December 18, 2019

OHMSS AT 50

On Her Majesty's Secret Service has its London premiere on this day in 1969! It was the sixth major film in the Bond franchise and marked the last project that would capture a 1960s vibe. Replacing Sean Connery in the lead was Australian model George Lazenby, who brought a special cocktail of athleticism, good looks, and youthful swagger to the role. OHMSS also featured a stellar cast and crew, including Diana Rigg (The Avengers), Telly Savalas (Kojak), Joanna Lumley (The New Avengers), designs by Syd Cain, and one of John Barry's very best scores. Often voted as the best of the series by fans, I think the film found its success by going deeper into Bond's emotional life and by capturing much of the rich adventure found in Ian Fleming's original novel. This Bond had heart! As a kid, I could enjoy the Connery and Moore films as hero-fantasy, but it was Lazenby who made me feel empathy for the character. It was such a favorite of mine that I even recorded a tape cassette off the TV speakers so I could listen to the story as an audio thriller. One of the main ways we create memory is by making emotional connections to our experiences. And as filmmakers hope to create those few indelible moments, my imagination is forever filled with Bond's breakneck escape down a mountain on skis at night, his visceral fear on screen as he tried to elude the killers in a crowd, and his relief seeing the woman of his dreams come to his rescue. Thank you, George. If you ever get a chance to see the movie screened in film on the big screen, don't miss it! In celebration of OHMSS Day, I want to guide Spy Vibers back to Episode #3 of Spy Vibe on the Cocktail Nation radio show. In this episode I talk about my favorite Bond film and 007 theme, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. My segment starts at 8:28 on Cocktail Nation. Also in this episode: Koop talks Hugh Hefner and plays a swinging version of Man From Thrush. Also, I want to encourage readers to please check out the recent George Lazenby documentary, Becoming Bond (on Hulu and region 2 DVD). It's great fun and really provides some valuable insights, humor- and even wisdom! Related recent post: George Lazenby returns to MI6 in a new audio drama, Passport to Oblivion! Enjoy!


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