So, who says he’s not in the running?

Many things distinguish OHMSS as a standout Bond film, not least of which is Lazenby’s smooth and sensitive interpretation of what had come to be regarded as a one-dimensional character despite Connery’s considerable charm. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, Bond fans, it’s time to watch it again and appreciate just how much charisma and ruthless cool Lazenby brings to the role. But, let’s get on with the superlatives:

Most Faithful to the Fleming Novel

richard-maibaum OHMSS Novel

Richard Maibaum, who possessed scripting credits on an astounding 13 films in the series (his last was Licence to Kill), provided a screenplay rich with gripping dialogue and an emotional sweep that has never been equaled in the franchise. And, viewers new to Bond from the Daniel Craig reboot Casino Royale may not truly appreciate just how ballsy it was to remain true to this book’s vicious climax. The action always feels organic to the plot, and it’s tough to overstate how brilliant a script has to be in order to sell a wow-that’s-cheesy moment like Blofeld’s hypnosis session with his coterie of female assassins—“You love chickens…” Speaking of 007’s bald-headed, cat-stroking arch-nemesis…

Best Blofeld: Telly Savalas


Yes. I said it, and I’ll always be willing to defend it. His “spilling the beans” monologue is one of the series’ finest. This Blofeld is not one for sitting around, either. He leads the ski chase after 007—“We’ll head him off at the precipice!” With all due respect to Donald Pleasence, Charles Gray, and the multiple fellows whose faces we never saw, the man who was not yet Kojak delivers a definitive Blofeld of oily menace. Plus, for once, we really believe he could kick Bond’s tail in the Red Grant style…but obviously, such vulgar displays of brute physical strength would be beneath him.

Best Bond Girl: Diana Rigg as Tracy di Vicenzo


There’s been an obnoxious habit practiced by the Bond PR machine ever since the series (arguably) outgrew its Playboy-era sensibilities. Every time the new “Bond girl” is cast, everyone goes out of their way to talk about how the latest Bond girl is “different.” Bond’s equal, and so on. Most of the time, that’s nonsense and a flimsy attempt to get the fairer sex more interested in the series. “What, the girl’s no sex object, but the equal of Bond? Let’s go, honey!”

Tracy, as portrayed by Diana Rigg, is the real deal. Not just because she’s the only gal who got Bond to (Spoiler Alert for those from Mars) pop the question, but because the former Emma Peel plays her complex part with emotional and physical fire.

bond-tracy-gun-on-bondOne scene between Rigg and Lazenby that’s of special note is their confrontation in Bond’s hotel room, relatively early in the film, when Tracy shows up in magnificently skimpy nightwear and pulls Bond’s own gun on him.

It’s a moment we see played out over and over again in Bond. Just before—or just after—Bond has bedded a woman, he believes she may be about to betray him if she hasn’t already. The interrogation is always hard, with the girl protesting, “You’re hurting me.” Bond is always unmoved, and always responds with the threat of doing much worse to her if she doesn’t talk.

Their exchange here is riveting because it’s one of the most well-written and hardest-edged in the series, with her provocative threats met by the Bond who’s ice-cold as he twists her wrist and slaps her face. And yet, they’re already falling in love—as only those who point guns at one another and slap each other around can do in the 007 films!

Best Toss of the Hat

bond-lazenby-and-moneypenny bond-moneypenny-wedding

It was a fun little recurring joke in the Bond series. Inside the offices of Universal Exports, we’d see Bond’s Trilby-style hat fly past Moneypenny and land crisply on the coat rack. It was a clever and humorous way for Bond to let M’s loyal secretary know a fresh flirtation was about to be underway. This time, not only does it result in a great wedding tradition joke, the gesture really means something, and it provides series regular Lois Maxwell with the series’ most poignant moment of the relationships she had with the first three Bond stars.

Most Memorable Climax


Who can ever forget the ending? Lazenby is alternately tough, tender, witty, thoughtful, and classy in OHMSS, but this moment in the film is a high-stakes scene that would break even seasoned actors, and Lazenby delivers perhaps the most important moment in the series’ entire history with skillfully understated power. It’s devastating. Would Connery have done the scene as well? We’ll never know, so it’s pointless to compare when what’s here is so satisfying.

Bonus: Best Revival Trailer

Doesn’t this make you want to see the movie again…right now? It’s taken more than a generation, but many of the Bond films have, at last, become at least partly “dated.” When it comes to the films’ original trailers, you can really see how differently coming attractions advertising was cut together way back when. What’s fascinating here is that the very modern feel of this trailer reflects quite accurately how much Lazenby’s sole outing has retained more of its juice by comparison with many of its predecessors and successors.

The tragic arc of OHMSS, and the mixed results associated with Connery’s one-off comeback in Diamonds Are Forever led the Bond family to move in a bold new direction, tailoring the next seven installments of the series not only to the times, but to the performance style of the third actor to wield the Walther PPK.

Next: Moore, Roger Moore

  • Randy White

    After reading your article on George Lazenby I could disagree with you more. I felt that the man was a wimp and did not come across as the dashing,debonaire James Bond he should have been. The scene when he tells Tracy that “men are trying to kill me” just blew it for me. The man did not take on the role of the “tough guy” that one would expect from James Bond. The role played by Dianna Riggs of course I agree was a great Bond Girl, and Telly the perfect villian, but my favorite Bond was and still is Pierce Brosnan. I look forward to reading your piece on Roger Moore.

  • George D. Allen

    Thanks for taking part in the 007 discussion, Randy — this, of course, is part of what’s fun about the conversation about all the different actors who’ve played Bond…who likes what about which and why this one’s better than that one, etc. etc. The line you mention about “men are trying to kill me” I remember well — I thought it was a really clever piece of understatement that poked fun at Bond’s invincible image. I’ll definitely have some things to offer about your favorite Bond (Brosnan, who I was very excited about when he was cast)…but glad you’ll be returning (along w/Bond) with the Moore installment.

  • Darn Oldham

    I’ve always thought that George Lazenby was the best Bond after Sean Connery…..And OHMSS was my favorite Bond movie after “From Russia With Love”…..I was looking forward to more Bond from Lazenby…..Too bad it never happened…….I agree, Diana Riggs and Telly Savalas were great, also…..I will always get a kick out of the way the opening scene ended with Lazenby saying, “This never happened to the other guy”……….

  • Bob McGure

    Well, as Randy says he couldn’t disagree more, I have to say I couldn’t agree more. I really liked Lazenby as Bond and I reall wish he could have been convinced to continue the role. I think he did a fine job and “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is one of the best Bond movies. Just for fun, here is my list of best Bond actors…in order best to worst;

    -Sean Connery – Is there any doubt
    -Timothy Dalton – I thought he really fit the part
    -George Lazenby – Did a great one time job
    -Daniel Craig – New direction for Bond, a good one
    -Pierce Brosnan – Talk about a whimp!!!
    -Roger Moore – James Bond meets Bozo the Clown

    Just my two cents.

  • Jay Cross

    I take the middle road on all this. While I thought that OHMSS was one of the best Bond movie ever filmed, I think this only because it follows the Fleming novel so very closely. I think that Lazenby was, except for Roger Moore, the worst possible choice for Bond. Lazenby was certainly no gifted actor. In fact, I think his acting is absolutely wooden (to be more kind than I should.) As much as I love the film, and no thanks to Maibaum, I also have to admit that some of the dialog was laughable! Having said all that, I think the movie rises above all the criticism, and places easily in my top three!

  • George D. Allen

    Nice to see some Lazenby fans! To Jay, I’d admit up front that I’m awfully biased in this regard, but I think it would be a shame to shortchange the most employed screenwriter of the Bonds when it comes to the integrity of OHMSS. It’s not as easy as many think to be successfully “faithful” (which goes far beyond slavish copying) translating a book to the screen. There are reasons they kept bringing him back — and one of those reasons, I think, is that frequently, Maibaum actually managed to improve upon the books’ rough patches and even add depth and invention to many of the original Fleming scenes. I’m not sure we’d really have wanted, say, a “Live and Let Die” that was 100% faithful to Fleming. Oh, but that’s a little on the Roger Moore side of things…which I’ll address soon enough!

  • George Matusek

    I knew a schoolteacher whose schoolhouse was on the side of a mountain above Grindelwald, Switzerland. Because the mountain was not steep and most of it was accessible via winding roads, it was populated, and the children from these mountain homes were her students. A ski slope went past the side of her schoolhouse, and that’s where the ski chase was filmed — she and the children watched the filming. I visited there.

  • David J. Hogan

    It’s no accident that OHMSS is regarded as one of the two or three best Bond films. Script, direction, budget, stunts, Rigg, Savalas, locations–all of those, plus George Lazenby. If the man hadn’t handled the role effectively, we’d be talking about the movie today (if at all) as just a failed curiosity, rather than as the superior entertainment that it is. No matter how good the other elements, a Bond film is carried on the shoulders of the actor playing 007. Lazenby gave an aggressively appealing, surprisingly nuanced performance, displaying not just a potent physical presence but sensitivity and elan. He had his moment, and he excelled. Along with the Connery Bonds, OHMSS will be watched, enjoyed, and studied for generations. George Allen, good piece, thanks.

  • Gord Jackson

    For a long time, “From Russia, With Love” and “Thunderball” were my two favorite Bonds. They are still two and three on my list but over the years I have come to appreciate “OHMSS” so much that I give it #1. I think it’s a shame Lazenby self-destructed and only did the one Bond outing. He is excellent, arguably the best of them all altho I think Timothy Dalton may be closer to Ian Fleming’s original conception. Love Diana Rigg and Telly Savalas altho my favorite Blofeld is still Donald Pleasance.

  • George D. Allen

    George M — I’m envious of your schoolteacher friend! David J. — thanks for the kind words. Gord — you illustrate what most of us Bond fans wind up doing: shuffling the #1s, #2s, and #3s around in our minds over the years. Your two other choices are no slouches, either! I’m eager to swing through Dalton’s too-short tenure as 007, right after I survey the Moore era.

  • Rob in L.A.

    Three words: Dubbed. Scottish. Accent. (And in a good chunk of the film, too!) Whatever the virtues of the rest of Lazenby’s performance, this unwise loopity looping eclipses them.

  • John Stanaway

    Coincidentally, I just watched OHMSS today amidst an insipid assortment usually presented on cable, and it was just as impressive as the first time I saw it in 1969. From Russia with Love is ever the quintessential Bond film, even though it shows its seems after 50 or more viewings. However, OHMSS is as fresh or even more so after all these years and multiple viewings. I think the only real drawback is the lack of experience as an actor that Lazenby displays. If only he had not committed suicide with the producers by denigrating the character when he was tentatively sacked after the film was released. The scuttlebutt is that he tried to make amends and get considered once again to no avail. Ahhh! If only we could rebuild those bridges we once burned. Anyway, Lots of good things were wrapped up in the great production, including Telly Savalas as the most ominous and polished Ernst Stavro Blofeld of them all, and a class-act Tracy in the person of Diana Rigg. And the musical score did not hurt either!

  • Adam Dubicki

    Lazenby was not my favorite Bond, but this is my favorite film of the series. The story and Diana Riggs performance were the best in the series and still is the one I most like watching. The score during the skating scene before the big chase still resonates in my dreams. In looking at the Bonds, most people forget they are the products of their times so they each have merits & detractions for that alone.

  • Kathy

    Of course I LOVE SEAN CONNERY! But Daniel Craig makes EVERYTHING more realistic. NONE of the previous BONDS evinced any signs of being in a fight, great or slight, but Craig looks like you should expect a man to look after a fight scene, and while he is definitely SEXY, he truly portrays BOND as he should be, cool, calm, and in control! I sure hope he continues to make more BOND movies.

  • Raif Damico

    George I agree whole heartly with you. I gave my opinion about Sean being the best in an earlier report. However, I thought that George Lazenby did a reaiy good job as Bond.He carried himself well,looked rugged and fit and dressed as Bond was supposed to not Moore’s fad look.OHMSS was my favorite Bond book and the movie stayed close.In fact OHMSS and From Russia With LOVE are my favorite Bond movies.Diana Riggs was perfect and was believable as Tracy. Telly Savalas was a great villain.Also the music was one of the better Bond scores,I loved Louie Armstrong’s We Have All The Time In The World song and we even have a Christmas song. All in all it was an excellent Bond movie and it was sad not to have had Lazenby do more.I would like to know the real reason why.Was it because he was the first to follow Sean and fans wouldn’t accept it. Did the box office suffer? Was it because Lazenby did not have past star fame? Whatever I liked his performance.

  • George D. Allen

    Rob, I like your style! The Sir Hilary Bray dub on Lazenby definitely gets your attention in the wrong way, although for the amount of time it takes up onscreen (a lot, as you mention) I think after awhile you sort of settle into it. On the whole, I think technically it’s on par with the rather impressive dubbing in (many) other Bond movies (Adolfo Celi, anyone?). John–nice to see agreement on how well OHMSS holds up! Adam — skating scene is definitely one of the greats — and as you say, it “resonates,” which is a rare quality for the 007s. One of my favorite Barry scores, too. Adam–100% agreed. Kathy — make sure you’re back when Daniel Craig’s Bond comes to the blog (I think you have already stolen some of my thunder!). Raif–as you may have read in an earlier comment, Lazenby’s brief tenure was largely the result of his own unfortunate public commentary about the part even before OHMSS was released.

  • Wayne

    For me, Lazenby’s acting ability rates him #5 on the movie Bond’s list and that’s only because we haven’t had six. In spite of Lazenby, OHMSS is one of the better Bond films because of the rest of the cast, the story line and the marvellous location shooting. Mr. Lazenby did us a favour by eliminating himself from any further Bond pictures.

    • Bruce Reber

      Correction – there have been 6 Bonds, not 5 – Daniel Craig took over as 007 in “Casino Royale” (2006) – the Bond actors in order: 1.Sean Connery 2.George Lazenby 3.Roger Moore 4.Timothy Dalton 5.Pierce Brosnan 6.Daniel Craig

  • Greg Lewandowski

    For me,only two Bond films have the ability to be watched whenever it is on TV – Goldfinger and OHMSS. Lazenby did a GREAT job in OHMSS, and yes he was aided by a great surrounding cast, script and musical score. OHMSS is a great film and, if you believe that, Lazenby has to be given credit for pulling off the role of James Bond. Another way to look at this is, try to imagine Sean Connery in that role. I think he may have overwhelmed Diana Rigg in the movie, whereas Lazenby, as a newcomer, felt more as a equal to her. I shudder to think how Moore or Dalton would have done in OHMSS. My guess, not good.

  • George D. Allen

    Greg L. brings me back to memories of making darn sure I was planted in front of the tube when ABC would run its Bond films on Friday (Saturday?) nights. I first discovered Bond on cable TV (there’ll be “Moore” on that in the next 007 post), but we’re awfully spoiled these days when we have the fantastic Bond DVDs and Blu-rays rich with extra content and pristine prints of the films.

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  • Blair Kramer

    Who was the best actor to play James Bond? Nope. Sorry. It’s not “who was the best James Bond?” It’s “what is the best James Bond movie?” FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE? Good choice. Certainly well directed. And Robert Shaw couldn’t have been more menacing. GOLDFINGER? No Bond film is more entertaining. THUNDERBALL? Uh, uh. Not for me. We called it THUNDERBLAH in my neighborhood (it bogs down just a bit half way through). THE SPY WHO LOVED ME? I don’t think so. It might just as well be called THE SPY WHO LIVED TWICE (due to it’s strong similiarity to YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE). How ’bout FOR YOUR EYES ONLY? What’s that? Roger Moore films don’t qualify? Aw, c’mon. Surely it’s the best film from his era, isn’t it? After all, it’s got to be his most dramamtic and suspenseful Bond film. But still, good as it is, it’s not the best James Bond film ever made. So which film is it? Which one takes the crown?

    OK. That’s a rhetorical question. Is there really any doubt? ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE is obviously the best 007 epic ever made.

    Discuss the relative merits and/or shorcomings of George Lazenby’s performance all you want. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. I have a name for those people who dismiss George Lazenby: “Sean Connery fundamentalists.” As far as they’re concerned, only Connery will do. But OHMMS is such a well made film that it clearly stands out. And it’s not just the fact that Lazenby is physically impressive (of all the Bond actors, he did the most exciting action and fight scenes. Only Pearce Brosnan comes close). ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE is the best film in the series because every element perfectly came together. Direction. character development. Drama. Visuals. Action. Everything. It is the most perfectly realized action film ever made. Which clearly makes it the best James Bond film ever made. Heck, it even has the best background score ever composed for any Bond film (which really isn’t a surprise. After all, along with all the other outstanding Bond scores prior to OHMSS, it was written by the great John Barry). So, like it or not, after all is said and done, there are James Bond films. There are great James Bond films. And then there is the one Bond film that stands above them all. There is ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE.

    • Bruce Reber

      I’m by no stretch of the imagination a “Sean Connery fundamentalist”, but I did post that IMO he was the greatest actor to portray 007. As I also stated, Lazenby did a very capable job in OHMSS, and would have like to have seen him play 007 on into the 70’s instead of Roger Moore (is less) – I did it again, I just can’t seem to stay away from that pun!

  • George D. Allen

    Blair Kramer, I like your style! “Sean Connery fundamentalists,” very funny. “Thunderblah,” of course, is not without its considerable appeal to the Bond fan, too (while I would probably agree with you on where it goes in the ranking of all 007 movies)…it’s got the gorgeous Claudine Auger; the jet pack!; the hilariously bombastic Tom Jones title song — another triumph by Barry, and really, let’s give lyricist Don Black credit where it’s due. Some Bond devotees aren’t fans of his work, but I am. I much prefer it to what was almost the title tune, “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”

  • Blair Kramer

    “He’s tall, and he’s dark.
    And like a shark, he looks for trouble.
    That’s why the zero’s double.
    Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang…”
    Wassamattah…? Ya gotta problem with that?

    Yeah… Tom Jones’ “Thunderball” is a much better song. Moreover, there really isn’t anything wrong with Don Black’s THUNDERBALL theme song lyrics. And to be honest, I am also a big fan of the movie, THUNDERBALL. It has an extremely unique mood which is all its own. It’s just not quite as exciting as most other James Bond films. But here’s a question… Which film is better: THUNDERBALL, or NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (and yes indeed, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN certainly IS a genuine James Bond film. The mere fact that it wasn’t produced by the Eon crowd doesn’t mean a thing. Like it or not, the simple fact that it was based on the THUNDERBALL novel makes it a legitimate Bond film. Really and truly)?

    • Bruce Reber

      NSNA is essentially a remake of “Thunderball”, which also is one of my 007 faves. NSNA was made “outside” the franchise (it lacked the trademark 007 gunbarrel title sequence, different actors as M and Q, no appearance by Miss Moneypenny), and was inferior in every way to “Thunderball”. To me “Diamonds Are Forever” is the last official (in franchise) Connery Bond movie.

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  • BadGnx2

    I am actually STUNNED at the slightest hint that “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is a good entry in the Bond franchise. After several mentions of it being agood film and George Lazenby being good in the role, I recently watched the film again (several times in fact) to see what I might have missed and I STILL CAME UP WITH THE SAME CONCLUSION – ITS A BAD BOND FILM!!!!

    Lazenby was terrible in the role. His sarcasm was off key, his acting was bad, the camera aided his stunt work and you never got the impression that he was in charge or that he could win any fight against ANYBODY, didn’t help either. He did come off as a TRUE WIMP. Moneypenny probably could have kicked his butt.

    And when they stuck a sappy, turgid love song in the middle of the film (sung by Louis Armstrong no less – NOT any topical singers or groups of the day), I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. The Bond films were usually up to the moment or represented the times well but that song set the series back to the FIFTIES!!!!
    Telly Savalos was a terrible Blofeld also. His casting as a bad guy truly set the film back. He failed to display ANY of the menacing sneer and anger that served him well in “The Dirty Dozen”. Had he played the part as he did in that film, then he might have had a chance.
    The ending of the film itself was pretty downbeat and unfortunately Lazenby didn’t have the acting chops to pull such an emotional scene off.
    The film should have probably ended with Bond ready to get revenge and suiting up for the challenge instead of having him cry over losing his girl. Can one even PICTURE SEAN CONNERY CRYING AS JAMES BOND?????

    Diana Rigg was very good in the film and her presence is very strong and imposing and thus it would take a man of Connery’s stature to conquer her. Her surrendering to Lazenby is a BIG STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION.

    And then the film has so much sappy emotion, such as when he ponders his previous assignments as theme music from the previous films are played. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!

    The true high points to me were the cars – the Aston Martin and the Mercury Cougar. The music was also good, although not up to par with the previous Bond films (excluding “Dr. No”).

    Bottom line: this film is a FAILED Bond film and a happy mess.

  • George D. Allen

    I am glad to see you gave OHMSS many chances, even though you dislike it. That’s the mark of a true Bond fan! I have to disagree with your verdict (obviously), but I love the phrase “a happy mess.”

  • Bond Trader

    Mr. Allen,

    “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” certainly is not a failed Bond film, nor is it “a happy mess.” BadGnx2 is entitled to his opinion, but he’s clearly wrong. I suspect that the superior aspects of OHMSS went over his head because it wasn’t as fantastic as “Thunderball” or “You Only Live Twice.” Moreover, It has a great deal more character development than any previous Bond film. And as previously mentioned, John Barry’s score isn’t just great. It’s the best score Barry ever composed for any James Bond film. In fact, it’s probably one of the best over all film scores ever composed in the history of motion pictures. Also, Telly Savalas’ New York accent aside, wasn’t he a bit more menacing as Blofeld than the somewhat diminutive Donald Pleasance? And finally, there was absolutely nothing wrong with George Lazenby as James Bond. After 40 years it no longer makes any sense to suggest otherwise.

    And by the way Mr. Allen, what IS your opinion of “Never Say Never Again?”

  • George D. Allen

    Hmmmm….so do I hold out for a full appraisal of NSNA or just sum it up here? Here is as good a place as any, I guess. Bond Trader, first thing’s first: I own it, ’cause you just have to. Even though, as I’ve jokingly said more than once, it doesn’t “count,” because for me a “Bond movie” has to have more ingredients than just the name and the actor (and the rights to the story, say, which is something that also afflicts the pre-Craig “Casino Royale,” among other more glaring afflictions). I’ve watched NSNA many times. Each time I think, “Oh, this is gonna be better than I remember it.” Each time I’m disappointed, for the most part. I think Connery’s performance is fun. I like Klaus Maria Brandauer as Largo, but that videogame smackdown between them was not even very good before it became horrifically dated. Basginer….well, she looks good, but I’ve liked her better in other movies. Carrera is fine, too. Fox’s M I really disliked, but I suppose you could say it was a unique interpretation. Rowan Atkinson has no business being anywhere close to the set of a James Bond movie. On the other hand, I could always use me some more Max von Sydow. I love that Connery pushed for Bernie Casey to be Leiter before Jeffrey Wright made it his own in the Craig era. The music score by Legrand really turns me off — however, I think I’m one of the very few people who actually likes the title song (and I have the vinyl single release to prove it). RIP Irvin Kershner, a fine director of the best “Star Wars” movie by a long shot. Does this review sound kinda blah and disinterested? That, I guess, is exactly how I regard the movie. Thanks for asking!

  • Bond Trader

    I like your work Mr. Allen. Speaking as a fellow Bond fan I can’t disagree with your assessment of “Never Say Never Again.” However, even though it isn’t an Eon production from the regular James Bond film series, I personally consider it a legitimate Bond film for two reasons: It stars Sean Connery as James Bond and it’s loosely based on an actual Ian Fleming James Bond novel (“Thunderball”). Although, all things considered, it really doesn’t compare to the original film version of “Thunderball.” Not by a long shot. The score for NSNA does nothing for me, but like you, I’m able to tolerate the theme song. I have to say that John Barry’s score for “Thunderball” remains one of his best. David Arnold actually liked the “Thunderball” score enough to sample elements of it for his score to “Die Another Day.” I personally think Barry’s score for “Thunderball” is second only to his score for “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

  • George D. Allen

    Thanks for the compliment. Arnold will be making an appearance in my future look at the Brosnan era. I have definite preferences w/respect to his (Arnold’s)contributions to the series. I will say now I am a big fan of his “White Knight” cue for “Tomorrow Never Dies” and an even bigger fan of his “Casino Royale” score.

  • Bond Trader

    Mr. Allen,

    Since we both have a soft spot in our hearts for the James Bond film scores of John Barry and David Arnold, There is one great Barry score that very few people ever mention. I am bringing it up here because I believe it’s one of his very best. John Barry’s score for THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is a marvel of melody and mood. His music elevated every scene to a dramatic level no other composer could have reached (this includes David Arnold). Prime examples of this include Koskov’s escape and the destruction of the bridge. Also, Barry’s two major action themes for the film (one based on a recurring pop song, the other a variation of the familiar James Bond theme) perfectly complemented the mayhem on the screen. All in all, John Barry’s score for THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS has to be the best Bond soundtrack since ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (but I agree with your opinion of David Arnold’s score for CASINO ROYALE. It truly is amazing.).

  • George D. Allen

    It wouldn’t be totally unfair to say Arnold has been less concerned with melodic strength in his scores than Barry was, though he’s also been a little hamstrung by the selection of other artists to perform the title songs on occasion–a choice that serves to complicate creating a score of, what should we call it, “total integrity” as far as his various themes and motifs would be concerned? Having said that, I’d sure like Arnold to beef up a “Barry-esque” element I think has been missing a bit–that strong, melancholy sense of old-world romance. You hear it in Barry with “The Wedding” cue in YOLT, “Miss Goodhead Meets Bond” in Moonraker, “That’s My Little Octopussy,” and “Mujahadin and Opium” in TLD. Bond 23 would be a perfect time to bring this back, too, having completed the arc of the Vesper story. I think maybe that’s not the tone he’s going for in the Craig films, but I’d sure enjoy hearing a strongly romantic melody from Arnold in the Barry vein. Barry understood you don’t need a lot of orchestral bells and whistles–or even a brisk tempo, for that matter–to create effective and startling “action” music, too. I like when Arnold is at his most disciplined and spare, but I’d also like to see him go deeper into melody rather than just evoke the proper staccato horn blasts and melodic shorthand he often employs.

  • Bond Trader

    Mr. Allen,

    David Arnold’s romantic theme for Teri Hatcher in TOMORROW NEVER DIES was very much a Barry-like melody. I think it’s one of his most beautiful compositions, even though Arnold himself said that he emphasized the emotion a bit too much through the orchestration. The reason he’s wrong about that is entirely related to the scene itself. A long, langorous, heavily orchesrtated melody was very much called for in order to underscore the emotion between Bond and his lady love. Since they supposedly had some mutual history, Arnold’s music was spot on. Or am I wrong?

  • George D. Allen

    Oh my, I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the Brosnan era before I even get to make the case that “nobody does Bond better” than him! That’s an interesting observation about the Teri Hatcher/Paris theme and I suppose you are right about Arnold getting into that particular mode more there than perhaps anywhere else (though I do think he went oh-so-close to it for Vesper’s theme in “Casino Royale.” I suppose it doesn’t register so well in my memory because I never really ever, ever bought into the Bond-Paris “past” in that movie. More when Pierce Brosnan returns….:)

  • Bond Trader

    Mr. Allen,

    OK. I’ll be anxiously waiting to read your article about Pearce Brosnan. But just one thing before I go… Don’t you think David Arnold created a very melodic, beautifully arranged romantic theme for Halle Berry as she rose out of the ocean in DIE ANOTHER DAY? Soon afterwards, the same theme was nicely enhanced during the Bond/Jinx love scene. In fact, if you ask me, David Arnold’s music was the best thing about that film!

  • George D. Allen

    I confess I have a hard time at this moment recalling the music during that shot — maybe because all I can remember now is Bond’s apt comment: “Magnificent view!” Good thing I can refer back to the DAD soundtrack for future comment.



  • BadGnx2

    First and foremost I DO NOT want to get into a
    “war of the words” here with Mr. Allen or “Bond Trader”, but let me say this: Mr. Allen – I am glad that we RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE with our verdicts of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.

    As for “Bond Trader”: I am sorry that that you feel certain aspects of the film “went over my head”. Hmmmm….are you suggesting that you are SMARTER THAN ME or that you have a BETTER HANDLE OF THE BOND FILMS THAN I DO???
    As I stated in my piece, I’ve seen this film MANY times and only watch it out of my love of Diana Rigg and the lead cars used in the film. As a matter of fact, a “high scale” Bond collector here in the Chicago area has one of the two Mercury Cougars used in the film and its still a nice car. I’ve seen his collection of Bond items.
    That aside, my evaluation of the film was WITHOUT malice at all. And I gave an HONEST critical evaluation of the film not only as a true Bond lover but as a film lover too. By simply calling Lazenby a wimp is actually being nice to him. I could have used more choice words….

    As for the score, I have an old, original James Bond STUDIO album that was released after “Diamonds Are Forever”. Its called the 10th Anniversary album and it has the original John Barry scores and music from all of the films from “Dr. No” up to “Diamonds…” And one can get a true vision of the difference in the music and the scores from all of the original films when they are side by side. “Goldfinger” probably had the best music from the series.
    However much of the music used on the soundtracks, did not appear in the completed films. And its a shame too. Case in point: There IS a jazzy composition that IS EXCELLENT called “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” from the score of “Thunderball”. A variation of it was used in the completed film although this version is EXCELLENT and its a shame that it was not used in the final version. The music from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, although good, does not stand up to the music from the other films. And instead of the turgid Louis Armstrong song, they could have used a jazzy or upbeat instrumental such as “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”.

    The music of the John Barry/Connery Bonds were the best of the bunch and an integral part of the films themselves. They are loud, thunderous horns and sweeping, soothing strings. They made the Bond films stand out among the others. In fact, I read a piece by Jerry Goldsmith (composer of the James Coburn “Flint” films) in which he stated that the score from “Goldfinger” was one of the best films scores he had EVER HEARD PERIOD. And it was its inspiration that was used for the “Flint” films.
    Personally, I dislike the Roger Moore films so I can’t give a critical analysis for the music used in them. Although I think Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better” was perhaps the best of the Roger Moore era songs.

  • George D. Allen

    BadGnx2, all is well, no war of words here, we all love 007 films…and as you’ve seen, we all have some pretty strong opinions! I envy your visit to the collector’s stash of Bond stuff. I’m a die-hard fan of Barry’s OHMSS score, and while the music-video scene of Bond and Tracy set against Satch’s rendition of “We Have All the Time in the World” is a little unlike other Bond films, the entire movie is a little unlike most Bond films, so for me it works–plus, I think the melody is one of Barry’s finest (with the romantic themes for Moonraker and Octopussy close behind). That’s interesting what Goldsmith said about the Goldfinger score. It’s always been a little too brassy for my taste, I preferred when Barry balanced his scores out w/the string section a bit more. I really enjoy the vintage quasi-soundtrack LP “Music to Read James Bond By,” put out just after the release of Goldfinger. It has a nice rendition of the From Russia with Love theme and an unusual performance of the James Bond Theme w/piano substituted for the main guitar.

  • Bond Trader

    We’ll agree to disagree, BadGnx2. When I said the superior aspects of OHMSS went over your head, I simply meant that your unfavorably view of the film was very much in the minority among Bond fans. I’m not the only one who would vociferously disagree with you. I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Bond fans consider OHMSS to be the best in the series. And speaking as a life long, die hard Bond fan, I simply agree with them. As for “We Have All The Time In The World” as sung by Louis Armstrong, I happen to like it. Yes indeed, it backs up a sequence of embarrassing vignettes that would be considered a cliche’ in this day and age, but such a romantic montage wasn’t nearly as overused in the movies when the film was released in 1969. Besides, It STILL works for the most part because it succeeds in moving the Bond/Tracy relationship along for the benefit of the viewer. Now, the rest of the score… Well… You know how I (and most others) feel. All the Barry scores are great. But his score for OHMSS definitely stands out. Yes, You’re right about “Mr. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang.” I also own copies of the various instrumental versions of that tune (including two vocal renditions), and it’s very impressive in most of its permutations, but it certainly isn’t superior to anything Barry composed for OHMSS. As for music used compared to unused, the two are unrelated. Where the films are concerned, what matters is what you actually hear in those films. And talking about the films, I agree with your view of the Roger Moore era for the most part, save one: “For Your Eyes Only.” It’s a genuinely suspenseful film with a suprisingly effective performance by its star, Roger Moore. I recommend it to every Bond fan. It’s not just Moore’s best Bond film. It’s as good as many of the best Bond films ever made. Finally, I believe the ’69 Mecury Cougar of which you speak was just placed on display at a newly opened James Bond vehicle museum in the Chicago are. But I don’t believe it was one of the stunt cars. As a side note, a very good friend of mine just sold the mint condition T’Bird he owned from the film “Die Another Day.” He never took it out of his garage even though he owned it for years. What a shame!

  • Bond Trader

    Addendum: Jerry Goldsmith’s scores for “Our Man Flint” and “In Like Flint” remain among his very best (although, even though it is musically very different, his score for the first “Star Trek” film is also very impressive). But it’s no surprise that Goldsmith used Barry’s “Goldfinger” score as inspiration. “Our Man Flint” was in post production before “Thunderball” was released. The success of Shirley Bassey’s booming rendition of the “Goldfinger” theme certainly could not be ignored. I must say that I remain very dissapointed with the CD release of the Flint scores of 10 years ago. Since I own the vinyl records of the scores, more than a few cues are missing on the CD. It took me a while to finally acquire CDs of the original vinyl recordings from Europe. But, have you ever wondered how Bernard Hermann might have scored a 60’s Bond film? I ask this because I think his score for the Bond-like film “North By Northwest” is one of the greatest film scores ever done. In fact, I consider Bernard Hermann among the best film composers who ever lived. He’s every bit as good as Eric Wolfgang Korngold and Max Steiner. To be sure, he’s even up there with John Barry!

    • Bruce Reber

      Goldsmith also scored the original “Planet Of The Apes”, the third entry in the original Apes saga “Escape From The Planet Of The Apes” and “Papillon” (all 3 of which I have on DVD). Those are excellent in conveying the mood of their respective movies also.

  • Bond Trader

    Attention Mr. Allen, I have a question for you…

    As you know, I consider OHMSS John Barry’s best James Bond score. But here’s an interesting question… Which Barry score do you think is actually most effective in terms of mood (in other words: musically speaking, OHMSS is clearly superior. But is it also the best in its ability to set a mood and elicit a desired emotion, which is of course, precisely the aim of every film score?)? Believe it or not, in my own personal opinion, I have to say that OHMSS may actually be second in that regard. Many Bond fans would probably say that John Barry’s score for “From Russia With Love” offers the best mood and creates the strongest emotion. But I have come to the conclusion that his score for “You Only Live Twice” may well fill that bill. The many Oriental touches in that score are very effective. The romantic flourishes are beautiful. And most of all, prior to the final battle, Barry’s ability to musically elicit suspense during the scenes within the volcano is just about perfect. In fact, I consider John Barry’s score for “You Only Live Twice” second only to OHMSS. What is your view on this Mr. Allen?

  • Bond Trader.

    I previously said that I thought Barry’s score for “Thunderball” was second to his score for OHMSS. Now, just above, I say his score for “You Only Live Twice” is second. Not very consistent on my part. I guess that means I think very highly of both scores. I also guess it means that, as far as I’m concerned, the relative merits of the scores for “Thunderball” and “You Only Live Twice” are equal. They’re tied. Now… That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

  • George D. Allen

    Bond Trader, you have returned just in time for me to remark that (at long last) I got off my duff and finished the Pierce Brosnan entry in this series. Watch for it soon! Meanwhile, as to your score question: I think you may have different answers from me, depending on whether or not you’re talking about the score working on you by itself (as in, listening to it apart from the movie), or achieving this stir of emotion while working with all of the other elements of the films. For the former, I would say that I have usually preferred the less brassy Barry scores by themselves, so I’d be listening to YOLT less often, than, say…Moonraker (!). But here, we’re talking about it as pure music. Now, if you’d be asking which of the scores works best with bringing out one mood or the other in the films, I guess we’d have to be differentiating between which mood(s) we’re talking about. “Romance”? OHMSS, Spy, YOLT, in no particular order there. “Suspense”? From Russia with Love. “Sass”? Live and Let Die. We could go on and on. (And don’t we?) But that wedding cue for YOLT is truly majestic. What’s interesting about that is that there’s an added comic element to it that, listening to the cue alone, you’d never guess (because Barry doesn’t underline it the way lesser composers might be tempted to do), but watching the sequence in the film, the leadup to the revelation of “Mrs. Bond” is just hysterical.

  • Bond Trader.

    Mood in relation to what you’re watching. What are you FEELING as you watch the film? That’s what I’m talking about. Example: the chimes that are used in “From Russia With Love” to underscore the murder committed by Grant at St. Sophia. Many (if not most) Bond fans might say that this piece of music elicits the strongest emotion in any Bond film. But I agree with your assessment of Barry’s score for “You Only Live Twice.” Depending upon the scene, Barry has an amazing ability to squeeze a great deal of emotion out of very few notes with spare orchestration. Case in point: Inside the volcano in “You Only Live Twice,” Bond is hiding under a tarp within a moving monorail car. What you hear is drums. A constant, repetitive, martial beat. Now… One could say that the entire scene is just a bit silly. It’s certainly unbelievable. But through his music, Barry admirably succeeds in creating a genuine mood of suspense. To my mind, that is a very impressive achievement. Later, When Bond confronts Blofeld’s henchman above the piranha pool, the music that underscores the fight isn’t just exciting. It too elicits a strong feeling of suspense. In terms of its ability to elicit emotion, John Barry’s score for “You Only Live Twice” is truly amazing.

  • Marko

    All comments, except for Kathy’s, are from men. What does that tell you?

  • Bond Trader

    It tells me that the James Bond films are action/adventure fantasies that primarily appeal to men, what else? The real question is, is there anything wrong with that? And of course, there is only one logical answer: NOPE! There is absolutely nothing the least bit wrong with it! But to tell you the truth, I know more than a few women who very much enjoy the James Bond films. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that they think all the James Bond actors are “hunks!”

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  • Kirk

    George Lazenby is highly underrated as Bond, especially considering he had no experience as a film actor much less the lead! He was very capable in the action sequences, I love the odd echoey sound effects in the hand to hand scenes. He could’ve kept on as 007, then again I don’t know if I could see him in the goofy Moore type films.
    As for Dame Diana Rigg, she’s easily the best damn actress ever to appear as a Bond Girl (I’m relunctant to refer to her as a “girl” she’s so damn classy).
    Telly Savalas as Blofeld is my favorite. In fact he’s only edged out as my favorite Villain from the series by Robert Shaw as Red Grant. Telly had cool in spades and was a intellectual threat as well as an obvious physical one. Plus Telly Savalas was so great with his line delivery. If they’d brought back Pleasance it would have been impossible to take the bobsled fight seriously. Pleasance is a great villain but not a physical threat, more a mastermind type.
    OHMSS is easily one of the five best in the series. I think if Fleming had lived to see it he would’ve had bottomless gratitude for damn near perfectly adapting his most complex novel. OHMSS is a true classic film not just a 007 classic but an all around classic.

  • BadGnx2

    To “Bond Trader”: Yes we can agree to disagree. I think that would be smoother than meeting you somewhere; where we could exchange blows.
    However, I do disagree with your feelings that MOST Bond fans think this is a superior entry in the Bond franchise – especially in the sixties. UNLESS a poll is taken or administered, let’s just call this one a stalemate. Needless to say, I stand by my critical evaluation from above and I’ll leave it alone.

    In regards to the Cougar being displayed in a museum here in Chicago, I know nothing of that. However the car I PERSONALLY viewed was the REAL DEAL. It was unrestored at the time and the owner (who had documentation) was on the fence about whether or not he should fully restore it to its original glory or leave it as it appears now, slightly battered – as most movie cars end up after filming.
    As a matter of fact, I had checked with the president of the Mercury Cougars car club, and he verified the facts of the car and its whereabouts, so I must have viewed THE REAL DEAL. The second Cougar is still in Europe and its the one used in the car rally scene. It was pretty beat up after filming (if one looks at that scene, one can see why). These cars were simply advertisements for Ford so they didn’t really care about them after they were given to the production companies. However the convertible Cougars were early pre-production models, just as the Mustang used in “Goldfinger” was also.

    I also agree with the asessment that the score used in “You Only Live Twice” was one of John Barry’s best. I think someone MUST HAVE stuck a gun next to the head of Nancy Sinatra while she was singing that song, ’cause her recorded voice has NEVER sounded better or sweeter.
    The same gun must have been used on Sheryl Crow because her voice also never sounded as strong as it did in singing “Tomorrow Never Dies” – also, I believe one of the best of the Bond title songs.
    I was actually shocked that Nancy Sinatra’s recording of “You Only Live Twice” was left off of the “10th Anniversary” James Bond studio soundtrack, yet it also featured “Underneath The Mango Tree” from “Dr. No”. Go figure….

    But as far as the music on the early films sounding too “brassy”. That, to me, is VERY subjective. Like I stated in an earlier post, the early Bond music sets it aside from other films of the period (up to “Diamonds Are Forever”) and sets a specific mood for the Connery films. The thunderous horns and soothing strings and drums that were either cool or frantic, were all hallmarks of the franchise and something that couldn’t be easily copied by other filmmakers without sounding stereotypical or corny/laughable.
    Barry also scored the Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) films and yet they also sounded NOTHING like his Bond work.

    • Joe_HTH

      “However, I do disagree with your feelings that MOST Bond fans think this
      is a superior entry in the Bond franchise – especially in the sixties”

      Most people are fucking idiots. The guy sucked, plain and simple. So did his movie. There’s a reason he only played Bond once.

  • Bond Trader.

    BadGnx2, I guess my poor choice of words seriously offended you and for that, I apologize. I assure you that I did not wish, nor did I intend, to insult you. In fact, since we’re both hard core Bond fans, I have no doubt that we would get along very well if we actually met each other. Our discussions would certainly be spirited but absolutely good natured. There is nothing wrong with well considered disagreement as long as it isn’t tinged with anger. And I am never angry. Truth be told, I find your posts interesting and well thought out. I always enjoy reading them. Such as your comments about movie scores. John Barry had an ability that few other film composers demonstrated. Like Jerry Goldsmith, he could work in entirely different musical styles. “Born Free” is nothing like “Thunderball.” Even David Arnold, good as he is, doesn’t seem to have such great ability as a composer. I miss Jerry Goldsmith. And I will certainly miss John Barry.

  • BadGnx2

    To ‘Bond Trader’: First and foremost, no apology needed. We are both passionate movie lovers and Bond film fans.

    I re-read your posts from above and they confirm the fact that you have knowledge and passion.
    I post on this forum often and on many different subjects. Feel free to verbally fence with me anytime.

    I also agree to the fact that the (Connery) Bond films perfectly hit upon men’s fantasies (as manipulated by the filmmakers) by not showing Bond’s home life and personal idiosyncracies as depicted in the books. And instead having him live a full man’s life with fancy cars, fancier women and the ability to kick butt and think his way out of dangerous situations.
    Women were also manipulated by NOT presenting Bond as an ordinary looking guy such as “Hogey Carmichael” (the books original inspiration) and instead as a hunk, imbodied by Connery and others.

  • Bond Trader.

    By the way BadGnx2 (and Mr. George Allen, please feel free to join in), I know how you feel about “On Her Majesty’s Secrtet Service.” You called it a “happy mess.” Well, YOU know that I disagree with that opinion, but Isn’t “Die Another Day” the genuine “happy mess” among Bond films, not OHMSS? Mind you, I’m not saying DAD is the worst Bond film ever made (“A View To A Kill” takes THAT crown), I’m just saying that the hodge-podge script for DAD makes it the true “happy mess” among James Bond films. And in fact, even though most Bond fans think “Tomorrow Never Dies” is Pierce Brosnan’s personal worst, I think his worst Bond film actually is “Die Another Day.” What say you?

    • Bruce Reber

      My votes for worst Bond girl and Bond villain went to Grace Jones (May Day) and Christopher Walken (Max Zorin) respectively, both from AVTAK, so I’m going for the trifecta by voting it worst Bond movie as you have done BT.

  • John

    It was good to notice the attention paid to John Barry-the first Bond film I saw in the theater was “Goldfinger” and Barry’s music provided the entrance to the world of Bond. His death and that of Jerry Goldsmith-“Chinatown”,the best Trek theme for “Voyager”,among so many-and Elmer Bernstein-“Magnificent Seven”,”To Kill A Mockingbird”,etc.-brings down the curtain on a truly golden generation of film scorers.

  • Bond Tader.

    Was John Barry channeling Henry Mancini when he composed “A Man Alone” for “The Ipcress File?” Close your eyes while you listen to it and try to tell yourself it doesn’t sound like something Mancini would have written! It’s decidedly reminiscent of Mancini’s theme for “Experiment In Terror.” However, I don’t know if this is good or bad. Barry was certainly better than Mancini, but Mancini had his moments, didn’t he?

    • Bruce Reber

      Barry and Mancini were both great, and they composed some of the best movie scores of all time. BTW, check out the Barry score for the 1966 movie “The Chase”, with Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda. It has a definite James Bond quality (especially the opening theme). Listen to it and see if you don’t agree.

  • George D. Allen

    Yes, that Ipcress File piece is really Manciniesque! (Would make a nice alternate theme to “Charade,” perhaps, a Mancini score I think is excellent along w/the movie)

  • chris

    When adjusted for the style of the times(meaning different standards for different decades), I think Sean Connery is still the man. However, if you want a Bond that most reflects the books, I think Daniel Craig is your man.

  • Joe_HTH

    Jesus! Lazenby was the [worst] Bond ever, and his film was the pits.

  • Bruce Reber

    I’ve seen OHMSS several times, and IMO George Lazenby does a more than capable job as 007. It was his one and only movie as Bond, and he makes the very most of it. Diana Rigg plays one of the most gorgeous Bond girls ever, and Telly Savalas is effectively menacing as 007’s infamous nemesis Blofeld. OHMSS has one of the best Bond movie chases – the car race on an ice rink with Blofeld in hot pursuit of 007 and Tracy (Rigg). I would have like to see Lazenby continue as 007 into the 70’s – he would have been better than Roger Moore (is less) – oops, I used that pun again!

  • Luke

    Lazenby quit the series because his agent told him it was antiquated and becuase he received such bad reviews. He had been signed to do 7 movies. He went on to a tragic lame and self deluded film
    Career and a life of torturing his two ex wives and daughters. He punched his first pregnant wife and broke her nose. His current ex wife has a restraining order againta him. Nothing about this loser should be celebrated. Stop worshipping trash- he was a crappy Bond who brought nothing but sassy costumes to the series. Diana Rigg has called him a stupid repulsive idiot numerous times.

    • GeorgeDAllen

      Points for originality: I’ve never heard Lazenby’s Bond attire referred to as “sassy” before. I wouldn’t be interested in debating the angrier portions of your critique, but I’ll go so far as to correct your assertion that Lazenby quit the Bond series (in part) because of bad reviews: he had already nixed another appearance as 007 before the film was released and received any of the negative reviews you’re talking about.