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on 12 December 2004
I'll preface this review by saying, this was the first Bond picture I ever saw (so I had no sense of Connery's performance). Having said that- and confirming Connery is the best of all the actors to have played Bond- OHMSS remains my personal favorite.
I also will state that George Lazenby (for my money), is the only other person to have played Bond well. He played it differently and yet he was able to carry off the suave and the brutal sides of the character with great style. This was no easy feat- even with Peter Hunt's help. To fill the shoes of both Connery and Bond was no easy task and, being the first to do so in what has been a succession of actors now, was both tough and overwhelming in weight and response.
This film departed from the rest of the series and reached back to both the elements of the books, and giving Bond an equal in his love interest. Tracy (the magnificent Diana Rigg) was dangerous, self destructive and yet mesmerizing. This film demands some sudden vulnerability and humanity from Bond, and this is where I think Lazenby and Hunt succeeded. They still retain enough of the gadgets, the threat to the world ( Telly Savalas in a finally fleshed out, equally suave and terrific portrayal of Bond's arch enemy, Ernst Stavaro Blofeld), and the womanizing. Still- Bond is suddenly seen needing or wanting something more.
It has John Barry's best Bond score (with Louis Armstrong singing the love theme in what was one of his best and last performances).
The fight sequences are great- the locations, pure Bond in scope and size and the performances of all, above and beyond. M, Moneypenny and Q, and Gabriele Ferzetti (as Rigg's father)- all terrific.
A recent polling indicated that this had placed in the top 5 of all Bond films with the British. Considering the trashing that Lazenby took when it was released (and through the years), there must be some long overdue comfort in that. One has only to read some of my fellow reviewers to see- a great many of us feel that way, too.
I even felt, any time I saw Connery interviewed about the others, that quietly he felt Lazenby had probably followed him the best. Connery is a class act and it isn't in his nature to get into such things but he actually spoke about ways he could have helped him- which I thought was a tipping of the cap of sorts.
There has been much written about why Lazenby didn't return to the role- his side and theirs. Sad for both parties and for the fans of the series. It would have been interesting to see him do a few more although, if you only have one in the fold- OHMSS is pure gold.
This never happened to any of the other guys that followed!
One for Bond purists, Bond fans and for the romantics, too. There's a marvelous love story here.
Enjoy.
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No Bond film has suffered as much historical and critical revisionism as On Her Majesty's Secret Service. A huge hit on its first release and no better or worse reviewed than any of the preceding Bonds, George Lazenby's decision to leave the series before the film was released led to a tidal wave of attacks from the press and spurned co-producer Albert R. Broccoli (who even removed Lazenby's face from the original US poster!) that cast such a dark shadow over the film that the fact it's one of the highpoints of the series slipped from the public consciousness. Instead it became the Bond that flopped (if taking more than ten times its cost can be called flopping), the Bond that everybody hated (there were plenty of rave reviews to prove otherwise) with the Bond so bad he had to be fired (the producers tried to sign him up for several more pictures but, foolishly he admits, their new star thought the series was on the way out). It didn't help that the film was subsequently heavily cut for reissues and TV, and it's only with the Ultimate Edition DVD that the film is finally available in its absolutely uncut version (even the previous DVD was missing a few shots). Over the years its reputation has gradually grown, although EON clearly still regard it as the black sheep of the series: where the producers proudly boasted in 1970 that it was the fastest Bond to recoup its cost, for the documentary here they maintain it was the slowest. It's tempting to imagine whether 2006's Casino Royale would have met with similar treatment had Daniel Craig decided to call it a day before it opened...

It's all the more mystifying considering how fresh and genuinely exciting much of the film still is today. With many of the series' regulars off making Shalako with Sean Connery (as was intended leading lady Brigitte Bardot), the film benefits greatly from new blood and new ideas while debuting director Peter Hunt's long experience as the series editor keeps it recognisably a Bond film. George Leech's stuntwork is much better than anything Bob Simmonds ever came up with, while cinematographer Michael Reed's superb work in the Swiss locations makes it one of the most visually memorable of the series. The ski chases still amaze, with Willi Bogner and Johnny Jordan going to ridiculously dangerous lengths to secure shots no-one had ever attempted before or equalled since (Bogner skiing backwards with a camera for the ground shots while Jordan was suspended from a helicopter for the aerial shots!), made all the more vivid by John Barry's superb score with its most exciting main title theme of the entire series.

Blessed with one of the strongest and certainly the most emotional of Fleming's plots, followed much more closely than the norm for the films, it also has a healthy contempt for the gadgets that keeps Bond, not the hardware centre stage: he may use a hefty gizmo to crack a safe, but he's more interested in leafing through Playboy while waiting for it to do its job. Elsewhere, he uses his wits and what's available. It's particularly gratifying to see him tear out his pockets and use them as makeshift gloves in one scene

There are odd moments of awkwardness to Lazenby's performance, but nothing truly fatal, and he grows into the role as it progresses. Indeed, as the first Bond to be asked to show real fear (in the ice rink sequence) and despair (the ending), at his best he's far more natural than his detractors give him credit and despite being intended as a Connery imitator there are plenty of moments where he makes the part his own. He's certainly the most physical Bond, not least because of Peter Hunt's determination to put him in harm's way so the camera can come in close in the vicious fight sequences. As for whether Connery would have made the film better still, it's doubtful. Had it originally followed Goldfinger as was originally planned, it's possible, but by the time the oft-rescheduled picture finally went before the camera he'd lost all interest in the part and it's hard to imagine him putting any more effort into it than he did in Diamonds Are Forever. It's certainly impossible to imagine him pulling off the film's devastating final scene by that point.

On the debit side, the pacing is slightly problematic, not least due to the deletion of an uncompleted chase through the London Underground that leaves the film with a slight sag in the middle. That continuity problem with Blofeld not recognising Bond IS irritating (OHMSS was intended to be their first meeting), the romantic montage feels like a jewellers commercial and at times Hunt's cut-to-the-bone editing style is overdone. None of which stop this being very nearly the best Bond of them all, and the one the series wouldn't come close to matching for another 37 years.

For Bond fans, this repackaged two-disc Ultimate Edition is like a brightly lit Christmas Tree on Christmas morning, with plenty of new extras to make it worth an upgrade to the two-disc edition if you already have the previous DVD. Of these, the most interesting are the interviews with Lazenby from the time of the film's release. Much criticised for his arrogance and ego in an era when stars were kept on a tight leash, now he simply seems honest and sincere and considerably more positive about the film than many of today's stars on modern press junkets. Unfortunately, while all three original 1969 making-of featurettes have been included on this issue, Shot On Ice, about the filming of the stock car sequence, has been clumsily tampered with, the extracts from the film taken from the remastered print in widescreen in away that will annoy the purists. It's also missing the alternate theatrical trailers that have appeared on the laserdisc and video releases in the past. But to go some way to compensating, the disc also includes new featurettes on casting the film and a staged press day during shooting as well as all the extras from the original release - plus that tidied up uncut version. Highly recommended, this is Bond at his best.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 November 2013
This is the Bond film that many people probably never see. There is one reason for that, and I think only one: the actor playing Bond. This was George Lazenby's only time as Bond, and then it switched back to Sean Connery for Diamonds are Forever and then to Roger Moore in Live and Let Die. It's easy now to imagine different actors playing Bond, but in 1969 Sean Connery WAS Bond. It was not at all clear whether he could be replaced. And Lazenby's sole attempt didn't convince anyone. I'll have more to say about him later. Because there is a lot more to this movie than just the actor playing Bond.

The most impressive thing for me about the Bond franchise is the way in which it manages to adapt so effortlessly to whatever age it was made in. It started off quite dark and gritty except for the over-the-top villains in their fantastic lairs. As the '60s progressed the attempts at realism declined and the gadgets grew more and more extreme. The '70s got even more campy with Bond becoming little more than a parody of himself. Even in the '60s the series had never exactly reflected reality, but by the '70s it wasn't even pretending to. The franchise had teething problems in the '80s as it attempted to return to its serious roots, but it never managed to compete against newer action vehicles. The '90s saw Bond reborn, in a more general action-hero role. Now instead of being part of an elite force he became more of a lone wolf, like '90s action heroes. Then the '00s came up and the franchise rebooted in a dark and gritty return to the franchise's roots, again in keeping with the darker and more aggressive action heroes of the decade.

The reason I bring this up, is that On Her Majesty's Secret Service rather breaks the mold. It is probably the closest film to the Bond of today. Reading negative reviews from the time one feels like they are describing the elements that they put into modern Bonds. Criticisms that the film had removed the gadgets and oddities that dominated earlier ones sound like inadvertent praise. That's exactly what people want in a Bond film. Modern touches in this film include: a greater focus on Bond's character, which is no longer just invulnerable superspy; the aforementioned decline in gadgets; an increased role for the romantic interest; conflict between Bond and his employers; rapidly edited action scenes. At the time much of this was not appreciated, which is why it was never as successful as other Bonds.

The other reason of course, is George Lazenby. His presence cannot be ignored. There has been a lot of criticism of him over the years. Many have said that he was flat and uninspired, often comparing him unfavorably with Sean Connery. I think that a lot of the negative comments about him are due to this being his only outing. His is certainly not a polished performance, but he showed great promise in his first outing. Given a few more outings he could have made the role his own, and his performance here would have been seen as simply the first stage in his development. After all, Connery didn't gain all of his trademark lines and quirks until several movies in.

The thing with Lazenby though, is that you never quite get a handle on who his Bond is. He plays his cards fairly close to the chest and there always seems to be more that he is not saying. In fact, he seems to be a bit of a chameleon, sometimes being tender and sometimes hard. It may be bad acting or it might not. All that I know is that it works for the role he was given. This Bond is enigmatic enough that you can believe he actually is a spy, but displays enough genuine emotion that you can buy him as a man in love.

The rest of the acting is a lot easier to qualify: it is excellent. Telly Savalas makes a worthy replacement for Donald Pleasance as Blofeld. His version is much less sinister and rather more charming than Pleasance's. This makes him much less of a blunt stereotype and more of an actual threat. I think that people are more likely to remember Pleasance's iconic take on this man, but Savalas' comes a worthy second. He just enjoys himself so much. Diana Rigg is excellent as Tracy, the woman who captures Bond's heart. She is damaged and not completely right in the head, but also resourceful and direct. She's no pushover like so many Bond girls.

Another aspect of this film that overwhelms is the score. This is Johnn Barry's best Bond score, dominated by a main theme that features no words. Oftentimes this is the theme used when you might expect to hear the Bond theme, and it works just as well if not better.

There is a lot that is unique about this film, but the movie itself is still unmistakably a Bond film. It may be more realistic than others, but it still has supervillains with massive lairs, absurd action scenes (including two wonderful ski chases), a lot of girls for Bond to seduce, and general '60s cheese (including Blofeld locking Bond up in the only room in the fortress that contains an escape route). But it has more heart than any of the later ones (except perhaps Casino Royale). This Bond can be a callous cad, but he can also be afraid and have his heart broken. The final scene is heartbreaking, and when the music brutally transitions into the triumphant Bond theme it feels like a kick in the teeth.
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On Her Majesty's Secret Service is directed by Peter Hunt and adapted to screenplay by Richard Maibaum from the novel written by Ian Fleming. It stars George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Ilse Steppat, Yuri Borienko and Gabriele Ferzetti. Music is by John Barry and cinematography by Michael Reed.

Bond 6 and 007 is obsessed with locating SPECTRE supremo Ernst Stavro Blofeld. After rescuing beautiful Countess Tracy di Vincenzo from suicide, this brings Bond into contact with her father, Marc Ange Draco, who agrees to help Bond find Blofeld in exchange for 007 courting Tracy. Blofeld is located in the Switzerland Alps at Piz Gloria, where he is masterminding a fiendish plot involving biological extinction of food group species'. Bond will need to use all his wits to stop the plan from being executed, he also has big matters of the heart to contend to as well......

Connery gone, but not for good as it turned out, so into the tuxedo came George Lazenby, an Australian model with no previous acting experience of note. It would be Lazenby's only stint as 007, badly advised by those around him that Bond had no future in the upcoming 70s, his head swelling with ego by the day (something he readily admits and regrets), Lazenby announced he would only be doing the one James Bond film. The legacy of OHMSS is the most interesting in the whole Bond franchise, for where once it was reviled and wrongly accused of being a flop, it now, over 40 years later, is regarded as being one of the finest entries in the whole series. Yes it is still divisive, I have seen some fearful arguments about its worth, but generations of critics and film makers have come along to laud it as essential Bond and essential Fleming's Bond at that.

Everything about OHMSS is different to what Connery's Bond had become, the gadgets are gone and heaven forbid, Bond got a heart and fell in love. He was a man, with real aggression, real emotions and forced to use brain and brawn instead of mechanical trickery. Changes in the production department, too, wasn't just bout Lazenby's appearance. Peter Hunt, previously the Bond film editor, directed his one and only Bond film, and Michael Reed on cinematography also appears for the one and only time. New Bond, new era, but reviews were mixed and in spite of making a profit of over $73 million Worldwide, this was considerably down on previous films. The reviews didn't help, with much scorn poured on Lazenby for not being Connery, but really it's hard to imagine anyone coming in and not getting beat with that particular stick! Box office take wasn't helped by the film's length, at over 2 hours 10 minutes, this restricted the number of showings in theatres, something that should be greatly noted.

Away from Bond anyway, OHMSS is a stunning action thriller in its own right. From the opening beach side fist fight, where uppercuts lift men off their feet and drop kicks propel them backwards, to helicopter attacks, bobsleigh pursuits (resplendent with punches and flinging bodies), ski chases and a car chase in the middle of a stock car race: on ice! There's enough pulse pumping action here to fill out two Bond movies. But the Bond aspects are magnificent as well. Lazenby has wonderful physicality and throws a mean punch, he cuts a fine figure of a man and he's acting inexperience isn't a problem in the hands of the astute Hunt. Lazenby is matched by Rigg as Tracy, the best Bond girl of them all, she's no bimbo, she's tough (fighting off a guy with a broken bottle), smart yet vulnerable, funny and heart achingly beautiful, her interplay with Lazenby is brilliantly executed, so much so that when the devastating finale arrives it has extra poignance. A scene that closes the film on a downbeat note and remains the most emotional scene ever put into a Bond movie.

Savalas finally gives us a villain who can compete with Bond on a physical level, making the fight between them an evenly matched and believable one. He lacks Pleasance's sinister fizzog, though the bald pate and Grecian looks marks Savalas out as an imposing foe as well. The Swiss Alps setting is gorgeous, with Reed capturing the scope magnificently, while some of his colour lensing in the interiors soothe the eyes considerably. Barry's score is one of his best, lush romantic strains accompany Tracy and James, operatic overtures dart in and out of the Swiss scenery and the James Bond theme is deftly woven into the action sequences. Louis Armstrong's beautiful "We Have All The Time In The World" features prominently, perfectly romantic and forever to be thought of as part of the Bond Universe. Finally it's the great writing that gives us the best sequence involving the trifecta of Bond, Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) and M (Bernard Lee). 5 minutes of class that gives Moneypenny an acknowledged importance in the relationship between the two men in her life. It's just one of a number of truly excellent scenes in the greatest Bond film of them all. 10/10
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on 7 January 2008
George Lazenby seems to split Bond fans down the middle - they either love him or loath him. Personally, I'm somewhere in between, but I do consider OHMSS one of the most important Bond moments and, in many ways, one of the best films.

The most striking difference about this film is the tone, underpinned by the unthinkable notion that James Bond could fall in love. Despite Lazenby shortcomings as an actor, the relationship between Bond and Diana Rigg's Tracey is completely believable, and this is what gives the films its clout, even today.

The set-up is nothing new. Blofeld plots to brain-wash and hypnotise a group of conveniently sexy young women and use them to spread a virus for which only he has the cure. It's all very well until the hypnotism scenes, which ripped off the laughably bad ending from The Ipcress File (on which Peter Hunt, OHMSS's director, was the editor).

Location wise, the film-makers struck gold in Switzerland. Consequently, this film is graced with some of the best ski-chase sequences of the series and some beautiful cinematography too.

Some of the fights are a bit clumsy, and the editing seems particularly cack-handed in places. Ironically the director, Peter Hunt, had been the editor on four of the previous Bonds. The editor replacing him was John Glen, who went on to direct five Bond films which were among the best as far as action goes.

This is really only a small gripe though, as this film is not about the action but about character. Not until 'Casino Royale', nearly 30 years on, would we see a Bond this vulnerable again. Shame really, especially given that they subsequently followed this film with the light and largely pointless 'Diamond Are Forver'.

Whatever you may think of Lazenby, this film is an essential part of the Bond saga and, for my money, a genuinely moving piece of dramatic cinema as well.

As with all the new Bond DVDs, the picture and sound have been remasted to stunning effect. Watching these films on an upscaling DVD player, you will be amazed at how clean they look, sound and feel. Extras are superb too, with a nice 30 minute documenatry and a wealth of other tidbits.
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on 28 December 2005
And so you come to this, George Lazenby's one and only James Bond film - the oddity in the series, but still no less spectacular.
Just because Lazenby only did the one Bond film does not make this a bad movie, a common misconception.Sure, he's not very comfortable in the lead role, but that would have been something that came over time, if he had been given the chance. Instead he's merely passable as the hero.
His coming and going is covered in much length in the bonus 40 minute documentary, that provides unbiased insight into the making of the film and the controversial hiring and firing of the actor.
Still, at least he made an impact on the series. The action scenes here are full of amazing stunts, particularly the ski chase and the bob sled section. The movie starts off well, with a beuatifully filmed pre-credits action scene.
And although that sets up a action packed film, the plot line, trying to track down uber-villain Blofeld, is over long, padded and skimpy. It's even more annoying in the fact that the film doesn't actually finish, as Blofeld is still on baddie duties in future Bond films, which really makes this plot a waste of time.
Still, the Bond formula is in place, plenty of girls, magnificent set pieces and a delightful leading lady in Diana Rigg. It all leads up to the most shocking scene in any Bond film, and if you havn't seen this already, then it comes as a real surprise, a gut punch of an ending.
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on 8 November 2000
I suppose like most people I came to this film with a number of expectations. Others treated this film with disdain since it did not feature the definitive Bond (Connery). Not forgetting the popular myth - Lazenby was so poor he was sacked.
The first time I saw this film, some ten years ago I was surprised at how good it was. With each viewing it improved - some of the best action scenes in a Bond film and a memorable ending also made it stand out.
Part of the problem surrounding the film could be that this was the first non-Connery Bond film. Another problem could be that poor old George Lazenby is dubbed for his scenes as Sir Hilary Bray.
In spite of all those, Lazenby does turn in a good performance and it is a pity that he chose not to continue in the role. It would have been interesting indeed to see what he would have made of Diamonds Are Forever (BTW - I'm not criticising Connery). With hindsight it is also noticeable that a lot of later Bond films steal bits and pieces from this one.
With each DVD release of a Bond film, MGM/UA add some excellent features, this one is no exception.
An excellent transfer (and finally I have a copy of the film featuring that 6 minute scene in Grunwold's office!) - the picture and sound quality are excellent. A worthy addition to the Bond collection.
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on 14 September 2010
I would like to review the remastering and not the film, as I think most people know the story by now.

Basically the film has had a total clean up. All the bits of fluff and marks have been removed. You would be surprised if you watch an older DVD copy as to the difference. Although they didn't seem to use 'blue screen' a great deal in Bond films,(alot of back projection) where they have the picture is a big improvement (Little Nellie-You Only Live Twice).

The colour of the dawn helicopter flight in OHMSS is so good I had to watch the older DVD to see if it was the same footage.

The sound is much sharper, adding a few extra sound effects here and there, which I do question, but there you go.

The restored picture doesn't always work for me, for example where they have tried to match night time shots in OHMSS. On the old DVD the sky is almost black, then next shot dark blue - then perhaps back to black again. On the remastered copy they have matched it all to the dark blue- I think black would have looked better.

The price at the moment is 'as cheap as chips'and worth adding to your Bond collection - just stick the DVD in the older box. I suspect that the older Bond films (pre-Roger Moore)are more likly to benefit from the restoration more than the later ones.
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on 20 November 2002
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a strange entry to the Bond series, widely forgotten by the general movie going public, but plauded as the greatest Bond movie of all time by many of the Bond die hards. In truth OHMSS is a wonderful film which is a masterpiece in the series along with: Goldfinger, From Russia With Love and The Spy Who Loved Me.
The main reason why it is the forgotten film of the series is becase it stars George Lazenby as Bond and not Sean Connery. This however was it only undoing feature (even though Lazenby makes a very good Bond) as the movie going public wants to see Connery in this role.
The movies good feature far and away out do the bad. It looks stunning and has arguably the best plot line of any of the Bond movies, which closely follows that of Fleming's novel (also his best). Diana Rigg as Bond's wife to be Tracey is the best Bond girl in the series and the film is beautifully shot by director Peter Hunt.
The wonderful and emotional plotline are what make OHMSS great, and even though George Lazenby gives a very good performance as James Bond you can only wonder how different history would see this movie if Sean Connery had played the part of 007, in my opinion OHMSS would have been view as the very best in the series
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No Bond film has suffered as much historical and critical revisionism as On Her Majesty's Secret Service. A huge hit on its first release and no better or worse reviewed than any of the preceding Bonds, George Lazenby's decision to leave the series before the film was released led to a tidal wave of attacks from the press and spurned co-producer Albert R. Broccoli (who even removed Lazenby's face from the original US poster!) that cast such a dark shadow over the film that the fact it's one of the highpoints of the series slipped from the public consciousness. Instead it became the Bond that flopped (if taking more than ten times its cost can be called flopping), the Bond that everybody hated (there were plenty of rave reviews to prove otherwise) with the Bond so bad he had to be fired (the producers tried to sign him up for several more pictures but, foolishly he admits, their new star thought the series was on the way out). It didn't help that the film was subsequently heavily cut for reissues and TV, and it's only with the Ultimate Edition DVD that the film is finally available in its absolutely uncut version (even the previous DVD was missing a few shots). Over the years its reputation has gradually grown, although EON clearly still regard it as the black sheep of the series: where the producers proudly boasted in 1970 that it was the fastest Bond to recoup its cost, for the documentary here they maintain it was the slowest. It's tempting to imagine whether 2006's Casino Royale would have met with similar treatment had Daniel Craig decided to call it a day before it opened...

It's all the more mystifying considering how fresh and genuinely exciting much of the film still is today. With many of the series' regulars off making Shalako with Sean Connery (as was intended leading lady Brigitte Bardot), the film benefits greatly from new blood and new ideas while debuting director Peter Hunt's long experience as the series editor keeps it recognisably a Bond film. George Leech's stuntwork is much better than anything Bob Simmonds ever came up with, while cinematographer Michael Reed's superb work in the Swiss locations makes it one of the most visually memorable of the series. The ski chases still amaze, with Willi Bogner and Johnny Jordan going to ridiculously dangerous lengths to secure shots no-one had ever attempted before or equalled since (Bogner skiing backwards with a camera for the ground shots while Jordan was suspended from a helicopter for the aerial shots!), made all the more vivid by John Barry's superb score with its most exciting main title theme of the entire series.

Blessed with one of the strongest and certainly the most emotional of Fleming's plots, followed much more closely than the norm for the films, it also has a healthy contempt for the gadgets that keeps Bond, not the hardware centre stage: he may use a hefty gizmo to crack a safe, but he's more interested in leafing through Playboy while waiting for it to do its job. Elsewhere, he uses his wits and what's available. It's particularly gratifying to see him tear out his pockets and use them as makeshift gloves in one scene

There are odd moments of awkwardness to Lazenby's performance, but nothing truly fatal, and he grows into the role as it progresses. Indeed, as the first Bond to be asked to show real fear (in the ice rink sequence) and despair (the ending), at his best he's far more natural than his detractors give him credit and despite being intended as a Connery imitator there are plenty of moments where he makes the part his own. He's certainly the most physical Bond, not least because of Peter Hunt's determination to put him in harm's way so the camera can come in close in the vicious fight sequences. As for whether Connery would have made the film better still, it's doubtful. Had it originally followed Goldfinger as was originally planned, it's possible, but by the time the oft-rescheduled picture finally went before the camera he'd lost all interest in the part and it's hard to imagine him putting any more effort into it than he did in Diamonds Are Forever. It's certainly impossible to imagine him pulling off the film's devastating final scene by that point.

On the debit side, the pacing is slightly problematic, not least due to the deletion of an uncompleted chase through the London Underground that leaves the film with a slight sag in the middle. That continuity problem with Blofeld not recognising Bond IS irritating (OHMSS was intended to be their first meeting), the romantic montage feels like a jewellers commercial and at times Hunt's cut-to-the-bone editing style is overdone. None of which stop this being very nearly the best Bond of them all, and the one the series wouldn't come close to matching for another 37 years.

For Bond fans, this two-disc Ultimate Edition is like a brightly lit Christmas Tree on Christmas morning, with plenty of new extras to make it worth an upgrade to the two-disc edition if you already have the previous DVD. Of these, the most interesting are the interviews with Lazenby from the time of the film's release. Much criticised for his arrogance and ego in an era when stars were kept on a tight leash, now he simply seems honest and sincere and considerably more positive about the film than many of today's stars on modern press junkets. Unfortunately, while all three original 1969 making-of featurettes have been included on this issue, Shot On Ice, about the filming of the stock car sequence, has been clumsily tampered with, the extracts from the film taken from the remastered print in widescreen in away that will annoy the purists. It's also missing the alternate theatrical trailers that have appeared on the laserdisc and video releases in the past. But to go some way to compensating, the disc also includes new featurettes on casting the film and a staged press day during shooting as well as all the extras from the original release - plus that tidied up uncut version. Highly recommended, this is Bond at his best.
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